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Joseph R. Perella: Grand Marshal of New York City’s 69th Annual Columbus Day Parade


Esteemed Philanthropist and Renowned Deal Maker to Lead Over 100 Contingents and 35,000 Marchers in World’s Largest Celebration of Italian-American Culture and Achievement

Nearly One Million Spectators from the Tri-State Area and Around the World Expected to Cheer Marching Bands, Dignitaries and Celebrities

October 14, 2013 from 11:30 AM to 3:00 PM on Fifth Ave., 44th to 72nd Streets

New York, NY, September 17, 2013 – Joseph R. Perella, philanthropist and leading Wall Street deal maker, was named Grand Marshal of New York City’s 69th Annual Columbus Celebration, which will take place on Fifth Avenue on Monday, October 14, 2013.

The Annual Columbus Day Parade is the world’s largest celebration of Italian-American heritage and culture. As Grand Marshal, Mr. Perella will lead dozens of bands, floats and dance troupes up Fifth Avenue in a non-stop parade of family entertainment and Italian-American pride.

Mr. Perella is a Founding Partner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Perella Weinberg Partners. For more than 40 years, he has been a leading advisor to executives and boards, advising on hundreds of deals, including strategic assignments for companies in virtually every industry and region of the world. Mr. Perella is actively involved with a number of non-profit organizations, educational institutions and thought leadership groups. He serves as a director of the American-Italian Cancer Foundation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. and five other non-profit organizations. In addition, he is a Trustee of Lehigh University and of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and he is a member of Yale Cancer Center’s Director’s Advisory Board, The Council on Foreign Relations and The Brookings Institution.

“Mr. Perella is a man of vision, great leadership and remarkable philanthropy,” said Frank G. Fusaro, President of the Columbus Citizens Foundation, which organizes the Columbus Celebration, including the Annual Columbus Day Parade. “In the highly competitive world of global finance, Mr. Perella is known for his intelligence and, most exceptionally, for his honesty and integrity. His life and success are testaments to the fact that his word is his bond and his credo embraces compassion – qualities that have been true since his childhood, his service in the United States Air Force and the New Jersey Air National Guard, and his dedication to numerous important organizations, beginning with his alma mater, Lehigh University, and continuing with his ongoing work as a Trustee of the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which provides assistance to the families of American troops slain in the service of their country and those who suffered
serious injuries to body and mind. The sum of his many accomplishments, combined with his history of philanthropy and love of his heritage, are the realization of the American dream his parents and grandparents sought in coming to this country. We are humbled by his achievements and by his acceptance of our invitation to serve as Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade.”

“I am honored to be named Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade, a wonderful event that pays tribute to the significant contributions Italian-Americans have made to the United States,” said Mr. Perella. “On Columbus Day, we will celebrate Italian-American heritage and culture as one of the many facets that has made our great, diverse country a robust, ever-evolving land of freedom and opportunity.”

About Joseph R. Perella
In a 2006 article in Investment Dealers’ Digest, Raymond McGuire, Global Head Corporate and Investment Banking at Citigroup, said, “Joe Perella reflects the best-in-class on Wall Street: trust, integrity and character,” a statement that reflects the thoughts and experiences of many in the financial industry.

Mr. Perella founded First Boston’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group in the early 1970s, cofounded Wasserstein Perella & Co. in the 1980s, became Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley in the 1990s, and in 2006, co-founded Perella Weinberg Partners, a global, independent advisory and asset management firm.

Mr. Perella was born in Newark, NJ as the eldest of three children. His grandfather had been a blacksmith in Italy but became a chef when he immigrated to the U.S. After Mr. Perella’s father earned his doctorate in economics in Italy, he also immigrated to America in 1938.

Mr. Perella attended Lehigh University and graduated in 1964 with a degree in accounting. He spent six years with Haskins & Sells as a C.P.A. and served with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Concurrently, he served in the U.S. Air Force and the New Jersey Air National Guard (1964 to 1970), where he became a crew chief on F-105 fighterbombers. He attended Harvard Business School from 1970 to 1972, where he graduated with an MBA.

In 1972, Mr. Perella joined First Boston and founded its Mergers & Acquisitions Group and, in 1977, hired Bruce Wasserstein from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, creating one of the most successful and dynamic M&A groups in the world of finance. According to published reports, most analysts felt First Boston’s M&A group accounted for half of First Boston’s 1987 profits.

In 1988, Mr. Perella co-founded Wasserstein Perella & Co., and he was Chairman of the Board until September 1993. He joined Morgan Stanley in November 1993, where he was Worldwide Head of Corporate Finance, then Worldwide Head of the Investment Banking Group, and finally, Vice Chairman of the company.

In 2006, Mr. Perella teamed with Terry Meguid and Peter Weinberg to found Perella Weinberg Partners, which has more than 400 employees in offices in New York, London, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Denver, Dubai, and San Francisco. The firm manages approximately $10.1 billion in assets and provides advice on a variety of business issues, including mergers and acquisitions, financial restructurings and raising private capital.

Mr. Perella and his wife of 40 years, Amy, live in Manhattan. In 2003, the Perellas made a major gift to Lehigh University’s College of Business and Economics, creating the Perella Department of Finance. The donation established four Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella Chairs, which further enabled the university to attract top-tier academics to its faculty. They also established a scholarship fund for Lehigh students from the Newark area where Mr. Perella grew up and contributed to the construction of the Rauch Business Center and the Caruso Wrestling Complex.

The Perellas have also supported Yale University by endowing a chair, The Amy and Joseph Perella Professor of Medicine at the Yale Cancer Center, currently occupied by Dr. Vincent T. DeVita.

Mr. Perella is a Trustee of Lehigh University, as well as the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, and is a director of The American-Italian Cancer Foundation, The Atlantic Salmon Federation, Boys & Girls Harbor, Inc., the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., and the American Society of the Italian Legions of Merit. Additionally, he is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations, The Brookings Institution and the Director’s Advisory Board for Yale Cancer Center.

About the Columbus Citizens Foundation
The Columbus Citizens Foundation is a non-profit organization in New York City committed to fostering an appreciation of Italian-American heritage and achievement. The Foundation, through a broad range of philanthropic and cultural activities, provides opportunities for advancement to deserving Italian-American students through various scholarship and grant programs. In the coming school year, the Foundation is providing over $2 million in scholarship assistance to over 500 students. In 2013, the Foundation donated $256,000 to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, which supports American military personnel and their families, bringing its donations in support of our troops to over $750,000, and it was a lead partner in the reinstatement of the Advanced Placement Program in Italian Language and Culture with a donation of $500,000. The Foundation organizes New York City's annual Columbus Celebration and Columbus Day Parade, which has been held under the auspices of the Foundation since
Event: Columbus Day Parade
Location: Fifth Ave. from 44th – 72nd Streets
Date: Monday, October 14, 2013
Hours: 11:30 AM – 3:00 PM
Broadcast: WABC-TV, Noon – 3:00 PM
Press Contact: Andrew Decker, 212.222.4688,