or Faculty Ticket



Large Cap PE
Creative capital deployment practices in today's economically uncertain environment with high valuations

The largest private equity funds today compete fiercely for deals against strategic buyers who have excess cash reserves and strong appetites for M&A. Cultivating relationships with industry executives and actively sourcing deals outside of auction processes are both critical avenues for success. This panel will examine the strategies utilized by large cap private equity funds to execute attractive investments in a highly competitive market and generate superior returns through operational and financial initiatives, which are particularly crucial in the current low growth economic environment.

Ameya Agge is a Partner and a member of the Healthcare team. He joined Apax Partners in 2007 and is based in New York. He was involved in a number of key deals including Ideal Protein, GENEX, One Call Care Management, General Healthcare Group, Unilabs and Dune.

Prior to joining Apax Partners, Ameya worked for the CEO of Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories and as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he specialised in advising clients in the healthcare sector.

Ameya holds a MBA from Wharton and an MS in Chemical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Carl M. Press is a Vice President at Thoma Bravo based in San Francisco, where he focuses on investments in IT infrastructure, security software, and enterprise application software.  Prior to this, Mr. Press was a Senior Associate at HighBar Partners in Menlo Park, where he focused on control-oriented technology investments.  Prior thereto, Mr. Press was an Associate in the Special Situations group at Oaktree Capital Management in Los Angeles and an Analyst at UBS Investment Bank.

Mr. Press received an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar, and a B.S., with honors, in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Geoffrey Tresley is a Vice President at CVC Capital and a member of the Healthcare and Consumer/Retail teams. Prior to this, Geoffrey worked in the Private Equity Group at Bain Capital and the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley. Geoffrey also completed a summer internship in the Acute Care Division at Universal Health Services between his first and second years at business school. Geoffrey graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University with a Degree in Economics and Political Science. While at Northwestern, he was named a James Alton James Scholar for having the highest overall academic standing in Economics. Geoffrey earned his MBA with honors from Wharton and has passed all three levels of the CFA examination.

Parker B. Hayden is a Principal focused on U.S. buyout investment opportunities in the consumer, retail and education industries. Mr. Hayden is based in New York. 

Since joining Carlyle in 2003, Mr. Hayden has been actively involved in the firm’s investments in Beats Electronics (acquired by Apple), CPU Technology (acquired by Boeing), CVC Brasil (BOVESPA:CVCB3), Firth Rixson (acquired by Oak Hill), Jazz Semiconductor (acquired by Acquicor Technology), SS&C Technologies (NASDAQ:SSNC), and Vogue International (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).  Prior to joining Carlyle, Mr. Hayden was with Morgan Stanley, where he focused on transactions in the technology sector.

Mr. Hayden received an M.B.A., with honors, from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Palmer Scholar and a B.S., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. Hayden is a member of the Board of Directors of CVC Brasil.

Mark E. Thierfelder is chair of the firm’s corporate and securities group and chair of the global private equity practice. He concentrates his practice on private equity transactions and domestic and international mergers and acquisitions throughout the U.S., Europe, and Canada. In particular, Mr. Thierfelder represents leading private equity funds and their portfolio companies in a full range of corporate transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, leveraged financings, restructurings, and reorganizations. In addition, he negotiates, structures, and executes corporate transactions on behalf of strategic buyers and sellers, and has significant experience representing banks and other institutional lenders in leveraged financings and restructurings.

Mr. Thierfelder is consistently recognized as a leading Corporate/M&A lawyer in New York by the legal directory Chambers USA, where he has been described in recent editions as “a businessperson’s attorney,” who “has a great sense of deal dynamics and what’s really going on” and is “very knowledgeable and understands the nuances involved in everything he handles.” Clients have noted he is “a fantastic leader” and “one of the most sophisticated lawyers” who “possesses a command of the entire deal process, has great commercial awareness and a good temperament for negotiating with the other side.” He has also been listed as a top private equity and mergers and acquisitions lawyer for the past nine years by The Legal 500 (U.S.), which singled him out as an “outstanding business lawyer,” and a “recognized expert in private equity transactions.” The Legal 500 (U.S.) has also stated that he does a “stellar job” with “very good commercial sense” and that clients “value his advice and his commitment greatly.” In addition, Mr. Thierfelder has been selected as a leading lawyer for both M&A and private equity in the IFLR 1000. He is also a frequent speaker on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate and securities topics, and has been featured on CNBC and Bloomberg Markets as well as in The Deal Pipeline, Mergers & Acquisitions magazine, Investment Dealers’ Digest, Law360, Private Equity Online and other prominent media outlets.

Mr. Thierfelder has extensive industry experience representing clients in sectors including consumer products, defense, energy, infrastructure, retail, media and communications, healthcare, life sciences, fishing, semiconductors, manufacturing, financial services and food and beverage. As a result, he can anticipate and address industry-unique issues that often arise in the transaction process and structure the transactions efficiently.

Significant Representations

  • Affiliates of Centre Partners Management in the sale of Monte Nido, a leading provider of treatment for eating disorders and exercise addiction to adults and adolescents, to Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.
  • Affiliates of Bregal Partners in connection with its investment in American Seafoods Group, LLC, the largest harvester of wild-caught fish for human consumption in the United States, as part of a broader deleveraging recapitalization of American Seafoods Group, LLC.
  • Connors Bros., L.P., a portfolio company of Centre Partners Management, in its US$980 million sale to affiliates of Lion Capital, of its operating subsidiaries comprising the largest branded seafood company in North America, including leading brands such as Bumble Bee® and Clover Leaf®, and affiliates of Centre Partners in the prior US$600 million acquisition of Connors Bros. Income Fund.
  • DSI Holding, Inc., a portfolio company of Centre Partners Management, in its US$690 million sale to DaVita Inc., a publicly-traded company focused on kidney care.
  • Affiliates of Centre Partners Management in the acquisition of Captain D’s, a fast casual seafood restaurant chain, from Sun Capital Partners.
  • Affiliates of GIC, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore, in its US$350 million investment in Kronos Inc., a company focused on delivering workforce management solutions in the cloud, as part of a broader US$750 million recapitalization of Kronos.
  • Affiliates of GIC in its acquisition of a substantial equity stake (along with Silver Lake) in
  • Affiliates of Bregal Partners in the acquisition of US Community Behavioral LLC as a platform to create a national provider in community-based behavioral health followed by the acquisition of ReMed Recovery Care Centers LLC, a provider of brain injury rehabilitation services.
  • Affiliates of Bregal Partners in the acquisition of Shock Doctor, Inc., a provider of athletic performance and protective equipment. Subsequently advised Shock Doctor, Inc. in its merger with McDavid, Inc., a leading designer and manufacturer of performance and protective athletic equipment.
  • Affiliates of Bregal Partners and Aqua Terra Water Management, L.P. in connection with the acquisition of various saltwater disposal facilities in the United States and Canada.
  • Blue Harvest Fisheries, LLC in the acquisition of eight Virginia-based scallop vessels and related shore assets.
  • Affiliates of Quilvest in the acquisition of ST Products, LLC, a producer of precision redrawn, small diameter, thin wall copper, and specialty alloy tubes, and in an equity investment in Tiway Oil AS, a private Norwegian company engaged in exploration and production in oil and gas basins in Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.
  • Affiliates of Quilvest in the acquisition of Crown Health Care Laundry Services, LLC, a full-service health care laundry processor and linen rental company.
  • Command Alkon, a portfolio company of Quilvest, in its acquisition of FiveCubits Inc., a provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) fleet management and mobile computing solutions.
  • Affiliates of HIG Capital as the stalking horse bidder in the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Alexander Gallo Holdings, LLC, a privately-owned court reporting and litigation support services company, in connection with the company’s Chapter 11 cases.
  • Affiliates of Versa Capital Management in the acquisition of the operating businesses of Hatteras Yachts/CABO, makers of sport fishing and luxury motor yachts, from Brunswick Corporation.
  • Affiliates of Versa Capital Management in the acquisition of Ohio Community Media.
  • Affiliates of Versa Capital Management in the acquisition of Canada-based Allen-Vanguard Corporation (TSX: VRS).
  • Mood Media Corporation as US counsel in connection with its US$305 million cross-border acquisition of Muzak Holdings LLC, a leading provider of “elevator music,” and its US$86 million cross-border acquisition of DMX Holdings, Inc.
  • A private investor in the US$45 billion acquisition of TXU Corp. (NYSE: TXU) by Texas Energy Future Holdings Limited Partnership (TEF), a holding company formed by an investor consortium led by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group.
  • ValueAct Capital in its US$3.7 billion acquisition, along with Kelso & Co., GS Capital Partners, and Parthenon Capital, of ADESA, Inc.
  • Affiliates of CVC Capital Partners in connection with certain aspects of the US$4.4 billion bid for i-Shares Ltd. from Barclays Global Investors.
  • Affiliates of Capricorn Management in the sale of Whitestone Acquisition to Paul Hartmann Corp.
  • Affiliates of Capricorn Management and affiliates of Harvard Management in connection with the sale of CCC Information Services to affiliates of Investcorp.


Duke University, B.A., 1986

Rutgers School of Law – Newark, J.D., 1992, with Honors, Order of the Coif

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

New York

Memberships and Professional Activities

Member, Private Equity Editorial Advisory Board, Law360
Member, Advisory Board, YaLa Academy
Member, Advisory Board, The Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
Trustee, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina
Trustee, Princeton Day School, Princeton, New Jersey
Former Member, Advisory Committee, The Deal
Former Member, Corporation Law Committee, New York City Bar Association

Speaking Engagements

  • Reps and Warranties Insurance in M&A: Critical Tool to Mitigate Risk and Close Deals — Strafford, By Webinar (February 2, 2017)
  • Working Capital Adjustments – Eliminating the Guesswork — Practising Law Institute, New York, NY (February 3, 2016)
  • Private Equity & Venture Capital 2016 Conference — The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (January 29, 2016)
  • Reps & Warranties Insurance: No Longer Optional — Webcast hosted by Practising Law Institute (June 17, 2015)
  • Success Strategies In The Expanding World Of Middle-Market Private Equity — Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference 2015, Philadelphia, PA (January 30, 2015)
  • Reps and Warranties Insurance in M&A: Re-Emerging Tool to Mitigate Risk and Close Deals — Strafford Publications, Webinar (January 22, 2015)
  • Succeeding in an Increasingly Crowded Environment: Strategies for Middle-Market Private Equity — Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference 2014, Philadelphia, PA (January 31, 2014)
  • M&A Transactional Insurance: Tools for the Deal Professional — Strafford Publications, Webinar (June 14, 2012)
  • Transaction Insurance as a M&A Strategic Tool —, Webinar (February 15, 2012)
  • Value Creation: Strategies for Consistently Improving Portfolio Company Performance — Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA (February 3, 2012)
  • Reps & Warranties Insurance: The Deal Lawyer’s Survival Guide — PLI Live Seminar, Webinar (October 13, 2011)
  • Issues in Risk Management: What’s The Deal? Managing Merger and Acquisition Risk in Today’s Business Climate — Marsh Issues in Risk Management, Washington, DC (September 28, 2010)
  • Issues in Risk Management: What’s the Deal? Managing Merger and Acquisition Risk in Today’s Business Climate — Marsh Issues in Risk Management, Malvern, PA (June 22, 2010)
  • Tough Times, Tough Decisions — Pro Bono Partnership, New London, CT
    New Britain, CT (November 17, 2009)
  • Today’s Distressed Debt: Emerging Tax Issues and Concerns — Today’s Distressed Debt: Emerging Tax Issues and Concerns Seminar, New York, NY (March 11, 2009)
  • Today’s Distressed Debt: Emerging Tax Issues and Concerns — Presented by Dechert’s International and Domestic Tax Practice, New York, NY (March 11, 2009)


  • Rainmaker Q&A: Dechert’s Mark Thierfelder — Law360 (September 20, 2016)
  • Video: Assessing Regulation’s Effect on M&A — Bloomberg Markets (July 18, 2016)
  • Video: How Brexit Vote Impacted the SoftBank, ARM Deal — Bloomberg Markets (July 18, 2016)
  • Private Equity Newsletter — Dechert OnPoint (Winter 2016)
  • Working Capital Adjustments: At the Crossroads of Law and Accounting — New York Law Journal (October 26, 2015)
  • Reps and Warranties Insurance Boom Reshaping PE Deals — Law360 (August 24, 2015)
  • Representation and Warranty Insurance: No Longer Optional — Dechert and Marsh Joint Study (July 9, 2015)
  • Private Equity Newsletter — Dechert OnPoint (December 21, 2011)
  • Video: The Deal Pipeline featuring Mark Thierfelder – Strategic Acquirers Are Back — The Deal Pipeline (August 4, 2011)
  • Private Equity Newsletter — Dechert OnPoint (July 1, 2009)

Venture Capital
Investing in new frontiers vs. validated markets

As investors seeking to build portfolios with the potential to return multiples of invested capital, how do you think about investing in unproven, yet high-potential, new frontiers vs. sectors with demonstrated track records of customer adoption and/or venture-backed exits? Do you seek to achieve balance across a given portfolio? Which new frontiers are you most excited about from an investment perspective in 2017?

Adam is a co-founder of a New York City based early stage venture capital fund. BoxGroup invests in talented entrepreneurs building disruptive technology companies and with visions to create the next generation of category defining businesses. Investments include Vine, Blue Apron, Sunrise, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Oscar, Behance, Handy and more. Adam was previously the Director of Techstars in New York City. Techstars is a mentorship- driven seed stage accelerator program. Prior to joining Techstars, Adam spent 4 years investing in the public markets at a hedge fund in New York City. Adam attended The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he concentrated in Finance and minored in Fine Arts.

Ben Weinberg is a Partner with SGE. He focuses on enterprise software, marketplaces and technology-enabled services. He is particularly interested in the use of technology in slower-adopting industries. Before joining SGE, Ben was a Principal at Element Partners, where he led investments in software, services and manufacturing companies. Prior to that, he was an Associate in the Technology, Media & Telecom team at Citigroup. Ben currently sits on the boards of Field Nation, GlobalTranz, iContracts, and MacroPoint. His previous board positions include Detechtion Technologies, Amp Electrical Distribution, Soleras Advanced Coatings and TAS Energy. Ben graduated with an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in Economics from Yale University.

Louis oversees the investing activities at Comcast Ventures and is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities, coordinating due diligence efforts and assisting in the negotiation and structuring of financial terms for new portfolio investments. He focuses on technologies related to video and communications services, enterprise services and cloud/data center solutions.  He also works with the management of Comcast Ventures portfolio companies on strategic, business development and operations issues, and collaborates with various Comcast business units on issues relating to new services, technologies and start-ups.  Prior to Comcast Ventures, Louis worked in investment banking and at a venture capital firm focused on software and communications services and products.  Louis graduated with honors and holds a MBA from The Wharton School and a MA in International Studies from the Joseph H. Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He also graduated from the Management & Technology Program at the University of Pennsylvania with a BS in Economics from The Wharton School and a BS in Materials Science & Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for KodaCloud, Benu Networks, Uptycs, Zoomdata, CloudPassage and AtScale.


Rick Heitzmann, a founder and Managing Director of FirstMark, focuses on consumer and enterprise investments in media, advertising technology, gaming, mobile, and data services. Rick has led investments in market leaders in commerce (StubHub, acquired by eBay), gaming (Riot Games, acquired by Tencent), data services (First Advantage, NASDAQ: FADV; acquired by First American), advertising technology (Tapad), media (Pinterest), and more. Prior to founding FirstMark, Rick was an entrepreneur including being a founding member of the senior management team at First Advantage which he helped grow and sell to First American (NYSE: FAF). He serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Venture Capital Association.

Rick holds a B.S. from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Ryan co-founded SeedInvest because he saw the need for a better way to connect entrepreneurs and investors. Prior to founding SeedInvest, Ryan worked at Wellspring Capital Management and Lehman Brothers in New York City where he invested in, financed and managed dozens of private and public businesses. Ryan was instrumental in the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act, which changed 80-year-old U.S. securities laws to make it possible for entrepreneurs to raise capital over the Internet. Since then, Ryan has worked closely with members of the SEC, FINRA, the White House, and the Treasury Department on the implementation of the JOBS Act and frequently serves as a subject matter expert on startup investing and the JOBS Act for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CNBC, FoxBusiness, the Economist, the New York Times, Fortune Magazine and Inc. Magazine. Whenever given the chance, Ryan enjoys traveling and has been to 81 countries. Ryan received an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Adam Plotkin is a Partner at ff Venture Capital, where he provides strategic counsel to a range of investments with a focus on technological innovation in logistics and manufacturing, insurance, e-commerce, financial services and media. Prior to ffVC, Adam spent several years in business development, advisory and operational roles with several startups in New York and Los Angeles. Adam was previously the first hire at Lake Baldwin Management, a Princeton, New Jersey opportunistic hedge fund. He began his career at Goldman Sachs in the Leveraged Finance Group where he advised clients in the telecom and insurance industries, and in the Risk Markets Group, where he was involved in the design, structure and marketing of two of the early catastrophe risk-linked bonds. He holds degrees from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania and the Harvard Business School.

Emerging Markets
Driving Growth through Macro Headwinds: Creating Value and Managing Risk in Emerging Markets Private Equity

Fundraising for emerging markets private equity has reached record levels since the 2009 crisis. However, from a historical context of abundant liquidity and high valuations, recent economic setbacks may pose challenges to value creation for funds investing in emerging markets. Our panelists will discuss how private equity investors can create growth stories in emerging markets during economic downturns, as well as some of the challenges to improving portfolio performance in volatile markets.

  • Adiba began her career in commercial and corporate law, providing advice to international banks and multinationals, many of which had subsidiaries in growth markets. This experience triggered her interest in the provision of finance to markets where there was an overwhelming number of opportunities and very little competition.

Adiba joined CDC in 1991. She began as an investment manager and in 2000 was made Head of West Africa, setting up CDC’s Nigeria office in the same year. She played a key role in a series of notable Nigerian investments including Starcomms, Diamond Bank, UAC Nigeria and ‘The Palms’ – the development of Lagos’s first modern shopping mall.

When Actis was created in 2004, Adiba transferred to the other side of the business and joined the Investor Development Group. As part of this team, she has developed relationships in and raised funds from across North America, the Gulf, Asia and Africa. Today, as a partner of the firm, Adiba both heads fundraising across the Americas and manages a number of Actis’ global strategic relationships.

Adiba was a founding Board Director and Investment Committee member of Capital Alliance Private Equity Limited, Nigeria. She has also contributed extensively to think tanks including the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the Privatisation Committee and the Nigerian-South African Business Council. Adiba holds an LLB from King’s College, London, a BL (Gray’s Inn) and a C Dip Accounting & Finance (ACCA).

Andre Bhatia is a Managing Partner at ACON Investments. Prior to joining ACON in 2000, Mr. Bhatia was an Associate at Newbridge Latin America, an affiliate of the Texas Pacific Group, in Brazil, where he was responsible for sourcing and executing private equity transactions throughout the region. Prior to that, Mr. Bhatia was an analyst with Merrill Lynch Investment Banking based in New York and Brazil, where he worked in M&A and corporate finance. He serves on the Board of Directors of several ACON fund portfolio companies, including Cabo Brasil (Triple Play Brasil Participações) and Fiesta Mart. Previously, he has served on numerous boards including Fairway Media Group and GBarbosa Comercial, each prior ACON fund/investment vehicle portfolio companies.

Mr. Bhatia holds a B.A., magna cum laude, with double majors in Computer Science and Economics from Cornell University and an M.A. in Economics from Columbia University.

Saqib Rashid is a member of The Abraaj Group’s Coverage team. At Abraaj, he has served as a member of the investment team in both Dubai and Kuala Lumpur and worked on a number of transactions for the Group including EFG-Hermes, Air Arabia, the Entertainer and Mani Foods.

Mr. Rashid has more than 15 years of corporate finance and private equity experience. Before joining The Abraaj Group, he worked at Spring Capital, a US small business administration-sponsored private equity fund. Mr. Rashid started his career at General Electric in the financial management leadership development program (FMP).

Mr. Rashid received his undergraduate degree (with honors) from The George Washington University. He holds a Master’s degree from the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA degree from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is also a US Fulbright Scholar.

Sashi is the founder and managing partner of SRI Capital.

Previously, Sashi was the founder and CEO of AppLabs, the world’s largest independent software testing company with over 2,500 QA professionals in India, the US, and the UK. AppLabs was funded by Sequoia Capital India. CSC acquired AppLabs in September 2011. Series A investors in AppLabs received a 10X return on their investment in 6 years.

A serial entrepreneur, Sashi has started three other companies prior to AppLabs. These were EZPower Systems (web content management pioneer acquired by DocuCorp, and eventually a part of Oracle), iCoop (group purchasing dotcom), and FXLabs (leading Indian game developer acquired by Foundation 9 Entertainment).

Sashi received his BTech in Computer Science from the IIT Delhi, an MS in Computer Science from NYU, and later a PhD from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Sashi serves on the advisory board of Wharton Entrepreneurship and the board of Ben Franklin Technology Partners. He is also on the board of T-Hub, which expects to become the largest incubator in India, housing over 1,000 startups in the next 3 years. He is a charter member of TiE Philadelphia and TiE Hyderabad.

Umang Kajaria is a Principal in the Tech and Telecom sector based in New York.  He originally joined Apax Partners in 2012 in the Mumbai office where he looked at deals across Healthcare, Tech and Telecom and Financial Services.  He has been involved in key deals including Shriram City Union Finance.  He is also involved with portfolio management of Paradigm and Aptos.

Prior to joining Apax, Umang was an Associate at Silver Lake Partners in their North America private equity division in New York, where he specialized in evaluating and executing transactions in the technology and technology-enabled sectors.  Prior to that, Umang was an Analyst in the TMT (Tech, Media, Telecom) Investment Banking group at Goldman Sachs & Co. in New York.

Umang holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and a BS in Computer Science and Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University.

John Markland is a partner in Dechert’s London office. He is co-head of the firm’s European finance team and is consistently recognized as one of Europe’s most “highly experienced finance practitioner[s].” (Chambers UK 2017).

Prior to joining Dechert in November 2016, Mr. Markland had been a partner at Kirkland & Ellis for over 12 years. At Kirkland, Mr Markland had founded and led the European debt finance practice, which won the Dow Jones Private Equity News “Finance Team of the Year” Award for Excellence in Advisory Services in Europe and was consistently top-ranked in Chambers. His previous experience includes working in the London offices of Weil Gotshal & Manges (2000-2004) and Clifford Chance (1992-2000).

His more than two decades of experience span a broad spectrum of finance transactions, but his focus throughout the last decade has been on acquisition finance, debt restructurings, and other event-driven finance matters. In this period he was recognized as one of Europe’s leading finance lawyers in the key legal directories, including Chambers UK, Chambers Europe, Chambers Global, The Legal 500, The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and IFLR1000. He has been commended in these directories as “a standout practitioner who is up on the market, sensible and commercial in his approach”, who is “clearly highly intelligent”, who is known for his knack at “figuring out solutions””, who wins plaudits for his “constructive, sensible, fast and efficient work”, “for seeing a transaction from “everyone’s point of view” and for conveying to clients “the impression that he only ever thinks about your organisation”.

Mr. Markland frequently lectures on private equity and acquisition finance at the London Business School (he has been closely involved in LBS’s Coller Private Equity Institute since its inception in 2005).

Significant Representations

  • ABRY Partners on the senior and mezzanine acquisition facilities arranged by RBS on the acquisition of Language Line (UK).
  • Bain Capital on the senior and mezzanine facilities arranged by RBS on the acquisition of TeamSystem (Italy).
  • Bain Capital on the senior credit facilities arranged by Societe Generale on the refinancing of Novacap (France).
  • Bain Capital on the debt for equity restructuring and refinancing of the senior and mezzanine facilities arranged by JP Morgan for Treofan Film (Germany).
  • Bain Capital Credit (Sankaty), NIBC and GSC, the mezzanine lenders on the debt and equity restructuring of Jost World, an automotive parts manufacturer in Germany.
  • Bain Capital Credit (Sankaty) and the Mezzanine Steering Committee on restructuring of the debt and equity of the BorsodChem petrochemicals business in Hungary, owned by Permira and Vienna Capital.
  • Bluebay on various loan facility arrangements, including fund-level facilities and on the creation of new loan products.
  • Bridgepoint Capital on the acquisition facilities arranged by Societe Generale and Royal Bank of Scotland on its buyout of German spectacles and lens producer Rodenstock from Permira.
  • Change Capital on the acquisition financing of its purchase of Hillary’s Blinds (UK)
  • Change Capital on the acquisition financing of Robert Dyas (UK)
  • Francisco Partners on the financing for its acquisition of Buongiornio Marketing Services (aka Spitfire).
  • Francisco Partners on the acquisition financing of Masternaut SAS in France, Cybit UK and Data Connection Ltd in separate transactions.
  • Golden Gate Capital on the acquisition facilities arranged by JPMorgan on the approx UKP 200 million public to private buyout of Union Systems (UK).
  • Madison Dearborn Partners on the acquisition financing of their take private of PowerFlute, a Finnish company listed in the UK.
  • Madison Dearborn Partners on the acquisition of Sirona Dental Systems, including the €500 million senior facilities arranged by JP Morgan and UBS.
  • MDP, Apax Partners and TA Associates on their US$1.8 billion vendor financed exit upon the merger of Weather Investments with Vimpelcom Inc.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the acquisition and financing of Profi Rom Food S.R.L from Enterprise Investors.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the financing of the acquisition of Regina Maria hospitals group in Romania from Advent International.
  • Mid Europa Partners on all legal aspects of the acquisition and subsequent sale to KKR of the SBB (Serbia Broadband) cable communications operator in the former Yugoslavia.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the acquisition financing of its purchase of Alpha Medical, a business which operates medical laboratories in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Poland.
  • Mid Europa Partners on all legal aspects of the acquisition of its purchase of Walmark SA, the largest food supplements business in the CEE region.
  • Mid Europa Partners on its financing arrangements in connection with the €1.4 billion acquisition of One Telecom (one of Austria’s largest mobile telephone operators) and its eventual sale to Hutchison Wampoa.
  • Mid Europa Partners on its buy-out and subsequent restructuring of Energy 21, a Czech solar parks business.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the acquisition of, a Croatian cable telecommunications group.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the acquisition facilities arranged by Bank BPH on the simultaneous buyouts of LUX-MED and Medycyna Rodzinna, two Polish health re businesses.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the refinancing arranged by Credit Suisse of the debt facilities to Aster City (Poland). Also advised on the original financing in March 2006 which was then the largest LBO in Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Mid Europa Partners on the structuring and acquisition financing of UPC Slovenia from Liberty Media.
  • Moor Park Capital on the acquisition and propco financing arranged by ABN Amro of 101 retail properties principally leased to German DIY giant Max Bahr.
  • Palamon Capital Partners on the unitranche and super-senior financing of their portfolio company OSG, an ophthalmic surgery business in Germany.
  • Palamon Capital Partners on the acquisition financing of the Simplify and Move With Us legal services business in the UK.
  • Palamon Capital Partners on the establishment of a Holdco PIK loan facility provided by Bluebay in the holding structure of PS Holdco, a German portfolio company to fund a dividend recap.
  • Palamon Capital Partners for the Prospitalia portfolio company on its senior debt refinancing, led by DZ Bank.
  • Palamon Capital Partners and its portfolio company Towry Law on a restructuring of Towry Law’s senior financing arrangements.
  • Park Square Capital and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on their significant investment in the €1 billion mezzanine facility arranged by ABN, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, ING and Morgan Stanley on the merger of Casema, Essent Kabelcom and Multikabel in the Netherlands.
  • Sirona Dental Systems on its €120 million and US$175 million senior refinancing.
  • SmurfitKappa (sponsored by Madison Dearborn Partners, CVC and Cinven) on the merger between Jefferson Smurfit and Kappa Packaging, on the IPO amendments and subsequent refinancing (arranged by Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, CSFB and Citibank) of various of its €3.8 billion senior facilities and certain high yield debt issuances.
  • SmurfitKappa on the issue of €1 billion of senior secured bonds, used to refinance the company’s senior secured debt.
  • SmurfitKappa on a €100 million senior debt buyback by reverse Dutch auction and on package of material amendments.
  • Summit Partners on the acquisition facilities arranged by HSH Nordbank on the buyout of Welltec International.
  • Sun Capital on the acquisition of Lee Cooper Group regarding senior trade receivables and mezzanine facilities provided by GE Commercial Finance, GE Factofrance and Investec (UK, France).
  • Tetragon Financial Group on all aspects of the acquisition and financing of the Equitix infrastructure projects business in the UK.
  • Vestar Capital on the €375 million acquisition of Seves SpA (Italy) regarding the acquisition facilities arranged by BNP Paribas, Banca Intesa and ING (and various restructurings).
  • Vestar Capital on the €360 million acquisition of Cesare Fiorucci (Italy) regarding the senior and mezzanine facilities arranged by JP Morgan.
  • Vestar Capital and its portfolio company Seves SpA on the acquisition financings arranged by BNP Paribas on the acquisitions of PPC Insulators (Austria) and subsequently of Isoladores Santana (Brazil).
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson: advice on the acquisition of Clarion Events with debt facilities provided by RBS, NAB, AIB, Barclays and BOI and subsequent restructuring and sale.
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson on the acquisition debt facilities arranged by Bank of Ireland for the acquisition of Canalmail SL.
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson on its senior facilities arranged by WestLB on the buyout of The Chart Show from ITV.
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson on the senior facilities arranged by RBS on the acquisition of Sherston Publishing Group (UK).
  • Veronis Suhler Stevenson on the senior facilities arranged by Barclays on the acquisition from Yorkshire TV of Granada Learning Group (UK).
  • Vista Equity Partners on the acquisition financing of its purchase of Thomson Reuters’ Kondor risk management business, arranged by GE, ING, Lloyds, Bank of Ireland and HSBC.
  • Vopak on the establishment of €500 million group facilities arranged by ABN Amro (Netherlands).

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.


The University of Nottingham, with Honours

The College of Law, York

Bar Admissions/Qualifications

England and Wales









  • Private Equity Newsletter — Dechert OnPoint (Winter 2017)
  • Use by Private Equity Funds of Subscription Credit Facilities as a Form of Investment Leverage — Dechert OnPoint: Private Equity Newsletter (Winter 2017)

Entrepreneurship through Acquisition
Searching for Opportunities and Returns: A Growing Focus on Smaller Transactions and Non-Traditional Models

With a growing number of sophisticated limited partners seeking alternative avenues in which to access private equity asset classes lower in the size spectrum, investors have begun to seek out innovative, tailored, and flexible solutions such as those offered through Search Funds or Independent Sponsors. Our panelists will discuss how these non-traditional and entrepreneurial strategies have gained traction and an increased appetite among investment professionals, limited partners, and deal targets.

Andrew is the CEO of Integra Partners, a healthcare services company he acquired

through the search fund model in 2011. In 2015, Integra was sold to Tufts Health Plan

of Massachusetts, one of the country’s premier health insurers. Prior to acquiring

Integra, Andrew held roles at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker and Vestar

Capital Partners as an investor for the multi-billion- dollar private equity fund. Andrew is

an active investor in entrepreneurial, growth companies including Bonobos, Axial

Markets, and numerous search funds and their acquired businesses. He is a board

member of Integra Partners, Light Wave Dental, and the Brooklyn Museum. Andrew

received a bachelor degree in business administration from Emory University and an

MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.

Ashley Giesler is a Partner at Anacapa Partners, a private equity firm focused on supporting entrepreneurs in their acquisition of nano-cap companies through the search fund model.  Ashley has over 20 years of experience advising, operating and investing in high growth private equity and venture backed companies.  Immediately prior to joining Anacapa, Ashley was at Sunrun, a residential solar company, where she led the project finance and legal teams responsible for equity, debt and project finance transactions and was instrumental in developing the strategy and infrastructure necessary to support the company’s rapid growth. Prior to Sunrun, Ashley was a member of the senior management team at Asurion Corporation, the most successful search fund operating company to date from 2001 to 2011. During this time, she led the execution of multiple transformative acquisitions and equity and debt recapitalizations of the company.  In addition, Ashley co-led the development of Asurion’s 5 year strategic plan and advised on the Company’s international expansion in Asia, Europe and Latin America.  Ashley graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Order of the Coif from UCLA Law School.

Coley is the Managing Partner and co-founder of Pacific Lake Partners, a firm focused exclusively on small-cap buyouts through the search fund model. Since co-founding Pacific Lake in 2009, Coley has invested in over 100 search funds worldwide. Coley is a board member of multiple search fund operating companies including DESCO, Inspired eLearning, Aquavita, Ethos Risk Services, and American Security Systems and an observer at AlphaCredit, Raptor Technologies, and Vector Disease Control.

Timothy Bovard is Founder and CEO of Search Fund Accelerator, the first-ever accelerator accompanying highly motivated entrepreneurs seeking to successfully acquire businesses to run on their own. SFA provides unparalleled mentoring and support to searchers throughout the search, acquisition and post-acquisition phases, coupled with committed capital.

Timothy has been an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at INSEAD for the past 14 years where he teaches a course on Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition. He also teaches a similar course in the MBA program at Columbia Business School, guest lectures at Chicago Booth School of Business, and is a regular speaker at conferences on search funds and entrepreneurship through acquisition.

As Founder and former President of CPI S.A., Timothy created Europe’s leading book manufacturer. Through a series of 20 acquisitions over 12 years, he built CPI into a group with over $600 mil in sales and 4000 employees in 15 plants across Europe.

He is President of the Association Petits Princes, a leading French charitable organisation that realizes the dreams of severely ill children.

Timothy holds a B.S. in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a M.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a MBA with Distinction from INSEAD.

Jason Schneiderman, a partner in the firm’s Corporate practice, focuses his practice in the area of business law with a particular emphasis on the formation of startup/emerging companies, venture capital and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property licensing and general corporate matters. He represents clients in a number of industries, including computer software, hardware, electronics companies, communications, software as a service, computer games, virtual reality, consumer facing websites (with an emphasis in the travel, real estate and social networking industries), and media/publishing companies. He advises startups and venture-backed companies on business plans, incorporation, financing, founders stock, employee equity plans, intellectual property protection, licensing, distribution and strategic agreements, and mergers and acquisitions.

Jason also represents a number of search funds and has experience at all stages from formation, acquisition of targets, debt financing, general corporate matters, follow on investments to liquidation of the search fund. Jason also has a special practice representing companies, venture funds, and joint partnership through our Australian Corporate Sub-Practice Group regarding Australian companies “flip” into the U.S. or otherwise in establishing a U.S. presence or U.S. companies establishing an Australian presence or acquiring companies. Internally Jason has the additional roll as the firm’s Corporate Training Partner overseeing the corporate training, mentoring and attorney development programs.

Middle Market
Return Strategies in a High Priced Environment

High valuations in the middle market private equity have forced firms to be more creative in finding value. Join our panel of leading middle market private equity investors to discuss what firms are doing to find value in a seller’s market. Our panelists will discuss their approach to sourcing deals outside an auction process, differentiating their firms from peers, non-traditional buyout deal structures and post-ownership value creation mechanisms.

Ben joined GTCR in 2008 and is currently a Managing Director of the firm. Prior to joining GTCR, he worked as a Venture Capitalist at Alta Partners, as well as an Investment Banking Associate at JMP Securities and an Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions group at J.P. Morgan (formerly Hambrecht & Quist). He holds an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in history magna cum laude from Colgate University. Ben also holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from the School of Applied Sciences & Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

He is currently a Director of Cole-Parmer, Maravai LifeSciences, TerSera and XIFIN. Ben was previously a Director of past GTCR investments such as Actient Pharmaceuticals, Cord Blood Registry, Crealta Pharmaceuticals, Devicor Medical Products, GeneraMedix and Sterigenics. In addition, Ben was involved in transactions with past GTCR investments ATI Physical Therapy and Graceway Pharmaceuticals.

Ben is active in the community and serves on the executive board of Spark Program, a national non-profit that provides transformative apprenticeships for at-risk middle-school students.

Mr. Gorbach joined Arsenal Capital Partners in 2008 and focuses on the financial services sector.  Prior to Arsenal, he was a senior associate at American Capital Strategies in the Buyouts Group. Prior to that he served as an Associate with Madison Dearborn Partners and as an Analyst at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Mr. Gorbach received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College and his M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Loren Easton joined American Securities in 2009. He is currently a Director of Blount International, Frontier Spinning Mills, Metaldyne Performance Group, and Unifrax. Prior to joining American Securities, Loren was a Vice President at ACI Capital where he focused on investments in both the consumer and industrial sectors. Prior to ACI, he was an Analyst at Lazard Frères, where he advised telecommunications and media companies on M&A and restructuring transactions. Loren received a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Mr. Song joined Vestar in 2006 and is a Principal in the Consumer Group.  He currently serves as a director of Woodstream.  Mr. Song previously worked at Tennenbaum Capital Partners, Lehman Brothers and CSFB Private Equity.
Mr. Song holds a B.A. in Economics-Political Science from Columbia College, Columbia University and an M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He is also a member of the board of BRIC Arts Media, the leading presenter of free cultural programming in Brooklyn.

Henry N. Nassau, Dechert’s Chief Executive Officer, served as chair of Dechert’s corporate and securities group for an aggregate of 14 years. Mr. Nassau represents private equity sponsors, venture capital firms, public and private corporations, management teams, boards of directors, and special committees in corporate and securities matters. He advises clients on mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, investments, securities offerings, proxy contests, corporate governance, and general corporate matters. Having served as general counsel and chief operating officer at a publicly-traded technology company, Mr. Nassau offers a particularly commercial perspective to his client representations.

Mr. Nassau has been recognized for eleven consecutive years as a leading Corporate/M&A lawyer and has also been ranked as a leading Private Equity Buyouts lawyer by Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States based on the opinions of their peers and clients. In recent editions, Chambers has noted that Mr. Nassau is a “standout lawyer,” “a true professional” and a “terrific, responsive and pragmatic attorney” who “provides ‘wise advice’ on M&A and private equity transactions” and is “always there when [we] need top-drawer legal analysis.” He has also been recognized for his work in M&A, private equity, and capital markets: debt offerings in The Legal 500 U.S., which has cited him as “responsive and impressive” and “a superstar–smart with great attention to detail.” In addition, Mr. Nassau was recently selected as a leading lawyer for both M&A and private equity in the IFLR1000.

In addition, he has been recognized for his work in corporate governance and compliance law, corporate law, and mergers and acquisitions law by The Best Lawyers in America, which also named him the Corporate Governance and Compliance Lawyer of the Year in Philadelphia in its 2011 edition.

Significant Representations

Mr. Nassau has led teams on hundreds of complex corporate transactions across a wide range of industry sectors, including technology, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, retail and financial services.

Representative matters include advising:

  • Graham Partners, a middle market private equity firm, and its portfolio companies, on numerous M&A transactions, including its acquisitions of and subsequent exits from Schneller, Inc., Mitten Inc., Eberle Design, Inc., Strata Products Worldwide, LLC, and Infiltrator Water Technologies, LLC (f/k/a Infiltrator Systems); its acquisitions of Henry Company, Tidel Inc., HemaSource Holdings, Universal Cold Storage, LLC and Universal Pasteurization Company, SP Lab Equipment, LLC, and Electronic Devices, Inc., TransAxle LLC, and Atlas Aerospace, LLC/Vitron Acquisition LLC/Vitron Acquisition Corporation, and B&B Electronics Manufacturing Company; and its disposition of Dynojet Holdings.
  • The Special Committee of Arrow International, Inc., a manufacturer of catheter-based therapeutic products and cardiac assist medical devices, on its US$2 billion merger with Teleflex Incorporated and the proxy contest to elect directors to the Arrow board.
  • Versa Capital Management, a private equity firm focused on distressed investments, on several transactions, including its acquisition of Bob’s Stores from The TJX Companies, Inc., its acquisition of Canada-based Allen-Vanguard Corporation (TSX: VRS), its acquisition of Ohio Community Media, LLC and its acquisition of Eastern Mountain Sports.
  • Intellon Corporation and its Board of Directors on the US$244 million sale of Intellon, a publicly-traded provider of integrated circuits, to Atheros Communications, Inc.
  • Management of Brandywine Senior Living LLC, a portfolio company of Warburg Pincus, in connection with NYSE-listed Health Care REIT, Inc.’s US$600 million acquisition and leaseback of 19 senior housing communities with Brandywine.
  • Stripes Group, a growth equity firm, on several transactions, including a minority investment in Netbiscuits GmbH (representing its first foreign investment), the acquisition of a majority position in Voyetra Turtle Beach, the acquisition of minority stakes in Sandata LLC, eMarketer, Inc., Stella & Chewy’s, Udemy, Inc. and Kareo, Inc., the sale of Smartwool Corporation by Stripes Group and RAF Industries to the Timberland Company, and the acquisition of NetQuote by Stripes Group and Spectrum Equity Investors.
  • ICG Group, Inc. and one of its consolidated companies, Channel Intelligence, Inc., on the sale of Channel Intelligence, a data-driven online marketing services company, to Google Inc. for US$125 million in cash. Subsequently advised ICG Group, Inc. in its US$375 million sale of Procurian, a specialist in procurement solutions, to Accenture plc.
  • RAF Industries, Inc. on numerous transactions, including its acquisition and subsequent disposition of WI Holdings (“Weldship”) to a subsidiary of Markel Corporation, its acquisition of Steamaster Co., and Milspray LLC.
  • Willow Financial Bancorp Inc., a US$1.6 billion savings bank with 29 branch offices, on its US$168 million acquisition by Harleysville National Corp. to become the third largest bank in the Philadelphia area.
  • Trion Group, Inc., one of the largest privately-held employee benefits management and administration providers in the United States, and its wholly-owned subsidiary, on the sale to Marsh and McLennan Agency LLC of substantially all of their assets.

As former chair of Dechert’s global corporate and securities group, Mr. Nassau has played an instrumental role in expanding the practice’s international platform across Europe, Asia and the Middle East in order to respond to the increasing global demands of the firm’s client base. Dechert’s corporate and securities group now has a larger proportion of lawyers outside of the United States, and Mr. Nassau has devoted significant time to integrating the global team so that clients enjoy a seamless international experience when selecting Dechert to advise on cross-border matters.

Mr. Nassau left Dechert in 1999 for Internet Capital Group to serve as general counsel. He most recently served as ICG’s chief operating officer, general counsel, and secretary.


University of Pennsylvania, B.S., 1976, cum laude

University of Pennsylvania, M.A., 1976, Benjamin Franklin Scholar

Penn State University, The Dickinson School of Law, J.D., 1979, magna cum laude, Managing Editor of the Dickinson Law Review (1978-1979)

Bar Admissions/Qualifications


New York

Speaking Engagements

  • China’s Outbound M&A Surges — Central China Television’s CCTV, CCTV (August 11, 2016)
  • Brexit: International Trade Implications, Webinar Recording Now Available (July 11, 2016)
  • Middle Market: Finding Ways to Succeed — Wharton Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference 2013, Philadelphia, PA (February 1, 2013)
  • 51st Annual Corporate Counsel Institute — Northwestern Law, Chicago, IL (October 4, 2012)
  • Strategies to Differentiate in a Crowded Middle Market — Wharton Private Equity & Venture Capital Conference 2012, Philadelphia, PA (February 3, 2012)
  • Private Equity and the SEC: Registration Was Only the Beginning — A Seminar Presented by Dechert LLP, New York, NY (October 20, 2011)


  • Henry Nassau Of Dechert: ‘We Have Set Our Sail To Being A Global Firm.’ — Forbes (November 8, 2016)
  • Henry Nassau (Dechert) : “Even before I became CEO, I was a strong advocate of building a client-team approach” — Leaders League (September 26, 2016)
  • Video: Midmarket PE Fund Strategies — The Deal Pipeline (February 17, 2012)
  • dealmaker SPOT•LIGHT – Q&A — dealmaker SPOT•LIGHT (August 1, 2011)

Operational Value Creation
A Roadmap to Value Creation: Working with Company Management to Implement Key Strategic Initiatives

In a mature private equity market with intense competition for attractive opportunities, private equity and venture capital funds have discovered that operational perspectives and capabilities lead to advantages in winning deals, attracting talented management teams and generating outsized returns. Strategic vision, operating know-how, and industry-specific expertise – and not just leverage and financial acumen – is increasingly important in determining success in private equity and venture capital. Our panel of operating partners and C-level executives will share their experiences on value creation post-investment.

Mr. Simon joined Littlejohn in 2001 and is a member of the investment committee. He has played key roles in the Clean Earth, Van Houtte, PSC Scanning, Eliokem, Jerr-Dan,  and Perfect Fit investments.  He is currently involved in a number of private equity and distressed investments and sits on the board of directors of PlayPower, alphabroder, Cosmetic Essence  and World and Main.

Mr. Simon began his career in private equity as an analyst in the financial entrepreneurs group at Smith Barney Inc.  He was also an associate with Fenway Partners. He earned a B.S. in economics, magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and an M.B.A. with honors from the Wharton School.

Ellen Purdy is currently the CFO of Office Practicum, a leading specialty EHR/PM SaaS company backed by Bluff Point Associates. Ellen has 15 years of VC or PE backed company CFO experience, most recently with Markel Corporation, a manufacturer of extruded fluoropolymer products for the automotive and other industries. Prior to Markel, Ellen was CFO at a Kleiner Perkins backed clean tech company (Renmatix), an LLR Partners and Tailwind Capital backed healthcare informatics company (SDI Health, which was sold to IMS Health), and a venture backed tech company (IPR International). Ellen spent the first half of her career at Rohm and Haas Company, the global chemical company later bought by Dow Chemical, where she held various financial, sales and market management positions.

Ellen is a graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned a B.S. in Economics, majoring in finance and international business. She later earned an M.B.A. in management strategy and marketing from the Kellogg School of Business at Northwestern University. She lives in Conshohocken, PA with her husband, Steve and son, Connor.

Dr. Homaira Akbari is currently President and CEO of AKnowledge Partners, LLC, a global strategy advisory firm providing services to leading private equity funds and large corporations in the sectors of Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Big Data and Analytics, and Supply Chain Visibility. A thought leader in the mobile, software and security sectors, she brings extensive operating experience and deep domain knowledge to a broad range of high-tech industries. She draws on her international track-record including nine years of professional experience in Paris, London, Beijing and Cape-Town.

Dr. Akbari serves on the Board of Directors of several Fortune 500 companies including Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN), Landstar System, Inc. (NASDAQ: LSTR), Gemalto N.V. (Euronext: GTO), and Veolia (Euronext: VIE).

Dr. Akbari has held senior management roles in Fortune 1000 companies including: Microsoft, Thales, SA, and Liberty Media subsidiary, Trueposition. Dr. Akbari has served as the President and CEO of SkyBitz, Inc., a leading provider of remote asset tracking and security solutions. Under her leadership, the company had record performance.  She successfully sold SkyBitz to Telular Corporation (NASDAQ: WRLS).

Dr. Akbari holds a Ph.D. with honors in particle physics from Tufts University and an MBA with distinction from Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business. She is the author of numerous scientific and industry articles, two patent-pending inventions, and a frequent speaker at industry conferences.  She is fluent in several languages including English, French, Farsi, and Spanish (conversational).

Dr. Akbari’s many accolades include being named by Washington Business Journal as among its list of “Women Who Mean Business.” Additionally, she was the recipient of several awards including: “SmartCEO Brava! Award”, the “Business Leader of the Year Award”, and the “NOVAEXEC Top 10 Business Women”. In 2012, she was awarded the Women in Technology “Global Impact Award.”

Throughout her life, Dr. Akbari has been active in and a contributor to many non-profit organizations. She currently serves as the Chair of Johns Hopkins University Physics and Astronomy Advisory Council. Together with her husband, they have established Akbari-Mack Postdoctoral Fellow in Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University.

Martez R. Moore is the Chairman and CEO of Moore Frères & Company. He serves on numerous corporate boards, including holding the position of Executive Chairman of Opera TV.  Previously, he worked at Viacom, Inc. as the Executive Vice President of Digital Media & Head of Business Strategy & Corporate Development for one of its divisions.  In this position, he had P&L, business strategy, and M&A responsibilities, including investing $225M in capital that created $5.8B in Viacom shareholder value, a 26.7x return on invested capital during his nine-year tenure.  Prior to Viacom, Mr. Moore was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company.  He was a principal with TSG Capital Group, a private equity fund with nearly $1B AUM, and Indosuez Capital, a leading merchant bank.  Mr. Moore began his finance career with the Mergers, Acquisition and Restructuring department at Morgan Stanley & Company.  He previously worked at The White House in the Political Affairs Office for Rahm Emanuel.  He graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University of Chicago and earned his J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School as a Sweeney Scholar.

Victor is Chief Operating Officer and Managing Partner of Insight Equity.  He has overall responsibility for the firm’s origination of new transactions and arranging financing, but also maintains deep involvement in the operations of selected portfolio companies. Victor is also Head of Insight Equity’s New York office.

Before co-founding Insight Equity, Victor was Vice President of Product Development at Military Advantage, a venture-backed company sold to Monster Worldwide in 2004. Prior to that, he was a senior manager at Bain & Company where he focused on merger integration and operational improvement cases.

In the early nineties, Victor worked in the mergers & acquisitions department of Lehman Brothers where he was responsible for company due diligence and transaction execution, as well as working overseas in the Middle East advising the Saudi government on business investments.

Victor received his MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was named a Baker Scholar for graduating in the top 5% of his class. He has also received a Master’s Degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned a double major BA in economics and political science from Stanford University.

Victor currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of American Civil Constructors, Micross Components, MB Precision Investment Holdings, and Dustex Holdings. He also serves on the Board of the general partner of Emerge Energy Services LP, Vision Partners, Hirschfeld Industries, Atwood Holdings, Versatile Processing Group Holdings, Plasman Group, Flanders, and Panolam.

Additionally, Victor served 20 years in the US Navy Reserve as an intelligence officer, recently retiring as a Commander (O-5). He participated at the staff level in combat operations in Europe and Asia, and served for more than a year after 9/11 supporting counter-terrorism efforts overseas.  Victor is also an accomplished mountaineer, having scaled the highest peak on all seven of the world’s continents including Mt. Everest. He is also an instrument-rated fixed-wing and helicopter pilot.

James Sisco (U.S. Navy, Retired) is the founder and President of ENODO Global. He draws upon a distinguished 23-year military career in U.S. Marine Corps special operations and Naval Intelligence to lead and manage ENODO. He brings to this company a wealth of knowledge and experience in leadership, management, intelligence analysis, national level strategy and policy development, counter-insurgency, and unconventional warfare.

Jim developed a comprehensive understanding of risk analysis and population-centric engagement through diverse assignments around the world. He immersed himself in foreign cultures to develop in-depth knowledge through practical experience. His career spans from leading Marine Reconnaissance missions in Operation DESERT STORM to serving as the Military Liaison to Afghanistan President Karzai, where he developed, coordinated and executed U.S., coalition, and Presidential Protective Service support for Afghan Presidential Regional engagement tours for President Karzai, his staff, delegates, and distinguished visitors.

Career highlights include: supporting the U.S. Director of National Intelligence as an authority on Afghanistan, leading training missions in Africa while assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and co-authoring the “Navy Counter-Terrorism Optimization Report while assigned to the Navy’s premier strategic studies group “Deep Blue.” As a result, he was chosen and successfully established the U.S. Navy’s Irregular Warfare Office.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (’95) and a Master of Science in Strategic Intelligence from the National Intelligence University (’05).

He also co-authored “Left of Bang” with Lieutenant General Flynn, U.S. Army, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and is recognized within the intelligence community as a leader in Socio-cultural analysis.

Limited Partners
What opportunities are LPs seeking in 2017? Which are the most attractive investment strategies and sectors? What worries them the most?

Current LPs are no longer passive investors. Instead, LPs are increasingly taking on more active roles in private equity such as increasing co-investing activity, challenging core tenets such as the 2/20 fee structure, structuring LPAs to align incentives, and requiring GPs to adopt ESG criteria. LPs are also broadening the scope of the alternative investment activities by entering new geographies – especially emerging markets – and diversifying into new asset classes such as distressed, credit, real estate, and PIPEs.

Antoine Dréan has 25 years of experience as an industry pioneer, having successfully founded and developed three innovative ventures in private equity. Antoine founded Triago in 1992, Europe’s first private equity placement agent, and today a global leader in fundraising, secondary and strategic advisory. In 2007, Antoine created Mantra, an investment company focused on non-traditional and listed private equity funds. Launched in May, 2012, Antoine’s latest venture, Palico, is the world’s first online private equity fund marketplace covering fundraising, secondary opportunities and co-investment.

Antoine earned an MBA from the Wharton School in 1992 and is the Chairman of its Executive Board for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Katie Stokel brings the perspective of one of the earliest ERISA investors in private equity to her due diligence and monitoring of Abbott Capital’s fund investments. As a senior voting member of the firm’s investment committee, Katie sources and analyzes investment opportunities, and is engaged in the negotiation of business and legal issues.  Katie also continues to manage many of Abbott Capital’s most long-standing general partner relationships and is an active member of multiple fund advisory boards.  As Abbott Capital’s Chief Operating Officer, Katie oversees the firm’s internal operations and human resource activities.

Prior Experience:

General Motors Investment Management Corporation

Education & Accreditations:

University of Michigan, B.S. in Mathematics
The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, M.B.A. in Finance
CFA Charterholder

Michael is a Managing Director in the Secondary Investment team for AlpInvest Partners, a segment of Carlyle’s Investment Solutions group. Michael  is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing transactions in the North American market. He joined AlpInvest Partners in 2007 from UBS Investment Bank, where he was an Associate Director in thePrivate Funds Group responsible for providing secondary markets advisory services. Previously, he was an Associate in the Financial Sponsor Coverage/Leveraged Finance Group of CIBC World Markets. Michael received a BA in History, cum laude, from Williams College and an MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

Paul is a Partner responsible for origination and execution based in the firm’s New York office.

Prior to joining Coller Capital in 2010, Paul was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Group at EarlyBirdCapital in New York.

Previously, he worked as an Associate in the TMT Investment Banking Group at Bear Stearns in New York.

Paul has a BS from Lafayette College, and an MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University.

Roger is a Principal at CPPIB in the Private Investments – Natural Resources group. Prior to joining CPPIB, Roger was a Vice President at First Reserve in Hong Kong, having started in Houston in 2006.  In between his time at First Reserve, he also spent time at Remora Energy, a private equity backed energy company. Roger started his career at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Financial Sponsor/Leveraged Acquisition Finance group in New York.  Roger holds a Master’s of Business Administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with high honors.


Robert Blaustein is a partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Robert focuses his practice on advising private equity sponsors on the formation, marketing and management of investment products including private equity funds, hedge funds and funds of funds vehicles, as well as operational, legal and regulatory issues. In addition, he has advised limited partners in connection with the review and negotiation of investment terms related to private equity, venture capital, hedge fund, managed account, secondary and co-investment transactions. Robert also counsels fund sponsors on a wide range of ordinary course and extraordinary corporate matters including succession planning, key person transitions, purchases of asset manager interests, marketing arrangements, co-investment arrangement, secondary transfers and governance matters. He received his J.D. at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and his B.A. at Yale University.

Diversity in PEVC
Bridging the Gender Gap in the Private Equity and Venture Capital industries

Over the past decade, more women have made it to the senior ranks of their respective firms.  As the next generation of female leaders pave their path in the private equity and venture capital industries, we look to today’s leadership for inspiration and advice.  The Diversity in PEVC panel of senior executives will address critical business issues facing the industry, from diversity and regulation to board contribution and work/life balance. Each participant will give a personal perspective on how to develop a differentiated and proactive approach in this highly competitive market.

Aditya joined KICVentures in 2009 after his experience on Wall Street as an investment banker. With an initial focus on Spinefrontier, Inc, he led the company to achieve profitability within his first two years, while growing it annually at 30%. He subsequently started several companies at KICVentures that have generated over $100 M in revenues to date. Aditya serves as a senior executive within the portfolio companies, providing strategic direction and hands-on operational execution. He has led numerous negotiations for the portfolio companies and has raised capital from individuals and institutional lenders. Working in tandem with Dr. Chin for more than ten years, he has continually built business opportunities in the medical device and healthcare service industries.

Before KICVentures, Aditya worked on Wall Street at J.P. Morgan as an investment banker where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, financing, and restructuring. He also launched successful philanthropic entrepreneurial projects in South Africa.

Aditya has a Bachelor’s in both Bioengineering and Finance from the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business as part of the prestigious Jerome Fisher Management & Technology Program.



Bruce Eatroff is the Founding Partner of Halyard Capital, a lower middle market private equity firm based in New York with over $600 million of assets under management.  Halyard focuses on investments in high growth sectors such as Tech-Enabled Services, Business and Information Services, Digital Marketing and Analytics and IT Security and Infrastructure.  Mr. Eatroff has sat on the Board of Directors of more than 15 companies across a variety of industries and sectors. Prior to founding Halyard in 2000, Bruce was a senior investment banker at Goldman Sachs, UBS and CIBC.  Mr. Eatroff has an MBA from the Wharton School of Business and a B.A. from Lafayette College.

Joined the team: 2013


  • Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis, Honors in Management, B.S. in Business Administration
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D.


  • Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Managing Director
  • Sikich Investment Banking, Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets
  • Waveland Capital Group, Managing Director
  • GunnAllen Venture Partners, Co-founder and Managing Director
  • Advanced Equities, Managing Director
  • Holleb & Coff, Associate
  • K&L Gates, Associate

Meena Thever is a Director at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with $4.7 trillion in AUM and a leading $130 billion Alternative Investments provider. She is a member of BlackRock Alternatives Specialists where she is responsible for client engagement and institutional capital raising for BlackRock’s global real estate business.

Previously, Meena led the North America institutional distribution effort within J.P. Morgan Asset Management Alternative Investment Strategies where she was responsible for advising public and corporate pension and insurance clients on strategies across private equity, private credit, hedge funds and real assets.

Meena began her career in Financial Sponsors investment banking at J.P. Morgan, executing leveraged buyouts and capital markets transactions for large private equity funds. Additionally, she was a member of the investment team of the Credit Suisse Customized Fund Investment Group, a private equity fund of funds, where she executed due diligence of primary funds and direct co-investments and allocated capital on behalf of institutional clients. Meena also worked in capital raising and advisory at Mercury Capital Advisors where she was focused on raising closed-end private equity and real assets funds.

Meena earned her BA in Economics from Tufts University, magna cum laude, Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from the Harvard Kennedy School, where she was a Kennedy Fellow, and MBA from The Wharton School.  She is a Fulbright Scholar and a published author.

Sarah Stasny is a partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. Sarah’s practice focuses on private equity sponsors and portfolio companies in connection with acquisitions and investments, divestitures, joint ventures, financings, restructurings and other corporate matters. Her clients include many of the leading private equity funds as well as pension plans and hedge funds in connection with their private equity investments. She received her J.D. at the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. at the University of Texas at Austin.

Sourcing and structuring distressed opportunities in a high valuation environment

Despite lingering uncertainty in the economic and political environment, the extended rally in asset prices since the financial crisis continues to characterize the current investing landscape. Nonetheless, pockets of distress have surfaced—weakness in the energy and commodity sectors, combined with the impact of emerging market instability. How should distressed investors position themselves to opportunistically take advantage of trouble when it arises? How have sourcing and structuring strategies changed in today’s environment?

Joseph Laughlin is the Chief Executive Officer of Transworld Systems Inc, TSI. Prior to TSI, Joe was a Senior Advisor to Flexpoint Ford LLC, a private equity fund. At Flexpoint Ford, he was a member of the Investment Committee and advised on financial services investments. He is the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Member of the Management Board of Bawag P.S.K. Bank (Vienna, Austria), a Cerberus Capital portfolio company. Prior to Bawag, Joe worked for Cerberus Capital Management LP as a Senior Operations Executive. Joe’s experience also includes senior roles at Global NetXchange LLC, Sears Roebuck and Co. and Wells Fargo. Joe earned a Bachelor’s Degree from The Catholic University of America and an MBA from George Washington University. He also holds a graduate degree in banking from the American Bankers Association’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.

Mr. Nord is a Senior Partner at Apollo Private Equity having joined in 2003.  Prior to that time, Mr. Nord was a member of the Investment Banking division of Salomon Smith Barney Inc. Mr. Nord serves on the board of directors of The ADT Corporation, Presidio, Inc., Novitex Enterprise Solutions and RegionalCare Hospital Partners. Mr. Nord also serves on the Board of Trustees of Montefiore Health System and on the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Design.  Mr. Nord graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.

Matthew Levitties is a Managing Director at Versa Capital Management where he has worked since 2008. Mr. Levitties has 19 years of investment, research and portfolio management experience including with Chartwell Investment Partners, Morgan Stanley & Co., Wellington Management Co. and Safeguard International Group. He is a member of Versa’s Management Committee. Mr. Levitties holds an M.B.A. with Distinction from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; and received an M.A. in International Economics and a B.A. in Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Su Yeo is a Principal at WL Ross & Co LLC. Her responsibilities include sourcing, structuring, executing and managing investments across numerous industries for WL Ross & Co.

Prior to joining WL Ross & Co., Ms. Yeo spent more than 16 years at Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers where she was involved in mergers and acquisitions, capital raises, principal investments and corporate workouts and restructurings globally.

Ms. Yeo holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of Business and a B.A in Economics from Bryn Mawr College.

Upacala Mapatuna joined VPC in 2016 and is the Chief Investment Officer. Her responsibilities include overseeing the firm’s credit and equity investment portfolios, as well as sourcing, evaluating and executing private credit and equity investments and assisting portfolio companies with strategic initiatives. Ms. Mapatuna is a member of the firm’s management and investment committees.

Ms. Mapatuna has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. Most recently, she was a managing director within the Alternative Investments and Manager Selection Group of Goldman, Sachs & Co. Prior to re-joining Goldman Sachs in 2005, Ms. Mapatuna was a managing director with Mill Road Capital, and held various investment positions at Warburg Pincus and Lazard Freres & Co. Ms. Mapatuna began her career at the Board of Governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Ms. Mapatuna graduated from Williams College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Economics. She is the former president of the Williams College alumni association of New York and is active in philanthropic efforts in her native Sri Lanka.

Steve Hessler is a partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP. His practice involves representing debtors (including public, portfolio and privately-held companies), creditors, and investors in complex corporate Chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings, acquisitions, and related trial and appellate litigation. Steve has counseled clients across a broad range of industries including energy, gaming, hospitality and real estate, telecommunications, financial institutions, and manufacturing. Steve is a frequent lecturer and author on various restructuring related topics. He recently served as the Chairman of the Advisory Board on Administrative Claims, Critical Vendors, and Other Pressures on Liquidity for the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Commission to Study the Reform of Chapter 11, and teaches a restructuring class each fall at the University of Pennsylvania to Law School and Wharton students.  He received his J.D. at the University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. at the University of Michigan.

  • 8:30 AM - 9:15 AM
    Breakfast & Registration
  • 9:15 AM - 10:00 AM
    Keynote # 1 - Andrea Kramer
  • 10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
    Panel Discussions - Distressed / Diversity in PEVC / Middle Market
  • 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
    Keynote # 2 - Discussion w/ Henry Kressel, David Mussafer & David Toll
  • 12:15 PM - 1:00 PM Lunch Break
  • 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
    Panel Discussions - Emerging Markets / Limited Partners / Entrepreneurship through Acquisition
  • 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
    Panel Discussions - Large Cap PE / Operational Value Creation / Venture Capital
  • 3:45 PM - 4:30 PM
    Keynote #3 - Discussion w/ Annie Lamont & Dan Primack
  • 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM Cocktail Reception
The Plaza Hotel, 768 5th Ave, New York, NY 10019
(212) 759-3000
Dress Code Policy
For Men
Jacket & collared shirt are required. Jeans are strictly prohibited.
For Women
Dresses, blouses and skirts, or pant suits are appropriate attire.
Attendees planning to stay overnight can take advantage of our negotiated group rate by contacting The Plaza Hotel and mentioning The Wharton PE/VC Conference.
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Panel Managers
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