You asked, we listened…

As CFOs navigate their expanding role and pursue strategies for mastering broadening responsibilities, a forum to tackle significant issues impacting the PE industry is essential. The ability to share insights in an off-the-record setting is invaluable for advancing the dialogue amongst CFOs.

The inaugural CFO Think Tank is a one-day, closed-door event for private equity CFOs to meet with peers to discuss the most pressing challenges affecting chief financial officers today. This solution-driven event is geared towards finance executives seeking open dialogue, best practices and tactics for managing processes and practices within their firms. Designed exclusively for interactive engagement, the CFO Think Tank will explore approaches for addressing fundraising, outsourcing, LP trends, tax reform, carried interest structure, subscription lines, HR, data analytics and more. Over the years, you have requested a dedicated think tank—join 50 of your peers to identify and problem-solve the most pressing CFO issues.

New for 2019

Inaugural CFO
Think Tank

A long-awaited, exclusive event designed just for you. The think tank is the ideal setting to advance the discourse on tactical and strategic approaches for future planning and processes.

Build meaningful relationships

Connect with an insightful group of private equity CFOs engaging in open discussions, sharing experiences and exploring the trends shaping the CFO role.

Learn from your industry peers

Participate in results-oriented learning and exchange of ideas on evolving topic areas such as fees and expenses, meeting LP requirements, performance calculations, diversity and inclusion, valuation and much more.

What our attendees have said

Filling the need for exclusive CFO topics

Kwame Lewis

Chief Financial Officer, ACON Investments

I continue to wish that there was more time for the CFO think tank…

Joseph Taveira

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Hancock Capital Management

The think tank was very informative…

Eric Noble

Chief Financial and Compliance Officer, Peterson Partners

My favorite is the CFO think tank…

View the below agenda, comprised of insightful interactive discussions and networking breaks for the leaders in value creation.

Day 1
View agenda page


Think Tank - Wednesday 26th

Plenary session
08:00 - 08:50

Registration – continental breakfast

08:50 - 09:00

PEI welcome

09:00 - 10:00

Utilizing data to improve efficiency and effectiveness

  • Determining what are you trying to accomplish with the data
  • Use of data in fundraising; investor communication, performance reporting and managing LP relationships; and data and reporting on performance of investments
  • Where are the most important areas to ensure you have the right data?
  • Setting a vision and strategy
  • Execution of strategy
  • Lifecycle of what to do when putting together a data strategy plan
  • How do CFOs manage portfolio company data?
  • How are companies effectively utilizing CRM?
  • How are you tracking your interaction?
  • What transparency are LPs seeking?
  • Identifying and managing the risk Best practices for gaining more access to data
  • Making a decision on an optimal IT environment: outsourced, insourced, hybrid model, private or public cloud
  • IT solutions and benefits- which technology tools do firms use to collect and analyze data?
  • A closer look at what’s available in advanced technology: treasury management, software robotics, data warehousing and dashboard reporting
  • Cybersecurity best practices for protecting the firm’s data
  • What technology has achieved in the management reporting and trend management of work flow
  • Looking for ways to manage larger data sets on the deal side
10:00 - 10:30

Networking coffee break

10:30 - 11:30

Performance calculations & benchmarking

  • How firms are performing calculations
  • What benchmarks are being used? With leverage or without leverage? With or without subscription line leverage?
  • What multi-functional technology platforms are available for fund reporting?
  • How do you account for recycled proceeds? Impact on multiples growth and net growth?
  • How are funds are reporting performance?
  • How do you report investments that haven’t gone as well?
  • Ensuring performance properly feeds into both investor relations and compliance
  • Assessing the need for better organization around calculations and use of data across the firm
  • Performance metric disclosure
11:30 - 12:30

Carried interest evolution, strategy and models

  • Waterfall models: best practices to build, modify and administer
  • How different firms do different structures
  • Trends on how carry is calculated and how it’s treated
  • GP/carry pool comp strategies
  • Increasing demands for transparency from LPs on how waterfall calculations are occurring
  • Is carried interest structure evolving from where it was a couple of years ago? Where are things headed?
  • Are funds taking carry they’re eligible for and with potential future clawbacks?
  • Negotiation process—is it done more on an LPA or side letter basis?
  • Calculating carry when trying to automate – difficulties around the quality of the data or the flexibility required to do the calculations – do you trust the technology?
  • Tax and the new carry rules
  • How deep inside the organization do you go with carry? Tax implications if you are going across the firm? Are you doing it as phantom carry?
  • Staff incentives: offering incentive programs for operational staff that are not receiving carry
  • Creative ideas for staff retention
12:30 - 14:00

Luncheon roundtable discussions

Breakout Series I
14:00 - 14:55

Track A | Fundraising environment—latest trends and challenges

  • CFO’s role with fundraising and investor relations
  • How many people do you have in what roles and how long did it take to build the team?
  • Trends in fundraising: terms, fee structure, treatment of preferred return
  • What are the most important elements to prepare a firm for fundraising?
  • What to include/exclude in presenting track record and other metrics to potential investors
  • Changes in due diligence requests or LPAs
  • How long is fundraising typically taking?
  • What terms are investors pushing on?
  • Do you use placement agents vs. in-house team?
  • What is a typical preferred return hurdle and are these rates moving with the fluctuating current interest rates?
  • How to address HNW fundraising
  • Strategies for fundraising in a downturn
  • How large is the norm for credit facilities as a percent of commitments?
  • Fundraising in Europe—ideal strategy to address solicitation for a fundraising with a broad European approach
  • Has the increased regulatory burden materially affected fundraising?
  • When do you move from a placement agent to an in-house IR function?
  • Prospective investor due diligence
  • Strategies for initial funds to stand out to LPs
  • Best practices in fundraising and training/development of fundraising personnel
  • Carried interest allocation/vesting, benchmarking compensation
  • Tools to make the process more efficient
14:00 - 14:55

Track B | Outsourcing: balancing the use of internal and external resources

  • When you think about outsourcing do you think of it as a bandwidth issue?
  • What do you currently outsource?
  • The pros and cons of using fund administrators for some but not all funds
  • What is the ideal balance between outsourcing and insourcing?
  • What areas have you had success and what areas have you not been successful?
  • Are firms outsourcing the general counsel function?
  • Fund structuring and compliance adherence/reporting
  • How do you manage your relationship with fund administrators?
  • Staying on top of third-party providers to reduce the risk of fraud
  • Are you outsourcing funds and SMAs?
  • Do you perform the tax function in-house?
Breakout Series I
14:55 - 15:40

Track A | Tackling the annual planning and budgeting process

  • An analysis of how firms are addressing budgets, running the process and who is involved
  • How many years out are firms budgeting?
  • Employing benchmarks or external metrics
  • Technology and vendor tools: which KPIs and software are being used?
  • Pros and cons of utilizing Excel and native in-house built tools versus external vendor solutions
  • Identifying a best in class third-party vendor for waterfall calculations
  • How are you doing allocations across multiple business lines for common expenses?
  • What will the SEC introduce within the next year that will affect PE?
  • Forecasting/simulation for fund performance effect on carry
  • Treasury and cash management
  • Areas to pay attention to with regards to cost
  • What is the best way to maintain records for SEC/auditors/tax team?
  • Frequency of reviewing/revising budget throughout the year
  • What processes are employed for review and revisions?
  • Budgeting for negative surprises
  • Compensation levels for teams, insurance
14:55 - 15:40

Track B | Valuation: process, pain points and best practices

  • Where do we see values headed and will the multiples remain high?
  • Strategies for valuing your portfolio? What process do you use?
  • Pros and cons and what LPs like to see in each of the valuation methods
  • Growing demand related to co-investment
  • To what extent are your LPs independently valuing your assets?
  • What you saw in the past and how you helped co-investors value
  • Updated AICPA rules and why valuation guidelines are important from CFO side?
  • Do you use software beyond Excel to do valuation?
  • Are auditors doing more work on your valuations and asking questions about them?
Plenary session
15:40 - 16:15

Networking coffee break

16:15 - 17:15

Compliance issues that need to be on the CFO radar

  • Strategies firms are implementing to enhance compliance programs
  • What tasks are CCOs outsourcing?
  • SEC exams: what has come up during recent examinations
  • What should be in your LPA?
  • What is your role in establishing a fees and expenses policy?
  • Approaches to expense testing—what’s new?
  • Complying with privacy rules
  • Enhancing diversity and inclusion within the firm
  • Protecting the firm and portfolio companies from cyberattacks or breaches
  • Conducting electronic communications monitoring
  • Overcoming challenges and creating value through ESG program implementation
17:15 - 18:30

Cocktail reception

Unparalleled networking opportunities

Connect with other private equity CFOs

As the only think tank for private equity CFOs to come together to discuss issues in a closed-door setting, gain insight from 50 of your peers on the most relevant topics contributing to broadening responsibilities.

Informal relationship building

Join fellow CFOs during breakfast, refreshment breaks, as well as the inaugural cocktail reception to connect with industry peers in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Structured networking 

Structured networking opportunities include roundtable luncheon discussions focusing on key topics to allow you to not only identify attendees with similar challenges, but also to obtain specific solutions.

Pre-event resources

How CFOs are readying for a downturn

With a market correction on the horizon, CFOs are prepping their firms and fund portfolios to weather the storm.

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What will valuations look like in 2019?

Tax reform, the public market, outsourcing and the regulator are all factors that private funds managers will have to consider when it comes to their calculations. 

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private equity international diligence_check

Cybersecurity and human capital risk rank higher in due diligence checks

Investment managers need a plan for management of cyber-attacks and personnel misbehavior, panelists at the Texas TRS conference said.

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VIDEO: Blackstone’s CFO on how to prepare for a downturn

Speaking at the PEI CFOs & COOs Forum, Blackstone CFO Michael Chae warns that in a downturn, the macro can overwhelm the micro.

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Heard at the CFOs and COOs Forum

Some of the key talking points and takeaways from the largest gathering of private equity operations professionals.

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Secret CFOs: ‘I was told we don’t need any more tall, white guys’

Two insiders share their views on talent management and how they’re making their firms more diverse.

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Supporting association

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Host publications

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Private Equity International CFO

The Colonnade Boston Hotel

120 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02116

Hotel accommodations are also available at The Colonnade Boston Hotel. Rooms are limited and are on a first-come-first-served basis; early booking is strongly advised.

Book a hotel room here