A Message from the Dean
Mission Iraq
Dealmakers
A 1L Odyssey, Part 2
Isabelle Johnston Bids Farewell
Gloria Watts, Beloved Registrar, Gets Big Send-Off
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In Memoriam
 
Dealmakers 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8
BY JENNIFER BALDINO BONETT
 

It was six months before the opening bell, and James W. McKenzie Jr. L ’87, WG ’87, was running. He had until June 30, 2003, to orchestrate a grande dame of IPOs for American Financial Realty Trust in a high-pressure, increasingly regulated environment. And AFRT needed the proceeds from the IPO to fund the purchase of no fewer than 158 properties across the country — also by June 30.

McKenzie ran every day from Philadelphia’s Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, where he is a partner in the business transactions practice, to AFRT’s local headquarters, working out a new governance structure, hammering out disclosure documents, studying developing regulations by the SEC and NYSE, and advising the board. He ran during the Super Bowl — back and forth from the television to the telephone for a conference call with the investment bankers. And he ran from his Philadelphia home by the Art Museum to his Center City office in a President’s Day blizzard to complete a set of documents. (Actually he walked in the snowstorm, but quickly.) Fortunately, McKenzie, who ran the streets of West Philadelphia in his days at Penn Law, is now a triathlete.

That’s an apropos pastime for a dealmaker. McKenzie, named a “Dealmaker of the Year” and the “Lead Issuer-Side Counsel for IPOs” by The American Lawyer in April, joins fellow Penn Law alumni as leaders in the fast-paced, high-stakes world of finance and M&A. He also belongs to the cadre of alumni who discovered the thrill of corporate dealmaking at Penn Law.

 
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