Keynotes & Programs

M&A East 2018 delivers rich content over our 2 day conference.  Join us for insightful keynote remarks, panel session to keep you current on M&A trends and interactive, investment themed roundtables.  Visit the AGENDA for more details. 
Programs outlined here are open to all General Conference attendees. 




Walter Robb

former CEO Whole Foods

Chris Voss

former FBI lead hostage negotiator

Wednesday Programs

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM      200-Level

Women in Dealmaking: The Path to the Board Room - Your Insiders' Guide

Research shows diversity on boards makes for more successful companies.  But, research alone won't get you there.  Regardless of your career stage, this is a must-attend session to gain actionable insight from women directors on what makes for great board members, what drives selection and how to lay your path.

  • Moderator: Kristy DelMuto, Vice President, LLR Partners
  • Denise L. Devine, Co-Founder, RTM Vital Signs, LLC, Independent Director, AgroFresh, Inc. and Fulton Financial Corporation
  • Christine Jones, Managing Partner, Blue Highway Capital and Independent Director
  • Aliya Khaydarova, Principal, Inverness Graham Investments
  • Jennifer Mantini, Deals Partner, PwC / Forum of Executive Women

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM      200-Level

PEER Roundtable at the M&A East Conference     
Scaling a PE-backed Company Leveraging Technology & Data Visibility

By invitation to CEOs and CFOs of PE-backed companies

The CEO and CFO should work in tandem to elevate the performance of everyone in the business by partnering with the operational leaders and enabling them to excel at the highest level.  How? By pursuing, encouraging and demanding a culture of visibility…turning data into information and having it available on a timelier basis to allow for more informed, quicker decisions. Connect with peer CEOs and CFOs on building the business on the back of technology, including a discussion of commonly used tools (CRM/ERP/BI etc.) and the level of integration that is best in class.

Discussion leaders:

  • Rick Gettlin, former CFO, S. Walter Packaging
  • Alix James, CEO, Nielsen-Kellerman
  • Matt Rowley, Partner, Wipfli 

2:15 PM - 3:15 PM    Terrace I

Stand Out in a Crowd: Differentiating Buyers are Winning Deals

There is a significant amount of capital chasing a limited pool of assets, which leads to intense competition among buyers on pricing, deal terms, value-added sweeteners, speed to close, and other strategies. Listen to our experienced panel share perspectives and insights on this timely topic.

  • Moderator: Curt Tatham, Sr Managing Director, Lincoln Int’l/Co-head, Financial Sponsors Group
  • Lex Leeming, Partner and Head of Business Development, NexPhase Capital
  • Jim McNaughton, Managing Director Sponsors Coverage & Healthcare, Janney Montgomery Scott
  • Rob Newbold, Managing Principal, Graham Partners
  • Kevin Rudd, Executive Managing Director, Principal, Baker Tilly Capital


3:30 PM - 4:30 PM    Terrace I

The Middle Market: Competing In An Amazon World

The reality is, regardless of your industry and size, you are or soon will be in competition with Amazon. 

Whether you’re an investor, investment banker, lender, CEO or advisor, this thought-provoking session will give you actionable insight into Amazon’s play book, their plans for future industry disruption and your best business strategy against a seemingly unstoppable global platform.

  • Clay Cowan, Partner, McKinsey & Co.  
  • Steve Stafford, Senior Advisor, McKinsey & Co.


9:00 AM - 11:30 AM  Roundtables / Programming

Sponsored by Ernst & Young, LLP and Stradley Ronon

CEOs, PE investors and investment bankers lead interactive discussions focused on M&A market trends.

Speakers subject to change.


The Changing Retail Industry and the Impact of Amazon     (9:00 AM - 200 level)

This session will discuss the changes occurring in the retail industry (such as smaller real estate locations, the hybrid model and experiential shopping) and will focus on the Amazon effect.  The discussion will address how these changes are impacting deals, diligence and how retail businesses are responding. 

  • Moderator: Michael Kollender, Head of Consumer & Retail Investment Banking, Stifel
  • Matt Katz, Managing Partner, SSA & Company
  • Rick Perkal, CEO, Firelight Capital
  • Colin Watts, former CEO, Vitamin Shoppe

Behavioral Economics: Driving Team Culture     (9:00 AM - 200 level)

Behavioral research indicates that the most effective teams are those who understand and adjust to each other’s behavioral styles to achieve goals.  From knowing your team’s strengths and challenges to flexing communication styles, teams with greater behavioral understanding are successful teams.  Listen in on our round table of operators who have used behavioral economics to produce highly effective teams in rapid growth and changing environments. 

  • Moderator: Tish Squillaro, CEO, CANDOR Consulting
  • Chris Clark, Partner, Edison Partners
  • Mario Diez, Founder & Managing Partner, Accela Strategy
  • Zvika Netter, CEO, Innovid


Bolt-on Acquisitions     (10:20 AM - 200 level)

Is the Bolt-on investment strategy a new normal or is this strategy being influenced by the current market dynamics? Understand the primary reasons for this strategy as well as the best practices on structuring and closing deals plus integration issues. 

  • Moderator: William G. Gonzalez, Senior Vice President Business Development, Audax
  • Ryan Northington, Partner, Guardian Capital Partners
  • Robert O'Sullivan, Chief Development Officer, Axia Woman’s Health
  • Ken Pawloski, CFO, Cheltenhouse
  • Fritz Richards, Partner, Prestwick Partners


Value Preservation / Crisis Preparedness     (10:20 AM - 200 level)

Company exposure to crisis continues to rise at an alarming rate, increasing the potential for brand damage and significant financial losses. This session will provide a framework to preserve the value of prospective and active investments in order to anticipate, prepare, prevent, detect, and mitigate a crisis.

  • Moderator: Michael Jacoby, Senior Managing Director, Phoenix Capital Resources
  • Annalisa Fornarelli, Vice President Global Food Safety & Quality Control, Campbell Soup
  • Meghan Keohane, Ass. Vice President, Buchanan PR
  • Suzanne Watts, VP Marketing & Communications, Day & Zimmermann


Event Details