May 23rd, 2018

With the recent passing of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, corporate executives across the country are now grappling with a renewed focus on capital allocation. On one hand, many investors are hopeful companies will use their excess cash from the corporate tax rate reduction for share repurchases and dividends. On the other, executives now have unique opportunities to seek out organic and inorganic growth, including through acquisitions. With complexities abound, how sure can you be that you are prepared to make the best strategic decisions in a time of unparalleled shareholder scrutiny? The Deal, in partnership with EY, share their perspectives on how to make strong capital allocation decisions in light of tax reform. Will prices be driven up by overzealous mid-cap buyers? How might buyer profiles and deal structures change? What is the impact on identifying and capturing synergies in this environment? Should companies consider using excess cash for acquisitions, as opposed to spending it in other ways, such as shareholder returns?  Join us as we attempt to provide answers to these pivotal questions and outline the various dealmaking implications corporate executives now face.



Anders Keitz
Financial Writer & Analyst
The Deal

Anders Keitz is a reporter for TheStreet covering energy and industrials as well as corporate governance topics. Prior to joining TheStreet, Keitz studied at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with a concentration in business and economics.

Expert Panel


K.C. Brechnitz
U.S. Head of Debt & Capital Markets
Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC

K.C. is a Senior Managing Director and leads the firm’s Debt Capital Markets (“DCM”) efforts both in the U.S. and globally. He focuses on providing independent capital advisory, capital raising and capital restructuring services. He has twenty years of experience in debt capital markets including leveraged finance, high yield capital markets, restructuring advisory and loan syndications including extensive experience in private equity sponsored leveraged buyouts and complex acquisition financings. His sector expertise is in gaming, consumer & retail, business services and general industrial. Since starting the DCM practice at Ernst & Young Capital Advisors, LLC in 2011, K.C. has personally worked on over $30 billion in capital transactions as an independent advisor. Prior to joining EY, he served for 11 years in senior roles with Banc of America Securities and Wachovia Securities including high yield capital markets, leveraged finance, and restructuring advisory completing $58 billion in financings in his banking career. KC received his MBA from Cornell University with a concentration in finance and accounting.

Louise C. Keely
Partner, Economics & Strategy

Louise is a Principal at EY in Transaction Advisory Services within the Valuation and Business Modeling practices. She is a noted expert on consumer demand and growth strategy, and on the use of a broad range of data and applied analytics to identify and activate growth opportunities for clients. Her experience covers all consumer-facing industries, particularly retail, packaged goods, financial services, and technology. Prior to joining EY, Louise spent over 15 years in leadership roles as an advisor to c-suite executives on growth strategies and as an expert on using predictive and optimization analytics to drive business decisions. Louise has a Ph.D. in Economics and a M.Sc. in Econometrics and Mathematical Economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.Sc. In International Economics from Georgetown University.

David Platt
Managing Director, Head of Corporate Development
Moody's Corporation

Mr. Platt joined Moody’s in January 2013 and runs the Company’s corporate development group, which includes the origination, evaluation, and execution of acquisitions, divestitures, venture capital, and joint ventures as well as overseeing corporate strategy. Mr. Platt has over 20 years of global corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, credit research and risk management experience, spanning multiple industries and execution of transactions and financial matters in excess of $20 billion. Mr. Platt’s professional experience includes spearheading Middle Market M&A at Deutsche Bank working with a wide range of corporate and financial sponsor clients. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Mr. Platt was a Managing Director in the M&A Group at Bank of America and held similar roles in the M&A Groups at Citigroup and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Platt started his post-graduate career in the Money Market / Fixed Income Division at Fidelity Investments where his responsibilities included credit risk assessment, setting of exposure limits and investment oversight for a broad range of corporate and municipal credits as well as structured products. Mr. Platt holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Economies of Industrialized Societies and earned the CFA designation.