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HomeFinanceMorgan Stanley's M&A Star Joins Powerhouse Law Firm Amid Rising Investor Activism

Morgan Stanley’s M&A Star Joins Powerhouse Law Firm Amid Rising Investor Activism

A dynamic shift is about to take place on Wall Street, as veteran M&A strategist Robert Kindler, who has spent 17 years carving out a name for himself at Morgan Stanley, will soon hang up his investment banking hat to take on a new challenge at one of the legal world’s most revered institutions.

Kindler, who held the title of Global Chair of Mergers and Acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, is set to become the Global Chair of M&A at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. As a partner at Paul Weiss, Kindler will take on an advisory role, guiding the firm’s corporate clients on various matters ranging from M&A, and strategic planning, to corporate governance. Given the rising tide of investor activism, Kindler’s expertise will also be called upon to help clients navigate potential threats from hedge funds and other investors keen to leverage deflated stock prices.

Reflecting on his time at Morgan Stanley, Kindler expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the bank’s transformation into a leading investment bank. He looks forward to joining the Paul Weiss team, renowned for its expertise in M&A and activism defense.

In the past, Paul Weiss has been in the thick of high-stakes corporate battles, representing the board of McDonald’s in a proxy fight against activist investor Carl Icahn. The firm has also navigated murky waters for Apollo Global amid concerns over co-founder Leon Black’s associations with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The anticipation of increased investor activism has been voiced by other Wall Street veterans, including Goldman Sachs’ COO John Waldron, who predicts an uptick in calls for spinoffs and consolidation as the economic outlook dampens, potentially leading to heightened M&A activity.

At Paul Weiss, Kindler will be working alongside Scott Barshay, Corporate Department Chair, and Brad Karp, the firm’s Chairman, who’s been instrumental in cultivating key relationships with clients like the NFL and Apollo. This will mark a reunion of sorts for Kindler and Barshay, who both kickstarted their careers at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.

During his tenure at Morgan Stanley, Kindler played a pivotal role in advising Time Warner on its monumental $85.4 billion acquisition by AT&T, as well as helping guide Morgan Stanley’s acquisitions of ETrade and Eaton Vance – key moves that reshaped the bank under the leadership of outgoing CEO James Gorman.

As Kindler prepares to assume his new role post-Labor Day, Wall Street will be keeping a keen eye on how his legal acumen and extensive M&A experience shape his new journey at Paul Weiss.