Confirmed Speakers Include:
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Reshmi covers distressed and restructuring situations. She has a master’s degree from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism as well as an MPP from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College.
Derek Beaty believes in the power of capital and human ingenuity to address climate change and to support a long-term transition to cleaner energy. He is the Founder of Kapok Partners, a private investment and advisory firm passionate about partnering with management teams, entrepreneurs, and capital providers to build profitable, sustainable growth businesses.
Derek has a 20+ year career in M&A, private equity, and strategic investments and has developed deep sector expertise in energy efficiency, environmental services, cleaner energy, industrial services, and technology-enabled logistics. He has invested globally and has served on the corporate or advisory boards of businesses in the US, Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Turkey, and China.
Prior to Kapok Partners, Derek was Head of Strategic Investments and Director of Corporate Development at Caterpillar, Inc. Prior to Caterpillar, Derek spent 11 years with pioneer private equity impact investor Global Environment Fund and its successor company GEF Capital in both Washington, DC, and in São Paulo, Brazil. He started his PE career at CIVC Partners and developed M&A advisory skills at BMO Capital, Arthur Andersen, and Merrill Lynch.
Derek graduated with an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and has a B.A. in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a CPA (inactive) and lives in the Lake View neighborhood of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.
Ray Bogenrief has a diverse corporate practice with extensive experience in leveraged buyouts for private equity funds, including for domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and finance-related transactions, such as SPACs and de-SPACs.
Mr. Bogenrief regularly represents private equity firms, as well as various private and public corporate clients, in a wide variety of acquisition and sale transactions, leveraged buyouts, capital transactions, spin-offs and various types of other financing transactions. He also counsels clients on recapitalizations and restructurings, executive compensation and incentive equity matters, and general corporate governance and compliance.
Mr. Bogenrief’s experience at Skadden includes, among other matters, advising:
- Burke Porter Group, a leading global provider of automated diagnostic, testing and production solutions serving life science and specialty industrial end markets, in its sale to AEA Investors LP; and
- Delos Capital in connection with the sale of FCA Packaging, a leading manufacturer of customized industrial protective packaging solutions, to Wynnchurch Capital, L.P.
Matters on which he advised prior to joining Skadden include:
- Victory Park Capital, a leading private equity firm focused on emerging and established business across various industries in the U.S. and abroad, in numerous transactions, including the following Victory Park Capital-sponsored SPACs:
- VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings III, Inc. in its $4 billion business combination with Dave Inc., a financial platform;
- VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings II in its $2.5 billion business combination with FinAccel, the parent of artificial intelligence-enabled digital consumer credit platform Kredivo; and
- VPC Impact Acquisition Holdings in its $2.1 billion business combination with Bakkt Holdings, a digital asset marketplace;
- dMY Technology Group, Inc., a SPAC, in its $1.78 billion business combination with Rush Street Interactive, LP, a U.S.-based online casino and sports betting company;
- L Squared Capital Partners, an investment firm focusing on long-term investments in leading growth companies operating in targeted sectors, in its acquisition of Literacy Resources, LLC, d/b/a Heggerty, a leading early childhood literacy solutions provider;
- Rotunda Capital Partners, an operationally focused private equity firm, in its acquisition of Storm Smart, one of the largest vertically integrated direct-to-consumer marketers, manufacturers and installers of storm protection products in Florida;
- Aptean, Inc., a global provider of mission-critical enterprise software solutions and portfolio company of Vista Equity Partners, in its acquisition of Lascom, a leader in product lifecycle management solutions for the manufacturing sector;
- Monroe Capital, a Chicago-based private credit asset management firm specializing in direct lending and private credit investing, in multiple transactions;
- Delos Capital in connection with the formation of MechanAir LLC, a platform consisting of commercial HVAC/mechanical and plumbing contractors with regional, industry and technology differentiation across the Midwest and East Coast;
- SoftBank Vision Fund in its investment in Energy Vault, a Switzerland-based startup utilizing advanced technology to facilitate long-term energy storage;
- Intermediate Capital Group plc in connection with a second lien credit facility, consisting of initial term loans and delayed draw term loans, in part to finance the acquisition of Utimus Fund Solutions and The Gemini Companies by the sponsor, GTCR; and
- Alliant Insurance Services and Stone Point Capital LLC in connection with a preferred equity offering to various co-investors and a preferred equity repurchase from Alliant Insurance Services’ majority preferred equity holder.
In addition, Mr. Bogenrief has represented Clearlake Capital, Jump Capital, GTCR, Lee Equity Partners, Levine Leichtman Capital Partners, Macquarie Capital, Madison Dearborn Partners, Monomoy Capital Partners, Olympus Partners, Sun Capital Partners, Thoma Bravo, LLC and Waud Capital Partners in various transactions.
Mr. Bogenrief has been recognized repeatedly as a leader in M&A and private equity by business and legal publications, including The Legal 500 and Euromoney’s Expert Guides, and was selected for inclusion in Chambers USA 2022. He also received the Emerging Leaders award from The M&A Advisor in 2019.
Thomas is a Principal at Pritzker Private Capital focused on the firm’s investing activities in the Manufactured Products sector. Prior to joining Pritzker Private Capital, Thomas worked at Madison Dearborn Capital Partners, a multi-billion dollar Chicago-based firm. Prior to joining Madison Dearborn, Thomas was an investment banking analyst at Deutsche Bank in their Financial Sponsors Group.
Thomas received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He received his B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Ms. Cornelis is a Partner and Chief Operating Officer at LaSalle Capital, a leading lower middle market buyout fund, and has been with the firm since 2005. Kelly is responsible for deal sourcing and execution, financial operations, portfolio management and investor relations. Previously she led investment activities at SB Partners and began her career as an analyst at William Blair. Kelly was a founding member of the Chicago Women in Private Equity, is a member of WAVE and PE WIN (Private Equity Women's Investor Network) and served as a board member of MBBI (Midwest Business Brokers and Intermediaries) and ACG Chicago.
Kelly currently serves on the Board of Directors of Fresh Origins, Joseph’s Gourmet Pasta, BOF Corporation and Westminster Foods, and previously served on the boards of United American Security and Gen3 Marketing. She was named one of mid-market M&A’s “Most Influential Women” by Mergers & Acquisitions magazine in 2018.
A Moline, Illinois, native, Kelly holds a BBA from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Kelly lives in Elmhurst with her husband Ryan, son Connor and daughter Mara.
LaSalle Capital is a leading private equity firm with experience in the lower middle market, managing over $500 million in capital across several investment funds. LaSalle has a proven track record of partnering with management teams to increase value in our companies by providing a strategic operating focus and driving growth organically and through acquisitions. We have domain expertise and investment focus in the food and beverage ecosystem.
Brian Crannell is senior vice president, corporate development, responsible for developing and driving Knowles’ strategic growth plans and merger and acquisition activities. His track record in developing growth strategies, executing acquisitions, and implementing product and technology initiatives are key enablers to Knowles’ growth goals.
Prior to his current role, Brian led the marketing and business development activities for Knowles’ Specialty Components – Acoustics and Hearing Health business units for four years. He successfully implemented growth strategies for MEMS in hearing health and performance audio segments, respectively, which continue to deliver strong results.
Before joining Knowles, Brian was with Littelfuse, Inc. from 1997 to 2011. He held corporate development, financial planning, marketing and product management roles, and resided for a period in China with his family. He successfully completed acquisitions in China, Taiwan, Germany, Canada and the US. Prior to Littlefuse, Brian held design engineering and product management roles at Masco Corporation.
Brian received his Juris Doctor law degree from Loyola University, Chicago, and Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Dayton in Ohio. He holds a legal license in Illinois, and is registered with the USPTO as a patent attorney.
Brian and his family live in the Chicago area. He is a former board member of the Association for Corporate Growth, where he continues to be active, and donates his time to multiple community organizations.
Ryan covers technology, media and chemicals M&A for Mergermarket and Dealreporter.
Kelly Guyton is Ramboll’s ESG Lead in the Americas and has nearly 20 years of experience in environmental and ESG consulting, with an emphasis on merger and acquisition due diligence. She leads teams in the conduct of ESG due diligence reviews, helping clients identify ESG-related risks and value creation opportunities in line with global best practices and ESG management frameworks. She also helps private equity clients develop a strategic and tailored approach to ESG management within their own firm and related to their portfolio companies to identify strategic opportunities, including through the drafting of policies, creation and implementation of assessment and monitoring tools, and identification and use of material key performance indicators (KPIs). Ms. Guyton also has deep experience in the provision of environmental due diligence assessments of industrial, commercial, and institutional assets, environmental compliance assessments and assistance, energy auditing, soil and ground water sampling, and air sampling.
Kelly has a degree in environmental engineering from Virginia Tech and masters degrees from MIT in Technology & Policy and Urban Studies & Planning.
Nicole Islinger focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions and other complex commercial transactions, including technology and government contracts and general business law.Nicole is an experienced mergers and acquisitions attorney with extensive experience in the government contracting and technology industries. She frequently acts as general counsel to clients with either no or limited internal legal resources, providing advice for all aspects of the business from startup and growth strategies through transition services to steady-state contracting.
Nicole previously held in-house positions with two large international corporations. At Hewlett Packard Enterprise, she managed an international team of attorneys working on complex technology and outsourcing matters in government, health care and commercial sectors. Nicole also served as senior counsel at BASF Corporation, where she represented all aspects of an international business unit drafting distribution and vendor agreements, supply and customer contracts, and various other commercial contracting arrangements. Prior to going in-house, Nicole practiced at Pillsbury for almost 10 years, where she focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital financings.
Andy guides private equity clients through all stages of the M&A lifecycle, assessing potential acquisition targets, leading cross-functional separation and integration management offices, and leading initiatives to identify and deliver value within individual portfolios.
Through extensive project experience across a variety of industries, Andy has honed deep skills in IT and operations due diligence and synergy modeling, operating model design, ERP implementation, and integration and separation execution.
A 2019 recipient of the M&A Advisory Emerging Leaders award, Andy provides skillful mentorship to our Minneapolis M&A team, as well as our Merger and Integration Center of Excellence.
Andy joined West Monroe from Deloitte Consulting. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.
What makes Andy different
Outside of work, Andy is a devoted husband and father. His free time pursuits include watching college football and exploring Minneapolis’ diverse restaurants and running trails. Always creative and resourceful, Andy once saved the lives of four boaters on the Mississippi River using only a steak knife.
Where Andy makes an impact
Andy’s relentless focus on value creation helps him achieve tangible client wins. He led technology integration for a 160,000-person security services company, capturing $5 million in annual synergies. Through the merger of two digital education publishers, Andy identified $65 million in annual synergies.
Eric Kim is a Principal at VSS where he is responsible for sourcing and evaluating investment opportunities, as well as providing strategic and operational support to portfolio companies. He brings extensive knowledge and investment experience in healthcare & tech, focusing on the smaller end. Previously, Eric was a Managing Director at Optum leading teams in identifying, developing, and launching new products across Optum’s businesses. Prior to Optum, Eric was an investor focused on healthcare at New Leaf Venture Partners and Francisco Partners. Eric started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. He graduated with a dual B.A. in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences and Economics from Northwestern University.
Eric has presented and spoken at various Oliver Wyman events, at industry groups including the Asian/Korean-American Investors group (AAIG), and on panels hosted by Georgetown University discussing healthcare services/tech, the investment landscape and trends, and topical themes of interest to entrepreneurs.
Cary Kochman is Co-Head of Citi’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Group and serves as the Chairman of the Chicago Office. He is also a member of the Global BCMA Operating Committee. Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory (BCMA) encompasses all corporate and investment banking activities including: coverage, lending, capital raising (debt and equity) and M&A. He has 30+ years of investment banking experience. Prior to joining Citigroup in 2011, Cary was Global Head of M&A for UBS and Co-Head of the Midwest Region. Prior to joining UBS in 2004, Cary served as the Head of the U.S. M&A Department for Credit Suisse.
He holds both his J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of Chicago. While at the University of Chicago, Cary attended the London Business School and undertook a Nikko Fellowship for study in Tokyo. He is a graduate of the Honors College at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Cary is a member of the Illinois Bar and has completed both the C.P.A. and C.M.A. examinations. In the past, he has served as an advisory board member (Chicago Booth Council) at the University of Chicago Booth School and as an advisory board member to the University of Chicago Law School. He has also served as a Trustee of CENSA (Council for Emerging National Security Affairs).
Cary Kochman specializes in advising on mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, corporate takeovers and hostile and activist defense. He has completed transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $1 trillion.
Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief ESG Officer
Mr. Nault has approximately 25 years of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer, including prior in-house positions with Starbucks Corporation and Washington Mutual, Inc. and law firm experience with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. His legal experience includes securities compliance and SEC reporting, corporate governance and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings and other strategic transactions, general regulatory compliance, cross-border issues, land use and environmental issues, and overseeing complex litigation. In addition to leading the legal function, since 2018 Mr. Nault has overseen the Company’s ESG initiatives, and he also has executive responsibility for several other corporate functions including compliance, internal audit, cybersecurity and IT infrastructure, government affairs and land management. Mr. Nault has a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Washington and a law degree from the University of Southern California Law School.
Tad Nedeau is a Managing Director of Lincolnshire and is on the Origination Team. Tad is based in Chicago. Tad works to continually enhance Lincolnshire’s business development relationships, built over 30 years, with a wide variety of intermediaries. He works closely with Lincolnshire professionals, many of which have expertise and experience across a wide variety of industries, to find the most suitable acquisition opportunities. Tad has appreciated the Lincolnshire culture that encourages open communication and input on potential deals from not only the Investment Committee, but from all Lincolnshire professionals who come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and have a comprehensive level of expertise in a number of different industries. The entire team consistently shares their relevant experience and best practices to support the origination effort and find the best possible investments. Prior to joining Lincolnshire in 2017, Tad was National Account Manager for Smithfield Foods. While at Smithfield, Tad was responsible for managing Smithfield’s consumer packaged good sales to both Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Tad holds a BA from Miami University (Ohio). Tad is an avid fisherman and can be found most weekends fishing out on Lake Michigan or in Wrigleyville rooting on his favorite hometown team, the Cubs.
Kevin R. O’Connor is General Counsel, Asia Pacific and Senior Counsel – M&A at Navistar, Inc. He has been practicing M&A law for over twenty years (11 years at Navistar and 11 years at Caterpillar): acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures. He was an expatriate lawyer with Caterpillar in Beijing, China from 2002-2009, and with Navistar in Shanghai, China from 2011-2015. He has been fluent in Chinese Mandarin for 33 years. Kevin lives in Hyde Park with his wife and 8 year old son.
Prior to joining Vistria, Mr. Schulz was at Altaris Capital Partners, a middle-market private equity firm focused on investments in healthcare. At Altaris he was responsible for evaluating and executing transactions across the healthcare industry. Prior to Altaris, Mr. Schulz was with Leerink Partners, a healthcare-focused investment bank. Mr. Schulz began his career with Merrill Lynch in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group where he worked on a variety of M&A transactions and equity and debt financings.
Mr. Schulz is actively involved with Vistria’s investments in Homecare Holdings, HomeFree Pharmacy Services, Mission Healthcare, PHCN, Medulla (dba Chiro One), and Alacura. He was also involved with Vistria’s prior investments in St. Croix Hospice and AgapeCare.
Mr. Schulz received a B.S. in Business Administration from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Sheryl Schwartz is a Co Founder and Chief Investment Officer of Alti, which has created products that give individual investors greater access to institutional quality private equity opportunities. In addition, she serves on the Board, Audit Committee and Compensation Committee of Cartesian Growth II, a Nasdaq listed company and is an Adjunct Professor Finance and Private Equity at Fordham Gabelli School of Business. She is a seasoned executive, institutional investor and board member with financial expertise that has built and lead teams and new asset classes for major institutional investors. She has had over 25 years of financial management leadership roles with pension funds, insurance companies and investment firms with financial acumen across asset classes and industries. She has sector expertise in alternatives, private equity and fixed income.
Previously she was a Managing Director at Caspian Private Equity, Perseus and TIAA-CREF. In her roles, she lead investments in private equity on behalf of institutional investors where she built diversified portfolios with a focus on ESG, emerging managers and mid market. At Alti, TIAA, Caspian and Perseus, she is or has been a member of the Investment and Executive Committee for alternative investments including funds, co-investments, mezzanine debt, timber and real estate. Previously, Ms. Schwartz built and led TIAA-CREF’s Alternative Investment team, which included building a diversified portfolio of $13 billion of investments in private equity funds, co-investments, mezzanine debt and timber and included management, leadership, portfolio strategy, composition, performance, asset allocation, underwriting and presentations to senior management, the board and institutional clients.
Ms. Schwartz serves on the Board of Directors of Nasdaq listed Cartesian Growth II and the Women’s Association of Venture and Equity, which is a nonprofit organization committed to the development and advancement of women in private equity and venture capital since 2007. Ms Schwartz is currently a Fellow at AIF and has served in various positions for AIF since 2013, a think tank focused on Alternative Investment industry. Ms Schwartz also served as an LP Advisory Board member for many private equity funds.
Ms Schwartz was one of Mergers & Acquisitions "Most Influential Women in the Mid Market M&A" in 2015 , 2016, 2019, 2021 and 2022 and was featured in the Wall Street Journals, “Six of Private Equity’s Most Influential Female Gatekeepers” in 2017 and in Buyouts Magazine in March 2019 “Building networks: 10 women Thriving in PE and helping transform the culture” .
Ms. Schwartz holds both a B.S. and an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University.
Katie Trela is a Director of M&A at Crowley Maritime. Crowley is a 3rd generation family-owned and operated logistics, government, marine, and energy solutions company headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. As part of her current role, Katie splits her time between investment opportunity origination and execution as part of Crowley Ventures, the investment team within Crowley focused on both full acquisitions and venture investments across all business units.
Prior to Crowley, Katie led the FP&A function within Uber’s Freight division, overseeing monthly and quarterly close activities and assisting with the financial integration of Transplace, the transportation and logistics company acquired by Uber Freight in November 2021. Katie also managed relationships with and reporting requirements for financial investors as part of ongoing cash management and fundraising activities.
Katie joined Uber after 4 years of sell-side M&A advisory experience as a Director at Kroll (formerly Duff & Phelps). She focused on lower middle market, family-owned businesses primarily across the Industrials, Technology, and Business Services verticals. Deals closed ranged from the sale of a grocery store shelving manufacturer to the carveout of the technology assets of a non-profit professional services organization to the sale of a pet insurance company.
Katie graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Economics in 2013. She returned to the University of Chicago Booth School of Business for her MBA in Finance, Economics, and Strategic Management, graduating in 2017.
Matthew Wiener is a co-practice leader for Aon’s Transaction Liability team. In this role, Mr. Wiener is responsible for the development and implementation of transactional-based risk solutions, including the deployment of insurance capital for M&A transactions through representations and warranties, litigation, tax and other contingent liabilities insurance. Prior to joining the Aon Team, Matthew was an attorney at Vinson & Elkins LLP, where he specialized in corporate finance and securities law matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, public and private securities offerings, divestitures, and general corporate representation.
Mr. Jason Zhao is the founding head of China Post Life Insurance’s Private Equity investment team. Jason also advises and/or manages several FoF such as CGF Capital and National Development and Reform Committee’s New Industry Development Funds. Mr. Zhao is co-founder and Chairman of Cybernaut Growth Fund L.P. (CGF) focusing on direct investments in the Technology and Services sectors, especially in cross border investments and bridging western management and market resources with Chinese managers. Jason is also co-founder and Chairman of wealth management company Lanman Financial serving more than 20,000 high net-worth clients.
In the past decade, Jason invested over $0.5 BN in VC, buyout, credit, hedge funds, credit funds, and secondary funds. Jason also directly invested close to $1BN to close to 50 companies since 2007. He is experienced in multiple public market exits and trade sales, such as FPI（SZ：300203), SVG（SH, 600857), LianLian Pay（Sold to AMEX), Spreadtrum (Nasdaq: SPRD), Focal Tech (TSE:5280), Sinopec Sales, etc.
Previously, Jason spent 15 years in technology and consumer services industries in US and China, many in senior management positions with Fortune 500 enterprises, such as Sinopec, Motorola, Marconi, and Spirent, in functions ranging from engineering to supply chain management and product management.
Mr. Zhao holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School, an MSME from North Carolina A&T State University, and a BSChE from Tianjin University.
Cici Zheng is a Partner at ParkerGale Capital. She is responsible for working with portfolio companies on their growth strategies by developing and implementing programs that amplify go-to-market approaches, product positioning and financial results. Prior to joining ParkerGale, Cici worked at Bain & Company as a Case Team Leader advising clients across multiple industries on a variety of engagements including private equity due diligence, customer strategy, marketing, and merger integrations. Before joining Bain, Cici was an Associate at HealthCare Royalty Partners as well as an Analyst at UBS where she was a part of the healthcare investment banking team. Cici holds a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.