Joseph R. Perella '64
Founding Partner, Perella Weinberg Partners LP
Joseph R. Perella graduated from Lehigh University in 1964 with a degree in business administration. As a student, he was a member of the accounting society, class cabinet, and Phi Kappa Theta. He served as a crew chief on F-105 fighter-bombers in the United States Air Force and the New Jersey Air National Guard from 1964-1970, and earned his M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1972. Mr. Perella joined The First Boston Corporation in 1972, founded their M&A department, and then co-founded Wasserstein Perella and Co., Inc. in 1988. Mr. Perella then signed on as a managing director and member of the management committee at Morgan Stanley in 1993. He was worldwide head of Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking Division, then chairman of the Institutional Securities and Investment Banking Group. In early 2006, Investment Dealer’s Digest named Perella Banker of the Year. In mid-2006, he formed Perella Weinberg Partners, with offices in New York, London, San Francisco, Austin and Denver.
A member of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees between 1989 and 1998, Mr. Perella rejoined the board in 2002. He was an honorary co-chair of Shine Forever: The Campaign for Lehigh. Mr. Perella serves on the executive, finance, and development committees of the board. He has also been an avid follower of Lehigh wrestling since his student days. In 2004, he was awarded the “L-in-Life” award by the Lehigh New York Alumni Club for his outstanding service to the university.
Mr. Perella and Amy, his wife of more than 35 years, are strong believers in the importance of alumni support to Lehigh. They endowed the Perella Department of Finance in 2003. The current Joseph R. Perella and Amy M. Perella Chairholders are: Anne Anderson, associate professor of finance; Paul Brockman, professor of finance; Gopal Krishnan, professor of accounting; and Ajai K. Singh, professor of finance and Bolton-Perella Chair. In addition, the Perellas have an endowed scholarship fund for Lehigh students from the Newark, N.J. area, where Mr. Perella grew up. They also supported the construction of Rauch Business Center, in which the largest auditorium is now named in their honor. The Perellas are members of the Asa Packer Society and Tower Society.
Mr. Perella is an honorary member of the Dean's Advisory Council.