Creating Deal Value Through Performance Improvement & Integration
Thursday, January 26, 2017 – 1:00 PM ET


As the private equity market has matured, it’s become harder for firms to create the outsized returns their investors have come to expect. According to Cambridge Associates, the rolling ten-year returns of the U.S. Private Equity Index peaked in 2013 and has been decreasing ever since. Both big and small private equity firms are facing challenges, and today they are placing a greater emphasis on the value creation process. But what’s the right value creation model?

Some middle market companies are emulating KKR, which has a captive consulting arm that it uses to create value at the portfolio level, and in turn create large exit opportunities. Other firms find this model too costly, and instead prefer to use a consultant model, while some try to strike a balance between staying in-house and outsourcing.

Join our panel of experts on January 26, 2017 for a look at what middle market companies should consider in the value creation process, as we examine different models that can provide opportunities for success.



Rhonda Schaffler
The Deal

Rhonda Schaffler is Anchor at The Deal, Editor-At-Large at TheStreet and Anchor of TheStreet TV. Schaffler has worked for over two decades as a broadcast financial journalist for global organizations including Reuters, CNN, Dow Jones and Bloomberg. She was a winner of the 2011 Society of American Business Editors and Writers Award for Excellence in Financial Journalism, Multimedia. Rhonda graduated with honors from Penn State University with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science.

Expert Panel


Brian Pitera
Principal, Transaction Services
Grant Thornton

Brian’s experience bands across manufacturing and process industries where he has led buy- and sell-side operations due diligence, carve-outs and integrations. During pre- and post-close he has led synergy development through the implementation of value realization within revenue and margin enhancement and COGS and SG&A alignment for global companies in the Fortune 500 and mid-market PE portfolio companies to delivery 3-10% EBITDA improvements.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Brian served as founding partner of Blossom Growth. Before that, Brian served as chief operating officer for several companies. He also spent 15 years in consulting with A.T. Kearney, Alvarez & Marsal and Kurt Salmon. Prior to consulting, Brian spent 14 years in various management roles in sales and marketing, manufacturing and supply chain.

Hilary Gosher
Managing Director
Insight Venture Partners

Hilary is a Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners where she leads Insight Onsite, the firm’s team of growth experts who help scale and grow Insight’s portfolio companies. Hilary founded this team in 2000 and has worked with more than 100 software, Internet and mobile companies. The Onsite team has expertise across the talent, product and go-to-market functional areas of software businesses.

Hilary currently serves on the Board of Directors, or is a Board Advisor to Datasift, Drillinginfo and Turnitin. Prior investments include Argus Software (acquired by Altus Group), Medidata Solutions (IPO), OverDrive (acquired by Rakuten), Planview (acquired by Thoma Bravo), Primavera (acquired by Oracle), Scriptlogic (acquired by Quest Software), Shunra (acquired by HP) and Vertafore (acquired by Hellman & Friedman).

Hilary is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) where she teaches tech entrepreneurship. From 2001 – 2015 she served as Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship at NYU’s Stern School of Business. She is a co-founder and Board member of Parity Partners, an organization focused on driving gender diversity and inclusion in leadership and decision-making in the alternative asset industry.

Steven R. Cumbow
Operating Partner
Sentinel Capital Partners

Steven Cumbow joined Sentinel Capital Partners as an operating partner in 2015. He has worked closely with Sentinel since 2010, when he joined one of the firm's portfolio companies as CFO. Before joining Sentinel, he was a member of the operations team of American Capital, where he served as COO and CFO of two of its portfolio companies. Mr. Cumbow also served as a CFO and Finance Director of two Clayton, Dubilier & Rice portfolio companies. Previously, he was a Managing Director at NachmanHaysBrownstein, Inc. a nationally recognized turnaround firm.

Mr. Cumbow began his career as a mechanical engineer. He received a BS in mechanical engineering from University of Kansas and an MBA from Loyola University where he graduated a member of Alpha Sigma Nu. Mr. Cumbow is a Certified Turnaround Professional. He is also fluent in German.