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Content Sessions

Keynote Speakers

Featured Sessions

Pavilion Sessions

Keynote Speakers

A Market Update: Key Drivers and Trends in M&A
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 11:00AM • Ironwood Ballroom

What’s in store for the rest of 2024? Join a stellar team of experts, including GF Data’s own Bob Dunn and William Blair Economist Richard De Chazal, as they take us through a market update and talk about the trends that are emerging in 2024 and beyond. The panel, featuring Donna JW Hare, Insperity, and Scott Linch, FORVIS, will discuss the macroeconomic environment, M&A activity, hiring trends and more. You will not want to miss this informational session that will give you the tools needed to transact in today’s ever-changing environment.

Bob Dunn
Managing Director
GF Data
Richard de Chazal
William Blair
Donna JW Hare
Senior Business Performance Consultant
Scott Linch (Moderator)
National Industry Leader, Private Equity
Sponsored by
What’s Next? Ask Brian Belski
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 1:00PM • Ironwood Ballroom

Join this keynote address to hear what Bank of Montreal (BMO) Chief Investment Strategist Brian Belski sees coming down the pike. Brian will engage with the audience, giving strategic investment and portfolio management insights to participants. Brian is frequently quoted in the financial press, including regular appearances on CNBC and BNN, and is renowned for his accuracy as a strategist. In his 34th year on Wall Street, Brian is the only strategist with fiduciary responsibility – as he oversees $7 bil of assets — 10 equity and two ETF portfolios. This is a conversation you will not want to miss.

Brian Belski
Chief Investment Strategist
Bank of Montreal

Featured Sessions

Financing Solutions in a Changing Environment

Monday, April 29, 2024 • 1:00PM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

Dealmakers are feeling the impact of rising interest rates. However, despite the high cost of capital, deal makers are finding innovative ways to get deals over the finish line. From working with alternative sources of financing to deploying innovative deal structures, dealmakers are proving their resilience and adapting to today’s high rate environment.

Jeff Bracchitta
Managing Director, Head of Direct Lending
J.P. Morgan
Milwood Hobbs
Managing Director & Head of Sourcing & Origination
Oaktree Capital
Jason Quinn
Managing Director
Churchill Asset Management
Joseph Weissglass
Managing Director
Configure Partners
James Grove (Moderator)
EVP, Head of Americas Sales
Sponsored by

How to Improve Valuations and Lower Cyber Threats using Data and AI Transformation Programs

Monday, April 29, 2024 • 2:00PM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

Learn about Microsoft’s pre-merger and post-merger programs for ACG members and your operating partners. Learn how to quickly adopt AI to digitally transform your own firm as well as your operating partners. Equally important, learn how to use Microsoft programs to improve pre-sale valuations, lower cybersecurity risks, and transform your business using data and AI.

Eric Egland
Artificial Intelligent SME
Brad Elliot
Equity Partner
Faris Machinery
Brad Garsten
Quanta Networks, LLC
Ashley Tarver
Data & AI Evangelist
Shawn Flynn (Moderator)
Global Capital Markets
Sponsored by

Is a Restructuring Wave Headed Our Way?

Monday, April 29, 2024 • 3:00PM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

A record number of PE-owned companies filed for bankruptcy in 2023. With heavy debt loads and high interest rates, portfolio companies are under pressure. The Fed is expected to ease rates in the second half of 2024, but will that be enough to bring companies back to health, or will restructuring be necessary?

Sam Alberts
Daniel Arnold
Senior Managing Director
Hilco Global
Michael Fixler
Managing Director
SC&H Capital
Stefan Piotrowski
Doug Brookman (Moderator)
Managing Director, Financial Sponsors Coverage

Women’s Networking Breakfast & Increasing and Enhancing Women’s Roles in the M&A Market through Smart Talent Acquisition Strategies

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 8:00AM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

The desire to grow the number of women in the workforce is stronger than ever – and this goes for the financial services industry as well. Join the conversation to learn about the strides women have made in the industry, and what strategies firms are using to hire and retain more women among their ranks.

Beth Cahill
President & Senior Managing Director
Windsor Capital
Erin Carroll
BraddockMatthewsBarrett, LLC
Gretchen Perkins
Avance Investment Management
Pam Hendrickson
Vice Chairman
Riverside Company
Melanie Krygier (Moderator)
Grant Thornton
Sponsored by
CPE Accreditation: 1.0 CPE Credits available from Grant Thornton LLP.
© 2024 Grant Thornton LLP | All rights reserved | US member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd Grant Thornton LLP is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

The Rise of AI Technology and its Impact on M&A

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 10:00AM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

AI technologies are likely to transform whole industries and companies alike, but financial services firms are still feeling out how to put the transformative technology to use. Hear from the experts what the advantages and pitfalls are of using AI technologies, why adoption has been slow and why not learning how to use AI will put your firm at a disadvantage.

Richard Lawson
Co-Founder & CEO
Richard Lichtenstein
Chief Private Equity Data Officer
Bain & Company
Gavin Slader
Head of Investment Banking
Citizens JMP
Alex Western
Terminus Capital
Jim Obsitnik (Moderator)
Chief Executive Officer
Sponsored by

How to Solve the Exit Dilemma?

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 2:00PM • Juniper Ballroom, Level 3

Selling activity fell to its lowest point in over a decade. PE’s end game is to grow portfolio companies. With higher interest rates, PE companies are needing to grow for longer. Across the US companies currently held by PE owners, the median age has stretched to 4.2 years and those that exited were held for 6.4 years, a new all-time high. A maturity wall is fast approaching in the form of finite-term funds and loans. Join this session to learn where and when private equity firms will find exit opportunities going forward.

Justin Abelow
Managing Director, Financial Sponsors Group
Houlihan Lokey
Vince Carey
Managing Director
Gryphon Investors
Charlie Gifford
Senior Partner
New Heritage Capital
Jay Jester
Plexus Capital
Tim Clarke (Moderator)
Lead PE Analyst
Sponsored by

Pavilion Sessions

What Will it Take to Unlock Middle-Market Deal Flow in 2024?

Monday, April 29, 2024 • 10:30AM • DealMAX Lounge, Bristlecone Ballroom, Level 1

Join GF Data Managing Director Bob Dunn as he discusses factors that led to a laggard deal market in 2023, and what factors will drive a comeback in the coming year.

Bob Dunn
Managing Director
GF Data
Sponsored by

Value Creation: Translating Pre-Close Pain Points into Post-Close Success

Monday, April 29, 2024 • 2:00PM • DealMAX Lounge, Bristlecone Ballroom, Level 1

A discussion on post-close trends, in particular how integration support teams are growing in size and getting involved earlier in the pre-close phases.

Steve Brady, CPA
Partner and Market Leader, Transaction Advisory
Travis Loomis
Senior Manager
Operations & Supply Chain
Sponsored by

Optimizing Operations: Balancing Human Capital with Technology to Prepare for the Uptick in Deal Activity

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 10:30AM • DealMAX Lounge, Bristlecone Ballroom, Level 1

Understanding the stages of the deal process that can be elevated through the use of Generative AI and automation, and where human intervention is still irreplaceable.

Amir Jairazbhoy
Associate Director
TresVista Financial Services
Jaydeep Nair
Associate Director
TresVista Financial
Sponsored by

Intelligent Deals: Exploring AI’s Transformation of M&A Strategy and Execution

Tuesday, April 30, 2024 • 3:00PM • DealMAX Lounge, Bristlecone Ballroom, Level 1

In this session, industry experts will delve into the revolutionary impacts of artificial intelligence on the mergers and acquisitions landscape. This dynamic and interactive discussion will cover how AI technologies are redefining due diligence processes, deal sourcing, risk assessment, and post-merger integration strategies. Attendees will gain insights into the latest AI tools that are streamlining deal-making, enhancing predictive analytics, and facilitating smarter decision-making. The session will also cover unique insight into how dealmakers are currently using AI, plan to use AI in the future and the challenges they’re looking to address in these ‘early days’ of AI. Join us to explore the future of intelligent deal-making in an AI-driven world.

Tom Tibbs
Director, Product Marketing
SS&C Intralinks
Ronjohn Dadd
Principal Product Manager
SS&C Intralinks
Sponsored by