Foros professionals are seasoned M&A advisors with a track record of delivering successful outcomes in complex situations.
Jean is the CEO of Foros, which he founded in 2009 in the midst of the financial crisis to provide corporate clients differentiated strategic and financial advice focused on shareholder value creation. Foros has been ranked among the top M&A advisors and among top independent advisory firms in the U.S. by league table providers. The Financial Times called Foros one of the “big fish among the boutique investment banks.”
Jean has been advising CEOs, CFOs and Boards of Directors over his three-decade career and is amongst a select group of very experienced, senior M&A bankers who remain fully engaged personally in day-to-day client engagements. He serves his clients as both a trusted strategic advisor, helping them think through strategies for long-term value creation, and a deeply experienced and highly effective negotiator in achieving successful outcomes in M&A transactions. He works closely with key decision makers at his clients, his work is based on rigorous research and analysis, and his advice is clear and actionable. While Jean has extensive experience in the technology sector, he works with companies across industries and favors lateral thinking in both strategic advisory and deal negotiation situations.
Since founding Foros, Jean has overseen all Foros client relationships and mandates including numerous strategic assessments for public and private companies, 56 public company transactions, 41 private company transactions, 31 acquisitions, 21 whole company sales, 8 contested/conflicted situations and 8 private capital raises. Specific recent examples include: advising Blackbaud on its response to an unsolicited takeover proposal from 18% owner, Clearlake Capital; advising HP on its $3.3 billion acquisition of Poly; extensive and ongoing work with F5 Networks on a strategic assessment, five acquisitions totaling $2.2 billion in dollar volume and a shareholder communications strategy; advising United Natural Foods (UNFI) on its strategic transformation which included the $2.9 billion acquisition of SUPERVALU; advising Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. on its $872 million sale to OptumRX; advising SEACOR Holdings on its $1 billion going private transaction; and advising Zuora on its $400 million strategic investment from SilverLake and the acquisition of Zephr.
Over his career, Jean advised on a wide variety of multi-billion dollar transactions, including advising: Medco on its $29.1 billion sale to Express Scripts; HP on its $23.5 billion merger with Compaq; Lyondell Chemical on its $20 billion sale to Basell AF; multiple private equity buyer consortiums on acquisitions, including the $13.7 billion acquisition of Univision and the $5 billion acquisition of Sabre; ntl on its $8.9 billion merger with Telewest; SCI on its $6.1 billion merger with Sanmina; ArrowPoint Communications on its $5.7 billion sale to Cisco Systems; IMS’s Transaction Committee on the $5.2 billion sale to TPG and CPP Investment Board; Sterling Commerce on its $4 billion sale to then SBC Communications; NBC on its $3.5 billion acquisition of the Weather Channel; Interactive Data’s Special Committee on the $3.4 billion sale to Warburg Pincus and SilverLake; AMC on its $2.2 billion going private transaction; Penn National Gaming on its $2 billion acquisition of Argosy Gaming; Lenovo Group on its $1.75 billion acquisition of IBM’s PC business; and Pulitzer on its $1.5 billion sale to Lee Enterprises.
Prior to founding Foros, Jean was Americas Head of Mergers & Acquisitions and a member of the Global Banking Executive Committee at Deutsche Bank. Under Jean’s leadership, Deutsche Bank rose from number twelve in the U.S. M&A league tables in 2006 to number five in 2008, according to Thomson Financial. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in early 2006, Jean was a Managing Director and Co-Head of Mergers & Acquisitions in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications Investment Banking Group at Goldman, Sachs & Co. At Goldman Sachs, he also worked as a senior banker in the M&A and Financial Institutions Groups. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs in 1998, Jean was a Vice President in J.P. Morgan’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications Investment Banking Group.
Jean received a J.D. (magna cum laude) from Harvard Law School, where he was Supervising Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) from Princeton University (School of Public and International Affairs). After law school, he served as law clerk to Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and had a multi-year fellowship at Harvard Law School where he did research work funded by the Ford Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation on the prevention and mitigation of ethnonational conflicts.
Jean is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Robert College of Istanbul, Turkey and of Ethiopia Education Initiatives whose principal project has been the founding and operating of the Haile-Manas Academy, a premier co-ed boarding school in Ethiopia. He resides in New York City with his family.
Strategic Advisory Approach
To see Jean’s full bio and select transaction experience, please click here.