© Copyright 2018 The Deal

The Deal Economy Conference

September 24, 2018  |  Chicago

To learn how your organization can participate in this conference, contact Jonathan McReynolds at or +1 212-321-5259.

Deal Economy Series

As deal volume has grown over the past year, uncertainty has weighed on deal dollar values. The middle market remains one of the most active segments for deal activity, and we continue to see larger firms tapping into the middle market, as well as large strategics continuing to add new technologies and systems to their legacy businesses. What is the outlook for the middle market, and can it sustain enough transactional activity through 2018?

The Deal Economy Chicago features a roster of senior executives, influential dealmakers and investors for a full day of discussion and forecasting with a focus on deals and transactions in the middle market.



Middle Market Overview: The View from Below a Billion Dollars
The middle market remains one of the most active segments for deal activity, and we continue to see larger firms tapping into the middle market. Private equity firms have more capital than ever to deploy and macro-economic conditions continue to point to sustained growth in the industry. What can dealmakers expect as we head into 2019?

Panelist: Brad Charchut, Managing Director, Credit, Bain Capital Credit, LP

Panelist: Carey Davidson, Managing Director - Head of Capital Markets, Monroe Capital LLC

Panelist: David Robbins, Managing Director, Head of Credit Strategies, Monomoy Capital Partners

Panelist: Sheryl Schwartz, Managing Director, Caspian Private Equity

Private Equity in the Middle Market: Thinking Small to Grow Big
With high levels of capital to deploy, fund managers are under pressure to put this capital to work as LPs continue to look at alternative investments, private credit funds, direct investing and co-investing opportunities. Though the middle market has traditionally been mostly occupied by middle market firms, larger private equity firms continue to tap into the middle market with either mid-cap specific funds or some sort of allocation from a large cap fund. How are private equity firms of all sizes approaching their strategy in the middle market?

Panelist: Adam Blumenthal, Founder and Managing Partner, Blue Wolf Capital Partners

Panelist: Kevin Miller, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Panelist: Mark Nicholson, Vice President, Corporate Development, Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc.

Panelist: David Schnadig, Managing Partner, Cortec Group

Panelist: Suzanne Yoon, Founder and Managing Partner, Kinzie Capital Partners

Special Situations
When a company initiates a turnaround or restructuring, understanding the available M&A and debt options is imperative to preserving and enhancing value. This panel explores typical special situations that can arise from spinoffs, divestitures, tender offers, M&A, distress, litigation, and activism, and how the company can preserve flexibility and maximize the range of available alternatives. How does the new tax law change the equation for companies shedding unwanted assets?

Panelist: Duncan Bourne, Managing Director, Wynnchurch Capital

Panelist: Christopher S. Brothers, Managing Partner, Solace Capital Partners

Examining the Tech Explosion in the M&A Market
Dealmaking in the technology sector continues to include more transactions for emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT).  FinTech and blockchain continue to attract significant interest from investors and large strategics. It’s becoming difficult to differentiate between tech and non-tech companies, many of which are continuing to add tech to their portfolio and are innovating through acquisition. Will Tech M&A continue to dominate the current dealmaking environment?

Panelist: Patrick Burns, Senior Vice President, Strategy, Dover Corporation

Panelist: Michael Hollander, Principal, GTCR

Panelist: Natalia Sokolova, Managing Partner, Sokol Family Office

Shareholder Activism: It’s Not Just a Large-Cap Issue
We hear about it in the headlines when a shareholder activist targets a large-cap company, but small and mid-cap companies may actually be at greater risk for activist campaigns. Activist funds can acquire significant positions in the stock with a smaller investment, and mid-cap companies are often not prepared to properly defend an activist campaign. Their corporate strategy may not be sound, their corporate governance may be flawed and they may not engage effectively with their shareholders. What should all companies be doing proactively so that they are prepared when they get the call from an activist investor?

Panelist: J. Daniel Plants, Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Voce Capital Management 

Panelist: Ted White, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Legion Partners

Panelist:  Scott S. Winter, Managing Director, Innisfree M&A Incorporated

8:30-9:00 AM

9:00-9:05 AM

Registration & Breakfast

Opening Remarks

9:05-9:50 AM

9:50-10:35 AM

11:25-12:10 PM

10:55-11:25 AM

10:35-10:55 AM

Networking Break

Keynote Interview with Treasurer Kurt Summers

Speaker: Kurt Summers, Treasurer, City of Chicago

12:10-1:10 PM

1:10-1:55 PM

2:40-3:25 PM

2:25-2:40 PM

Networking Luncheon

Networking Break

4:15-5:15 PM

4:10-4:15 PM

3:25-4:10 PM

Cocktail Reception

Closing Remarks

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Duncan Bourne
Wynnchurch Capital

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Christopher Brothers
Solace Capital Partners

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Carey Davidson
Monroe Capital LLC

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Sheryl Schwartz
Caspian Private Equity

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Jonathan McReynolds

P: 212-321-5259


Nicole Harris

P: 212-321-5567


Eric Salvarezza

P: 631-664-1311

Kurt Summers
City of Chicago

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Adam Blumenthal
Blue Wolf Capital Partners

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Winning Strategies for Corporate Dealmakers
What trends do corporate dealmakers see in the transactions they’re undertaking, in terms of financial and operating strategy? What are the most promising opportunities and the biggest challenges they anticipate in 2019 and how do they expect, respectively, to exploit and overcome them?  Panelists will also discuss the competition in the market between private equity firms and strategic corporate buyers.

Panelist: John Mims, Vice President, Corporate Development, Echo Global Logistics, Inc.

Panelist: PJ Patel, Co-CEO and Senior Managing Director, VRC

Panelist: Elizabeth Williams, Senior Vice President Strategy and Corporate Development, Tenneco Inc.

Michael Hollander

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Kevin Miller
McDermott Will & Emery

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Patrick Burns
Dover Corporation

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David Schnadig
Cortec Group

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Elizabeth Williams
Tenneco Inc.

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Natalia Sokolova
Sokol Family Office

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1:55-2:25 PM

Keynote Interview

Ted White
Legion Partners

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John Mims
Echo Global Logistics, Inc.

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The University Club of Chicago | 76 E. Monroe Street | Chicago, IL 60603