Allen & Company LLC at a Glance


  • "Work on huge, high-profile deals"


  • "Workplace is male-dominated"

The Buzz

  • "Leading media bank"
  • "Good in its niche market, but small and not an important player in the big picture"
  • "For such a secretive company [they don't even have a Web site] they have done a great job of building a brand"
  • "Inconsistent quality; prestigious name partner and a couple others"

About Allen & Company LLC

Allen's singular status
How is Allen & Company unlike other banks?  Let us count the ways: It has no website, no barrage of press releases touting recent deals, no sprawling menu of financial services, no research division, no employment contact and no formal recruiting process.  What Allen & Company does have is a platinum reputation and serious mystique, earned over eight decades of semi-secretive, exclusive advisory and wealth management work with some of the biggest names in corporate America.  The firm is an institutional broker and money manager for high-net-worth individuals, including the founding Allen family; it also provides M&A, underwriting and related advisory services.  The firm regularly ranks as one of the top-25 M&A advisors by deal volume each year.

Three-Herbert firm
Founded in 1922 by brothers Charles and Herbert Allen, the (very) private company is now helmed by the third generation of Allens, each of whom has the same first name.  Founder Herbert Allen relinquished control to his son Herbert Anthony Allen in 1966; Herbert Anthony Allen Jr. took the reins in late 2002.  (Rule of thumb around the Allen world: Allen Sr. is always Herbert, while Allen Jr. is always Herb.)

When Herb Allen began his tenure as CEO, the firm quietly revamped its legal structure, creating a limited-liability company called Allen & Co. LLC.  The LLC, seeded with $40 million of Allen family capital, took over the operations of Allen & Co. Inc., which remains alive as an investment vehicle for the Allens.

Coke is it
Most of Allen & Company's clients hail from the media, sports, entertainment, communications and technology sectors-this tiny boutique was a player in Google's 2004 initial public offering.  It's also been behind the scenes of such headline-worthy deals as Time Warner/Comcast's purchase of Adelphia, the Disney/ABC tie-up and the 20-year, $400 million deal that gave Citigroup naming rights to the Mets ballpark.

But Allen & Co.'s closest ties are to Coca-Cola, thanks to a relationship that dates back to 1982.  Then-CEO Herbert Allen had bought a controlling stake in Columbia Pictures in 1973 (he paid just $4 per share for the legendary studio).  In 1982, Coke bought Columbia, paying a whopping $750 million.  Allen pocketed $45 million and earned himself a seat on the Coke board; the marquee deal also catapulted Allen & Company into the upper echelons of i-banking, helping it win a number of prestigious clients.

Since its first deal with Coke Allen & Co. has done over 15 subsequent deals and underwriting assignments for the soft drink giant and its affiliates, raking in millions of dollars in advisory fees.  The Allen family still owns a chunk of Coke shares and there's been some boardroom back-and-forths, too: Coke president Donald Keough became chairman of Allen & Co., and his son Clarke joined the bank's institutional sales group. 

The place to be
By all accounts, 1982 was a very good year for Allen & Company. That's also the year the firm launched its annual media conference in Sun Valley, Idaho.  The exclusive executive retreat has become ground zero for big media deal making, attracting the likes of Barry Diller, Bill Gates, Michael Eisner, Sumner Redstone and Oprah Winfrey.

The event is widely covered by business media outlets, which dispatch reporters to eavesdrop around the closed-door meetings in the hopes of breaking news about a hot deal.  Arena Football League Commissioner David Baker (another Allen & Company client) has called the phalanx of corporate jets that land in Sun Valley at Allen's behest at the largest private air force in the world.

The cream of the crop
Many boldface names have made their way onto Allen & Company's list of managing directors.  Among them are former U.S. Senator Bill Bradley; George Tenet, the former director of the CIA; director (and media M&A powerhouse) Nancy Peretsman; and Steve Greenberg, former Major League Baseball deputy commissioner.

As for CEO Herb Allen, until 2009, he and his family had ranked on the Forbes 400 Richest Americans list every years since the list's inception in 1982.  In the 2008 edition, Herb Allen and family ranked at No. 227, with an estimated net worth of $2 billion.  In 2009, Allen dropped out of the list. 

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Allen & Company LLC

711 Fifth Avenue
9th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 832-8000
Fax: (212) 832-8023


  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Herbert A. "Herb" Allen Jr.
  • 2010 Employees: 200

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY