September 17 - 18, 2024 | NEW YORK

17th Independent Sponsors Summit

Register Today

May 18, 2024 |

September 17 - Day 1 Agenda

8:00 am - Registration & Networking

8:30 am - Breakfast Briefing

Join a workshop-style discussion with fellow delegates, and collectively discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges you face today.

 

9:20 am - Chairperson’s Welcome

Claudine Cohen

Managing Principal, Value360 Practice

CohnReznick

Claudine oversees an integrated team of transaction, valuation, restructuring, project finance, and dispute resolution professionals serving clients throughout the lifecycles of their businesses. With specific expertise in managing opportunities and roadblocks that can impact a business moving forward, Claudine and her team help clients achieve optimal outcomes in protecting and growing stakeholder value.

Claudine serves as an adviser to public and private companies, both domestically and internationally. Her clients comprise the full gamut of financial sponsors including private equity investors, independent sponsors, family offices, alternative investment funds, lenders, and strategic investors. Her areas of knowledge include strategic advisory, quality of earnings analyses, identifying revenue sources and profitability drivers, examining operating cost structure and sustainability factors, investigating business models including cash flow and financial projections, reviewing quality and realization of assets and liabilities, identifying working capital requirements and negotiating positions, post-close working capital verification, and adjustment mechanisms.  

Claudine was named to Mergers and Acquisitions 2019 list of the most influential women in mid-market M&A, and Crain’s NY 2018 most notable women in consulting.

9:30 am - Executive Exchanges

Join your peers for a series of lively and interactive discussions on the most pressing topics you are facing today. The small group format will enable you to make meaningful connections and come up with out-of-the-box solutions to shared challenges.

Roundtable 1: Value Creation Through Critical Executive Placement

How executive search can move the needle.

Burton Francis

Managing Director

ECA Partners

Burt Francis is a Managing Director of Business Development at ECA. He works with clients to fill permanent and project based roles. Burt has wide-ranging experience in engineering, business leadership and management consulting in various industries including aerospace, software, financial services, and manufacturing. This includes notable tenure with Oliver Wyman, The Boeing Company, General Dynamics and Starbase Technologies Inc.

Burt graduated summa cum laude, with a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Steven Haug

Director

ECA Partners

Steven Haug is a Director at ECA Partners where he works with investors and their portfolio companies to fill senior finance roles, M&A leadership roles, and operations leadership roles. Steven holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a BA in Philosophy and History.

Roundtable 2: Best Practice in Deferred Consideration

Optimizing the use of roll-over equity, seller financing and/or earn-outs in your next acquisition.

 

John J. Koeppel

​Partner and Private Equity / Independent Sponsor Leader

Lippes Mathias LLP

Mr. Koeppel is a Partner and the Team Leader of the firm’s Private Equity Practice. He is a corporate lawyer who has successfully structured, negotiated and closed over 250 transactions in the past two decades, which typically involve mergers and acquisitions, fund formations and investments, and various private equity transactions (including co-investments, venture financings and cross-border deals). He also works with clients on reviewing / structuring their Qualified Opportunity Zone and Qualified Small Business Stock investments. 

Mr. Koeppel acts as counsel to a number of leading funds, independent sponsors, middle market companies, institutional investors, and high net worth investors focused on buy-out, growth, venture, real estate, intellectual property, fund-of-funds, co-investments, secondaries and other strategies. He also often acts as US counsel to non-US clients on their US private equity and investment fund transactions. He also serves as a director for several private equity-backed companies. 

On the M&A / private equity transactions side, Mr. Koeppel has advised on deals from $5 million to $250 million+ in a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, technology, consumer goods, food, distribution, business services, cleantech and medical / health care.

He is a frequent speaker at a number of leading private equity and M&A events. Mr. Koeppel and his team take a pro-active and practical approach to helping clients make connections and successfully navigating the various legal challenges in any private equity transaction. Prior to joining Lippes, he was a partner in the private equity and investment funds group of an AmLaw 100 firm.

Roundtable 3: Unlocking Value & Liquidity

Identifying opportunities to extract value through the real estate exposure of your underlying portfolio companies.

Eddie Otocka

Senior Managing Director

STNL Advisors

Edward Otocka is a Senior Managing Director, Private Equity Specialist with STNL Advisors, one of the top performing sale-leaseback, lease advisory, and net lease real estate development firms in the country. Eddie joined STNL Advisors in 2011 and works on the Institutional Coverage Group. His expertise is in sale-leaseback, build to suit, and structured debt transactions on behalf of private equity funds, national retail, industrial, and medical tenants, REITs, and net lease funds. Eddie has closed more than $3.0 billion in transactions during his career, including more than $2.0 billion over the last three years. Prior to working with STNL Advisors, Eddie began his professional career at UBS AG and Credit Suisse. He is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College and currently resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts with his wife and two daughters.

Roundtable 4: Capital Unleashed: The Tech Revolution for Independent Sponsors

How tech is revolutionizing efficiency, security and trust; and how you can transform the legacy ways of deal management and capital raising?

Rodney Reisdorf

Co-Founder & CEO

Verivend

Rodney founded Verivend to change the status quo of investment transactions by building the Venmo of Private Capital. Verivend is the market-leading fintech platform that eliminates the effort, pain, and friction for investment sponsors and their LPs during the entire lifecycle of the deal process.

Rodney is an experienced, results-driven leader of SaaS and enterprise software solutions and has served in senior-level roles focusing on technological innovation, client delivery, and operational strategies.
Prior to founding Verivend, Rodney served in leadership roles at several early-stage technology companies that transformed industries resulting in successful exits. Rodney has extensive expertise in architecting client service strategies from concept to completion, software platform and product development, operational process design, and building successful cross-functional teams. 
Rodney received his MBA and undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.

Roundtable 5: Roll-Ups & Carve-Outs

Repeatable integration processes for rapid growth through M&A, preparation tactics for short-term TSA’s, and involving HR partners in your acquisition strategy.

 

Emily Hak

Managing Director

Insperity

Emily is Managing Director, Private Capital Markets for Insperity, a national provider of HR solutions.  Leveraging Insperity’s expertise in private capital transactions and our natural alignment with investor goals, the Private Capital Markets team develops relationships with private equity, venture capital and family office firms to drive business to Insperity offices nationwide.   Emily joined Insperity in 2014 as a business performance advisor and later served on the sales leadership team as district manager of the Carolinas.  Prior to Insperity, Emily held production management and creative services positions at Lions Gate Films, Blink Digital and Sony Pictures.  Emily also serves on the board for BraveWorks, a nonprofit organization that supports women overcoming trauma & injustice in Charlotte NC, Africa and South/Central America. 

Brad Burke

Private Capital Advisor

Insperity

Read Profile

Roundtable 6: TBC

 

Chase Stuart

Managing Partner

Ice Miller

Chase Stuart is a partner in Ice Miller's Business Group.  He represents a variety of private equity funds, family offices, independent sponsors, mezzanine funds, and privately held businesses.  He provides strategic and legal advice in their investment and general corporate strategies, including leveraged buyouts, mezzanine financings, growth capital transactions, early and late state private equity investments and secondary transactions.  He represents family, founder, and entrepreneur-owned businesses as general corporate counsel and as a sell-side advisor.  He has represented a variety of companies in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, health care aerospace and defense, gaming, and business services.

11:00 am - Morning Networking Break

11:40 am - Interactive Panel: From Wild West To Established Alpha - How To Succeed In Today’s Competitive & Diversified Market

  • What the next 12 months will hold for the middle-market - deep dive into credit markets, geopolitics and emerging trends, and how they impact your portfolio and investment processes
  • Building a business model that is fit for purpose in today’s competitive and diversified market
  • Identifying key market risks, and adapting your investment strategies accordingly to optimize your portfolio

Claudine Cohen

Moderator

Managing Principal

CohnReznick

Claudine oversees an integrated team of transaction, valuation, restructuring, project finance, and dispute resolution professionals serving clients throughout the lifecycles of their businesses. With specific expertise in managing opportunities and roadblocks that can impact a business moving forward, Claudine and her team help clients achieve optimal outcomes in protecting and growing stakeholder value.

Claudine serves as an adviser to public and private companies, both domestically and internationally. Her clients comprise the full gamut of financial sponsors including private equity investors, independent sponsors, family offices, alternative investment funds, lenders, and strategic investors. Her areas of knowledge include strategic advisory, quality of earnings analyses, identifying revenue sources and profitability drivers, examining operating cost structure and sustainability factors, investigating business models including cash flow and financial projections, reviewing quality and realization of assets and liabilities, identifying working capital requirements and negotiating positions, post-close working capital verification, and adjustment mechanisms.  

Claudine was named to Mergers and Acquisitions 2019 list of the most influential women in mid-market M&A, and Crain’s NY 2018 most notable women in consulting.

Paul Marino

Partner

Sadis & Goldberg LLP

Paul Marino is a partner in the Financial Services and Corporate Groups. Paul focuses his practice in matters concerning financial services, corporate law and corporate finance. Paul provides counsel in the areas of private equity funds and mergers and acquisitions for private equity firms and public and private companies and private equity fund and hedge fund formation.

Paul works on a variety of M&A transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, divestitures of business divisions, going-private transactions, and other strategic acquisitions and dispositions, in the following industries: manufacturing, telecommunications, consumer products, hospitality, healthcare, and technology, among others. His practice also includes joint ventures and general company representation matters.

Paul has represented national and multinational corporations, ranging from telecoms to tech companies, as well as real estate syndication and financial investors and investment advisors. He has also negotiated and structured a number of U.S. domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures.

Drew Brantley

Managing Director

Frisch Capital Partners

Drew is a serial entrepreneur having started 5 businesses, sold a few and still owns some. He knows what it’s like to be in your shoes. He sees the Independent Sponsor model as the method executives and industry experts can take to own and run already established businesses. He now dedicates his career to helping individuals buy companies, find greater success and live life on their own terms.

Caroline Kung

Managing Partner

SagePath Capital

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Nick Russell

Managing Partner

Tuckerman Capital

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Rob Bauer

Managing Member

Bassett Creek Capital

Rob Bauer is the founding member of Bassett Creek Capital, a private capital partner with a focus on entrepreneurial grit, industry and operating expertise, and cultural connectivity.  Rob and his partners at Bassett Creek use a low-ego, collaborative partnership approach to make equity investments in middle-market companies, typically at a critical inflection point in the business.  

Bassett Creek has completed seven acquisitions since its founding in 2016.  Rob and his partners have a combined 100 plus years of investing experience spanning 76 investments valued at over $10.0 billion.  

12:20 pm - Thought Leadership Talk OR Client Case Study: TBC

12:30 pm - Interactive Panel: Never Underplay The Importance Of Tax Due Diligence! Optimizing Your Tax Structures To Win More Deals

  • Using your tax structuring as a competitive advantage
  • Helping sellers rollover equity in the most tax efficient manner
  • Shielding your transactions from contingent liabilities
  • Maximizing the tax advantages of certain deal structures
  • Ensuring correct payment of sales tax when operating in multiple states

Moderator

David Zawitkowski

Partner, Transaction Advisory Services Practice

Citrin Cooperman

David Zawitkowski is a partner with the firm’s Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) Practice. He has worked with strategic buyers (both public and private) and private equity firms on asset purchases, stock purchases, carve-outs, and growth-equity investments. He also provides post-closing assistance.

Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, David worked in the capital markets groups of bulge-bracket and middle-market investment banks. He worked as an equity analyst advising institutional investors, including hedge funds, mutual funds, and pension funds, in industries such as retail, energy, engineering and construction, manufacturing, and industrials. In these positions, David held FINRA licenses including Series 7, 63, 86, and 87.

David began his career at another public accounting firm, where he provided audit and tax services to small and mid-sized companies across various industries.

Nick Barker

Partner

Longhouse Partners

Nick has spent over 25 years in M&A and corporate development with firms including Huron Capital, CCC Intelligent Solutions, Ryan Enterprises Group, and Bear, Stearns & Co. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

James Illikman

Partner

Peninsula Capital Partners

James Illikman is a Partner of Peninsula Capital Partners, LLC and joined the firm in 2003. He has over twenty-five years of corporate finance experience in private equity, mergers and acquisitions and operations management. His career comprises private and public sector investing from both a strategic and financial investor perspective. Immediately prior to joining Peninsula Capital Partners, Mr. Illikman was with Talon Equity Partners LLC, a middle-market buyout firm, where he was responsible for investment transactions and portfolio management. Before that, he held positions with Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership, United Technologies and the predecessor entity to Delphi Corporation. At these firms, Mr. Illikman was responsible for identifying, conducting due diligence, negotiating and closing acquisitions consistent with the business development objectives of the companies. Mr. Illikman has also served in various management and corporate finance roles for operating companies. Mr. Illikman earned both a Bachelor and Master in Business Administration degrees from the University of Michigan and is a member of the CFA Institute.

Grant Kornman

Partner

Align Collaborate

Grant is a Partner at Align Collaborate and a member of its Investment Committee. Align Collaborate invests $10 to $50 million of equity exclusively into transactions led by independent sponsors in the lower-middle market. Prior to becoming a capital partner, Grant co-founded NCK Capital (“NCK”), a boutique independent sponsor that acquired controlling interests in lower-middle market companies, with his business partner, Michael Kornman. NCK was a pioneer in the independent sponsor community; it won numerous awards and built a successful portfolio of companies. Prior to NCK, Grant was the Florida Development Partner for The Lane Company, a large multifamily management and development company that acquired and developed between $1B and $2B of assets per year. Grant began his career as an Associate at Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with over $4B AUM. Grant has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from Georgetown University and is a Board Member of the Lone Star Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

Jason Duzan

Founder

Colfax Creek

Over the last twenty-five years, Jason Duzan has led over twenty private equity transactions in consumer, service, and industrial companies, primarily in the Midwest. Over the last ten years, Jason has invested in over ten family-owned or closely-held businesses in combination with operating executives to grow the businesses. Since 2017, as Colfax Creek, Jason has managed six platform companies with two exits, GLE Precision and Fluence Automation. Jason is a managing partner and board chairman of Midwest Innovative Products, Premier Engineered Products, Traverse City Products, and Dial Tool Industries. His prior work experience includes Glencoe Capital and BMO Harris Bank. Jason earned an MBA from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from the University of Illinois. He was raised on a corn and soybean farm in Colfax, Illinois. Jason and his family live in Birmingham, Michigan.

Andrew Ferworn

Partner

Virtus

Andrew leads Virtus’s Private Capital Insurance Practice (PCIP). Andrew’s team focuses exclusively on insurance brokerage and consulting services for private equity investors and their portfolio companies. Their work includes M&A and value creation driven insurance due diligence, P&C and employee benefits brokerage, M&A integration, and transaction related insurance products to improve risk and economic terms for deals (representations and warranties insurance, tax insurance, and contingent liability insurance). Prior to joining Virtus, Andrew worked Lincoln Financial for ten years where he advised insurance brokers on employee benefits for large businesses. Andrew resides in the Chicago area and holds a BA from the University of Michigan.

networking lunch

1:10pm - Networking Lunch

Join a workshop-style discussion with fellow delegates, and collectively discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges you face today.

1:20 pm –  Luncheon Workshop - HR & Benefits Diligence: Top 7 Priorities
  • HR compliance audit - what this covers and why it’s important
  • Employee benefits benchmarking - identifying hidden cost synergies
  • HR workflow review - pinpointing efficiency gains and opportunities

Mark Sinatra

Chief Executive Officer

Aspen HR

Read Profile
Meetings

Networking Meetings

2:30pm - Business Building 1-1 Meetings

Connect with the Independent Sponsors or Capital Providers specializing in investments in the industry sectors and markets you focus on. We will provide you with a full list of attendees, so you can choose to meet with the most relevant contacts and evaluate the potential for future business partnerships.

Reception

5:00pm - 7:00pm Cocktail Reception & Raffle Winner Announcement

The cocktail hour after the meetings will give you extra unstructured networking time with any investment firms or operating partners you may not yet have met.

Stop by the United Healthcare booth at the summit for your opportunity to enter the raffle and hear the announcement of the lucky winner.

Sponsored by:

peninsulalogo(color)

 

Dinner

6:30pm - Invitation Only Dinner

Sponsored by:

citrincooperman

May 18, 2024 |

September 18 - Day 2 Agenda

8:00 am - Registration & Networking

8:30 am - Breakfast Briefing

Join a workshop-style discussion with fellow delegates, and collectively discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges you face today

 

9:20 am - Chairperson’s Welcome

Claudine Cohen

Managing Principal, Value360 Practice

CohnReznick

Claudine oversees an integrated team of transaction, valuation, restructuring, project finance, and dispute resolution professionals serving clients throughout the lifecycles of their businesses. With specific expertise in managing opportunities and roadblocks that can impact a business moving forward, Claudine and her team help clients achieve optimal outcomes in protecting and growing stakeholder value.

Claudine serves as an adviser to public and private companies, both domestically and internationally. Her clients comprise the full gamut of financial sponsors including private equity investors, independent sponsors, family offices, alternative investment funds, lenders, and strategic investors. Her areas of knowledge include strategic advisory, quality of earnings analyses, identifying revenue sources and profitability drivers, examining operating cost structure and sustainability factors, investigating business models including cash flow and financial projections, reviewing quality and realization of assets and liabilities, identifying working capital requirements and negotiating positions, post-close working capital verification, and adjustment mechanisms.  

Claudine was named to Mergers and Acquisitions 2019 list of the most influential women in mid-market M&A, and Crain’s NY 2018 most notable women in consulting.

9:30 am - Keynote Interview: Creating Differentiation Through Value Creation To Win Deals In A Subdued Market

  • Value creation starts during the deal process – how to maximize your close rate and start partnerships off on the right foot
  • Buy & Build – diversifying risk and driving organic growth through strategic M&A
  • Building great workplaces – how talent management and incentive alignment turns perceived Human Capital risk in to Alpha
  • Pre-marketing starts from the moment you launch – optimizing your exits by knowing your buyers before you build, and letting them get to know you

Tony Brindisi

Managing Partner

RTC Partners

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Chris Lee

Managing Partner

RTC Partners

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9:50 am - Interactive Panel: Building A Strong Pipeline & Network To Always Win The Best Deals

  • Evaluating and comparing today’s top deal sourcing strategies (direct sourcing, brokers, conferences, referrals, etc.)
  • How sourcing for a new platform differs from add-on acquisitions
  • How capital providers validate independent sponsors' sourcing methodologies
  • Ensuring you source the deals that give you an 'angle' to present to capital providers
  • When and how to bring capital providers into the process

Moderator

Eric Taylor

Founder, CEO & CIO

Trident

Eric Taylor is the Founder, CEO and CIO of Trident, a private equity firm focused on acquiring US-based small businesses in industrial, consumer and healthcare sectors. Trident uses proprietary technology to systematically source and diligence small-cap opportunities, with an eye towards reducing the racial wealth gap by incorporating post-transaction elements of diversity, equity and inclusion to amplify commercial outcomes. Eric oversees day to day operations, the Investment Team and is actively involved in portfolio management. He also leads the firm’s Investment Committee and makes final decisions on all additions to the portfolio. Mr. Taylor began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he spent 4 years in the Special Situations Group, focused primarily on lower and middle market companies. After Goldman and prior to Trident, Eric was a Portfolio Manager at Brightwood Capital. Eric holds an AB from Harvard University with Honors and is a CFA Charterholder.

Vinay Bachireddy

Partner

Weave Growth

Vinay is a Founding Partner at Weave Growth. Weave is an investment firm that brings a tech-enabled growth playbook to middle market companies looking to embrace technology and M&A in order to build robust and durable franchises. Vinay has spent over a decade in investing and financial services at Q Investments, Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank, and the Grassroots Business Fund, an impact investing fund from the IFC/World Bank. He has also served as an executive/operator at an HR outsourcing and insurance services business. Vinay received a BA in Political Science from Yale University and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School.

Ignacio Macias

CEO

CECOP USA

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Darien K. Smith

President

D.K. Smith & Co.

Darien K. Smith, Esq. is a private equity independent sponsor based in South Florida. He started his collegiate career playing college football for Eastern Illinois University and finished his undergrad degree in finance and mathematics at the University of Miami (FL). Subsequently, Darien received his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Upon graduation, he became a licensed corporate attorney at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in their private funds group in New York City. After practicing law at Stroock, Darien transitioned to Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a Management Consultant in their Corporate Finance and Strategy Practice Area where he advised multi-billion dollar conglomerates and private equity firms, building and executing organic and inorganic growth strategies. Darien left BCG in 2019 to launch D.K. Smith & Co. where he focuses on acquiring, operating, and advising lower middle market businesses.

Brandon Pettagrue

Director

Stonehenge Capital

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David Eshaghian

Managing Partner

Panther Equity Group

David Eshaghian serves as the Managing Partner of Panther Equity Group, a lower middle market private equity group primarily focused on tech-enabled and B2B service providers up to $100M in enterprise value. He was previously an investment banker at Guggenheim Securities and Operated a Managed IT Services Company via a Search Fund. David graduated from the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business.

10:30 am - Thought Leadership Talk OR Client Case Study: TBC

10:40 am - Interactive Panel: Implementing Creative Structuring Solutions To Push Deals Over The Line Amidst Economic Uncertainty

  • Structuring your deals to unlock their full value
  • Aligning incentives across independent sponsor, capital provider, employees and management
  • Balancing short-term and long-term incentives to keep everyone fully engaged
  • Identifying and overcoming conflicts of interest between stakeholders
  • Exploring the pros and cons of a traditional fund approach and a deal-by-deal approach

Moderator

Tom Kesoglou

Chair of Private Equity Practice

Ice Miller

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Sam Snyder

Managing Partner

Greyrock Capital Group

Sam Snyder is the Managing Partner at junior capital-focused private equity firm Greyrock Capital Group. Greyrock is a leading one-stop equity and debt financing provider to Independent Sponsors with 37 platform investments close to date. Greyrock is investing out of Fund VI with $284MM in committed capital. Sam currently serves as a board member of Bentec Medical, Blast Deflector, Inc., Competition Specialties, Daron, Ford Gum, Helm, Laguna Dental Arts, Tricoci University, and Triple Shift Entertainment. Former board member of Ogle School, Paleteria La Michoacana, Powertronix, Solair Group, and Westside Equipment. Prior to joining Greyrock, Sam was an Associate at Goldman Sachs in the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications investment banking division. Before Goldman, Sam worked as a Senior Research Analyst at Renaissance Capital. Sam earned an MBA with Honors from the Haas School of Business and an AB in History from Princeton University. Sam is also a CFA charter holder.

Bryan Rand

CEO

Rand & Co

Bryan Rand is the CEO of Rand & Co Holdings– a private holding company that makes long-term investments in companies across a wide array of industries. Rand & Co currently has a portfolio containing ownership stakes in 9 growth platforms with more than $300mm in annual revenue. Additionally, Bryan serves as President of Vacation Innovations, the largest marketplace in the vacation ownership industry. Previously, Bryan served as a Partner at Tritium Partners, a private equity firm with more than $1.5 billion in assets under management. Prior to joining Tritium, Bryan helped launch Brightwood Capital Advisors. Bryan began his career in investment banking at Credit Suisse. Bryan is a member of the Southern 7 Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. Bryan received his MBA from Harvard Business School and graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in German Studies and a B.A. in Business Administration.

Rob Kissling

Principal

Source Capital

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Jay Sprague

Principal

Tamarix Equity Partners

Jay is a Principal at Tamarix Equity Partners, a middle-market fund based in NYC, where he leads deal execution, investment strategy, and portfolio management. Over ten years’ experience in private equity, growth capital, investment banking and as a consumer startup founder. Prior investment firms include Centre Partners, a middle-market private equity firm in NYC, Palisades Growth Capital, a growth-equity firm in Los Angeles, and Macquarie Capital, an investment bank. Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College with a major in International Politics and Economics.

Jonathan Barnes

Managing Director

Star Mountain Capital

Jonathan Barnes has more than 20 years of private equity investing and investment banking experience, including at Morgan Stanley. Mr. Barnes was a Partner at Halyard Capital, a U.S. lower middle-market private equity fund manager where he spent 15 years. Mr. Barnes helped lead Halyard’s successful investment of over $600 million in the technology, business services, media and communications industries, backed by sophisticated institutional investors such as Goldman Sachs, Abbott Capital and the Bank of Montreal. Mr. Barnes has a broad spectrum of private equity investing experience across technology-enabled services industries including Human Capital Management, Digital and Direct Marketing and IT/Cybersecurity Services. He has represented Halyard on the board of directors of numerous portfolio companies and has also actively worked with Halyard portfolio companies on negotiating and structuring finance solutions, advising on management changes and restructurings as well as helping find and integrate add-on acquisitions. Prior to Halyard, Mr. Barnes was an Analyst at Aragon Global Management, a long/short public equities hedge fund affiliated with Tiger Management. Mr. Barnes began his career in Morgan Stanley’s Media Corporate Finance Group and subsequently worked at Consolidated Press Holdings, a Sydney, Australia based private investment company. Mr. Barnes received an MBA with honors from Columbia Business School and an AB (cum laude) from Harvard University where he played JV lacrosse, among other activities.

11:20 am - Networking Break

12:00 pm - Keynote Interview: Topic tbc

Nick Jean-Baptiste

Founding Partner

Jacmel Partners

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11:50 am - Interactive Panel: Securing The Best Debt Financing Options With The Most Favorable Terms In A Tight Credit Market

  • Commercial banks vs. alternative debt - evaluating the best source of debt financing for your deals
  • Securing cost-effective capital while maintaining structural flexibility
  • How and why you may leverage sale-leaseback as a covenant-free, non-dilutive debt-equity substitute

Moderator

Peter Shelton

Partner

Benesch Law

Peter Shelton is a partner at Benesch Law. He focuses his practice on transactional and corporate work. Peter has significant experience in mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, as well as private debt and equity financings. In addition, he counsels clients with respect to general contract drafting and negotiation matters, joint ventures, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements and other day-to-day corporate matters.

Liddy Karter

Managing Partner

Mizzen Capital

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Judd Kohn

Managing Director

White Wolf Private Credit

Judd Kohn joined White Wolf Private Credit Management LLC in April 2021 as Managing Director and Head of Private Credit. Prior to joining White Wolf, Judd worked at First Merchants Bank in its Sponsor Finance Group. At First Merchants, Judd was responsible for establishing the Southeast Region, and led the deal process on numerous lower middle-market credit opportunities. Prior to joining First Merchants Bank, Judd worked at CIBC Bank USA. At CIBC Judd was a Managing Director who was responsible for establishing relationships with lower middle-market and middle-market businesses and private equity firms. Across Judd’s 14-year career, he sourced, underwrote, and executed over $2.0 billion in lower middle-market and middle-market private credit transactions. Judd has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Miami University (Ohio). Judd is an integral member of the Company’s investment and leadership team, and manages the day‐to‐day activities of White Wolf Private Credit, including execution of due diligence processes for each investment, managing deal flow and origination activities, and playing a key role in fundraising activities.

Jonathan Saltzman

Managing Partner

Torque Capital Group

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Robert Puopolo

Partner

Epic Partners

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1:00 pm - Interactive Panel: How To Attract The Equity Financing You Need While Maintaining Control Of Your Deals

  • Finding and structuring the deals that will attract equity funding and provide the best economics
  • Evaluating and comparing the equity sources available to you
  • Building a reliable pool of equity investor contacts to make your capital raising process more efficient
  • Pros and cons of single investors vs. pools of investors

Moderator

Kevin Christmas

Partner

Holland & Knight

Kevin Christmas is a private equity attorney in Holland & Knight's Charlotte office, and is a co-head of both Holland & Knight's Independent Sponsors and Search Funds teams. Mr. Christmas has substantial experience representing domestic and international independent sponsors, search funds and private equity funds in connection with capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, financing, equity structuring, general corporate advisory work and related matters. Mr. Christmas has extensive experience advising clients on the full life cycle of business issues, from company formation and capital raising to exit strategies. He serves a portfolio of clients across various industry sectors, including healthcare, life sciences, financial services, distribution, software, retail, education and manufacturing. Mr. Christmas' practice includes representation of private equity funds, independent sponsors, search funds, family offices, entrepreneurs, family-owned businesses, and public and private companies.

Brinda Yohannan

Managing Director

First Haven

Brinda Yohannan is a Managing Director at First Haven Capital, where she sources, evaluates and executes on non-control equity investments in leading lower middle market companies. Prior to First Haven, Mrs. Yohannan spent ten years as part of the investment teams at First Atlantic Capital and Permira, where she was responsible for sourcing and executing leveraged buyouts, as well as managing portfolio companies across diverse industries. She started her career as an analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Credit Suisse. Mrs. Yohannan holds a B.S. in Business with highest distinction from Indiana University, and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Steve Altman

Partner

Cornerstone Capital Partners

Steve has been a private equity investor since 1998, with an emphasis on lower middle-market manufacturing and industrial service companies. To date, he has invested in transactions totaling $350 million in enterprise value. He enjoys assisting management teams with strategic planning, add-on acquisitions, operational improvements, personnel development and recruiting, and financial analysis. He has also served as interim CEO and CFO for his companies. Prior to joining Cornerstone, Steve was a principal with Long Point Capital, a middle-market private equity fund. Before Long Point, Steve worked for Masco Corp. and affiliates for ten years in a variety of operational, financial, and business development roles, primarily focused on turning around troubled operating divisions. His last position was as president of an operating division.

Rick Perkal

Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer

Firelight Capital

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Clifford Meijer

Partner

Headway Capital Partners

Cliff Meijer has over 30 years of experience in the private equity sector. He is a Managing Director in Headway Capital’s U.S. subsidiary and joined Headway Capital in 2015. His responsibilities include portfolio management, deal sourcing and business development activities. Prior to joining Headway Capital, Cliff was Managing Partner of the private equity fund management practice at Thomas Weisel Partners and subsequently Stifel Financial Inc. Cliff also previously worked at BancBoston Capital and Abbott Capital Management. Cliff has a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship / Entrepreneurial Studies and a Master of Business Administration from Babson College.

Michael Lonergan

Managing Partner

Georgia Oak Partners

As Managing Partner, Mike Lonergan works with Georgia Oak’s partner companies to help drive value creation through revenue growth and acquisition strategies, while also evaluating new investment opportunities. Mike started Georgia Oak with a philosophy built for the business owner who is deeply passionate about their legacy and the success of the organizational family that helped propel their business to new levels. Prior to founding Georgia Oak, Mike was Vice President of Private Equity for Strategic Value Partners (SVP), a global hedge fund. He was also with Sun European Partners in London and Sun Capital Partners in Boca Raton, Fla. Sun Capital is one of the world’s most active turnaround private equity investors. While at Sun Capital, he evaluated and facilitated control buyout investments.

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1:40pm - Networking Lunch

1:50 pm: Luncheon Workshop

Join a select group of your peers, and collectively discuss the biggest opportunities and challenges you face today.

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Networking Meetings

3:00pm - Business Building 1-1 Meetings

Connect with the Independent Sponsors or Capital Providers specializing in investments in the industry sectors and markets you focus on. We will provide you with a full list of attendees, so you can choose to meet with the most relevant contacts and evaluate the potential for future business partnerships.

4:30 pm - Close Of Event