Strategic Acquirors vs. Private Equity Investors. Who Wins the Deal? 10/12/23

Date and Time
Thursday, October 12, 2023
6:00pm— 7:00pm
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Barbara Sagusti

Join us virtually on Thursday, October 12th for a panel discussion with private equity investors, strategic acquirors and investment bankers on how they are navigating the current economic environment to win deals, integrate acquisitions and create value.

Some of the questions that may be answered include:

• What are your investment objectives?
• Where do you find funding?
• Do you need control?
• What is your time horizon?
• What is your exit strategy?
• Who wins the deal?

Ben Brandes | Event Moderator
Partner | NewOrigin Investments

Ben is known as a three-tier executive with experience in private equity investment, board advisory, and mergers & acquisitions. Leveraging an established network of relationships with capital providers, investment bankers, and business owners/founders, Ben has invested, managed, and advised on more than $2B for mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and joint ventures. Ben is a board member of several privately held companies, frequent speaker for M&A organizations, and author of white papers on myths/opportunities within private equity.

Ben formed NewOrigin Investments to collaborate with other seasoned private equity investors on growth investments in founder/management owned business. NewOrigin focuses on companies in the health, wellness, and aging space among other select industries.

Ben's prior roles include being head of Private Equity business development at CrossCountry Consulting, a Managing Director for Accordion Partners, and National Director, Private Equity with Grant Thornton.

Earlier in his career, Ben launched a $100M+ private equity firm that invested $500M in total capital for mid-tier deals. In a period of nine years, he formed eight platform companies and completed over 30 acquisitions. He sold the bulk of the portfolio to a NY-based hedge fund, where he then led their private equity investments in media and entertainment companies.

Ben earned an MBA from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business and his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.

Charles Burckmyer | Panel Member
Culligan International

Charles serves as Vice President of M&A and Corporate Development at Culligan International. He leads deal origination efforts and supports execution and integration for Culligan's global M&A strategy under BDT & MSD Partners’ ownership. He joined Culligan in early 2017, shortly after it was purchased by its previous owners, and has led dealmaking for the 200+ acquisitions the company has made since.

Prior to joining Culligan, Charles served as Principal at JMC Capital Partners, a $325m AUM private equity fund focused on consolidation acquisitions in applied industrial technologies. Previously, he co-founded Knob Hill Partners, a Boston-based private investment firm. Charles led the firm's acquisition of Sage Data Security, where served as President, and led the company through a period of double-digit growth.

Bryce Youngren | Panel Member
Polaris Growth Fund

Bryce is a managing partner of the Polaris Growth Fund based in our Boston office. He joined the firm in 2002 and focuses on investments in profitable software and technology-enabled services businesses.
Bryce currently represents Polaris on the boards of Amplifire, ARInsights, ATC, Baxter Planning, Blue Rabbit, and Strata Health, and has also served on the boards of Cardlytics (CDLX), Cityworks (Trimble), Cushcraft (Laird Group), Dealer Spike (True Wind Capital / TA Associates), Digicert (TA Associates), Liaison International (Warburg Pincus / Meritage), National Electronic Attachment (Accel-KKR), Research Now (Court Square Capital Partners), TRG (Pamlico Capital) and Xpressdocs (Reynolds and Reynolds).

Prior to joining Polaris, Bryce worked at Great Hill Partners, where he sourced and executed investments in SmartMail Services (Deutsche Post) and ManagedStorage International (Incentra Solutions) and served as a director on the boards of both companies.

Previously, Bryce worked for Willis Stein & Partners in Chicago, Bear Stearns & Co.’s technology investment banking group in New York, and George K. Baum & Company in Kansas City.  Bryce holds an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Claudine Cohen | Panel Member
Managing Principal, Value360 Practice

Claudine Cohen is a managing principal and leader of CohnReznick’s Value360 practice. In this role, she oversees an integrated team of transaction, valuation, restructuring, project finance, and dispute resolution professionals serving clients throughout the lifecycles of their businesses. With specific expertise in managing opportunities and roadblocks that can impact a business moving forward, Claudine and her team help clients achieve optimal outcomes in protecting and growing stakeholder value.

With more than 25 years of business experience, Claudine serves as an adviser to public and private companies, both domestically and internationally. Her clients comprise the full gamut of financial sponsors including private equity investors, independent sponsors, family offices, alternative investment funds, lenders, and strategic investors. Her areas of knowledge include strategic advisory, quality of earnings analyses, identifying revenue sources and profitability drivers, examining operating cost structure and sustainability factors, investigating business models including cash flow and financial projections, reviewing quality and realization of assets and liabilities,identifying working capital requirements and negotiating positions, post-close working capital verification, and adjustment mechanisms.

Claudine is a member of CohnReznick’s Executive Board and co-leads the firm’s Financial Sponsors practice. She was recognized by The Consulting Report as one of its Top 25 Women Leaders in Consulting for 2022, was named to the Mergers and Acquisitions 2019 list of the most influential women in mid-market M&A, and to Crain’s NY 2018 most notable women in consulting. She has authored several articles focused on buy and sell-side due diligence, working capital, and purchase price allocations.

Date:  October 12, 2023

Time:  6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This is a virtual meeting on Zoom.  You will receive the zoom information upon registration.

Wharton Members:  Free
Wharton Non-Members:  $10.00




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