Kenneth Bialkin, a philanthropist and a longtime leader of a plethora of major Jewish organizations, has died at 89.
Bialkin, who was until recently active as a retired partner at the Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom legal firm, also was chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in the mid-1980s, when it took a lead in brokering freedoms for Soviet Jews in the final years of the USSR.
He was also chairman of the American Jewish Historical Society, the president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York and the chairman of the America Israel Friendship League. He served for 30 years as vice-chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation, a major philanthropic builder in the Israeli city.
Bialkin was additionally a longtime board member of the Republican Jewish Coalition and a donor to GOP candidates.
Kenneth J. Bialkin’s practice encompasses a broad range of corporate and securities law matters, including activity in U.S. and international merger and acquisition and corporate finance transactions, and SEC enforcement matters. He has extensive experience representing insurance companies, broker-dealers, investment and commercial bankers and other financial institutions.
In 1998, Mr. Bialkin represented Travelers Group in its merger with Citicorp. Previously, in 1997, he represented Travelers Group in its acquisition of Salomon Inc. He also represented Citigroup in its acquisition of Schroders, Ltd. in 1999 and of Associates First Capital in 2000.
He represented NASDAQ Inc. in its restructuring to separate it from the NASD in 2000 and 2001 and in its development into a publicly owned enterprise.
Mr. Bialkin has been involved in some of the largest insurance company mergers and acquisitions in the United States. In 1995, he represented Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in its merger with New England Mutual Life Insurance Company. He also represented Travelers Group in its $4 billion acquisition of Aetna’s property-casualty operations and in financing transactions related to the acquisition.
In 1993, Mr. Bialkin led the firm’s representation of Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in its sale of Surplus Notes; Smith Barney in the acquisition of the brokerage and investment advisory business of Shearson Lehman Brothers; and Primerica Corporation in its merger with The Travelers Corporation.
Mr. Bialkin formerly represented the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In that capacity, he advised the Institute regarding the development of auditing standards and the role and duties of accountants. He also counseled the Institute on issues of civil liability and professional discipline, as well as regulation and self-regulation. He represented Marsh & McLennan in its acquisition of Johnson & Higgins in 1997 and of Sedgwick in 1999.
Mr. Bialkin represented U.S. and non-U.S. companies in connection with U.S. public and private offerings of securities, mergers and requisitions, and in connection with government and regulatory investigations by such agencies as the SEC and the Department of Justice.
Bialkin is survived by his wife, Ann, and two daughters, Lisa and Johanna.