News

October 8, 2019

Mark Harnett Joins Okapi Partners as a Senior Managing Director

Veteran Proxy Solicitor and Corporate Advisor Joins Okapi Partner’s Growing Team of Senior Professionals to Meet Increasing Demands from its Expanding Client Base

NEW YORK, Oct. 8, 2019 – Okapi Partners LLC, a leading proxy solicitation and investor response firm that advises corporations, institutional investors and investment management companies, announced it has named Mark Harnett as a Senior Managing Director to advise corporate clients and investors on proxy contests, governance issues, M&A and other transactions, and annual and special meetings. Mr. Harnett was previously a Founding Partner and Managing Director of Strategic Governance Advisors (SGA), an affiliate of the communications firm Sard Verbinnen & Co., where he assisted clients on matters related to shareholder engagement and messaging, compensation, ESG and control contests.

“With 35 years of proxy and engagement experience Mark has worked for many of the largest and most well known companies in the world, as well as leading shareholder activists,” said Bruce H. Goldfarb, President and CEO of Okapi Partners. “We have worked with Mark many times over the years as a proxy solicitor and communications specialist, and we know well that he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our growing team as we continue to take on new campaigns on behalf of new and existing clients.”

“Mark is a trusted advisor to both boards of directors and investors and we’re very excited to have him join Okapi Partners at a time of rapid change in the relationship between public companies and their shareholders,” said Patrick J. McHugh, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Okapi Partners.

Prior to joining Sard Verbinnen, Mr. Harnett was co-founder and President of proxy solicitor MacKenzie Partners, where he garnered over 25 years of experience providing counsel on hundreds of proxy contests, tender offers and mergers. He has deep expertise as the lead strategist on the timing and content of proxy campaigns; consulting and briefing corporate boards and CEOs; creating messaging for proxy campaigns; advising clients on dialogue with proxy advisory firms; and forecasting vote outcomes; managing client roadshows to all leading institutional, index and arbitrageur shareholders; and counseling company executives, boards and their attorneys on annual and special meeting scenarios.

Mr. Harnett is a graduate of Georgetown University and University of Wisconsin Law School. 

About Okapi Partners

For over a decade, Okapi Partners has been providing clients with advice and execution related to investor response matters including merger and acquisition campaigns, proxy solicitation campaigns, information agent services, engagement services, stockwatch, investor identification and corporate governance consulting. The firm represents corporations, boards of directors, private equity firms, investment management companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors. The firm provides clients with superior intellectual capital, industry relationships and execution capabilities. Okapi Partner’s industry-leading team works with parties involved in mergers, contested elections and related matters to ensure clients are best positioned to successfully complete their campaigns. The firm provides both information and execution to effectively plan and deliver the desired results for clients.

Okapi Partners has been recognized as a top proxy solicitor by Activist Insight magazine for three years in a row, having represented both issuers and activists in numerous activist campaigns. The firm works with over 100 corporate clients providing advice on proxy solicitation matters, corporate governance issues and shareholder engagement strategies. Well versed in the markets and prepared for any contingency that might arise during an assignment, Okapi Partners provides clients the ability to respond thoughtfully and effectively to deliver optimal outcomes. www.okapipartners.com Follow Okapi Partners on Twitter @OkapiPartners.