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Jim Keane
Jim Keane
Chief Operating Officer
Education & Qualifications
J.D., Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
Bachelor's Degree, Harvard College
2021 Refinancing of the Year (Under $100MM), M&A Advisor
2019 Pro Bono Transaction of the Year, TMA Global
2022 TMA Outstanding Service
Crain’s “Who’s Who in Chicago Business” (2014 , 2015)
Membership & Community
TMA, Midwest Chapter, Leadership Team
Illinois Attorney General’s Charitable Advisory Council
Economic Club of Chicago
University Club of Chicago
Jim Keane
Chief Operating Officer

Over the course of a 30+ year career as a financial advisor and turnaround CEO across many industries, Jim has amassed broad expertise that allows him to craft and negotiate a wide range of solutions for his clients, whether the challenges are financial, operational or strategic.  He listens carefully; and whether on the plant floor or in the Board room he builds necessary relationships to gain perspective, assess situations, and craft alternatives quickly and accurately.  Likewise, Jim works with external stakeholders in a fair and transparent way, enlisting cooperation and patience and negotiating win-win solutions.  His successes have been recognized with a number of national and regional awards.  Jim is a licensed attorney.

Representative Engagements
Interim CEO for Medical Lab in Receivership

Served as chief executive and led a four-person HP engagement team that replaced senior management for a medical diagnostic lab (molecular, clinical, anatomic pathology).  Stabilized operation, implemented compliance program, and developed strategic alternatives amidst a highly publicized owner dispute and investigation of pre-receivership conduct.

Restructuring Advisor for Food Manufacturer

Led an engagement team that stabilized cash flow, senior lender relationship, and supplier relationships following 2021 supply shock.  Helped facilitate a balance sheet restructuring through the sale-leaseback of company properties and refinancing of working capital facility.  Positioned the company for a sale to private equity shortly after the restructuring.

Bankruptcy Advisor for Arandell Corporation

Led financial advisory engagement for third largest catalog printer in the United States in connection with a bankruptcy filing in the Delaware Bankruptcy Court, successfully leading the company through a restructuring and return to profitability that repaid 100% of secured debt and preserved 500+ jobs and 95% of the customer base. Negotiated the sale of the company in §363 sale. Engagement was awarded 2021 Refinancing of the Year (Under $100MM) by M&A Advisor.

Restructuring Advisor for Auto Supplier

Led financial advisory engagement for Tier 1 automotive supplier with significant cash flow and profitability challenges, structuring a new borrowing facility, serving as primary contact for suppliers and advising the CEO and Board on strategic alternatives.

Turnaround Advisor for Consumer Products Company

Led financial advisory engagement for a consumer products company. Reestablished relationship with senior lender and renegotiated key distribution, manufacturing and supply contracts. Result: significantly improved gross margins and cash flow and a return to profitability, facilitating exponential growth. The company attracted several rounds of investment and was purchased by Procter & Gamble in 2023.

Restructuring / Transaction Advisor for Social Services Organization

Saved a social services organization from liquidation by structuring and negotiating an innovative asset sale that preserved the organization’s core programs in the hands of a healthy buyer.  This transaction was awarded 2019 Pro Bono Transaction of the Year by the Turnaround Management Association.

M&A Advisor for SEC Receivership – Consumer Debt Portfolio

With responsibility for the sale of a $6 billion consumer debt portfolio, Jim supported Gregory S. Milligan of Harney Partners in his role as court-appointed receiver in SEC v. Kevin B. Merrill, et al. (U.S. District Court, Maryland).

Turnaround CEO and EVP: Supportive Housing (1,500+ units) and Youth Development

In roles as CEO and EVP of two significant Chicago-area nonprofits, led comprehensive turnarounds by improving fundraising, reducing reliance on unstable revenue streams, streamlining programs and improving quality, implementing a data-driven framework for key decisions, and selling low-mission-value assets to increase cash reserves.

Associate General Counsel of Sears, Roebuck and Co.

Served as Associate General Counsel and head of Corporate and Securities Law Section. Supported the Sears Treasury, Financial Reporting, Accounting, and Investor Relations functions. Responsible for 20+ issuances of debt securities (asset-backed securities and general obligations). Instrumental in key M&A activity, including the divestiture of the $30 billion Sears Credit Division, the merger of Sears and Kmart, the acquisition of Lands’ End, and many other acquisitions.

Financial and Strategy Advisor for Residential Youth Organization

Served as strategic advisor to Boys Hope Girls Hope International and its Board in (1) realigning the organization’s governance structure as it relates to the parent organization and local affiliates, and (2) improving the content and cadence of monthly financial reports and dashboards for all entities.

Strategy Advisor for Team Rubicon

Represents Team Rubicon, an international disaster response nonprofit organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders, to rapidly provide relief to communities in need. Advises organization to maximize impact internationally in view through the complex maze of governance, operational, tax and legal implications of operating in multiple national jurisdictions.

Recent Blog Posts & Presentations By Jim Keane
May 1, 2024
TMA Chicago Midwest Podcast Featuring Greg Milligan and Jim Keane | Decoding Receiverships

Podcast: Decoding Receiverships: Insights From Jim Keane and Greg Milligan of Harney Partners Listen to the latest TMA Chicago Midwest Podcast hosted by Paul Musser, Partner of Katten, as he…Read More

April 22, 2022
TMA Workforce Lessons for 2022: How to Recruit & Retain Talent in the Turbulent Labor Market

TMA Chicago/Midwest Chapter hosted a webinar on recruiting and retention on April 20. Harney’s Jim Keane moderated an esteemed panel that included Judge Janet S. Baer, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern…Read More

September 29, 2021
How to Weather the Storm in These Strange Pandemic Times

There is much economic uncertainty during the current “pandemic era.” How long will this last? Is this really the new normal? Can my business weather the storm? While things remain…Read More

September 16, 2021
On-Demand Webinar: Best Practices to Withstand Continuing Economic Uncertainty

Harney Partners, Munsch Hardt and Weaver hosted a 60-minute webinar on September 14 to discuss the challenges and fundamental steps businesses should take to prepare for the ongoing and unstable…Read More