We are deeply saddened by the passing of Steve Volk. A legendary lawyer, business executive and leader, Steve was one of the most accomplished M&A lawyers and corporate advisors in history. In his four decades at Shearman & Sterling, including 10 years as Senior Partner, Steve played a leading role in building our M&A practice, leading the Firm to new heights while handling many of the largest and most transformative mergers ever. Steve was also the consummate trusted advisor to CEOs and boards on their most important matters.
As an M&A lawyer, Steve had a remarkable career and worked on a significant number of prominent deals, including DuPont’s US$7.6 billion purchase of a controlling stake in Conoco in 1981, the largest ever acquisition at the time. More than a decade later, he helped craft the US$8.3 billion merger between Paramount Communications and Viacom. A 1997 Businessweek profile called him “Master of the M&A Universe.”
After retiring from the firm in 2001, Steve began an equally distinguished career in banking. He served as vice chairman and later chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston and then, from 2004 to 2020, as vice chairman of Citigroup, where he helped the bank navigate the financial crisis and shed over $1 trillion in assets. He also served as a principal liaison and ambassador to Citi’s institutional clients. Steve was active in the community, serving as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and on numerous corporate and non-profit boards.
Steve is survived by his wife, Diane, and a large and wonderful family spanning several generations. Our thoughts and condolences are with them all.