The Deal Economy New York 2019

Nov. 20, 2019
8:30 am - 6:00 pm

About This Event

The Deal Economy conference explores the most effective strategies for deals and transactions, focusing on the opportunities and challenges facing dealmakers in 2020.

Join The Deal for a day of networking and education comprised of compelling keynotes, one-on-one interviews and panel discussions providing actionable tactics and connections to the people shaping the future of dealmaking.

This invitation-only, intimate dinner brings together today’s leaders in dealmaking and the firms that serve them in a unique environment for networking and business development. Qualified registrants will be contacted about dinner attendance. 


Doug Lankler
Pfizer Inc.

Doug Lankler serves as General Counsel for Pfizer Inc.

Vivianne Akriche
Alexandros Aldous
The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.
Doug Barnard
CF Industries
James Batson
Bentham IMF
Rob Berridge
Matthew Cantwell
McGraw-Hill Education
Aneliya Crawford
Schulte Roth & Zabel
Jelena Guzenko
Ryan Hinkle
Insight Partners
Robert Hockett
Cornell Law School
David Kastin
The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.
Ele Klein
Schulte Roth & Zabel
Kai Liekefett
Sidley Austin
Patrick McHugh
Okapi Partners
Meaghan O'Grady
Long Point Capital
W. Ian Palm
Gowling WLG
Kimberly Petillo-Decossard
Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Amy Rice
Oaktree Capital
James Rosener
Pepper Hamilton
William Shortt
Christopher Smith
Saema Somalya
Fifth Third Bank
Patrick Turner
Christina Ungaro
Brian Walters
Matthews International


8:30am – 9:00am
Registration and Networking Breakfast
9:00am – 9:05am
Opening Remarks
9:05am – 9:55am
Sense of the Markets: Navigating the Current Environment

Continued strength in the overall economy has been met with cautious optimism from dealmakers who have brought megadeals back into the fold and keep pounding the drum in the middle market. Still, with multiples also at highs and threats of a trade war and a potential economic slowdown, how are dealmakers navigating the current market? How are they dealing with external factors in the market and regulatory climate, as well as internal changes such as an increased focus on corporate governance?

Moderator: Steve Gelsi, Senior Reporter, The Deal
Panelist: Kimberly Petillo-Decossard, Partner, Cahill Gordon & Reindel
Panelist: Jelena Guzenko, Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, Siemens
Panelist: Meaghan O’Grady, Head of Origination, Long Point Capital
Panelist: Patrick Turner, Managing Director, VSS

9:55am – 10:45am
Risk: How Can Dealmakers Protect Themselves in Deals?

Reps and warranty insurance, litigation financing, director and officer insurance, as well as increased break-up fees and other mechanisms to mitigate risk, are gaining in popularity in the dealmaking world. However, oftentimes these complex structures and topics are difficult to navigate and may not fit every situation, investor or company. What tools are dealmakers using to reduce and mitigate risk and how are these tools impacting deal structure? How is the recent growth of the litigation funding industry changing the deal landscape? How are dealmakers using integration analytics and forward projections for risk assessment and mitigation?

Moderator: David Marcus, Senior Reporter, The Deal
Panelist: James Batson, Investment Manager, Legal Counsel, Bentham IMF
Panelist: W. Ian Palm, Partner, Gowling WLG
Panelist: Amy Rice, Managing Director, Oaktree Capital
Panelist: Brian Walters, Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Matthews International

10:45am – 11:05am
Networking Break
11:05am – 11:35am
Keynote Interview with Doug Lankler, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Pfizer Inc.

In this on-on-one interview, you will hear the perspective of the General Counsel of one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. Mr. Lankler will discuss overall M&A industry trends, Pfizer’s strategy and approach to M&A in today’s current environment, as well as regulatory considerations, in general, that are taken into account throughout the deal process.

Interviewer: Steve Gelsi, Senior Reporter, The Deal
Speaker: Doug Lankler, Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Pfizer Inc.

11:35am – 12:25pm
How is ESG Changing the Governance Landscape?

Institutional investors and shareholder activists continue to play a massive role in affecting environmental, social and governance efforts at the companies and corporations they invest in. How are these investors quantifying and prioritizing ESG issues and what are companies doing to tackle them? How much do ESG policies dictate investors’ decision making?

Moderator: Ronald Orol, Senior Editor, The Deal
Panelist: Rob Berridge, Director, Shareholder Engagement, Ceres
Panelist: Patrick McHugh, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director, Okapi Partners
Panelist: Saema Somalya, Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Fifth Third Bank

12:25pm – 1:25pm
Networking Luncheon
1:25pm – 2:15pm
Private Equity Dealflow

A stream of healthcare, technology, financial services and manufacturing transactions in the middle market as well as high-profile take-private and buyout deals continue to feed dealmakers in private equity. With mounds of cash still in their coffers, rapid capital deployment remains imperative as quality and affordable targets become increasingly difficult to source. How are private equity pros navigating the current market to put their dry powder to work? Are some industries more primed for growth than others? Are some undervalued? Are dynamics leading to a rise in alternative investments such as credit or growth equity funds?

Moderator: Steve Gelsi, Senior Reporter, The Deal
Panelist: Vivianne Akriche, Managing Director, Eurazeo
Panelist: Ryan Hinkle, Managing Director, Insight Partners
Panelist: James Rosener, Partner, Pepper Hamilton
Panelist: Christopher Smith, Vice President, GTCR

2:15pm- 2:45pm
Spotlight Session: M&A and Shareholder Activism

This session, featuring two of the most prominent shareholder activism attorneys, explores the trend of M&A activism. Ele and Kai will share their experiences on working on situations where activists have pushed to block M&A transactions in both domestic, European and cross-border deals. They will also explore the convergence of private equity and shareholder activism.

Interviewer: Ronald Orol, Senior Editor, The Deal
Speaker: Ele Klein, Partner, Schulte Roth & Zabel
Speaker: Kai Liekefett, Partner, Sidley Austin

2:45pm – 3:35pm
Corporate Strategies: Identifying “The Next Big Thing”

With new technologies, software, algorithms and proprietary products popping up all over the world it can be difficult for corporates and private equity to find the right deal with the right team that fits their criteria. How are dealmakers expanding their deal networks and in what new ways are they sourcing deals? With geography playing less and less of a factor, deals are also growing more complex. How do companies perform due diligence on sometimes far away targets that operate in different regulatory and consumer climates?

Moderator: Chris Nolter, Senior Writer, The Deal
Panelist: Doug Barnard, Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary, CF Industries
Panelist: Matthew Cantwell, Chief Strategy Officer, US Higher Education & International, McGraw-Hill Education
Panelist: William Shortt, Head of M&A Cyber Strategy, Aon
Panelist: Christina Ungaro, Executive Vice President, Head of Corporate Development, JLL

3:35pm – 4:25pm
Uncertainty in the Market: Exploring Anti-Trust and Regulatory Scrutiny

Regulatory uncertainty at home and abroad has weighed on certain sectors and geographies of dealmaking over the past few years. Technology, healthcare, food services, financial services and defense remain hotbeds for regulatory scrutiny, while also growth sectors in need of capital and consolidation in their own right. How do dealmakers handle the uncertain regulatory climate? How will recently announced tariffs impact deal activity? How do corporations know when to pull the trigger on a potentially risky deal and when to walk away? What does the future look like for foreign investment in the U.S.?

Moderator: David Hatch, Senior Editor, The Deal
Panelist: Alexandros Aldous, General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Government Relations Officer, The Chefs’ Warehouse, Inc.
Panelist: Aneliya Crawford, Partner, Schulte Roth & Zabel
Panelist: Robert Hockett, Edward Cornell Professor of Law, Cornell Law School

4:25pm – 4:55pm
Closing Keynote Interview with David Kastin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.

IFranchise Group, Inc., the parent company of Liberty Tax Service, Buddy’s Home Furnishings, and Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, has recently announced their plans to acquire The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year and provides an immediate premium to current shareholders and aligns the company with a partner that shares their strategic vision to grow the business as a leader in health and wellness. Mr. Kastin was an integral part of this deal and he will explore the nuts and bolts of this transaction, including the influence of Vintage Capital Management in the process.

Interviewer: Steve Gelsi, Senior Reporter, The Deal
Speaker: David Kastin, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, The Vitamin Shoppe, Inc.

4:55pm – 5:00pm
Closing Remarks
5:00pm – 6:00pm
Cocktail Reception

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