Operations

Joseph Contorno

Senior Vice President | Business Development
Direct (516) 396-7939 | jcontorno@laurelhill.com

Joe Contorno is Senior Vice President, Business Development at Laurel Hill Advisory Group. Prior to this Joe was Senior Managing Director and co-founder of Eagle Rock Proxy Advisors LLC. He was instrumental in soliciting high-profile corporate and banking shareholder meetings. 

Joe’s in-depth knowledge, insight and wisdom has made him an important figure in proxy solicitation services, mergers & acquisitions, contested vote solicitations, corporate governance matters, tender/exchange offers, annual & special meetings advisory services leveraging proactive strategies. 

Mr. Contorno has been in the industry for over 25 years where he held executive positions with The Altman Group, Georgeson and D.F. King. His experience in the brokerage industry includes Drexel Burnham, John Hancock Securities Corp and Lehman Bros. Mr. Contorno has certification with the New York Institute of Finance in back office operations & procedures and held series 7, 6 and 3 licenses with the above NYSE member firms.


Thomas Cronin

Senior Vice President | Banks & Thrifts
Direct (516) 396-7936 | tcronin@laurelhill.com

Thomas Cronin is a Senior Vice President of Business Development at The Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC, a specialized strategic consulting and advisory services firm that provides a full range of proxy solicitation and information agent services. With 30 years of experience, Tom specializes in friendly mergers and acquisitions, unsolicited takeovers, proxy contests, bank and thrift and insurance conversions and corporate governance consulting. 

Tom has done extensive work in developing successful strategies in communicating with stakeholders. He has worked on numerous contested campaigns, including PeopleSoft Inc. vs. Oracle; Texaco Inc. vs. Carl Icahn; ValueAct Capital vs. Acxiom; Bancorp Rhode Island Inc. vs. PL Capital, LLC; and Openwave Systems Inc. vs. Harbinger Capital Partners. Tom represented Bank One Corporation in its $55 billion merger with J.P. Morgan Chase; Bank of America and its $50 billion merger with Merrill Lynch; and Merck in its $41 billion merger with Schering Plough. He has also been involved with private equity transactions with Friendly’s, Blair Corporation and Kanbay International. 

Prior to joining The Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC, Tom was Senior Managing Director at the proxy solicitation firm of Georgeson Inc. Georgeson acquired Kissel-Blake Inc. in 1998, a proxy solicitation and consulting firm where Tom served as Vice President. Prior to Kissel-Blake, Tom was Vice President at D. F. King & Co., Inc. and Proxy/Stockwatch Analyst at Morrow & Co., LLC.


Joe McDavitt

Senior Vice President | Business Development
Direct (646) 398-3022 | jmcdavitt@laurelhill.com

Joe McDavitt is Senior Vice President of The Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC. He is a 22 year veteran in the financial services industry where his primary focus has been corporate reorganization. 

Joe started his career at Bank of Boston which eventually became part of Computershare. He has worked on a multitude of complex transactions throughout his extensive career. His hands on approach helped him understand the complete process in assisting some of the largest public issuers through a wide range of transactions including, Mergers & Acquisitions Exchanges, Distributions, Liquidations, Tender Offers, Dutch Auctions, Rights Offerings, OddLots, Asset Reunification and Asset Recovery.

Some of Fortune 100/500 companies Joe worked directly on include; AT&T, Bank of America, Bell Atlantic/NYNEX, Exxon/Mobile, John Hancock, Liberty Mutual, Executive Life, NStar, Northeast Utilities, General Motors, Eli Lilly.

Many of these complex transactions were successfully managed by Joe; he coordinated team efforts working with issuers, in-house and outside counsel, financial printers, other financial advisors, internal project managers, systems analysts, call centers and operations. 

Joe is a graduate of University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, with a B.S. in Marketing.


John P. O’Grady

Senior Vice President | Laurel Hill Advisory Group. LLC
President | Laurel Hill Securities
(BrokerCheck)
Direct (516) 396-7905 | jogrady@laurelhill.com

John P. O’Grady is Senior Vice President of The Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC, President of Laurel Hill Securities and a member of the Laurel Hill Advisory M&A team. 

John heads Soliciting Dealer Services at Laurel Hill Securities LLC., and has advised clients involved in complex or difficult-to-execute transactions in the equity, preferred stock, alternative investment and fixed income markets. Recent transactions as Dealer Manager include multiple Actions Semiconductor Co., Ltd Modified Dutch Auctions.

Representative public companies transactions include Information Agent work on deals for Wabash Corporation, Mam Software and Cryo-Cell International Tender Offers, and the Actions Semiconductor, Ltd. going private (de-listing) transaction. John designed a novel Corporate Action Reconciliation of 1.2 Billion Dollar out-of-balance Bond and Note positions at DTC for Vitro, S.A. – as Expert Witness, Information Agent and Strategic Advisor for the Successful Special Corporate Action resolving their Concorso/Bankruptcy.

John recently assisted China Biologic Company in a successful redomicile (reincorporation) from Delaware to the Cayman Islands, has assisted Biotechnology Companies during up listing, and solicited successfully for an evergreen stock option plan which passed despite ISS and Glass Lewis opposition. John created a strategy to boost Say on Pay Votes increasing support year over year for clients, and tactics to reduce Withhold Votes on Directors. He has spearheaded projects representing a number of closed end and open end mutual funds including Ares Funds, Liberty Funds, and Franklin Templeton.

During his Twenty Years in the industry, he has managed solicitation campaigns related to annual and special meetings (domestically and abroad), contests for control, M&A solicitations, schemes of arrangement, reorganizations and going private (de-listing) transactions as well as fixed income-related matters, including holder identification, tenders, exchanges and consent solicitations.

He received his BS/BA in Biology and English from Georgetown University, Washington D.C.


Anthony Vitellozzi

Senior Vice President | Business Development
Direct (516) 937-3256 | avitellozzi@laurelhill.com

Anthony, a Senior Vice President of Laurel Hill Advisory Group, LLC, is responsible for Business Development for the US operations. Prior to joining Laurel Hill, Anthony was a consultant in the Consumer Goods & Foodservice industries with multi-national clients across the US, Canada, Europe and Asia. In 2008 he was appointed interim-CEO of a $125mm foodservice company, overseeing its restructuring and refinancing after a Chapter 11 filing, negotiating a successful turnaround of operations and restoring profitability. Over the last several years he was responsible for the launch of some very successful enterprises in the consumer goods industry both here and abroad, but before moving into the consumer goods field began his career in the financial arena working on IPO's and Mid-Cap investment funds.


Joseph Moran 

Vice President | Business Development | Banks & Thrifts
Direct (516) 396-7901 | jmoran@laurelhill.com

Joe is a proxy solicitation and corporate governance specialist with over 15 years experience in corporate proxy, specializing in Bank and Thrift conversions.

Prior to joining Laurel Hill Advisory Group Joe was a Vice President with AST Phoenix Advisors where he managed hundreds of shareholder meetings from start to finish including annual, special and contested meetings as well as Thrift Conversions with both shareholders and members meetings.


Jerry Ward

Director of Operations
Direct (516) 396-7904 | gward@laurelhill.com

Gerald (Jerry) Ward is the Director of Operations with over 10 years experience in corporate proxy, mutual funds solicitation,mergers and other corporate actions. Jerry regularly consults with companies on matters requiring shareholder approval,advises clients regarding shareholder composition and its effect on vote outcomes and helps issuers develop effective investor outreach and communication strategies.

Prior to joining Laurel Hill Advisory Group, Jerry was a Managing Director with Georgeson (a Computershare Company) where he managed hundreds of shareholder meetings from start to finish including annual, special and contested meetings with both shareholders and mutual fund holders. Prior to joining the corporate proxy department ,Jerry was the Controller for Georgeson Inc for 20 years and Financial and Operations Principal (FINOP) for Georgeson Securities for 4 years.

Jerry is a C.P.A., holds a Series 27 license ,and is the FINOP for Laurel Hill Securities (BrokerCheck). Jerry is a member of the AICPA and NYSCPA.

Jerry earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from New York University.

 

Management Team


william j. Catacosinos

Senior Partner

William J. Catacosinos is the Managing Partner of Laurel Hill Capital Partners, LLC, a private equity firm focused primarily in the power sector.  Laurel Hill, joined by CIBC Markets and other investors, led the successful acquisition of TNP Enterprises, Inc., the parent of Texas-New Mexico Power Company, an electric utility located in Fort Worth, Texas.  As a result of that acquisition, Dr. Catacosinos served as Chairman, President and CEO from 2000 to 2004 and then as Chairman and CEO from 2004 to 2005, at which time TNP Enterprises, Inc. was acquired by PNM Resources.  The sale was completed in June 2005 and yielded a more than 2 times return on the original investment.


William W. Catacosinos

Partner
Direct (516) 933-3104 | bcat@laurelhill.com

Bill Catacosinos is a partner at Laurel Hill. He provides financial and investor relations consulting services.Bill was responsible for the formation of an Investor Relations department at the former Long Island Lighting Company. Reporting to the Treasurer, he managed relationships with financial analysts, institutional holders and shareholders. He designed and oversaw all services to these audiences. Bill managed the employee stock plan, dividend reinvestment plan and stock transfer agent. He prepared and participated in analyst and institutional conferences, disseminating all financial information to the financial community. Prior to that, Bill spent eight years at D.F. King & Co., Inc. His responsibilities at D.F. King were strategic planning and advising Fortune 500 clients on issues, including corporate control proposals, hostile proxy fights, anti-takeover provisions, executive compensation and stock incentive plans. Bill received a BS in business management at CW Post College at Long Island University.


James Catacosinos

Partner
Direct (516) 933-3107 | jcat@laurelhill.com

Jamie Catacosinos, a partner at Laurel Hill, has been responsible for creating and maintaining a program to market Laurel Hill and to attract new clients and businesses. He created a support business entity, IdeaAlley, LLC, to help network Laurel Hill and to bring in new clients and investment opportunities from outside the utility sector. In networking Laurel Hill, additional responsibilities included the creation of websites and logos, as well as developing and running a marketing program and seminar to select the most promising venture concepts in a competitive venue as a vehicle to attract businesses for investment purposes. Prior to joining Laurel Hill, Jamie worked in the film and video production industry from 1983 through 1999. During this time he worked in many fields of the business. A majority of the work performed was as Lighting Director for film and television. He also worked in the areas of Public Relations and Marketing in developing campaigns for feature films, corporate videos and projects. While working in a Producer's capacity, Jamie's responsibilities included designing artwork, editing trailers (short vignettes of longer films, a.k.a. coming attractions) and creating written material that was used to promote sales of several projects.Jamie graduated from Long Island University at C.W. Post College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. He also attended the New York University Graduate School of Fine Arts.


Kathleen Marion

Partner | Corporate Secretary
Direct (516) 933-3101 | kmarion@laurelhill.com

Kathy Marion is a partner at Laurel Hill Advisory Group, responsible for administration and finance.  Her experience includes planning, organizing and overseeing diverse corporate areas dealing with board governance, legal, financial, accounting, audit, records management and technical areas.

Prior to joining Laurel Hill, Kathy was Corporate Secretary of TNP Enterprises, Inc., a utility holding company.  Prior to TNP, she worked at Long Island Lighting Company as Vice President and Corporate Secretary, where she directed all board and corporate governance activities, as well as Ethics Office, Records Management, Internal Audit and Corporate Quality Assurance activities.  She also led the culture change initiatives.  

Kathy earned a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Old Westbury in Old Westbury, NY.  She completed the Leadership Program at the Center for Creative Leadership Development and has had additional training at Dale Carnegie.  Kathy is a member of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries.