Featured Keynote Speaker

Brian Gildea is a Managing Director and Head of Investments at Hamilton Lane where Brian Logo.pnghe is responsible for oversight and management of all of Hamilton Lane’s investment activities. In addition, Brian serves on the firm’s Investment Committee and Operating Committee.

Brian has 20 years of private equity investment experience. Prior to joining Hamilton Lane in 2009, Brian was a General Partner at Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, and prior to that, at Freeman Spogli & Co.  Brian began his career as a Financial Analyst in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Salomon Brothers Inc.

Brian Gildea received a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University.


Staying Relevant in the Private Capital Bull Market: A Modern Dealmaking Roundtable

Sean Alford is a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, leading M&A and Seanstrategic transactions across j2 Global’s Digital Media division – which is comprised of a diverse portfolio digital media assets, including Mashable, PCMag, Offers.com, IGN, Humble Bundle, Ookla (Speedtest), Everyday Health, MedPage Today, AskMen, and Salesify.  He has extensive experience in the TMT sector and works closely with senior management at j2 Global, Ziff Davis, and Everyday Health to identify, evaluate and execute inorganic growth strategies.

Sean has been recognized in the “Next Wave of Leaders” by Multichannel News for his leadership in media and telecom.  He started his career as an attorney at the law firm Proskauer Rose in New York City, where he was a member of the firm’s Sports Group and TMT practice.  He has also worked at Comcast’s NBC Sports Group. Sean holds law and business degrees from the University of North Carolina.  He currently sits on the board of the Tribeca Performing Arts Center

j2 Global, Inc. (NASDAQ: JCOM) provides Internet services through two segments: Business Cloud Services and Digital Media. The Business Cloud Services segment offers Internet fax, virtual phone, unified communications, hosted email, email marketing, online backup, and CRM solutions. The Digital Media segment offers technology, gaming, lifestyle, and healthcare content through its digital properties.

Stephanie Davies is the Co-Head of Sponsor Coverage within the Investment Banking Stephanie Davies.pnggroup of Stout Risius Ross. Stephanie has over 10 years of experience within investment banking and private equity, including mergers, acquisitions, reverse mergers, equity and debt financings, and business development/deal origination. In addition to her banking experience and private equity transaction work, she has built out and led two private equity business development functions.

Prior to joining Stout, Stephanie was the Head of Business Development for Staple Street Capital. Earlier she was the Head of Business Development for Atlantic Street Capital and an Associate in investment banking/merchant banking at Aleutian Capital and Emissary Capital.

Karin M. Kovacic is a Managing Director of the East Coast Region at Monroe Karin Kovacic logo.pngCapital. With an over 15-year track record in originations and direct lending, Karin is a key figure in the middle market. She is responsible for originating new investments in the East coast region and responsible for due diligence, structuring, and execution. Prior to Monroe, Karin was a Senior Vice President at Alcentra Capital Corporation, focusing on business development and deal origination. Before Alcentra, she led CBIZ MHM LLC’s growth, business development, and marketing efforts in the New York Metropolitan area. Prior to CBIZ, Karin spent four years as Vice President at Fifth Street Capital, where she was responsible for Northeast region deal origination, marketing, and business development efforts.

She is a board member and executive committee member of the Association of Corporate Growth (ACG) Global, a network of leading authorities on corporate growth, as well as chairman of the ACG Connecticut Chapter. Karin’s network expands outside of the industry as well. She volunteers with the Junior League of Greenwich and serves on the board of Children’s Day School in Riverside, CT. Karin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from State University of New York (SUNY) Purchase. Karin resides in Riverside, CT with her daughter and son.


Cheryl Strom currently serves as Regional Director, Origination, for The Riverside Cheryl StromCompany. She works with deal sources throughout the Midwest to originate new investments for three North American funds. Prior to arriving at Riverside in 2006, she worked in the Debt Capital Markets group of National City (now PNC), structuring and originating senior debt facilities >$50 million.  Cheryl received her M.B.A. from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University; and her B.A. from John Carroll University.  With over $7.4 billion in assets under management, The Riverside Company is one of the largest and oldest global private equity firms. Riverside makes control and non-control investments in companies with enterprise values under $400 million. Since its founding in 1988, Riverside has invested in more than 500 transactions and currently has a portfolio that includes more than 80 companies worldwide. The firms’ specializations include healthcare, education and training, manufacturing, tech-enabled business services, software, consumer, and franchising.


Standing Out from the Pack: Best Practices for Next Generation Business Development

Brendan Burke is a Managing Director focused on private equity sponsor coverage and a Brendan.pngmember of Capstone Headwaters’ Management team. In that capacity, he oversees the sourcing and execution of transactions amongst Capstone Headwaters’ investment banking teams.

Brendan joined the analyst program at Headwaters MB (now Capstone Headwaters) in 2004, immediately engaging on transaction teams working across different industries on many types of deals. He has held several roles at the firm including the management of the firm’s business development, marketing, recruiting and public relations efforts.  In 2012, he was awarded 40 UNDER 40 by the M&A Advisor, an organization that recognizes and connects the world’s leading M&A professionals.



Mike Dorsey co-founded DataFox and has built its teams in product, data, and marketing. Mike DataFoxDataFox uses data science and machine learning algorithms to structure data on millions of businesses, automatically re-prioritize client pipelines, and deliver reliable insights into customer workflows. Mike is doing this to eliminate data grunt work for business professionals so that they can focus on more strategic and fulfilling work. Mike has received several advanced degrees including an MS and MBA from Stanford University. He previously worked in sell-side M&A in Silicon Valley and prior to that, co-founded ServiceDirect, a profitable, multiple-time Inc 5000 recipient.


Richard P. Prestegaard joined High Road Capital Partners in 2007 and is the Partner of Business Development. Rich is responsible for leading the Firm’s dedicated deal sourcing effort Richard Logo.pngby establishing relationships with business intermediaries across the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to joining High Road, Rich was an investment banker in the consumer products and retail industry group at Barclays Capital. Prior to joining Barclays Capital, Rich worked as an investment banker in the consumer/retail groups at Citigroup and Advest, and was a valuation consultant at Price Waterhouse.

Rich is an experienced corporate finance and business development professional who has succeeded in establishing and building client relationships through a combination of creativity and responsiveness, and is an active board member of the ACG New York chapter. Rich received a B.A. in Sociology from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1991 and an M.B.A degree in Finance and Accounting from the Stern School of Business at New York University in 1996.


Lessons Learned: Best Practices for Driving Change in your Firm

Lauren Burley is a member of the Technology Department, specializing in software Lauren logodevelopment strategy. Prior to joining GCM Grosvenor, Lauren was a Product Manager for Portfolio Construction at Morningstar Investment Management 2013 to 2015. Previously, she was a Manager of Strategy and Planning at Outerwall from 2011 to 2013. Lauren began her career in 2008 as a Hedge Funds Data Analyst at Morningstar Inc. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in Economics from Kenyon College in 2008 and her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 2012.


Phil Olson is a Principal of Business Development and joined Waud Capital Partners in 2016. Prior to joining WCP, Phil spent over 13 years at William Blair & Company in their investment banking Phil Waud.pngdivision, most recently serving as Managing Director. During his tenure, Phil helped build the Firm’s financial technology practice. Over the course of his 15-year banking career, Phil has executed over 100 M&A and equity (public and private) transactions within the financial technology and financial services sectors. Phil began his career as an Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Merrill Lynch in New York, where he was primarily focused on financial technology companies.

Phil holds a B.S., with high honors, in Finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Sushene Swenson is the Director of Management Company Operations of Trilantic North America, overseeing the areas of finance, operations, and technology. Prior to Sushene logojoining Trilantic North America in 2013, Sushene was Senior Vice President of Finance & Operations of appssavvy, a start-up bringing premier advertisers closer to the consumer through immersive advertising, where she ran operations, finance, and client service. Prior to appssavvy, Sushene worked at 24/7 Real Media, formerly a publicly traded company acquired by WPP, where she oversaw the initial Sarbanes-Oxley compliance process, and eventually moved into an Investor Relations role. Sushene has worked for both PricewaterhouseCoopers in Boston, in the audit group, and Deloitte in New York, where she worked with both public and private companies in preparation for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2004. Sushene holds a B.S. in Accounting & Technology Systems, summa cum laude, from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Institutionalizing Key Relationship Management

James Beakey is a Managing Director of Business Development and joined Nautic James Logo.pngPartners in 2006.  Prior to joining Nautic Partners, James was employed by the investment banking groups at both Capstone Partners LLC and Adams, Harkness & Hill, Inc.  James focuses on transaction origination.  He received an AB from Trinity College and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.



Ashley Johansen is a Managing Director at Monomoy Capital Partners and the Head of Investor Ashley logoRelations. Prior to joining Monomoy, Ashley was a Partner and Head of Investor Relations and Fundraising for Coller Capitals where she was responsible for the capital raising and IR for the firm’s five active funds. Additionally, Ashley also served as a Principal for AlpInvest Partners, a Carlyle Group Company as a senior member of the fundraising and IR team. She began her financial services career at CIBC World Markets in the marketing and communications group. Ashley graduated from the University of Kansas with a B.G.S. in Communications.

Nadim Malik is founder of Sutton Place Strategies, LLC, an information services firm that helps private equity and mezzanine investors, corporations, lenders, and advisors Nadim Logo.pngimprove their deal origination and business development effectiveness across the M&A marketplace in the U.S. and Canada. The firm’s core service, Deal Origination Analytics™, is the convergence of actionable data with proprietary technology that is designed to quantify the addressable universe of a client’s target market, serve as a roadmap to increase the effectiveness of their business development outreach, and measure progress on a continual basis. The reports are backed by proprietary data tracked on a primary basis by Sutton Place Strategies since May 2009.

Nadim founded Sutton Place Strategies, LLC in 2009 after six years in the business development group of American Capital, where he successfully created and managed distinctive market research tools, analytics, reporting and processes that drove the firm’s deal origination, investor development, and strategic growth. His efforts contributed towards the quadrupling of the firm’s relevant buyout deal flow and the closing of numerous transactions, the expansion of the firm into Europe and Asia and overall growth of assets under management from under $2 billion to $20 billion, and the development and management of 125 limited partner relationships.

Prior to American Capital, Nadim’s background is in financial research and includes The Deal, where he was an Analyst focused on M&A research, and Thomson Reuters, where he helped launch a financial information product on public companies. Nadim graduated with a BA in Philosophy from Colgate University and is a CFA charter holder.


Raising the Bar on Execution

Lilly Green is Business Development Manager in the Technology Group, having joined lilly.pngWCAS in 2017. Prior to joining WCAS, Lilly did business development at NetSuite and held a sales management role at a cybersecurity firm. Lilly received a Bachelor of the Arts and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern California.




Matthew Hardcastle is an Assistant Director at Inflexion Private Equity Partners LLP, Matthewresponsible for supporting Inflexion’s origination strategy.

Matthew was responsible for designing and building Inflexion’s proprietary knowledge platform. This tool draws together company, deal, advisor and people information across Inflexion’s investable universe as well as monitoring the financial performance of this universe to trigger contact with target companies. He is now leading the project to fully integrate it with a legacy CRM system and re-launch it on DealCloud.

Matthew joined Inflexion in 2014 from CIL Management Consultants where he worked on a range of commercial due diligence and strategy assignments. He has a BA in Classics.

Sarah Ashmore Bradley, co-founder of Kainos Capital, brings over 20 years of food and Sarah Ashmore Bradleyconsumer products investment banking and private equity experience to the Kainos team.   Prior to founding Kainos and joining HM in 2011, Sarah was a Managing Director at Investcorp where she as Head of Global Investor Relations and Fundraising. Previously, Sarah was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank in New York in the Financial Sponsors Group and Consumer Group, where she was responsible for food and consumer investment banking and middle market private equity coverage. Prior to this, she was a Director in the Global Consumer Group within the investment bank at Citigroup Global Markets. She began her investment banking career in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. During her investment banking tenure she worked with HM and other private equity firms on numerous transactions in the food and consumer products sector. Sarah received a B.A. in Business Administration and a Master of Professional Accounting, both from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Taking your firm’s DealCloud to the Next Level

Griff Norville is a Principal of Strategic Technology Initiatives as well as the product Grifmanager of Hamilton Lane’s front office data and analytics platform, Cobalt for Limited Partners.

Prior to Hamilton Lane, Griff worked with Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Strategic Capital group. He began his career as a management consultant with Pace Harmon, where he focused on providing M&A and transaction support to Fortune 500, middle market, and financial sponsor clients.


Griff received an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and a B.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.

Julian Rampelmann is a Managing Director in the Secondary Investment teamJulian Alp focusing on US transactions. He joined AlpInvest Partners in 2011 from Warburg Pincus in London, where he focused on mid-market consumer and services growth investments. Prior to completing his MBA, Julian worked in the AlpInvest Secondary Investment Team in Amsterdam. Julian received an MBA with honors from The Wharton School and an MSc in Econometrics from the Free University of Amsterdam.




Rob Schipper joined Fifth Third Securities in 2010 to help build out Fifth Third’s Investment RobBanking practice. In 2013 he was named Head of the Investment Banking Group which is comprised of over 40 professionals across six industry practice groups. The Investment Banking Group provides strategic advice and M&A transaction execution to support growth, liquidity and value creation initiatives for middle market companies.

Rob has over 20 years of Investment Banking experience advising middle market and early stage growth companies on capital structure, debt and equity financings and mergers & acquisitions.

Rob’s transaction experience includes raising more than $15 billion in debt and equity financings and advised on over $2.5 billion in M&A volume across various industry sectors including diversified industrial, technology, consumer and restaurants and education. Prior to joining Fifth Third, Rob’s previous firm experience included over 10 years with J.P. Morgan’s technology and mid-corporate investment bank. Rob also was a banker at Jefferies, Robinson Humphrey and Bowles Hollowell Conner.

Rob lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business.