February 6 - 7, 2024 | MIAMI, FL

16th Independent Sponsors Summit & Awards

Register Today

December 7, 2023 |

February 5, 2024

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5:00 pm - 7:00 pm: WELCOME HAPPY HOUR & NETWORKING

December 7, 2023 |

February 6 - Day 1 Agenda

8:00 am - REGISTRATION & NETWORKING BREAKFAST

9:00 am - CHAIRPERSON WELCOME & OPENING REMARKS

9:15 am - ROUNDTABLES / THINK TANKS

Get to know your peers - join us for interactive smaller targeted discussions and be part of the conversation.

Join interactive discussions with our expert speakers and past award winners, and leverage insights from their remarkable journeys and experiences.

Roundtable 1: Scaling Up – accelerating your deal origination process and enhancing transaction efficiency to expand your pipeline and grow your business.

Roundtable 2: Navigating the Post-Covid World – how to assess the long-term impact of COVID, inflation, higher rates and other market disruptions.

Roundtable 3: Distressed- & Liquidity Constrained Assets – developing effective strategies to manage your investments and manage your relationships with lenders in a distressed- or liquidity-constrained environment.

Roundtable 4: 100-Day Plan - writing an effective 100-day plan for independent sponsors and capital providers.

Roundtable 5: Tax-Efficient Deal Structures – how you can structure deals that minimize your tax liabilities.

Roundtable 6: Private Equity Investment - why private equity firms are increasingly looking into independent sponsor transactions and how this impacts the landscape.

Roundtable 7: Pre- & Post-LOI – best practice strategies to ensure you are correctly allocating resources, optimizing investment value, and mitigating risks.

Roundtable 8: Post-Close Control - optimally structuring your post-close control and effectively managing the transition to ensure the best outcome for all parties.

Roundtable 9: Integration Challenges – The best deal may become the worst deal if you don’t properly integrate it. 

  • People

  • Systems

  • Benefits

Emily Hak

Managing Director

Private Capital Markets

Read Profile

Roundtable 10: Latest Trends in Deal Structuring  - Equity: using roll-over equity to align parties + mitigate taxes + win the deal | Seller Financing: how best to negotiate and incorporate a Seller note  Earn-outs:  designing earn-outs that bridge the valuation gap + less prone to disputes.

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.

11:00 am - MORNING NETWORKING BREAK

11:30 am - 2024 MARKETS: HOW THESE MOVERS AND SHAKERS ARE DEALING WITH CREDIT MARKET UNCERTAINTY, DEAL FINANCING COMPLEXITY AND DEAL SOURCING DIFFICULTIES

As the independent sponsor landscape rapidly evolves, let’s explore what’s in store for 2024, and the strategies you need to be employing today.

  • Comprehensive overview of emerging trends, so you can stay one step ahead of the curve
  • How the independent sponsor landscape is changing, and what this means for new deal transactions
  • How independent sponsors can adapt to thrive in an increasingly competitive and diversified market
  • How are independent sponsors surviving during the credit market uncertainty 
  • How today’s biggest geopolitical risks affect your portfolio and investment decisions

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.

Grant Kornman

Managing Partners

NCK Capital

Grant is a seasoned investment professional with years of both deal and operating experience. Over the last few years, Grant has honed his operating skills by founding several innovative companies such as MoneyToGo, HelpMeToBuy and Vuru. Grant’s leadership and these companies have been profiled in numerous national media outlets including an appearance on CNBC’s The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch. Grant was also Director of Business Development at Isadra, an enterprise software company that was acquired by VerticalNet (NASDAQ: VERT).

Prior to rolling up his sleeves and running companies, Grant spent years investing in operating companies and real estate. He was the Florida Development Partner for The Lane Company, one of the largest multifamily development companies in the U.S. In that role, Grant focused on acquiring and developing apartments and condos that ranged from $15 million to $50 million in project size. Grant began his career as an associate at Sterling Partners, a private equity firm with over $4 billion under management. At Sterling, Grant structured investments in numerous companies and spent considerable time advising senior management teams on their growth and capitalization strategies.

Grant has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from Georgetown University.

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.

12:15 pm - NAVIGATING TRANSACTION RISKS

  • What new transaction risks are emerging today, and how are strategies being adjusted to address these evolving risks?
  • What tools have proven effective in portfolio management?
  • What are the main risk indicators in a portfolio company, and how can these issues be proactively managed?

Lidore DeRose

Moderator

Partner

Baldwin Risk Partners

Read Profile

Megan Horvath

Partner

Steinbeck Investment Company

Megan Horvath has nearly 20 years of experience in private equity, investment banking, and consulting. Her responsibilities at Steinbeck Investment Company include investment thesis creation, deal sourcing, investment evaluation, due diligence, deal execution, financing and portfolio oversight.

​Megan previously was a Principal on the investment team at Resilience Capital Partners, which manages in excess of $600 million for a global base of institutional investors. Megan closed numerous deals in the capital equipment, aerospace, plastics, consumer goods, building products, minerals, business services and industrial manufacturing industries. Megan led the transaction of Diversified Global Graphics, the Industrials Deal of the Year at the M&A Advisor Annual Turnaround Awards in 2016. Megan served on several boards of directors of Resilience’s portfolio companies.

​Megan also was a Director of Business Development at INSIGHT2PROFIT, an analytics, technology, and strategic advisory firm focused on pricing and commercial excellence. Megan fostered relationships with private equity firms and their portfolio companies to identify value creation initiatives.

Megan began her career in corporate and investment banking at KeyBanc Capital Markets. 

Tarrus Richardson

Founder & CEO

IMB Partners

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Silvia Lupu

Founder and Executive Officer

Hikaro capital

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Ignacio Macias

CEO

CECOP North America

Read Profile
networking lunch

1:00pm - 2:00pm NETWORKING LUNCHEON

Designed to foster meaningful connections. Strike up a conversation with someone new, and make the most of this fantastic opportunity to expand your network and forge lasting connections.

1:15 pm –  LUNCHEON WORKSHOP
Meetings

NETWORKING MEETINGS

2:00pm - 5:00pm BUSINESS BUILDING 1X1 NETWORKING MEETINGS

  • 1x1 meetings dedicated to developing valuable partnerships for your business model. This unique addition to the program will provide you with the opportunity to meet exclusively with those independent sponsors or capital providers specializing in investments in the industry sectors and markets you are focused on. 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 then have the chance to evaluate the potential for future business opportunities and make the most of your time. These meetings will conclude with our cocktail hour that will afford additional unstructured networking time with any independent sponsors or capital providers you may not yet have met.
Reception

5:30pm - 7:00pm COCKTAIL RECEPTION & AWARDS

Dinner

7:00pm - 8:30pm INVITATION ONLY AWARDS DINNER

Sponsored by:

citrincooperman

December 7, 2023 |

February 7 - Day 2 Agenda

8:00 am - NETWORKING BREAKFAST

9:00 am - CHAIRPERSON’S WELCOME

9:15 am - RAISING A FUND 101 – TRANSITIONING FROM INDEPENDENT SPONSOR TO EMERGING MANAGER

  • Explore the journey of independent sponsors aiming to establish their first-time fund as an emerging manager
  • Delve into the intricacies of successfully raising a fund, including strategies, legal considerations, service providers, and investor relations
  • Independent Sponsorship: Evaluating Costs and Benefits of Funded and Independent Paths

 

David Zawitkowski

Moderator

Partner

Citrin Cooperman

Read Profile

David Acharaya

Managing Partner

Acharya Capital Partners, LLC

David Acharya is the Managing Partner of ACP where he oversees all aspects of the firm’s investing, management, and strategic activities. He brings over 25 years of investing and transacting experience to ACP. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and is recognized by his peers for his expertise in private equity, capital markets, and portfolio value creation.

Before establishing ACP, Mr. Acharya was a partner of AGI Partners, LLC, a private equity firm, and played a key role in the development of the firm including strategy, hiring, and fundraising. He continues to serve on the board of directors for Impact XM and On Location and will be managing until exit. 

Earlier, Mr. Acharya was a Director of an NYC-based private equity firm where he was responsible for investment sourcing and execution. Among other accomplishments, he sourced and executed Revolution Dancewear, co-sponsored with Incline Equity Partners, and was sold to Audax Group.

Previously, Mr. Acharya was a Vice President with Apprise Media, a private equity firm focused on niche media investments, where he worked with the founders of PRIMEDIA, a former KKR founded portfolio company. Mr. Acharya invested over $200 million in niche media companies across digital, events, and print products in North America, Europe, and Asia. He made significant contributions to Apprise Media’s largest portfolio company Canon Communications, a B2B media company. Canon was successfully sold to United Business Media in 2010.

Mr. Acharya spent 10 years as an investment banker in the highly ranked leveraged finance groups of JP Morgan Chase and Toronto Dominion Securities. He advised, structured, and raised over $18 billion of capital for leading financial sponsors, telecommunications, media, and consumer product companies across the globe. He also advised clients on debt tender/consent transactions that affected over $4 billion of debt. While at Toronto Dominion and as part of its merchant banking initiatives, he was involved in numerous equity investments including Rural Cellular Corporation (sold to Verizon), T-Mobile, Bresnan Communications, and Intermedia Communications (Leo Hindery’s Cable Venture).

In 2020, after completing his term as President of the New York Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Mr. Acharya was elected as Chairperson. Additionally, he was recently elected to the ACG Global Board of Directors. In recognition of his years of leadership and volunteerism, he was honored with the ACG Meritorious Award.

Mr. Acharya is a graduate of St. John’s University and holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees with honors. 

Curtis Glover

Senior Investment Advisor and Investment Committee Member

Grafine Partners

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Dan Pogue

CFA, Vice President

Moelist Asset Management

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Justin Crane

Co-Founder

Ceiba Capital Partners

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10:00 am - A PLAYBOOK FOR OPERATING IN A DISTRESSED ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINING GROWTH IN UNDERPERFORMING COMPANIES

In the current economic climate, navigating through distress and liquidity constraints has become a critical concern for businesses and investors. Understanding the role of distressed asset investors and developing effective strategies for managing in such environments is imperative. This panel will delve into the portfolio management techniques, collaborations between lenders, and risks involved when one of your portfolio companies underperforms 

  • How can companies effectively manage through a distressed or liquidity-constrained environment?
  • What are the key challenges and opportunities for investors in the distressed asset space?  How should investors approach them? 
  • How independent sponsors can collaborate with investors, lenders and management to navigate underperformance and sustain growth 
  • Clarifying the roles and risk burden when a portfolio company underperforms

Thomas Ince

Managing Partner

LP First Capital

Read Profile

Vasanta B. Pundarika

Head of Healthcare Investment Banking

Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc.

Read Profile

10:30 am - MORNING NETWORKING BREAK

Pick the sessions most relevant for you.

Session

TRACK A

11:00am - 11:45am DEAL ORIGINATION: UNVEILING THE WHERE AND HOW BEHIND YOUR LAST THREE DEALS

This panel aims to understand insights on various sourcing methods like thesis-driven approaches, direct sourcing teams, brokers, and more. It will explore the best ways to source deals, and leading deal management strategies. 

  • Best methods and strategies to source deals - direct sourcing teams, brokers, conferences, referrals
  • Structuring deals to align incentives across employees, management, independent sponsor and capital provider 
  • Balancing short-term and long-term incentives when structuring your deals
  • Overcoming potential conflicts of interest between stakeholders
  • How sourcing for a new platform differs from add-on acquisitions

Husnain Safdar

Vice President

Tecum Capital

Husnain Safdar is a Vice President at Tecum. He is responsible for originating, structuring, underwriting, and executing new investment opportunities, He is also responsible for managing portfolio companies, working with management teams and investment partners to develop, assess, and execute strategic initiatives. Husnain currently serves as a Board Member for BP Business Solutions, Cox Transportation, and Conco Services, and he serves as a Board Observer for Gilman Cheese, TopDown Inc., Blackwood Solutions, and Arrow Waste. Prior to joining Tecum in 2018, Husnain was an Associate at PNC Mezzanine Capital from 2016 to 2018. Previously, he was an Analyst at Harris Williams & Co, a Richmond based investment bank specializing in middle market M&A advisory across a broad range of industries. Husnain’s experience includes investing in middle market companies across the entire balance sheet from senior debt lending to junior capital/equity investing and sell-side M&A advisory. Husnain received a B.S. in Accounting and a B.A. minor in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated Cum Laude.

Cameron Coley

Principal

Plexus Capital

Cameron joined Plexus in 2015. He is a Principal with his main role as a Principal heading up the Originations team where he focuses on new investment partnerships and portfolio company oversight. Prior to Plexus, Cameron worked in the corporate development group of INVISTA, a Koch Industries platform.

Cameron is a graduate of North Carolina State University where he earned an MBA from the Jenkins Graduate School of Management and Bachelor of Science from the Wilson College of Textiles.

Richard Baum

Managing Partner

Consumer Growth Partners

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Bill Doran

Partner

Benesch LLP

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TRACK B

11:00am - 11:45am IDENTIFYING & SECURING THE BEST TRADITIONAL & ALTERNATIVE DEBT FINANCING OPTIONS

  • Assessing the best financing offers in a volatile interest rate landscape – commercial banks vs. alternative debt financing options
  • Using alternative strategies to secure financing at a time when capital is scarce
  • Best practice fundraising strategies, legal considerations, and investor relations
  • Securing cost-effective capital without sacrificing structural flexibility

Preston Walsh

Partner

PNC Mezzanine Capital

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Jon Dangar

Director

Stonehenge Capital

Mr. Dangar is responsible for the origination, underwriting and management of mezzanine and equity investments from the Atlanta office. Prior to joining Stonehenge, Mr. Dangar led business development for transaction services for Aprio, LLC, a regional tax and accounting advisory firm focused on growing, middle market companies. Prior to that, Mr. Dangar was the National Deals Sales Leader for PwC, responsible for driving M&A conversations and advice with the firm’s U.S. clients. Prior to that, Mr. Dangar worked for 20 years in the investment banking field, providing buy-side M&A and financing advice to privately-held, growing companies in the US and abroad for Westminster Securities, Wachovia Securities and E&Y. Mr. Dangar earned a BS in Building Construction and a Minor in Economics from The Georgia Institute of Technology and his MBA at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.

Francis Carr

Managing Partner

Milton Street Capital

Read Profile

11:45am - TRACK A : CO-INVESTING: STRUCTURING YOUR PARTNERSHIPS TO UNLOCK THE FULL VALUE

As independent sponsors and investors increasingly collaborate to tackle complex transactions, this panel will delve into the dynamics of these partnerships and explore how they can be mutually beneficial.

  • Understanding the benefits of partnerships, especially for newer independent sponsors
  • How independent sponsors can identify their ideal co-investment partners
  • Knowing the right time to explore a new partnership
  • Maximising the value added by experienced partners, and avoiding the potential pitfalls
  • Identifying the best partners for your deals

Christian MacCarron

Co-Founder/Managing Director

Taubman Capital Management LLC

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Lawrence Shagrin

Partner

Millpond Equity Partners, LLC

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Matt Cunning

Vice President

Longbow Capital

Matt is a partner with Longbow Capital based in Calgary, Canada.  He is responsible for transaction origination, fundraising, and oversight of due diligence for Longbow’s energy transition investments and has led a number of Longbow’s investments in electrification and infrastructure.  Prior to joining Longbow in 2018, Matt was Director of Commercial Strategy at Parkland Fuel Corporation, one of North America’s fastest growing independent marketers of fuel and petroleum products. He started at Parkland as a member of the corporate development team and executed several acquisitions, divestitures, and other corporate growth initiatives exceeding $1.8 billion. Prior to Parkland, Matt was a strategy consultant where he advised clients in the energy, infrastructure, and non-profit sectors on strategic and operational matters. 

11:45am - TRACK B : RAISING EQUITY FUNDING

This panel will explore the various sources of equity capital, and the pros and cons of each.

  • Assessing the available sources of equity capital (family offices, HNWIs, private equity, mezzanine, SBIC funds, non-control equity funds, etc.)
  • How sponsors can make the co-investment process more efficient for them and their equity partners
  • Reassessing equity, addressing valuation changes, and optimizing equity structures and compensation
  • Finding and structuring deals that fulfil the required parameters to attract equity funding
  • Building a reliable pool of equity investors to efficiently raise capital
  • Evaluating the costs and benefits of single equity investors vs pools of equity investors

Duran Curis

Partner

Ocean Avenue Capital Partners, L.P

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Austin Nuedecker

Managing Partner

Weave Growth Partners

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Michael Kornman

Managing Partners

NCK Capital

Michael is passionate about running companies, building effective teams and navigating dynamically changing industries. He has founded many companies including MoneyToGo, HelpMeToBuy, ASAP Air Services and Quickfire Restaurants. These companies are leaders in their respective industries, which include direct-response marketing, consumer finance, airfreight and restaurants. Michael’s vision and leadership has guided these companies through many strategic milestones including securing outside equity and debt financing from institutional investors, obtaining mission critical regulatory approvals, company recapitalizations and company sales. He has led companies with as little as a few million in revenue to over $60 million in annual revenue. These experiences and successes enable Michael to provide meaningful insight to companies at every stage of their corporate development regardless of their size.

In addition to Michael’s success in various industries, he is an accomplished pilot. Although he has never flown professionally, he has logged over 2,000 hours of jet flight time. Michael is qualified to fly numerous jet and turbine aircraft including the Hawker, Lockheed Jetstar, Westwind, Sabreliner, King Air and Cheyenne.

12:15 pm - NETWORKING LUNCH

Designed to foster meaningful connections. Strike up a conversation with someone new, and make the most of this fantastic opportunity to expand your network and forge lasting connections.

 

12:45 pm - LUNCHEON WORKSHOP:

Meetings

1:30pm - 3:30pm BUSINESS BUILDING 1X1 NETWORKING MEETINGS

Sector-specific 1x1 networking meetings (10 meetings, 15 minutes each) between senior-level capital providers and independent sponsor executives. These meetings will be dedicated to developing partnerships unique to your business model and will provide 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 before the event - you will have the chance then to evaluate the potential for future business opportunities and make the most of your time. Join today to meet and network directly with leading industry professionals and decision-makers all under one roof such as Independent Sponsors (Fundless Sponsors), Private Equity Firms, Family Offices, Mezzanine Lenders, Hedge Funds, Institutional Investors, HNWIs (High Net Worth Individuals) and M&A Intermediaries/Advisors.

Register Today