Agenda - Day 2

September 23, 2021


8:45 am - Chairperson’s welcome and opening remarks

Claudine M. Cohen


Transactional Advisory Services

CohnReznick LLP

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9:00 am - How capital gain and other tax reforms may impact the marketplace

Selling assets now to avoid higher capital gains taxes may make sense, but so does considering if previous exit plans were actually the best strategy, even if tax circumstances change. Tax reforms being discussed in Congress and the White House are already changing the behaviors of middle market firms, as well as private equity firms. Here’s what that could mean in the short-run and longer term.


Claudine Cohen

Managing Principal, Transactions & Turnaround Advisory

CohnReznick LLP

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Christian H. M. Albert

Managing Partner

Bowside Capital

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Matthew J. Nordgren

Founder & CEO

Arcadian Capital

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9:45 am - Sourcing proprietary deals in new and classical ways

What are the best places to source proprietary deals, when so much of business has left the office space and there are fewer informal, in-person spaces? Will new deal sourcing vehicles emerge, or will Independent Sponsors return to old models, as travel and in-person meetings return?

Brett Hickey


Starmountain Capital

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Michael Carrazza

Managing Partner & CEO

Solaia Capital Advisors LLC

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Melanie Santos Grant

2nd Generation Partners

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David Acharya

Managing Partner

Acharya Capital Partners

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Saquib Toor

Beacon House Capital

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Mark Fornasiero

Managing Partner

Clarendon Group

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10:30 am - Morning networking break

11:00 am - Providing ESG value to purchases and operations

Environmental, social and governance causes are expected to play greater roles across all sectors in coming years. That said, how to incorporate ESG values in internal offices, when evaluating potential targets and in operational plans can be tricky in part because they can be difficult to quantify, and they provoke as many questions as answers. 

Nick Russell

Managing Partner

Tuckerman Capital

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Douglas Song


Proodos Capital

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Christopher Yost

Aperion Management

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11:45 am - Comparing long-term sector performances for sustainable returns

While many Independent Sponsors differentiate themselves by specializing by sector, the coronavirus pandemic has changed and sometimes simply accelerated market trends, meaning opportunities have changed. Which of these market trends are worth betting on for the long-term, and is it too late to adopt new sectors into established portfolios?    

Seth Wilson

Managing Partner

Headhaul Capital Partners

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Daniel Arnold

Senior Vice President

Hilco Global

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Josh Susser

Founding Partner


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Tim Welles

Managing Partner

Pine Street Capital Partners Team

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12:30 pm - What emerging best deal terms mean for the future of Independent Sponsors

What margins can be expected in 2022 and onward? While management fees for target firms are on the rise, what should an Independent Sponsor be offering for those fees? What other services or strategies may improve IS bottom lines in coming years? 

Sylvie Gadant


Citrin Cooperman

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Scott Johnson

Founder and CEO

SJ partners

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Rob Bauer

Managing Member

Bassett Creek Capital

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David Naiman

President and CEO

Coreio Inc

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Thomas E. Parro

Founder and Senior Managing Director

Merk Capital

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1:00 pm - Networking luncheon


Luncheon Workshop

1:00pm - 2:00pm Building inclusionary practices into middle and Independent Sponsor markets

Discussions around racial, sexual and other inclusionary practices have the potential to shake up middle market sectors, highlighting new potential targets. It also may provide Independent Sponsors with new funding opportunities. Understanding how and ways to be more inclusive in mergers and acquisitions, as well as supporting equality when supporting the operation of firms, is key.

Marcia Hooper

Professional Investor, Board Director, and Advisor

Bowside Capital

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2:15pm - Roundtable Discussions

Roundtable 1

  • Balancing the risks and rewards of inflation: Materials and labor costs are on an upwards trajectory, as is the amount of cash in the marketplace. While eating away at short-term profits, inflation can also spur new efficiency, risk and M&A strategies. How important will inflation be in 12 months to the businesses? What about in five years?
  • How cyberthreats may change middle market business models: Ransomware and even small hacks have become common enough to be considered a major risk to even the most unassuming businesses because they all run on data that has value. What are some of the best practices for evaluating cyber risks at target firms, creating cybersecurity strategies and incorporating associated costs on ledgers?

Round table 2

  • Effectively evaluating firms for the unforeseen: Though it’s understood corporate data from last year may have been unreliable, what about this year’s performance? As markets seem to be normalizing, how should earnings be forecast accurately - the same ways as before the coronavirus pandemic, or are there new factors to consider?
  • Operational fine-tuning for enhanced returns: It is often the promise of operational excellence that helps set Independent Sponsors apart for adding value to middle market investments. After a tumultuous 18 months, which practices seem to have proven themselves? Which others could benefit from additional refinement, and how are Independent Sponsors positioned to offer this?

3:15 pm - Business building one-on-one networking meetings

Sector-specific meetings dedicated to developing partnerships unique to your business model. This highly lauded event provides you with the opportunity to meet exclusively with those independent sponsors or capital providers specializing in investments in the same sector and market as you are. We will provide you with a full list of participating capital providers and independent sponsors, and offer an hour of free-flowing networking to meet with the most relevant contacts. You will have the chance then to evaluate the potential for future business opportunities and make the most of your time. These meetings will conclude with our cocktail hour to offer additional unstructured networking time with any independent sponsors or capital providers you may not yet met.

4:30 pm - End of meetings & networking cocktail reception continues