February 6 - 7, 2024 | MIAMI, FL

16th Independent Sponsors Summit & Awards

Register Today

April 15, 2024 |

February 5, 2024

icon connections


This is exclusively for the event attendees. Kindly RSVP to let us know you're interested. 

April 15, 2024 |

February 6 - Day 1 Agenda



Claudine Cohen

Managing Principal


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.


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: Recruiting Star CFOS for PE-Backed Companies

  • Qualities to look for when hiring a great CFO
  • Assessing talent
  • Recruiting for potential

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.

Roundtable 2: Pre- & Post-LOI

Best practice strategies to ensure you are correctly allocating resources, optimizing investment value, and mitigating risks.


John Gilson


Holland & Knight LLP

John C. Gilson is a private equity attorney in Holland & Knight's Charlotte office. Mr. Gilson is a co-head of both Holland & Knight's Independent Sponsor and Search Funds teams. His practice includes a broad range of corporate transactional matters. Mr. Gilson's core practice includes the representation of strategic and financial buyers and sellers in a variety of complex business transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, carve-out transactions, structured equity products, cross-border transactions, minority equity, growth equity and venture capital investments, and joint ventures.

Mr. Gilson has extensive experience representing independent sponsors, search funds and traditional and self-funded searchers in all aspects of their transactions, including equity structuring and transaction execution. He has authored several articles and lectured on these topics.

Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Gilson was an attorney at law firms in New York and Charlotte.

During college, Mr. Gilson was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honor society at the State University of New York at Albany. Mr. Gilson was also a two-time captain of the University at Albany men's lacrosse team and a member of the school's football team. He studied abroad in 13 different countries in Europe and the Middle East through Eastern Michigan University's European Cultural History Tour. He also served as a student teacher at an Albany middle school and public high school.

Roundtable 3: Integration Challenges

The best deal may become the worst deal if you don’t properly integrate it.

  • People
  • Systems
  • Benefits

Emily Hak

Managing Director


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. 

Roundtable 4: 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.

Roundtable 5: Negotiating Economics with Your Capital Providers?

  • What’s Market: Management Fees, Closing Fees, Promote
  • How economics differ by capital provider (family office, PE, SBIC/Mezz)
  • Different promote models: MOIC vs. IRR
  • Broken Deal Fees


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.

Roundtable 6: Insurance – Portco and Fund Opportunities

  • Best practices and what to look for in pre-close due diligence
  • Market update and opportunities in the reps & warranties, tax, and contingent liability insurance space
  • Value creation: how investors can quickly regain confidence in their existing portfolio companies’ insurance programs


Andrew Ferworn



Andrew co-leads Virtus’s Private Capital Insurance Practice – providing insurance solutions to middle market private equity investors and the management teams of their portfolio and target companies. Andrew is responsible for sourcing and evaluating new business opportunities, overseeing operations and project consulting, growing the team’s technical capabilities, and private investor relations.

Prior to joining Virtus, Andrew was a Senior Account Director at Lincoln Financial Group where he led new business and client retention activity in their employee benefits insurance market for employers with over 2,000 employees. His ten-year experience at Lincoln Financial Group focused on delivering innovative employee benefit insurance strategies in collaboration with insurance underwriters, actuaries, and many of the world’s largest insurance brokers to maximize stakeholder value.

A Michigan native, Andrew holds a BA in Economics from the University of Michigan and resides in Chicago.



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


Managing Principal


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


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


Align Collaborate

Grant is a Partner at Align Collaborate and a member of its Investment Committee. Prior to Align Collaborate, 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, winning numerous awards, including iGlobal’s Independent Sponsor Deal of the Year in 2023, and built a successful portfolio of companies in many different industries, including environmental services, post-secondary education, wholesale distribution, and building services.
Before NCK, Grant was the Florida Development Partner for The Lane Company, one of the Southeast's largest multifamily management and development companies, which 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).

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.

Sean Mooney



Sean is the Founder and CEO of BluWave where he leads overall strategy and related sales, marketing, and operational activities.

Sean is a ~20-year veteran of the private equity industry. Prior to founding BluWave, he was a Partner and member of the Investment Committee of SFW Capital Partners, a leading middle market private equity firm in New York specializing in information, data, and network enabled businesses. At SFW, he managed the origination, assessment, execution, and ongoing support of portfolio company investments.

Kenneth Saffold

Managing Partner

o15 Capital Partners

Kenneth Saffold is a Co-Founder and Managing Partner at o15 Capital Partners, a private credit impact focused investment firm that makes investments in lower middle market business in the Healthcare, Business Services, and Education industries. Kenneth is primarily responsible for deal origination and execution and management processes.


Previously, Kenneth was a Managing Director and a member of BlackRock’s Global Credit Platform where he was responsible for originating and executing private credit investment opportunities out of the group’s $30 billion in AUM. Kenneth also served as an Investment Committee Member for the BlackRock Impact Opportunities Fund, a $1 billion multi-private asset class fund focused on making investments in underserved businesses and communities. Prior to BlackRock, Kenneth held roles with GE Capital and Goldman Sachs.


Kenneth currently serves as a Member of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Investment Committee, the President of the Executive Board of Directors for Northside Youth Organization (NYO) and formerly served as Chair of the Emory Board of Visitors. Kenneth received his MBA from The Wharton School and his BA from Morehouse College.


  • 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



Baldwin Risk Partners

Read Profile

Megan Horvath


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

Read Profile

Silvia Lupu

Founder and Executive Officer

Hikaro capital

Silvia Lupu is a seasoned executive and a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) with over 7 years of experience in the investment and financial industry. With a strong academic background in International Economic Relationships, Silvia possesses a deep understanding of global markets and a keen eye for strategic decision-making. Throughout her career, Silvia has honed her expertise by working in five countries across three continents, gaining invaluable insights into diverse financial ecosystems. Her international exposure has equipped her with a comprehensive understanding of the nuances and challenges of conducting business on a global scale.

Silvia's leadership journey spans both mid and senior management positions, where she has consistently demonstrated her ability to drive results, inspire teams, and navigate complex financial landscapes. Her dynamic approach, combined with a strong focus on innovation and sustainable practices, has positioned her as a visionary leader in the industry.

With a passion for ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) investing, Silvia has been at the forefront of integrating responsible investment practices into the financial sector. Her commitment to sustainability and ethical decision-making has earned her recognition as a thought leader in the industry, advocating for the importance of aligning financial goals with positive social and environmental impact.

Eric Taylor



Read Profile
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.

1:15 pm –  LUNCHEON WORKSHOP: From Pitch to Close: Streamlining Capital Raising for Independent Sponsors
  • Professionalizing your pitch process
  • Strategies for streamlining your capital raise
  • Making your deal closings efficient and surprise-free

Rodney Reisdorf

CEO & Co-Founder


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.

Bryan Rand

Chief Executive Officer

Rand & Co. Holdings, LLC

Bryan Rand is the CEO of Rand & Co Holdings, LLC – 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 8 growth platforms across a wide array of industries
and geographies with more than $300mm in annual revenue and $40mm+ in EBITDA. In each platform the firm serves as either the majority owner, largest non-founder owner or Board Director driving the strategic and capital markets decisions. Additionally, Bryan serves as President of Vacation Innovations, the largest marketplace in the vacation ownership industry with more than 500 employees and $50mm in revenue. Previously, Bryan served as a Partner at Tritium Partners, a private equity firm with more than $1.5 billion in assets under management, where he is responsible
for sourcing and executing acquisitions as well as managing relationships with deal referral sources.

Prior to joining Tritium, Bryan helped launch Brightwood Capital Advisors where he worked with a team of 3 other executives to successfully purchase a $200mm + portfolio of distressed credit from a major Wall Street investment bank. Bryan began his career in New York City at Credit Suisse where he worked in the investment bank and in Credit Suisse’s control private equity investing affiliate, DLJ Merchant Banking Partners.

Bryan is a member of the Southern 7 Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, the
Buckhead Coalition and serves on the Investment Committee of the Community Foundation of Greater Atlanta.

Bryan received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Credit Suisse Fellow. He also graduated magna cum laude from Morehouse College with a B.A. in German Studies and a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Bryan lives in Atlanta and is married to Dr. Tiffany Jamison-Rand and has three children.




  • 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.


Sponsored by:





Sponsored by:


April 15, 2024 |

February 7 - Day 2 Agenda




  • 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


Sylvie Gadant


Partner and Practice Leader

Citrin Cooperman

Sylvie Gadant is a partner with Citrin Cooperman’s Private Equity and Capital Markets Practice and is the Transaction Advisory Services (TAS) practice leader. She leads buy-side and sell-side due diligence engagements for private equity firms, independent sponsors, family offices, and strategic buyers.

Prior to joining Citrin Cooperman, Sylvie was the principal-in-charge of the TAS practice at a top-20 national accounting firm, where she also spent more than 10 years with its audit and advisory practices. Previously, she served middle-market private companies across several industries for another public accounting firm.

Sylvie has advised clients on over 300 transactions valued between $5 million and $300 million, including platform investments, add-on acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations, carve-outs, and minority investments. Her areas of expertise include analyzing an acquisition target’s quality of earnings, understanding key performance indicators, assessing working capital requirements, and identifying key deal issues and risk areas. She also provides her clients with guidance on accounting for mergers and acquisitions.

Sylvie is a frequent speaker, panelist, and moderator for various industry forums including the Kayo Private Equity Conference, the iGlobal Forum, the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), the Exit Planning Exchange (XPX), and Expert Webcasts. She has been featured in business and industry publications, including Inc. Magazine, Forbes, PE Hub, Buyouts Magazine, Crain’s New York Business, and Accounting Today.

Sylvie is the recipient of several prestigious industry awards, including the "2020 Crain's Notable Women in Accounting" (Crain's New York Business) and the "2019 USA Women Dealmakers" (Global M&A Network), which singularly honors and spotlights an A-List of the most accomplished and respected women dealmakers from the private equity, lending, restructuring, M&A financial advisory and legal transactional communities, especially from the middle-market segments. She is also a 2017 "Top 25 Leading Women Intrapreneur" (Leading Women Entrepreneurs) award recipient.

David Acharya

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

Curtis A. Glovier has 30 years of leadership experience as a private equity investor and business executive, and has served as a board member of and investor in numerous private and public companies spanning financial and business services, healthcare, technology, industrial, consumer, intellectual property, and real estate. Mr. Glovier currently is the Senior Investment Advisor at Grafine Partners, which sponsors and invests in new private equity firms and facilitates co-investments; a Senior Advisor at Star Mountain Capital, a credit and private equity fund manager; and a co-founder of Roundview Capital Partners, which makes direct and co-investments across alternative asset classes. He is an investor in and board advisor of Cornerstone Advisors, a consulting firm focused on financial institutions. 

He was a Managing Director at Fortress Investment Group ($43 billion current AUM) for nearly a decade, where he founded the private equity department within the Credit Opportunities division and led private equity and junior capital investments in numerous companies. Mr. Glovier served on the Investment Committee of multiple Fortress funds. Prior to Fortress he co-led the leveraged buyout activities of Perseus LLC, where his investment in Maritime Telecommunications Network won the Middle Market Deal of the Year Award from M&A Advisor. Mr. Glovier started his career as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs and then moved into private equity at Nassau Capital, which managed all of the alternative investments (both funds and directs) on behalf of Princeton University’s endowment ($38 billion current AUM). Mr. Glovier has diverse alternative investing experience spanning private equity (control, non-control, and co-investments), venture capital, credit, and real estate. 

Mr. Glovier also has significant operating experience. While at Fortress he was a founding investor and board member of Opus Bank, a West Coast regional bank. He helped the bank acquire PENSCO Trust Company, a national custodian of alternative investments held in retirement accounts, and in mid-2016 left Fortress to become the Chairman and CEO of PENSCO where he significantly grew both assets under custody and operating income. He also served as Managing Principal of Opus Equity Partners, a growth equity investment fund, and as Chairman of Opus Financial Partners, a broker-dealer. Opus and PENSCO were sold in 2020. 

Mr. Glovier received a B.A., cum laude, from Princeton University, and an M.B.A. as a Palmer Scholar from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. 

Dan Pogue

CFA, Vice President

Moelis Asset Management

Dan is a Vice President at Moelis Asset Management and a member of the Catalyst team. He is responsible for manager research, investment sourcing and capital formation.  Prior to Moelis, Dan was a Vice President on the private markets team at Asset Consulting Group. Prior to ACG, Dan began his career at Summit Strategies Group, where he was a member of the private markets team conducting private markets research. Following Summit’s acquisition by Mercer, Dan became a Principal at Mercer, where he co-managed two discretionary funds focused primarily on small market opportunities.  Dan is a CFA® charter holder and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Banking from the University of Missouri.

Brad Vaiana

Co-Chair, Private Equity Practice

Winston & Strawn LLP

Brad is co-chair of Winston's Private Equity Practice and represents private investment funds, hedge funds, family offices, lending institutions, and other alternative asset managers on complex business transactions. He counsels clients in structuring, negotiating, documenting, and executing leveraged buyouts, take-private transactions, minority recapitalization, growth equity investments, distressed and special situations, PIPE transactions, joint ventures, business combinations, secondary transactions,
fundraising and formation matters, and other commercial transactions. Brad also advises on the implementation and execution of exit strategies through divestitures, public offerings, GP-led secondary transactions, and recapitalizations.

Brad also represents public and private companies and private equity investors in the management of their portfolio companies in connection with a variety of matters, including mergers and acquisitions; senior secured and subordinated debt offerings and refinancings; mezzanine debt offerings; high-yield note offerings; public equity offerings; workouts; and corporate reorganizations. In addition, he represents real estate funds in a variety of transactions, including fundraising and formation; acquisitions; financings; and dispositions of office buildings, multi-family, residential, and mixed-use developments. Brad regularly represents founders, entrepreneurs, and emerging and established entities in growth-oriented capital raises as well as liquidating transactions and recapitalizations.

Brad received his J.D. from Emory University and his B.A. from Binghamton University.

Nick Jean-Baptiste

Managing Partner

Jacmel Growth Partners

Nick Jean-Baptiste is Managing Partner of Jacmel Growth Partners. He developed the firm’s differentiated approach to value creation after nearly fifteen years of Wall Street and private equity experience, working to scale businesses and provide growth capital to companies. Prior to founding Jacmel, Nick was Principal at Peterson Partners, a $1.5 billion AUM growth private equity firm, where he sourced and led transactions across a wide range of industries. He also served as Vice President with Macquarie Capital, where he provided strategic advice and capital market solutions to private equity clients. Nick began his career in Citigroup’s Investment Banking Division as a member of the banks’ Healthcare Coverage Group. Over the course of this career, Nick has taken part in providing over $10 billion of debt financing to private equity-sponsored recapitalizations and several published equity offerings. Nick earned a B.A. from Duke University and an MBA from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.


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

Matthew R. Cohen



Prodos Capital LLC

Matthew R. Cohen is a Principal at Prodos Capital LLC (“PC”), a private investment firm based in Nashville, TN and West Palm Beach, FL.  Matthew leads the West Palm Beach office for the firm..  At PC, Mr. Cohen is responsible for sourcing, evaluating, underwriting, and financing investments across industry sectors.  He is also involved in the overall management of portfolio companies and execution of the investment thesis from acquisition through exit.  He serves as a director of Sail Energy, New England Applied Products, Unified Logistics, Century Box Inc., and Cord King International, Ltd..


Having spent seven years in Washington, DC, Mr. Cohen has been actively engaged in Republican political activity for over a decade. He is a commentator, speaker and campaign operative, having served as an integral part of three Presidential Campaigns. 


Prior to joining PC, Mr. Cohen led the acquisitions team at AlphaTerra Partners, an affiliate of KAR Properties, pursuing a multi-asset class real estate investment strategy in U.S. gateway cities.  He began his career as an analyst in the mergers & acquisitions group at UBS Investment Bank based in New York City.  


Mr. Cohen has extensive charitable and community relationships.  He maintains Emeritus status as the youngest member of the Board of Directors of The George Washington University School of Business, is a trustee Emeritus of the Cape Eleuthera Foundation and is actively engaged with many other philanthropic and community-based organizations.  


Mr. Cohen earned an MBA with honors and a BBA from The George Washington University.  


In his spare time, he is an avid outdoorsman, slalom course water-skier, tennis player and boater. He loves to cook and ride his motorcycle but above all enjoys his passion for aviation. Matt is a Federal Aviation Administration certificated Private Pilot with an Instrument Rating.  He is currently working toward his Commercial Pilot license. 

Thomas Ince

Managing Partner

LP First Capital

Thomas Ince is an entrepreneur & investment professional with both operational and finance experience. Before founding LP First Capital, he has started and sold multiple businesses.  LP First Capital focuses on founder or family-owned service-based businesses.  To date, LPFC has purchased over 50 companies through different buy-and-build platforms that are currently generating approximately 600M in revenue.

Vasanta B. Pundarika

Head of Healthcare Investment Banking

Matrix Capital Markets Group, Inc.

Vasanta Pundarika is Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at Matrix, an independent, advisory-focused investment bank. Vasanta has nearly two decades of healthcare investment banking experience. She was at Raymond James and predecessor firms Morgan Keegan and Shattuck Hammond Partners prior to co-founding Matrix’s Healthcare Group in August 2020. Vasanta provides both M&A Advisory and Capital Markets Advisory Services. She focuses exclusively on Healthcare Services, including acute care, behavioral health, home-based care, women’s health, and outpatient and ancillary services, among other healthcare services sectors.


Jonathan Saltzman

Managing Partner

Torque Capital Group

Jonathan Saltzman is the Managing Partner of Torque Capital Group.  At Torque, Mr. Saltzman takes a lead role in the sourcing, structuring, and financing of investments and the management, strategy, and growth of its portfolio companies, all in niche manufacturing in and around automotive and transportation related markets.  Together with the firm’s investment team and operating partners, Mr. Saltzman takes a hands-on, operational approach to building value in Torque’s portfolio companies.

Before co-founding Torque, Mr. Saltzman was a senior investment professional focused on manufacturing investments at The Cypress Group, a New York-based private equity firm. 

Prior to The Cypress Group, Mr. Saltzman sourced and led transactions at BG Strategic Advisors, a boutique investment bank focused on the supply chain sector, leveraging the supply chain and operations experience and network he developed while working as the corporate finance manager of the Amsterdam-based transportation, logistics, and shipping multinational TNT NV (“TNT”).

Before TNT, Mr. Saltzman worked in the financial institutions group in Salomon Brothers’ investment bank, where he advised on a broad array of capital markets and M&A transactions for banks, specialty lenders, asset managers, and insurers.  Mr. Saltzman began his career as a public auditor in Ernst & Young’s financial services group.

Mr. Saltzman is currently a director of Cablecraft Motion Controls (transportation related actuation devices), Netform (automotive powertrain components), Maval Industries (automotive steering remanufacturing), Spektrum (automotive braking products), and XLD (automotive braking components) and was a director of various Torque and Cypress Group portfolio companies, including in the aerospace, building products, and logistics sectors.  

Mr. Saltzman is a CPA and earned an MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA and a BBA with highest distinction from Emory University.  Mr. Saltzman is active in a variety of industry organizations as well as local charitable organizations in Fairfield County, Connecticut where he resides with his wife and three children and enjoys tennis, mountain biking and travel.

Bruce Eatroff

Managing Director

Star Mountain Capital

Bruce Eatroff has over thirty years of private equity, private credit, fund investing, investment banking and operational experience through various senior roles including at Goldman Sachs, UBS, CIBC and
BMO Capital Markets.
In 2000, Mr. Eatroff founded Halyard Capital, raising over $600 million, a U.S. lower middle-market private equity fund manager with sophisticated institutional investors including Goldman Sachs, Abbott
Capital and Bank of Montreal.
Mr. Eatroff started his career as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in 1985. After business school, he then spent six years ending as a Vice President in investment banking and principal investing at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Eatroff then became a Managing Director at UBS, CIBC and later BMO Capital Markets where he was also US Head of Media & Communications Investment & Corporate Banking.


Pick the sessions most relevant for you.




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

Will Doran



Benesch LLP

Bill specializes in mergers and acquisitions, general corporate and commercial transactions, private equity, and debt and equity finance.

Bill has been involved with the founding and growth of new ventures, has taken companies public, and has acquired, sold, financed and combined many others along the way. Bill’s transactions have also included cross border elements. His diverse industry experience includes advertising and digital media, wealth management and financial services, technology consulting, business services, cannabis industry, direct marketing, manufacturing, distribution, food, health care services, medical devices, retail and transportation.

Bill is a seasoned deal attorney, who for over thirty years has helped many clients successfully complete a variety of public and private transactions and successfully navigate a variety of business and legal challenges.

Bill regularly provides responsive, thoughtful and effective legal and business advice to the leaders of the Business enterprises in a wide range of sizes and industries, often acting as the client’s principal legal counsel.

Husnain Safdar

Senior 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


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

Read Profile



  • 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

Jon Dangar



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.

Preston Walsh


PNC Mezzanine Capital

Read Profile

Francis Carr

Managing Partner

Milton Street Capital

Francis is a member of Milton Street’s Investment Committee and oversees all firm activities including fundraising, investing, portfolio company management, and people development. Prior to co-founding Milton Street in 2016, he spent 11 years with The Sterling Group, where he participated in 6 platform investments and numerous add-on acquisitions, representing a total enterprise value in excess of $2 billion.

Bryan Huber

Director of Sale Leaseback Capital Markets

SAB Capital

Bryan Huber is the Director of the Sale Leaseback Capital Markets Group at SAB Capital. He is responsible for leading deal origination and relationship management with lower-to-middle-market businesses, private equity sponsors, and investment banks. Bryan joined SAB as an analyst underwriting investment-grade, single-tenant retail assets and quickly advanced to a senior analyst overseeing broker opinion of value (“BOV”) proposals and drafting offering memorandums for 15 brokers. In 2018, Bryan transitioned into an origination role for SAB and was mandated with building out SAB’s sale-leaseback group focused on covering sub-investment grade tenants and businesses.

Bryan graduated from the University of Delaware and has an undergraduate degree in Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation. He has a proven track record developing solutions for complex corporate finance needs across various industries that include manufacturing, healthcare, communications, consumer goods/services, and more. His professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to the financial well-being of his clients have earned him praise from colleagues and clients alike.

Outside of the office, Bryan enjoys spending time with family and is an active alumnus of Seton Hall Prep in West Orange, NJ.


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

Matt Cunning



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. 

Christian MacCarron

Co-Founder/Managing Director

Taubman Capital Management LLC

Read Profile

Lawrence Shagrin


Millpond Equity Partners, LLC

Read Profile

Robert E. Benson


King & Spalding LLP

Robert E. Benson, Jr. represents clients in significant corporate transactions, including domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, spin-offs, divestitures, joint ventures, equity co-investments, minority investments, special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transactions, complex commercial agreements and strategic transactions and restructurings.  As a Partner in King & Spalding’s Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity practices, Robert advises public and private companies, private equity funds, boards of directors and special committees in a variety of M&A, corporate governance and general corporate and securities matters.


Robert has extensive deal experience across many industry sectors, including significant depth in consumer products, media, higher education, tech, fin-tech, green tech, energy, defense, transportation and life science sectors. Robert has served as counsel to leading companies, including The Coca-Cola Company, Cox Enterprises, Inc., The General Motors Company, Range Media, MasterCraft Boat Company, Roark Capital Group, Roper Technologies, Truist Bank, White Mountains Insurance Group and Bass Pro, Inc., in a broad variety of merger and acquisition transactions and in a variety of general corporate and securities matters. Robert has also represented distressed corporate entities in restructuring transactions and has advised municipalities with respect to Chapter 9 bankruptcies.

Robert was recognized as a New York Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2016 and 2015 and a Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2018.  Robert is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School.


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

Tom Kesoglou



Ice Miller

Read Profile

Duran Curis


Ocean Avenue Capital Partners, L.P

Read Profile

Austin Nuedecker

Managing Partner

Weave Growth Partners

At Weave, Austin works closely with portfolio companies on value creation projects ranging from sales enablement to customer experience.

Austin is a seasoned operator and repeat founder. As head of growth at Rev.com, he led an AI-powered transcription business from zero to $5M+ in revenue in under 2 years. He started two health tech companies and is an alum of Silicon Valley's Y Combinator program.

Previously, he worked in venture capital at Comcast Ventures and sourced deals for Foundation Capital. As a strategy consultant, Austin’s teams drove billions of dollars in operational & supply chain efficiencies at Fortune 50 companies. He also co-founded Startup San Diego, a community organization helping regional entrepreneurs get off the ground. The City of San Diego has a day named in his honor.

Austin attended the Wharton School for his MBA and MIT for his undergraduate degrees in Computer Science & Electrical Engineering and Management Science.

Michael Kornman


Align Collaborate

Michael is a Partner at Align Collaborate and a member of its Investment Committee. Prior to Align Collaborate, Michael co-founded NCK Capital (“NCK”), a boutique independent sponsor that acquired controlling interests in lower-middle market companies, with his business partner, Grant Kornman. NCK was a pioneer in the independent sponsor community, winning numerous awards, and built a successful portfolio of companies in many different industries including environmental services, post-secondary education, wholesale distribution, and building services.


Over the course of Michael’s entrepreneurial and investment career, he has founded, built and ran companies such as Quickfire Restaurants and ASAP Air Services. Michael’s vision and leadership have guided these companies through many strategic milestones, including securing outside equity and debt financing, obtaining mission-critical regulatory approvals and company recapitalizations and sales.


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.



Capital Providers Only.


Investing in multiple companies and their complementary technologies to dramatically reduce costs for Americans while driving efficiencies
  • Use waste to make electricity
  • Distributed power generation (not from utilities) to reduce your cost of power
  • Water cleaning technologies

Mark Bragg


USA Water & Power

Mark Bragg is a partner in one operating company and the owner of another: one focused on renewable energy production and water remediation; the other engaged in real estate project development.
USA Water and Power acts as a project developer of facilities that produce natural gas from renewable sources such as landfills, wastewater treatment plants and dairies. The company helps create Renewable RNG from those sources for use as a fuel in transportation and power generation in partnership with EPC contractor Stellar J. (www.StellarJ.com). The company also helps develop systems for water remediation at wastewater treatment plants enabling the removal of pathogens, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and PFAS from both wastewater and biosolids.
United States Investment Company is a project development and construction company based in Palm Springs, California. That company’s most recent project was the development and construction of a residential and commercial master-planned community in the Bakken oil fields of North Dakota. That experience spawned U.S. Flare Management, a system to eliminate wasted flare gas in U.S. oil fields by using it as fuel for drilling rigs and electricity production. That company was created in association with Exxon.
Bragg’s companies have also owned the Palm Springs Marquis Hotel as well as Shadowrock Resort in Palm Springs. which was sold in 2007. USIC has developed and constructed single-family residential projects since 1984.
Bragg began his professional career as a news director for CBS in Los Angeles and, subsequently, as Governor Ronald Reagan’s broadcast director. Bragg went on to become a communications consultant for the Reagan for President campaign in 1980.
In 1982, Bragg formed a partnership with Reagan aide Lyn Nofziger. Nofziger and Bragg Communications operated through the Reagan Presidency, and was dissolved when Nofziger retired in 1989.
Bragg is founding director of the Association of American Homeowners, a Washington, D.C. based consumer group, which advocates on behalf of private property rights. President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Presidential Commission studying Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). He graduated from Culver Military Academy, attended Denison University and served in the U.S. Air Force.



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