In the world of takeover fights, there are usually both winners and losers. This week the tight-knit community of proxy advisers suffered a loss together. Alan Miller, co-founder of Innisfree M&A, died on Monday at age 62 after battling lymphoma.
Miller was one of the top names in the proxy fight arena. Like many veterans still in the business, he cut his teeth at the Carter organisation, which was at the centre of legendary 1980s showdowns involving the likes of T Boone Pickens and Carl Icahn.
Miller went on to Georgeson & Co and then in 1997 co-founded Innisfree with Arthur Crozier, Jennifer Shotwell and Meredith Cole. Innisfree immediately became one of the handful of go-to firms for the highest-profile proxy fights.
Among the hundreds of contests he worked on, Miller helped HP win its fight to buy Compaq in 2002, and most recently was on Barnes & Noble’s side in its victory over Yucaipa Funds. He also helped PotashCorp fend off BHP Billiton and Airgas resist Air Products.
‘Alan demonstrated grace under pressure and was the person you wanted on your team during the toughest fight,’ says Arthur Crozier, co-chairman of Innisfree, in a statement.
‘For more than 30 years, Alan advocated fiercely on behalf of his clients around the world. He always put others first and had a will to win that was unparalleled. We are deeply saddened by his loss and extend our sympathies to his family, particularly his wife and children, who meant the world to him.’
According to the statement, Miller took delight in his firm’s unusual choice of name, which was based on the William Butler Yeats poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
[Article by Neil Stewart, Inside Investor Relations]