About the Authors
Peter Nesvold >> Executive Editor
Peter Nesvold is a multi-disciplinary investment professional with 19 years of Wall Street experience. A lawyer, CFA, and CPA by background, he has worked with The Art of M&A series for the past 15 years — serving as co-author on four of the nine books and, since 2015, as the series' Executive Editor. He offers a unique blend of hands-on investment and transactional expertise.
Peter cut his teeth as a sell-side analyst, rising to Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns in less than six years. In this role, he proved unafraid to challenge the consensus view — for instance, sharply and publicly criticizing GM's balance sheet and financial prospects in the year leading up to the 2008 crisis. Over the course of his sell-side career, Peter covered more than 50 companies in total and ranked in StarMine’s “Best Analysts” poll across three industries: Autos, Machinery, and Transports.
This versatility carried over to Peter’s role as a portfolio manager/analyst at Lazard Asset Management, where he was one of three managers of the firm’s SMid-cap product. During his tenure, the team grew AUM more than ten-fold and earned Morningstar’s coveted “five-star” rating.
In 2013, Peter joined Silver Lane Advisors — a premier M&A investment bank specializing in the financial services industry — as Managing Director, Chief Operating Officer, and Head of Strategic Initiatives. In this role, he developed new revenue streams and helped institutionalize the firm's business practices following its exponential growth.
Peter is an Adjunct Professor at Fordham University's Gabelli School of Business, as well as an alumni admissions interviewer for the University of Pennsylvania. He also serves on several corporate and not-for-profit boards, including the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA). Founded in 1937 by a group of professionals that included Benjamin Graham (the "father of securities analysis"), NYSSA is a founding member of the CFA Institute.
Peter graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Fordham Law School (cum laude, Order of the Coif), where he was elected Editor-in-Chief of his law journal. He enjoys long-distance running, completing 38 full- and half-marathons — although in recent years he has preferred to spend his free time coaching his daughter in high school track and field. Click here to connect with Peter on LinkedIn
Alexandra R. Lajoux >> Founding Editor
Alexandra R. Lajoux is Chief Knowledge Officer (CKO) at the National Association of Corporate Directors. She has more than 30 years of experience as a senior writer and editor of newsletters, articles, and books on various business topics. During this time, she has worked with hundreds of influential persons, including corporate directors, senior executives, institutional investors, academics, and leading professionals in accounting, finance, management, and law. As CKO, she works with the Association’s educational programs and publications, providing content expertise to line managers, staff, and members in all areas.
Alexandra began her career as a college teacher. She spent one year at Princeton University as an instructor in comparative literature and one year the State University of New York – College of Oswego as an associate professor of French literature and language. In 1978, Dr. Lajoux entered the publishing field, first as senior editor of Directors & Boards (1978‑1980), then as chief editor of Mergers & Acquisitions (1980‑1983, Hay Group, Philadelphia), Lambert’s International World of Trade directories (1983-1984), Export Today (1984‑1986), NACD’s Director’s Monthly (1987‑2002), and NACD’s DMX regulatory alerts (2002 to 2007). She has been involved as a key writer in drafting documents for the NACD, including policy positions and Blue Ribbon Commission reports, as well as confidential reports on board self-assessments. Dr. Lajoux has represented the NACD on various study projects, including most recently the National Infrastructure Advisory Council’s risk management study group (NIAC-RMSG) for the Department of Homeland Security. She serves on the advisory boards of e-know, Inc., in Arlington, Virginia; M&A Partners, in Dallas, Texas; and the M&A Leadership Council, also based in Dallas.
A graduate of Bennington College, Dr. Lajoux holds advanced degrees in comparative literature from Princeton University (M.A. 1973, Ph.D. 1978), and a master’s degree in business (XMBA 1981) from Loyola University in Maryland. At Princeton she was a Giles Whiting Fellow. She holds a Certificate of Director Education from NACD, and has conducted educational workshops for all staff on a variety of business subjects. Click here to connect with Alexandra on LinkedIn.
Stanley Foster Reed >> Founding Author
Stanley Foster Reed is the original author behind The Art of M&A series, collaborating with the law firm of Lane and Edson LLC to publish the first edition in 1988. He also published The Toxic Executive, as well as started the publications “Directors & Boards” and “Export Today.”
Mr. Reed built Reed Research, Inc., and the Reed Research Foundation over the course of 20 years. Along with Manley St. Denis, Johann Martinek, Gordon Yeh, James Ahlgren and others, he worked on issues ranging from safe land mine removal to electrocardiography to language learning laboratories, obtaining scores of patents in the process. Based on his work experience, he was admitted to membership in the Society of Naval Architects and received certification as a Professional Engineer (P.E.).
In 1962, after selling Reed Research to Log-Etronics, Inc., Mr. Reed started Tech-Audit as well as the Reed Research Institute for Creative Studies in the RCA Building on K Street in Washington, where he ran a number of publishing businesses. In the 1960s, he was actively involved in social issues, sponsoring programs to encourage inner-city entrepreneurship and writing an article on the poor of Appalachia. He also participated as a panelist in seminars of the Aspen Institute and as a guest lecturer at various universities including the University of Colorado’s World Affairs Conference and Georgetown University, where he once discussed ethics.
Mr. Reed is listed in Marquis Who’s Who. He was an “ideas man” who in addition to starting publications also started a mergers newsletter and a website in his later years.
The third son of Beryl Turner Reed and Morton Gilman Reed, Reed was one of seven siblings who grew up in the Depression era and were instilled by their mother with an appreciation of poetry, history, and the arts. In the mid-1960s, he read the entire collection of Will and Ariel Durant’s History of Civilization and examples from its pages for the rest of his life. He composed music by ear and often turned his hand to poetry. At the time of death he was composing an opera based in Paris and focusing on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Heming. Also in the 1970s, he earned an MBA from Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland at the age of 64.
Mr. Reed sang tenor and played the piano, organ, guitar, banjo, ukulele and accordion by ear at family gatherings. With his son-in-law Bernard Lajoux, he bought a French restaurant in Philadelphia, Pa., which they renamed La Peche d’Argent and later sold to Le Bec Fin. He had moved to that city after selling two of his publications to Hay Associates, where he worked as a consultant in the early 1980s.
Mr. Reed lived in McLean, Virginia, for 40 years. In 1994, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina to take a position as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the College of Charleston, where he taught advanced management courses. Although not a religious man himself, he was a regular organist for the Church of the Nazarenes while residing in Charleston. He also lived in Annapolis, Maryland, and before entering the University of Virginia Medical Center, lived in Culpeper, Virginia. On October 25, 2007, in Charlottesville, Virginia, he passed away at the University of Virginia Medical Center of a subdural hematoma. He was 90.
Jeffrey M. Anapolsky >> Co-Author
Jeffrey M. Anapolsky co-authored The Art of Distressed M&A: Buying, Selling, and Financing Troubled and Insolvent Companies. Currently an Adjunct Professor at both Rice University and the University of Houston Law Center, Jeff is a restructuring professional with over 15 years of achieving successful results as an advisor and investor for special situations involving bankruptcies and out-of-court workouts. His investing experience involves sub-par debt, DIP loans, credit default swaps, trade claims, reorganized equities, rescue financings, loan-to-own, and leveraged buyouts of turnarounds, workouts, underperformers, and corporate carve-outs. His expertise in advanced valuation methods applies to complex transactions in a variety of industries. At the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Anapolsky received a B.S. in Finance and B.A. in Mathematics, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of Business and the College of Arts & Sciences, respectively. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Charles M. Elson >> Co-Author
Charles M. Elson co-authored The Art of M&A Due Diligence, Second Edition: Navigating Critical Steps and Uncovering Crucial Data and is a leading authority on corporate governance issues. Elson's fields of expertise include executive compensation, corporate compliance, securities regulation, corporate legal matters and Delaware issues. He has advised and consulted organizations spanning a variety of sectors: retail (AutoZone, Inc.), manufacturing (Sunbeam Corporation and Circon Corporation), human resources (Towers Perrin), oil and natural gas (Nuevo Energy Company) and non-profit (Investor Responsibility Research Center). Elson is currently a member of the Board of Directors of HealthSouth Corporation, a healthcare services provider.
Elizabeth B. Nesvold >> Co-Author
Elizabeth B. Nesvold co-authored The Art of M&A Valuation and Modeling: A Guide to Corporate Valuation. She is the Managing Partner of Silver Lane Advisors, an M&A advisory firm specializing in the asset and wealth management industries. In addition to co-authoring Art of M&A Valuation and Modeling: A Guide to Corporate Valuation she has advised on more than 150 M&A, valuation and strategic advisory assignments over her 24-year career. Liz earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Binghamton University and an MBA in Finance, with high honors, from Fordham University Graduate School of Business. She is also a General Securities Principal.
Liz is a member of Young Presidents’ Organization, the Edward L. Rose Conservancy, and Silver Lake Association. She is also a member of 100 Women in Hedge Funds and served as a Tiburon Fellow. Liz lives in New York City with her husband, Peter, and their daughter.
Kenneth Smith >> Co-Author
Ken Smith co-authored The Art of M&A Strategy. He has practiced as a strategy consultant for more than 25 years, initially with McKinsey & Company and most recently with SECOR Consulting, where he was also a managing partner and chair. Ken is an associate professor at the University of Guelph and associate dean of executive programs in the university’s College of Management and Economics.
Dennis J. Roberts >> Co-Author
Dennis J. Roberts co-authored The Art of Bank M&A. He is the founding Chairman Emeritus and a Senior Managing Director of The McLean Group, a middle market investment bank specializing in merger and acquisition transactions and capital formation with offices in various cities across the United States. While headquartered in Washington, D.C., Dennis has been featured in numerous media and financial publications, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Business Journal, among others.
J. Fred Weston >> Co-Author
J. Fred Weston co-authored The Art of M&A Financing & Refinancing. He was the Cordner Professor of Money and Financial Markets at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught since 1949. He was the past president of the American Finance Association, Western Economic Association, and the Financial Management Association. Dr. Weston wrote or co-wrote The Role of Mergers in the Group of Large Firms; Public Policy toward Mergers; Financial Theory and Corporate Policy; and Mergers, Restructuring, and Corporate Control.