Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
A Senior Corporate Partner at New York City-based law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, Wilson Neely possesses expertise in such areas as mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and securities, corporate governance, and energy and infrastructure. Chambers USA’s America’s Leading Lawyers for Business recognized Mr. Neely as a top attorney in Private Equity Buyouts: Nationwide (Band 1). Joining Simpson Thacher & Bartlett as an Associate in 1982, Wilson Neely became a Partner in 1991. At the global firm, Mr. Neely serves as a member of the Finance Committee and as Chairman of the Compensation Committee.
One of approximately 820 lawyers at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Wilson Neely acts as primary outside counsel for private equity companies Centerbridge Partners, L.P., and The Blackstone Group, which together maintain capital investment funds in excess of $20 billion. In 2009, he led the team assisting Blackstone in the securing of financing and the completion of the $2.7 billion leveraged buyout of the amusement park business of Anheuser-Busch InBev, which included Busch Gardens and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. For his efforts in consummating the acquisition, dubbed “the biggest leveraged buyout since mid-2007,” The Am Law Daily named Wilson Neely its Dealmaker of the Week.
Wilson Neely has contributed to several informative articles, including “The Impact on Private Equity and Hedge Funds of the Financial Regulatory Reform Bills: A Legislative Update.” Additional pieces published by Mr. Neely address the Public-Private Investment Program of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the investment in energy and infrastructure covered in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
An excellent student, Wilson Neely became a Rufus Choate Scholar at Dartmouth College, where he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts. He completed a Juris Doctor at The University of Texas School of Law, graduating with honors.
A member of the New York State and American Bar Associations, Wilson Neely sits on the Board of Trustees of ReadWorks, an element of the Urban Education Exchange which supplies training and online reading-comprehension methodology and curriculum to K-6 educators. He also serves on the Boards of Trustees for Historic Hudson Valley, which preserves, interprets, and promotes historic landmarks within its namesake valley, and the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction, which funds the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. A native of Texas, Wilson Neely recently completed Trustee services of six years for the Union Church of Pocantico Hills.
The Vietnam Relief Effort’s Goat-Farming Project
Founded by Chinh Chu, the Vietnam Relief Effort (VRE) undertakes many projects to increase economic independence in Vietnam. In 2010, the organization began its goat farming project, which involved 60 women in the in the Mekong Delta region of the Tien Giang province. Women in this particularly impoverished area formerly had few options to become economically stable. The program provided education and microloans so that the women could raise goats for commercial sale. Over the years, the program has helped more than 300 families. The repayments of the microloans go back into the greater fund to help even more individuals.
VRE measured the impact of the program by sending volunteers to the Phuoc Trung commune, where many women participated in the microfinancing program. The volunteers took metrics about the environmental safety of the farms, the health of the goats, and the overall condition of homes. VRE used this information to improve the program, as well as to direct feedback from program participants.