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Bialkin, Kenneth J.


BIALKIN, KENNETH J. (1929– ), U.S. lawyer. Born in the Bronx, n.y., to immigrant parents, Bialkin graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950 with a degree in economics and then earned a J.D. degree from Harvard in 1953. His law practice encompassed a broad range of corporate and securities law matters, first when he was senior partner in the law firm of Willke, Farr & Gallagher and then with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. At the same time, he taught securities law at New York University School of Law for 18 years and became involved in a number of Jewish organizations. As such he was frequently quoted in the press on issues of Jewish interest. He was national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League; president and chairman of the American Jewish Historical Society, president of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York; chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and chairman of the America Israel Friendship League. He also served for 30 years as vice chairman of the Jerusalem Foundation.

In his law practice, Bialkin represented insurance companies, broker-dealers, investment bankers, and other financial institutions. In 1998 he represented Travelers Group in its merger with Citicorp. The year earlier, he represented Travelers in its acquisition of Salomon Inc., and he represented the stock exchange Nasdaq in its restructuring to separate it from the nasd in 2000 and 2001. He was involved in some of the largest insurance company mergers and acquisitions in the United States, including the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in its merger with New England Mutual Life Insurance Company. He also represented Travelers Group in its $4 billion acquisition of Aetna's property-casualty operations.

Bialkin is a former editor of Business Lawyer magazine and was chairman of the American Bar Association's committee on federal regulation of securities. His wife, Ann Bialkin, who earned a master's degree in social work from Columbia University, established Elem (a Hebrew acronym for "youth in distress"), a foundation that assists teenagers in Israel who commit crimes or use drugs and who are apparently overlooked by the judicial system.

In recognition of his 16 years as a member of its board of directors, Citigroup established the Kenneth J. Bialkin/Citigroup Public Service Award at the American Jewish Historical Society.

[Stewart Kampel (2nd ed.)]

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