Keith Johnson
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Keith L. Johnson heads Reinhart’s Institutional Investor Legal Services team representing pension funds and institutional investors on fiduciary, investment, securities litigation and corporate governance program matters. Keith previously served as investment legal counsel at the ninth largest public pension fund in the United States. He was also program director for the Wisconsin International Corporate Governance Initiative as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Keith is  a frequent presenter on fiduciary and investment topics at pension fund, legal and investor conferences in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia as well as a published author on investor-related topics.

With more than three decades of experience, Keith has developed a reputation of being reliable and forward thinking. Having served as the Chief Legal Counsel at the State of Wisconsin Investment Board provides Keith with a unique perspective since he is able to relate better with his clients and pull from his background when advising them with their legal needs.

His cumulative experience, knowledge and insight situates Keith in a position where he understands his client’s needs, their interests, what is most helpful for them, and most importantly: he knows how to execute a plan to meet his client’s goals. Keith’s experience enables him to see the bigger picture while his legal training and experience allows him focus on the smaller details when assisting both domestic and international investors.

Keith primarily serves the following industries:

  • Securities
  • Institutional Investor Services
  • Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Government Relations
  • International
  • Corporate Governance


J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School
B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bar Admissions


  • Former legal counsel to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), the ninth largest public pension fund in the United States, for more than 21 years including almost seven as Chief Legal Officer
  • Headed SWIB’s corporate governance, investment legal services and securities litigation programs and was a member of SWIB’s Risk Committee
  • Regularly represents institutional investors in negotiation of investment manager and private market investment agreements
  • Provides counsel on corporate governance, securities litigation and fiduciary duty to many of the world’s largest pension funds and institutional investors
  • Represents pension funds, foundations, endowments and other institutional investors globally on: negotiation of alternative investment and service provider contracts, corporate governance and securities litigation matters, fiduciary duty, ethics and fund governance practices


  • Best Lawyers in America (Corporate Governance Law)


  • State Bar of Wisconsin
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) (member)
  • Network for Sustainable Financial Markets, an international think tank of academics and finance professionals (founder and former director)
  • Council of Institutional Investors (former member of Governance Committee and Executive Board; former co-chair of the International Committee)
  • Advisory Board of the Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic at the University of Wisconsin Law School (member)
  • Fellow in the American College of Investment Counsel
  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys (NAPPA), where he served as president and Executive Board member; co-chair of the Alternative Investments Working Group, co-chair of the Securities Litigation Task Force and co-chair of the Investment and Corporate Governance Section
  • Stanford Institutional Investor’s Forum (member of Committee on Fund Governance that developed Best Practice Principles in 2007 and Model Governance Provisions to Support Pension Fund Best Practices Principles in 2012)
  • Exide Corporation bankruptcy reorganization (chair of Shareholder Committee)
  • Cambridge Biotechnology Corporation bankruptcy reorganization (chair of Shareholder Committee)
  • Recent Developments in ESG,” TruValue Labs Podcast (August 3, 2016)
  • “Aligning Philanthropic and Fiduciary Goals,” Wisconsin Planned Giving Council, Madison, WI (March 3, 2015)
  • “Sustainable Investing and The Responsible Fiduciary,” Intentional Endowment Conference, Phoenix, AZ (January 16, 2015)
  • “Trends in Fiduciary Duty,” Compass Sustainable Investing Certificate Program; Earth Institute; Columbia University, New York City (November 16, 2014)
  • “How to Structure Good Governance,” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; 60th Annual Employee Benefits, Boston (October 14, 2014)
  • “The ESG Professional – Managing Your Responsibilities,” International Corporate Governance Network ESG Certification Programme, Montreal (September 22, 2014)
  • “Institutional Investment and Fiduciary Duty,” Principles of Responsible Investment Conference, New York City (June 26, 2014)
  • “Investor Governance: Behaviour, Ethics and Performance,” International Corporate Governance Conference, Amsterdam (June 18, 2014)
  • “Are Courtroom Doors Closing to U.S. Investors? Erosion in Shareholders Rights and What Investors Can do to Reverse the Trend,” Rights and Responsibilities of Institutional Investors, Amsterdam (March 7, 2014)
  • “Is the Integration of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Factors Material to Institutional Investment, is it Legal, and is it Part of Fiduciary Duty?,” RI Americas 2013 Conference, New York City (December 10, 2013)
  • “Greening China’s Financial Markets – The Public Fiduciary,” International Institute for Sustainable Development, Beijing (October 15, 2013)

Fee Transparency in Private Equity Funds

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting and ESG

Fiduciary Duty Overview for Endowments and Foundations: Integrating Nonprofit Mission Goals into Investment Practices

SEC Speech Sheds Light on Upcoming Private Equity Enforcement Focus

Evolving Fiduciary Duty of Foundations and Endowments

SEC Staff Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting by Investment Advisors

Shareholder Appraisal Process in Delaware

An Investor Overview of Hostile Takeovers in the United States

Management Fee Reduction Possibilities

Caution to Investors: Second Circuit Holds That Securities Act Statute of Repose Not Tolled

General Partner Clawback Provisions in Private Equity Agreements

John Molson School of Business Webinar

Factors Behind Different Structures Used for Hedge Fund Investments and Potential Reforms

Reinhart Shareholder Keith Johnson Shares His Thoughts in “Three Reactions and Differing Views on ‘Misadventures of an Irresponsible Investor’” in the Rotman International Journal of Pension Management

The 7th Circuit Considers the Indubitable Equivalent Standard – Again!

Say on Pay Lawsuits – Is This Time Different?

Reclaiming Fiduciary Duty Balance

Enhanced Shareholder Rights Under Dodd-Frank: Tools for Ensuring That Proxy Votes Are Informed and Independent

Auditors at the Crossroads

Investment Opportunity in Legacy Securities Program of Public-Private Investment Program

Shareholder Say on Pay

Private Equity Investor Alert; Real Estate Fund Investor Alert: Selected Tax Topics

The Global M&A Boom Continues: Are Boards Getting Shareholders Their Money’s Worth?

Investing in Private Equity Funds and Real Estate Funds: Giveback Formula & Distributions

Pensions & Investments – Improving Governance by Joint Shareholder Action

Questions Compensation Committees Must Answer

Application of Fiduciary Duty to Sustainable Investment Practices