November 6, 2014 Tony Vecchio Featured in New York Times DealBook

November 6, 2014

Tony Vecchio Featured in New York Times DealBook

Okapi Partners has gained prominence in recent years for its role in advising activist investors like Elliott Management and Starboard Value in their fights against companies like the Hess Corporation and Darden Restaurants, the parent of Olive Garden. But the firm is hiring a new senior executive to help bolster its work for corporate clients.

The firm, a proxy solicitor that dispenses advice on matters involving shareholder votes like board elections and mergers, plans to announce on Friday that it has hired Tony Vecchio from Georgeson, a rival firm, as a managing director. It’s the latest hiring by the firm as it seeks to battle more-established competitors.

In recent years, the proxy solicitation industry has benefited from an increase in shareholder activism, where hedge funds and other investors push for change at companies by contesting director seats or threatening to vote against an acquisition. That kind of boardroom brawling is expected to increase even more next year.

But Okapi actually spends more of its time advising corporations, in the defense against activist campaigns and in more mundane matters, according to Bruce H. Goldfarb, the firm’s chief executive. Adding Mr. Vecchio — whom he knew from his days working at Georgeson — is meant to help bring in more senior experience on that front.

Okapi Partners Adds Senior Executive to Focus on Corporate Clients  [DealBook]

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