Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, attorney Wilson Neely attended Dartmouth College, graduating cum laude. He notably attained Rufus Choate Scholar status as one of his class’ top five percent academically. Mr. Neely returned to his home state to study law, earning a J.D. in 1982 from The University of Texas School of Law in Austin. The same year he graduated with honors, he accepted a position as an Associate with the New York corporate law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. In 1991, Wilson Neely became Partner at that law firm, which maintains a current staff of 820 at global financial centers in a range of locations including London, Hong Kong, Silicon Valley, Tokyo, São Paulo, Houston, and Beijing. His main areas of expertise involve mergers and acquisitions, in particular private equity transactions.
Mr. Neely has notably maintained a role as senior outside advisor with The Blackstone Group L.P. since 1994. He was centrally involved in the equity investment firm’s 2009 purchase of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s amusement park operations, which earned Mr. Neely recognition from The Am Law Daily as Dealmaker of the Week. He has also been acknowledged as a top lawyer in private equity acquisitions by the list America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, published annually by Chambers USA. Wilson Neely currently serves Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP as a member of the Finance Committee and has served as Chairman of the Compensation Committee.
Mr. Neely has enjoyed extensive affiliation with nonprofit organizations at the Board of Trustees level over the past 13 years. He is a longtime Board Member of ReadWorks, an initiative of the Urban Education Exchange. This education-focused program provides online resources to elementary school instructors at no cost. Wilson Neely also fulfills Board functions with the National Foundation for Facial Reconstruction, which raises funds on behalf of the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center. From 2005 to 2011, he served on the Board of Trustees of the Union Church of Pocantico Hills, a rural Hudson Valley church known for its stained glass window designs by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall. Wilson Neely joined the Board of Trustees of the preservation-focused Historic Hudson Valley in 2010.