PE-BACKED CEO SUMMIT

SPEAKERS

PAUL AVERSANO

Managing Director & Global Practice Leader, Global Transaction Advisory Group, Alvarez & Marsal

Paul Aversano is a Managing Director at Alvarez & Marsal and the Global Practice Leader of the firm’s Global Transaction Advisory Group. For over 25 years, Mr. Aversano has specialized in leading both buy-side and sell-side financial and accounting due diligence projects for complex public and private company transactions, as well as transactions in the capital markets.
 
Mr. Aversano works to deliver the firm’s services to clients not only in North America but throughout Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia and Latin America as well. He leads the group’s efforts in the cross-border delivery of services to private equity firms, sovereign wealth funds and family offices as well as to corporate and strategic buyers around the world across a wide-spectrum of industries.  Mr. Aversano specializes in assessing quality of earnings and GAAP accounting, providing accounting and transaction structuring advice for leveraged buyouts as well as purchase accounting and SEC reporting, 
 
Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Aversano was a Partner and Director of Middle Market Private Equity with Ernst & Young in New York. In this role, he led financial accounting due diligence projects for private equity investor groups, and the development and coordination of the firm’s go-to-market and service delivery strategies focused on the private equity market. Previously, Mr. Aversano was with Arthur Andersen’s Transaction Advisory Services and Audit practices in New York.
 
Mr. Aversano earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Binghamton University, School of Management. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York, and is an active member of the American Institute of CPAs, the New York State Society of CPAs and is also a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE). He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Answer the Call (New York Police & Fire Widows’ & Children’s Benefit Fund) and PowerPlay NYC and is a former board member of Youth I.N.C (Improving Non-Profits for Children), the Audit Committee of the Manhasset School Board of Education and the Alumni Association Board of Directors of Binghamton University. In 2019, Mr. Aversano was also the recipient of the B. Jean Fairbairn Access Award in recognition of his efforts and contributions in improving the services and access for students with disabilities at Binghamton University. 
 
In 2015 Mr. Aversano was named the “Service Professional of the Year” by The M&A Advisor and was formerly a finalist of The M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the M&A and financial industry. Mr. Aversano is a regular contributor to FOX Business Network, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, TD Ameritrade Network and many other broadcast and print media outlets, and is a frequent guest lecturer at industry conferences and universities. 

In 2015 Mr. Aversano was named the “Service Professional of the Year” by The M&A Advisor and was formerly a finalist of The M&A Advisor’s 40 Under 40 Award in recognition of outstanding achievements in the M&A and financial industry. Mr. Aversano is a regular contributor to FOX Business Network, Bloomberg, Yahoo Finance, TD Ameritrade Network and many other broadcast and print media outlets, and is a frequent guest lecturer at industry conferences and universities.

Tue Dec 08, 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM EST 

The Current Environment for IPOs and Other Exit Options for the PE-Backed Company

TED BILILIES

Managing Director, Chief Talent Officer, AlixPartners

Ted Bililies is an internationally recognized expert on leadership and organization development and the Chief Talent Officer of AlixPartners. Ted launched the first commercial practice in leadership and human capital at AlixPartners which advises investors, CEOs, and boards on the selection and development of leaders and the alignment of culture for maximum and sustainable value creation. Ted’s career spans three decades as a psychologist, human resources executive, management consultant, and executive coach. He holds academic degrees from Loyola University of Chicago and Harvard University. Ted taught at Harvard University for many years, is currently on the Executive Education faculty of the Harvard Business School and is a board member of the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis. Ted has helped leaders around the world achieve enduring change in their organizations, their teams, and themselves by expanding their psychological, behavioral and organizational insights into leadership.

Tue Dec 08, 1:00 PM – 1:25 PM ET

Solving PE’s People Problem

Culture may eat strategy for breakfast, but how do you create and nurture a healthy corporate culture when everyone knows your ownership timeline is short? Employees in general have a skeptical streak, and employees of PE-backed companies maybe even more so. This session features a frank discussion on talent lessons learned and best practices operating in PE-backed environments.

ADAM ECHTER

Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners

Adam Echter is a Partner based in Simon-Kucher’s Silicon Valley office. He brings two decades of B2B sales & pricing experience across manufactured goods, industrial equipment and technology industries. Adam has built pricing & sales organizations throughout North America, Europe & Asia with an emphasis on transitioning transactional businesses toward recurring revenue models. Serving firms across America from base of operations in Silicon Valley provides a unique perspective for bringing SaaS-pioneered monetization models to legacy, industrial firms.

Driving Price Improvement from the C-Suite

Almost three-quarters of new products are missing their profit targets, or failing altogether. Why? A seemingly small but fatal flaw in product development: pricing is completely ignored or factored in much too late in product development. Learn simple rules to follow when developing your pricing strategy to ensure you go from hoping your next product will succeed in the market to knowing it will.

FRED HENCKE

Senior Vice President, The Segal Group

Mr. Hencke is a Senior Vice President in the Segal Group’s New York office, responsible for large, strategic opportunities in the Corporate market. He has more than 30 years of total experience in many industries.

Mr. Hencke was previously a principal and strategic accounts manager across the North American Markets at Buck. He was directly responsible for large single-employer clients, account management and business development. Before joining Buck, he worked for Accenture, Hewitt and BearingPoint. He has led more than 20 HR transformations, built more than 200 shared services solutions and led the design, development and implementation of the first process manufacturing and workforce scheduling system.

Mr. Hencke holds a BA in Computer Science and Mathematics from Hiram College in Ohio.

Building a Winning Acquisition Playbook

Having an effective playbook is essential for making acquisitions with positive outcomes in a sustainable way. However, many playbooks are too narrow – they do not cover the full lifecycle of the deal, starting with strategy alignment to initial preparation and identification of targets with the right DNA through integration and full realization. What is often missing is how people, culture and leadership fit into the early financial calculations including how those aspects affect an accurate valuation and how they influence the post-acquisition period where value really is captured.

This session will outline a full lifecycle playbook, show how later stages like integration need to start with a strategy developed long before day one, share how the developing ISO standards regarding human capital metrics will become an important consideration, emphasize the importance of having an effective marketing package on both the seller and buyer sides, and include tips on managing the public face of the deal to avoid confusion and maintain engagement and retention of the key people in the acquired company.

BOB JACOBSON

Principal, Risk Consulting, RSM US LLP

Bob is RSM’s West Region consulting leader, responsible for continuous alignment of market demands with the evolving needs of RSM’s growing clients. In this role, Bob oversees the West Region consultants in the areas of risk consulting, technology and financial advisory, and business transformation. In addition, Bob directs the growth and strategic planning efforts for private equity practice in the West Region.

In 2017, Bob served as chairman on RSM’s board of directors and formerly held a variety of leadership positions within the firm, including national consulting managing director and national risk consulting service line leader. Bob has overseen a variety of matters related to the growth, profitability, quality, risk containment and management of the business consulting services practice across the firm. He has a deep background in numerous consulting services in a variety of industries and company sizes.

Bob joined RSM in 2002 as the leader of the risk consulting practice in the upper Midwest, managing numerous Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), internal audit, enterprise risk management (ERM) and risk consulting client projects. Bob was previously with a Big Four firm and two Fortune 1000 companies.

Bob has extensive experience and service specialization in the financial services, consumer product and food, gaming and hospitality, and manufacturing and distribution industries. He also has large scale international project expertise.

Tue Dec 08, 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM EST 

Creating Value Across the Investment Life Cycle in Uncertain Times

Just 10 short months ago, the economic outlook was positive. Private equity firms and their portfolio management teams were executing on the fundamental changes needed to accrete value and support the investment thesis. Fast forward to present day. COVID-19 has forever changed the business climate, and value creation and execution strategies across the life cycle may look significantly different. In this roundtable discussion, we’ll explore the value levers companies are pulling to navigate through and grow out of the current crisis, the digital transformation blueprint for the businesses that are thriving rather than surviving, and the changes GPs and LPs have indicated are necessary to drive the investment thesis in today’s turbulent environment.

STACY KIRSHNER

Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal

Stacy Kirshner is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal’s Transaction Advisory Group in New York. She specializes in performing financial and accounting due diligence in insurance including insurance brokers, wholesale brokers, MGAs and insurance carriers. 

With more than 12 years of mergers and acquisition advisory and audit experience, Ms. Kirshner has experience in providing financial and accounting buy-side and sell-side due diligence for both private equity and strategic corporate buyers. Her focus includes developing a strong understanding of key drivers of the target company’s business to identify and report on key deal issues and risks (including business, regulatory and industry risks), quality of earnings, quality of assets, working capital analysis and consideration of off-balance sheet exposures.

Ms. Kirshner has developed a sought-after approach that can adapt to deals ranging from unsophisticated accounting teams/small business owners to targets with complex accounting in niche insurance sectors. She is recognized as an insurance deal expert among her clients and in the market space.

Prior to joining A&M, Ms. Kirshner was with PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP in New York, where she worked in the Transaction Advisory Group for three years and the Audit & Assurance practice for three years.

Ms. Kirshner earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance (summa cum laude) from Ohio University. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of New York.

Driving Transaction Value During COVID Recovery and Beyond

As investors and companies continue to navigate the current COVID environment, there is a greater need for a more straightforward path to enhance transaction value. This roundtable will explore how data analytics helps drive transaction value during this uncertain period of COVID and into the future. We will discuss:

  • What we see in the current market and how data analytics is transforming the diligence process

  • The increasing importance and need for greater business transparency to counter the volatility of this market

  • The role of data analytics in pre- and post-acquisition scenarios and the long-term impact after a “return to normal” post-COVID

  • How to establish a data analytics framework to ensure current and future transaction success

STEVEN LEE

Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal

Steven Lee is a Managing Director in Alvarez & Marsal’s Private Equity Services practice and the Global Practice Leader of the firm’s Global Transaction Analytics (GTA) service offering. In this role, he will be focused on the development, application and implementation of data analytics for A&M’s clients around the world regarding both buy-side and sell-side transactions as well as capital market activities. Mr. Lee brings 15 years of specialist experience in advising clients to effectively analyze and draw decision insights from financial and operational business data. Having lived and worked in both New York and London, he has significant international experience throughout Europe, Middle East, Latin America, and Asia, and across a wide variety of industries. 

Mr. Lee advises clients throughout the lifecycle of private equity investments and corporate transactions. He assists private equity firms and other strategic buyers to leverage data analytics for maximum insights for investment decision making, and drives performance improvement through transparency of key operational metrics for corporations.

Most recently at A&M, Mr. Lee assisted a private equity firm considering investment into a home furnishing company by developing dynamic analytics models for sales, P/L, point-of-sale, and forecasting data, which provided insights into quality of earnings and profitability by sales channels. Previously, he assisted a consumer goods company evaluate the effective of marketing and promotional strategies based upon bulk sales and pricing. 

Prior to his role with Private Equity Services, Mr. Lee worked in the Forensic Technology Services practice of A&M and previously of several mid-size to large corporations including a Big Four accounting firm, to perform investigative data analytics in context of fraud, risk management, and regulatory compliance.

Mr. Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in science and engineering, with a focus on computer and telecommunication engineering, from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is fluent in English and Korean, and has a working knowledge of Spanish. Mr. Lee is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), and EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE).

Driving Transaction Value During COVID Recovery and Beyond

As investors and companies continue to navigate the current COVID environment, there is a greater need for a more straightforward path to enhance transaction value. This roundtable will explore how data analytics helps drive transaction value during this uncertain period of COVID and into the future. We will discuss:

  • What we see in the current market and how data analytics is transforming the diligence process

  • The increasing importance and need for greater business transparency to counter the volatility of this market

  • The role of data analytics in pre- and post-acquisition scenarios and the long-term impact after a “return to normal” post-COVID

  • How to establish a data analytics framework to ensure current and future transaction success

BOB MCCOOEY

SVP and Head of Capital Markets,
Nasdaq

Robert H. McCooey, Jr. is Nasdaq’s Global Head of Capital Markets and a Senior Vice President of Nasdaq’s Listing Services unit. He is responsible for Nasdaq’s relationships with the financial sponsor and investment banking community. Additionally, Mr. McCooey manages Nasdaq’s new listings efforts throughout the Americas and the Asia Pacific region.

Tue Dec 08, 12:15 PM – 12:45 PM EST 

The Current Environment for IPOs and Other Exit Options for the PE-Backed Company

DOUG MELLINGER

Managing Director, Clarion Capital Partners, LLC
Former Founder and CEO of Foundation Source and PRT Group (Now Enherent)

Doug is a Partner at Clarion Capital which is a private equity and structured credit asset manager. He spent most of his career as an entrepreneur building technology and tech enabled services companies on a global basis before going into private equity 7 years ago.

Doug is a founder of numerous companies and organizations including Foundation Source, the nation’s leading provider of outsourced services for private foundations and Enherent, a global software development company which helped create the offshore development industry in India and Barbados. He graduated from Syracuse University where he created his own degree in Entrepreneurship. He helped found the Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs (ACE) in 1983 and afterward was a founder of the Young Entrepreneurs Organization (YEO, now called EO) in 1986 and was the International President in 1997/98. He is a longtime member of Young President’s Organization (YPO) and has actively participated in the leadership of the organization at the chapter level for YPO and YPO gold as well as the international organization as a board member (1997/98). Doug’s personal interests include his family, golf, reading, peloton, and relaxing by the water.

Tue Dec 08, 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM EST 

What I Wish Someone Told Me: Lessons from a PE-Backed CEO

The PE-backed CEO faces unique pressures that are infrequently—if ever—discussed.  More than anyone, the CEO must balance the long-term interests of the company and the objectives of its PE sponsors. More often than not you, as CEO, stay with the business after the investors have exited. In addition, the need for speed is paramount, both on execution of value-creation initiatives and improved financial results. These dynamics create unique alignment challenges. This session will discuss the unique issues facing portfolio company leaders and discuss best practices in maximizing your chances of success in navigating these challenges.

DAVE NOONAN

Principal, Private Equity, RSM US LLP

As the private equity strategy execution and solutions development leader, Dave is responsible for positioning RSM’s unique ability to maximize value creation realization throughout the M&A life cycle for middle market-focused PE firms. Dave assists in the continued development of the firm’s overall private equity strategy and focuses on developing repeatable transaction portfolio support solutions that leverage the full suite of assets of RSM and its strategic partners.

Dave has more than 30 years of experience developing growth strategies to accelerate product and market launch and expansion for a wide range of companies in the telecommunications, software and professional services sectors. He has held various roles throughout his career from CEO of a private equity held software company; founder and managing partner of a successful management consulting firm; executive director of a Cincinnati-based technology company accelerator; president and COO of a regional IT outsourcing and strategic staffing company; and regional vice president and general manager of a large multi-national voice and data communications organization.

Tue Dec 08, 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM EST

Creating Value Across the Investment Life Cycle in Uncertain Times

Just 10 short months ago, the economic outlook was positive. Private equity firms and their portfolio management teams were executing on the fundamental changes needed to accrete value and support the investment thesis. Fast forward to present day. COVID-19 has forever changed the business climate, and value creation and execution strategies across the life cycle may look significantly different. In this roundtable discussion, we’ll explore the value levers companies are pulling to navigate through and grow out of the current crisis, the digital transformation blueprint for the businesses that are thriving rather than surviving, and the changes GPs and LPs have indicated are necessary to drive the investment thesis in today’s turbulent environment.

DAVID RUBENSTEIN

Co-Founder and Co-Executive Chairman, The Carlyle Group
Author, How to Lead: Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers

David M. Rubenstein is a co-founder and co-executive chairman of The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest and most successful private equity firms. Mr. Rubenstein is the author of the bestselling book THE AMERICAN STORY: CONVERSATIONS WITH MASTER HISTORIANS. He is Chairman of the Boards of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Rubenstein is an original signer of The Giving Pledge and a recipient of the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy and the MoMA’s David Rockefeller Award, among other philanthropic awards. The host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg TV and PBS, he lives in the Washington, DC area.

Leading PE in a Covid World

All CEOs face a multitude of challenges operating through the Covid pandemic, but PE-backed CEOs have additional challenges—and opportunities. Despite shorter time frames and higher debt leverage ratios than most CEOs, PE-backed CEOs often have other tools available to go on the offense. In this session, we’ll explore how a leading PE partner is advising his portfolio company CEOs to navigate, lead and position their companies over the next few years.

BRAD SOPER

Partner, Simon-Kucher & Partners

Brad Soper is a Partner and Member of the Global Board of Directors of Simon-Kucher & Partners, the global market leader in consulting on pricing for organic growth.  Brad co-leads the firm’s global PE practice, leads the firm’s North American Industrials / B2B pricing practice and heads the Atlanta office.  Brad has many years of deep experience helping companies to transform and accelerate their top line and spends approximately 50% of his time helping PE firms to accelerate the top line of their holding companies.  

Prior to joining Simon-Kucher, Brad worked for three years as a PE operations executive focused on accelerating the top line of middle market portfolio companies.  Earlier in his career, Brad worked for The Boston Consulting Group base out of Atlanta, GA and Amsterdam, The Netherlands.  

Brad has a Bachelor’s of Science from The United States Naval Academy and his MBA from Harvard Business School.  Brad spent the first nine years of his professional life flying F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft for the US Navy including combat tours in the Middle East.

Developing a Winning Pricing Strategy in Times of Volatility

Almost three-quarters of new products are missing their profit targets, or failing altogether. Why? A seemingly small but fatal flaw in product development: pricing is completely ignored or factored in much too late in product development. Learn simple rules to follow when developing your pricing strategy to ensure you go from hoping your next product will succeed in the market to knowing it will.

PHIL SPENCER

CEO, Mega-Broadband Investments
Former CEO, Rural Broadband Investments and Windjammer Communications

Phil Spencer has been in the cable/telecom business for over 20 years and currently serves as CEO of MBI (Mega-Broadband Investments). MBI recently acquired Northland Communications, Eagle Broadband, Vyve Broadband and FamilyView Cablevision. The company now passes over 650,000 homes in 16 states and operates as Vyve Broadband. Previously, Mr. Spencer was CEO of Rural Broadband Investments (“RBI”), a rural cable provider that was acquired in May 2017 by Cable One, Inc. Through organic growth initiatives and five add-on acquisitions, RBI became a scaled provider with cable systems in 14 states and operated as NewWave Communications.

Prior to his role at RBI, Mr. Spencer served as CEO of Windjammer Communications, a collection of 140 cable systems purchased from Time Warner Cable. The Windjammer systems were sold to Charter (Spectrum) & Suddenlink in 2012. From 2001 to 2008, he served as CEO, at Everest Connections, a Kansas City cable system that was sold to publicly traded, Surewest (Consolidated Communications) in 2008. Mr. Spencer also served as President & CEO of Advantech Communications, a regional telecommunications firm. Phil grew up in Milwaukee, WI and attended Marquette University and holds a BA in Finance & Economics.

The Art in M&A Roll-ups

Roll-ups—the strategy of growth by acquiring multiple companies in an industry—can be a topic of debate among investors. Roll-ups have produced spectacular blowups, but roll-ups have also produced some of the most incredible gains we know of. Why do some roll-ups lead to unbelievable returns? And why are others spectacular failures?

Phil Spencer has spent more than 20 years building value and executing turnarounds in the broadband and telecommunications industries, running PE-backed rollups that combined dozens of companies and created billions of dollars in value for investors. He’ll share his top takeaways from two decades in the trenches.