Alfred D. Boyer (Booster, 1972 graduate)
The 2004 Western Illinois University Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Al Boyer has significantly supported and impacted his alma mater in multiple capabilities. Boyer, an international financier, most recently donated $150,000 as the lead gift for the Alfred D. Boyer Baseball Stadium, opened in 2006. Boyer has also pledged additional funds towards the expansion of this stadium. Previously, he made a charitable estate gift of $1 million to the University, contributed $150,000 for new lights on Hanson Field, and has supported four year scholarships and other areas of athletics in including the purchase of football conference championship rings for the football team, names on the backs of jerseys and the colorful purple pants the team now wears. He was also a co-underwriter, with his brother, for the sound system in the training room. Al and his wife, Andrea, have been consistent contributors to the Purple and Gold auctions over the past years, gifting a dream Southern California vacation that included their California beach front home.

Al has been the recipient of WIU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 and the College of Business and Technology’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999. Al and Andrea are also active members of WIU performing arts and have been underwriters of the theater events, musicals on campus including this year Hairspray and The Producers, and have donated significantly towards the Performing Arts annual auctions. Al’s financial support goes well beyond Western Illinois University. He has set up his own private foundation that continues to focus on educational programs that include scholarships at the high school level, over 40 grants amounting to $100,000 since 1998 and other performing arts.

Al has been a frequent speaker for the business classes and has invited distinguished businessmen to speak at WIU as well. Al is presently serving on the WIU President’s Advisory Council, the Foundation Board of Directors, the Performing Arts Advisory Board along with his wife Andrea, and has served in prior years on the Advisory Board for the Graduate School of Business.

In 1972, after graduation from WIU, Al joined Price Waterhouse where he worked for 10 years as a Certified Public Accountant in Peoria, Chicago and Los Angeles. In 1982, he became the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the California based, multi bank holding company Central Pacific Corporation. Al was credited for his work in restructuring and recapitalizing this billion dollar financial institution and later merging it into Wells Fargo Corporation. In 1986, Al joined the $6 billion worldwide Investment company, Brierley Investment Limited as the Co-Chief Investment Officer. Al and his partner open the first office in United States in La Jolla, California, to concentrate on investments in companies in North America. From 1986 to 1993, Boyer invested more than $826 million in 23 companies producing un-levered profits of nearly $500 million that included leveraged buyouts, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, private placements and a variety of merger-related transactions.

In 1993, Al formed his own investment company, Boyer Capital Management, and began a 14 year partnership arrangement with Gary Wilson, former Chairman of Northwest Airlines, to pursue opportunities including leveraged buyouts, merchant banking and other opportunistic equity related transactions. In 1995, Al developed the idea and performed the financial engineering behind Kirk Kirkorian’s $24.5 billion bid to takeover Chrysler Corporation. This bid was shortly thereafter topped by Daimler Benz at $44 billion resulting in increasing Kirk’s $2.5 billion original equity investment by 2 ½ times within 18 months. Most recently, Al generated the idea and helped put together a $433 million leveraged buyout of Progress Rail, the largest rail car and track service provider in North America, that was sold just 9 months later to Caterpillar Tractor Company for $1 billion in cash producing a 533% equity rate of return to investors.

Today, Al and a New York based partner are creating a new $500 million long – short equity hedge fund, Actian Capital Management, that will have “activist” overlay to invest in public companies that are undervalued and where they are prepared to be their own catalyst to unlock embedded values. The launch of this new company will be at the end of 2007.