The Deal Economy Conference Predictions & Perspectives

Compelling discussions on the outlook for dealmaking in 2018


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


© Copyright The Deal

All talks will be held at the Granville headquarters at Madison 36th, New York City.

November 30, 2017 - New York City 

Presented by


View full panel sessions from the 2017 conference.

The Deal Economy Conference brought together industry experts and the most influential members of the deal community for a series of discussions forecasting the outlook for dealmaking in the coming year.

The centerpiece of the conference was the awards luncheon for the Most Admired Corporate Dealmakers. For the 10th year, The Deal's editors recognized the best and most proficient corporate development teams. Read the press release to learn more about the methodology and nominees.

Follow @TheDealNewsroom for updates on next year's event and use hashtag #dealeconomy to join the conversation.


Leading experts and practitioners representing all aspects of the deal community.

Craig Bondy

James J. Cramer
TheStreet, Inc.

Aeisha Mastagni

Andrew Olinick

Jonathan Melmed
Morrison & Foerster




Jonathan McReynolds

P: 212-321-5259


Jon Kostakopoulos

P: 212-321-5561


Nicole Harris

P: 212-321-5567


Eric Salvarezza

P: 631-664-1311

Patricia Lizarraga
Hypatia Capital

Brian Buchert
Church & Dwight

Patrick J. McHugh
Okapi Partners LLC

Adel Aslani-Far
Latham & Watkins LLP

William M. Casey

Martín Escobari
General Atlantic

Gary Steele
Proofpoint, Inc.


A discussion of the opportunities and challenges facing dealmakers in 2018.

8:00 AM - 8:30 AM

Registration & Breakfast 

8:30 AM - 8:35 AM

Opening Remarks

Speaker:  David Callaway, Chief Executive Officer, TheStreet, Inc.

8:35 AM - 9:30 AM

Market Status: The Return of the Megadeal?

Uncertainty has weighed on deal dollar values for the past year even as volume has grown. What is holding back the megadeals that were almost commonplace as recently as 2015; and what will it take in terms of policy, market conditions, and investor confidence to unleash them again? What is the outlook for the middle market, and can it sustain enough transactional activity? How are dealmakers evaluating and coming to terms with high valuations, and are they for the better or worse?

Moderator:  David Callaway, Chief Executive Officer, TheStreet, Inc.
Panelist:  Adel Aslani-Far, Partner, Latham & Watkins
Panelist:  William M. Casey, Americas Vice Chair, Transaction Advisory Services, EY

Panelist:  Michael Ingrassia, Senior Counsel, M&A and Strategic Transactions, Mastercard Worldwide
Panelist:  Andrea Kramer, Managing Director, Investment Committee, Hamilton Lane
Panelist:  David Wicks, Vice President, Listing Services, Nasdaq

9:30 PM - 10:20 AM

Technology in Dealmaking: How is Tech Changing the Way Deals are Done?

The M&A market is changing rapidly, and technological advancements such as online data rooms, corporate search services, information databases and the use of analytics have increased the speed and efficiency in which deals are done. How is technology transforming the market, what are the risks presented by these technological advancements, and how can dealmakers use technology and analytics to maximize acquisition or divestiture value in the current environment?

Moderator:  David Marcus, Senior Writer, The Deal
Panelist:  Mitch Berlin, Americas Operational Transaction Services Leader, EY
Panelist:  Dr. Rasmus Goksor, CEO & Co-Founder, Bison
Panelist:  Spencer Hoffman, Partner, Lovell Minnick Partners
Panelist:  Michael E. Hollingsworth II, Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

10:20 AM - 10:45 AM

Networking Break

10:45 AM - 11:35 AM

Private Equity Spotlight: Forecasting the Next Act

PE firms continue to face high multiples amid tough competition from strategic buyers. At the same time, firms are navigating a period of uncertainty stemming from the new administration in Washington, Brexit and other factors. What types of transactions, terms and financing are PE firms seeing currently, and what will prevail in the year ahead? Which industries, geographic areas and deal structures will offer the greatest opportunities, challenges and pitfalls? What will firms need to do to adapt to regulatory and geopolitical changes?

Moderator:  Chris Nolter, Senior Writer, The Deal
Panelist:  Craig Bondy, Managing Director, GTCR
Panelist:  Martín Escobari, Managing Director & Head of Latin America; Co-Chairman,                                Investment Committee, General Atlantic
Panelist:  Jonathan Melmed, Co-Chair, Global Private Equity & Buyouts, Morrison & Foerster
Panelist:  Andrew Olinick, Partner, Co-Head North America Private Equity Team, 3i
Panelist:  François-Bernard Poulin, Partner, GPI Capital

11:35 AM - 12:45 PM

Luncheon & Special Keynote Address – James J. Cramer, Founder, TheStreet, Inc.

12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Most Admired Corporate Dealmaker Presentation

Speaker:  Tracy Byrnes, Chief Correspondent, TheStreet, Inc.

2:40 PM - 3:30 PM

Corporate Governance: Be Your Own Activist

Corporate boards are increasingly under the spotlight for composition, conflicts, tenure and diversity as an ever-growing array of activists look for opportunities to increase shareholder value. What are the better boards doing that qualify as best practices and what are the poorer ones doing or failing to do that raise red flags? What does it take to truly “be your own activist?” How can corporate leaders balance the desire for maximizing shareholder value without shortchanging other stakeholders?

Moderator:  Ronald Orol, Senior Editor, The Deal
Panelist:  Michelle Edkins, Global Head, BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship Team, Blackrock
Panelist:  Aeisha Mastagni, Portfolio Manager, Corporate Governance, CalSTRS
Panelist:  Patrick McHugh, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Okapi Partners
Panelist:  Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr., Delaware Supreme Court

2:20 PM - 2:40 PM

Networking Break

1:55 PM - 2:20 PM

Getting Culture Right is Critical in M&A

Bain & Company’s research shows that high performance culture is the ultimate source of competitive advantage. Consequently, when doing M&A, a successful cultural integration is a “must-win” and has both short-term and long-term implications. How can you best manage and control the change? What do successful cultural integrators do differently across the M&A value chain, including strategy, diligence, and execution? This session explores best-in-class approaches on culture and cultural integration.

Speaker:  Allison Snider, Partner, Bain & Company

1:00 PM - 1:55 PM

Winning Strategies for Corporate Dealmakers 

After continued instability in the M&A market amid economic and political uncertainty, there continues to be optimism as we head into 2018, and corporate dealmakers continue to explore deals that are more tactical in nature. 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 2018 and how do they expect, respectively, to exploit and overcome them?

Moderator:  Tracy Byrnes, Chief Correspondent, TheStreet, Inc.
Panelist:  Brian Buchert, Vice President, Corporate Strategy and M&A, Church & Dwight
Panelist:  Brian Mellone, Senior Vice President, Director of Corporate Development &                                Strategy, First Horizon National Corporation

Panelist:  Tatyana Mosenkis, Associate Director, Business Development, United Technologies Corporation
Panelist:  Nneka Rimmer, Sr. Vice President, Strategy & Global Enablement, McCormick & Company, Inc.
Panelist:  James D. Rosener, Partner, Pepper Hamilton
Panelist:  Sam Riley, CEO, Ansarada

3:30 PM - 4:20 PM

Cybersecurity: Taming the Beast

Cybersecurity has become a hot button issue for companies of all sizes and in all industries, as computer hacks and data breaches threaten to compromise everything from customer information to data about pending deals. What does corporate management, their boards and advisers need to know to protect companies against cyber risk and its potential fallout? With the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) taking effect in 2018, what do all companies need to understand about the implications of the most important change in data privacy regulation in 20 years.

Moderator:  Tracy Byrnes, Chief Correspondent, TheStreet, Inc.
Panelist:  Judith GermanoSenior Fellow, NYU Center for Cybersecurity
Panelist:  Patricia Lizarraga, Managing Partner, Hypatia Capital, Independent Director,                                Credicorp, Ltd.
Panelist:  Gant Redmon, Program Director, Cyber Security and Privacy, IBM Resilient 
Panelist:  Gary Steele, Chief Executive Officer, Proofpoint, Inc.

4:20 PM - 4:30 PM

Closing Remarks

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Cocktail Reception

Brian Mellone
First Horizon National Corporation

The Deal and BoardEx are business units of TheStreet, Inc.

Sam Riley

Judith Germano
NYU Center for Cybersecurity

Spencer Hoffman
Lovell Minnick Partners

Andrea Kramer
Hamilton Lane

GPI Capital

Mitch Berlin

Michelle Edkins

Dr. Rasmus Goksor

Michael E.
Hollingsworth II
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough

Michael Ingrassia
Mastercard Worldwide

Gant Redmon
IBM Resilient

Nneka Rimmer
McCormick & Company, Inc.

James D. Rosener
Pepper Hamilton

Allison Snider
Bain & Company

David Wicks

Chief Justice Leo E. Strine, Jr.


Special Keynote Address

Deal Economy Series