Throughout his career as a corporate attorney, business executive, and turnaround professional, Jim has amassed critical expertise that he lends to support Harney clients. He has served for more than 20 years as a leader and advisor for both large public companies and smaller companies in a variety of industries, including powdered metal manufacturing, printing, electronic parts, consumer products, financial services, consumer credit, retail apparel and hardlines, and social services.
From strategic, financial and operational turnaround, crisis management and M&A activities – to working with boards and facilitating complex negotiations – Jim has extensive experience to apply to a variety of complex situations to maximize value and opportunity.
Led financial advisory engagement for the 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. This engagement was awarded 2021 Refinancing of the Year (Under $100MM) by M&A Advisor.
Led financial advisory engagement for a tier 1 automotive supplier with significant cash flow and profitability challenges, advising the CEO and Board on strategic alternatives, structuring a new borrowing facility, and serving as primary contact for all stakeholders. When the company’s investment bank was not successful finding a going-concern buyer, negotiated a liquidation of the plant to get highest-and-best value for the assets.
Led financial advisory engagement for a consumer products company in the haircare segment. Through regular reporting and communications, improved the company’s relationship with its lender, buying time to renegotiate contracts with the company’s distributor and its third-party manufacturer. This resulted in significantly improved gross margins, cash flow and profitability. As a result, the company attracted significant interest from equity investors and is now one of fastest growing companies in its sector.
Represented 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. Advised the organization on the best ways to maximize impact internationally in view through the complex maze of governance, operational, tax and legal implications of operating in multiple national jurisdictions.
With responsibility for the sale of a $6 billion consumer debt portfolio, 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).
Helped a social services organization avoid 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.
In roles as CEO and EVP of two significant Chicago-area nonprofits, oversaw comprehensive and highly successful turnarounds. Turnaround strategies included strengthening core fundraising, reducing reliance on unstable revenue streams, streamlining and improving the quality of programs, implementing a data-driven framework for key decisions, selling low-mission-value assets to increase the endowment, and significantly improving the organizations’ profile in the civic and corporate community.
Sale of Sears Credit Division: Key member of small team that structured and negotiated the highly complex divestiture of the $30 billion Sears Credit Division to CitiBank. Served as Associate General Counsel and head of Corporate and Securities Law Section at Sears, Roebuck for over five years. Supported the Sears Treasury, Financial Reporting, Accounting and Investor Relations functions, and was responsible for 20+ issuances of debt securities (asset-backed securities and general obligations) and for reviewing and approving all Sears financial statements and public disclosures. Instrumental in key M&A activity, including the divestiture of the Sears Credit Division, the merger of Sears and Kmart, the acquisition of Lands’ End, and a variety of additional acquisitions.
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.
Served as advisor on the post-merger integration of two California-based Boys & Girls Clubs affiliates.
Recent Blog Posts & Presentations By Jim Keane
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
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
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