ACG University


ACG University is the single best networking & educational initiative for deal professionals in our region, enrolling 40 up and coming M&A dealmakers each year who possess an average of 3 - 6 years of deal experience. This executive education style program immerses emerging deal professionals in a 7-course program spanning the life cycle of a deal from sourcing to exits.  

ACGU Goals: This in-depth 7-part program is designed to:

  • Teach a broad range of essential deal making skills and strategies through lecture and hands-on case work to create savvy, knowledgeable and skilled dealmakers.

  • Create cohorts to facilitate long-term deal networks among future M&A leaders. Each class is composed of private equity and strategic buyers, investment bankers, attorneys, accountants and lenders.

  • Offer access to all the resources of ACG and the broader deal community in Philadelphia through membership (included). Graduates will also be invited to be part of ACG Philadelphia Young Dealmakers.

About the Course Work
ACG University will immerse participants into the life cycle of a deal using a case study method for teaching the key elements of sourcing, valuing, diligencing, financing, negotiating, structuring/closing, integrating and exiting a deal. Each class includes pre-reading, expert-level instruction, practitioner panel discussions, team-based case work/presentation of findings and feedback. ACG University is composed of seven classes, meeting roughly every two - three weeks on Friday mornings from 7:30am - 12:00pm at the center city offices of Faegre Drinker.  *Note: ACGU 2021 will be delayed due to Covid-19 precautions and our desire to host in-person programming.  We anticipate a start date in late Q2 or early Q3, and will continue to re-assess based on current conditions and guidelines of local and national health experts.

Due to a delayed start in 2021, we will be pushing back the dates for ACGU 2022. Please sign up here to be informed of when we start accepting applications for ACG University 2022. 

Space for ACG University is limited. Candidates must be sponsored by an ACG Member. Selection will be based on prior experience, commitment, as well as overall composition of the applicant pool. Please email Bretany Pilko at with any questions.



Accountants: 3 to 4 years of Transaction Advisory Services experience (and currently in a TAS Practice) or alternatively M&A Tax.  M&A tax in most firms is not under the “TAS” umbrella.  

Attorneys: should have a reasonable base of varied deal knowledge in addition to a growing legal skill set.  For this reason, strong attorney applicants typically have 4-6 years of experience and are not yet at the partner-level or counsel-level discussions.

Investment Bankers: For those who made transition into banking (from another discipline that may not be M&A related): 2 years of M&A experience is requested. For those that started investment banking right out of college: 2-3 years, depending on reference from senior people at firm. 

Others: If you are a professional whose work has regularly touched on or supported mergers and acquisitions over the past 4-6 years (rather than your work relating to those individuals who themselves do M&A work), please do consider applying.  For purposes of class dynamics and maintaining consistency in the class, professionals with longer experience focused on the M&A space are over-qualified for this type of program.


ACGU Pricing
Pricing is $1295 per person and includes seven classes, several networking events as well as a two-year membership in ACG (payment will be due upon acceptance, there is no fee to apply).


ACGU 2021 Class Dates & Details:

ACG University meets on Friday mornings from 7:30am - 12:00pm at the offices of Faegre Drinker in center city Philadelphia. 


  • Class 1: Strategic / Opportunity Analysis – Sourcing Deals & Building Your Acquisition Strategy
  • Class 2: Due Diligence - Financial, Operational, Technical, Management
  • Class 3: Valuation - Methodologies and Approaches
  • Class 4: Acquisition/Debt Financing – Financing your deal to match your exit
  • Class 5: Negotiating the Purchase Agreement & Closing the Transaction
  • Class 6: The 100 Day Plan & Why Deals Fail
  • Class 7: Exit Strategies
CPE and CLE Credits are available for the class. Students will receive the required documentation at the completion of the class. To receive full credits, please make sure to sign in to each class. Further requirement and prerequisite information can be requested and is particularly useful for those seeking the offered CPE or CLE credits of this course. ACG University runs once per year from January through April.

Past graduates rate this program very highly for both its practical educational content and its valuable network building.

View Past Class Attendees on our Alumni Page.

Thank you to our ACG University Sponsors