The Deal Economy conference explores the most effective strategies for deals and transactions, focusing on the opportunities and challenges facing dealmakers in 2020.  

Join The Deal for a day of networking and education comprised of compelling keynotes, one-on-one interviews and panel discussions providing actionable tactics and connections to the people shaping the future of dealmaking.

View the registration list here.

This invitation-only, intimate dinner brings together today’s leaders in dealmaking and the firms that serve them in a unique environment for networking and business development. Qualified registrants will be contacted about dinner attendance. Learn more about the dinner 

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To learn how your organization can participate in this conference, contact Jonathan McReynolds at or +1 212-224-3026.



Jonathan McReynolds

P: 212-224-3026


Nicole Harris

P: 212-224-3040


Eric Salvarezza

P: 631-664-1311





On the evening before the conference, The Deal will host an invitation-only dinner to bring together today's leaders in dealmaking and the firms that serve them. Sponsor firms have the opportunity to join The Deal in this unique environment for networking and business development. For more information, please contact Jonathan McReynolds at or 212.224.3026.



JW Marriott Essex House
160 Central Park South | New York, NY 10019


The Deal Economy conference attracts senior executives and dealmakers from a variety of sectors.
View the registration list here.

Attendees will depart with smart strategies, actionable tactics and connections to the people who are shaping the future of dealmaking. 


Joshua Halpern

Vivianne Akriche

Stephen Master

Paul Biondi
Bristol-Myers Squibb

Jordon Kruse
Oaktree Capital


Matthew Cantwell
McGraw-Hill Education

Saema Somalya
Fifth Third Bank

Virginia Fogg
Norfolk Southern Corporation

Patrick Turner


Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:30am – 9:00am

9:00am – 9:05am

Opening Remarks

Sense of the Markets: Navigating the Current Environment
Continued strength in the overall economy has been met with cautious optimism from dealmakers who have brought megadeals back into the fold and keep pounding the drum in the middle market. Still, with multiples also at highs and threats of a trade war and a potential economic slowdown, how are dealmakers navigating the current market? How are they dealing with external factors in the market and regulatory climate, as well as internal changes such as an increased focus on corporate governance?

Panelist: Kimberly Petillo-Decossard, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Panelist: Jelena Guzenko, Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, Siemens
Panelist: Patrick Turner, Managing Director, VSS

9:05am – 9:55am

9:55am – 10:45am

10:45am – 11:05am

Networking Break

Closing Remarks

Cocktail Reception

Risk: How Can Dealmakers Protect Themselves in Deals?
Reps and warranty insurance, increased break-up fees, insurance against activist investors and director and officer insurance continue to gain in popularity as dealmakers and corporates look to mitigate risk in deals. What tools are dealmakers using to reduce and mitigate risk and how are these tools impacting deal structure and the way companies operate? How are dealmakers using integration analytics and forward projections for risk assessment and mitigation?  How do companies and advisers protect themselves from various pitfalls and threats to the deal making and integration process?

Panelist: Jordon Kruse, Co-Portfolio Manager of Special Situations Group, Oaktree Capital
Panelist: Paul Price, Director M&A Integration, Corporate Development, IBM
Panelist: Brian Walters, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Matthews International

11:05am – 11:35am

Keynote Interview

11:35am – 12:25pm

How is ESG Changing the Governance Landscape?
Institutional investors and shareholder activists continue to play a massive role in affecting environmental, social and governance efforts at the companies and corporations they invest in. How are these investors quantifying and prioritizing ESG issues and what are companies doing to tackle them? How much do ESG policies dictate investors’ decision making?

Panelist: Rob Berridge, Director, Shareholder Engagement, Ceres
Panelist: Ali Dibadj, Partner, AllianceBernstein L.P.

Panelist: Virginia Fogg, General Counsel, Norfolk Southern Corporation
Panelist: Patrick McHugh, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Okapi Partners

Panelist: Saema Somalya, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Fifth Third Bank

12:25pm – 1:25pm

Networking Luncheon

1:25pm – 2:15pm

Private Equity Dealflow
A stream of healthcare, technology, financial services and manufacturing transactions in the middle market as well as high-profile take-private and buyout deals continue to feed dealmakers in private equity. With mounds of cash still in their coffers, rapid capital deployment remains imperative as quality and affordable targets become increasingly difficult to source. How are private equity pros navigating the current market to put their dry powder to work? Are some industries more primed for growth than others? Are some undervalued? Are dynamics leading to a rise in alternative investments such as credit or growth equity funds?

Panelist: Vivianne Akriche, Managing Director, Eurazeo
Panelist: Ryan Hinkle, Managing Director, Insight Partners 
Panelist: Stephen Master, Vice President, GTCR

2:15pm- 2:45pm

Keynote Interview

2:45pm – 3:35pm

Corporate Strategies: Identifying “The Next Big Thing”
With new technologies, software, algorithms and proprietary products popping up all over the world it can be difficult for corporates and private equity to find the right deal with the right team that fits their criteria. How are dealmakers expanding their deal networks and in what new ways are they sourcing deals? With geography playing less and less of a factor, deals are also growing more complex. How do companies perform due diligence on sometimes far away targets that operate in different regulatory and consumer climates?

Panelist: Doug Barnard, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, CF Industries
Panelist: Paul Biondi, Head of Strategy & Business Development, Bristol-Myers Squibb
Panelist: Matthew Cantwell, Chief Strategy Officer, US Higher Education & International,                                McGraw-Hill Education

Panelist: Joshua Halpern, Senior Managing Director, AON
Panelist: Christina Ungaro, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Development, JLL

5:00pm – 6:00pm

4:55pm – 5:00pm

3:35pm – 4:25pm

Uncertainty in the Market: Exploring Anti-Trust and Regulatory Scrutiny
Regulatory uncertainty at home and abroad has weighed on certain sectors and geographies of dealmaking over the past few years. Technology, healthcare, food services, financial services and defense remain hotbeds for regulatory scrutiny, while also growth sectors in need of capital and consolidation in their own right. How should dealmakers handle the uncertain regulatory climate? How will recently announced tariffs impact deal activity? How do corporations know when to pull the trigger on a potentially risky deal and when to walk away? What does the future look like for foreign investment in the U.S.?

Panelist: Alexandros Aldous, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Government                                 Relations Officer, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

4:25pm – 4:55pm

Closing Keynote Interview

Brian Walters
Matthews International

Christina Ungaro

Alexandros Aldous
The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.

Jelena Guzenko

Ryan Hinkle
Insight Partners

Patrick McHugh
Okapi Partners

Kimberly Petillo-Decossard
Cahill Gordon & Reindel

Doug Barnard
CF Industries