Now in its ninth year, Private Equity International’s Operating Partners Forum: New York is the single largest event in the world specifically dedicated to anyone concerned about private equity portfolio operational assessment and value creation.
The Forum continues to draw the most established operating partners on stage as well as in the audience, giving delegates a chance to discuss effective, practical strategies that they can implement right away.
Attendees will have extensive opportunities to network, build relationships and compare best practices with their peers and leaders who helped define the role, grow the field and influence its future direction.
- Three think tank group sessions for operating partners only: emerging operating partners, seasoned operating partners, and human capital operating partners
- Interactive roundtables focused on key value creation areas: digitalization & technology, human capital, leadership, sales & go-to-market strategy, pricing, cost reduction, procurement and more
- The Operating Partners Human Capital Forum: A half day dedicated to operating partner specialists in human capital
- What makes a great operating partner?
- Operating partner perspectives and insights on digital transformation and its impact
- Data analytics to monitor and improve portfolio performance
- Best practices for talent acquisition and development
- Relationships between the investment team and the operating team
- Operating partner-CEO alignment and how to get leadership right
- CEO perspectives in looking at accelerating growth and driving transformations
- How to deal with turnarounds and distressed situations
- How to drive top line value creation initiatives and engage with portfolio companies
- Cybersecurity and resiliency: what to do if it happens to your business?
- Women in private equity portfolio operations breakfast
- AI and robotic automation for value creation
- How software and AI are changing the future of finance
Keynote interview | Increasing asset value and managing risk in long term investments
Equity Group Investments
As Co-President, Mark oversees all aspects of EGI. He focuses on maximizing and sustaining the value of the firm’s investment portfolio, and on optimizing Sam’s vast network. With nearly 20 years of board and CEO experience, Mark employs his leadership inside and outside our firm. He manages and develops our corporate investment team and deploys Sam’s active-ownership approach by engaging with portfolio company management to improve business strategies and operating structures, aligning all toward achieving optimum shareholder value.
Create the most operationally efficient portfolio companies
Hear first-hand perspectives on how to further develop your operational efficiencies by looking at successful models.
Network with 300+ top value creators
Meet with the largest community of operational experts in one place over 2 days.
Learn key strategies for cross-portfolio initiatives
Find the right tools and knowledge to create value.
David Dougherty, Synergy
It was exceptional for me. I am working to become an operating partner and I got more done to that end through the panels and networking than I have on my own i…
Greg J Pappas, Berkshire Partners
In my view, this is the foremost event where the largest ecosystem of partners, suppliers and resources gather annually.
Mark Hannigan, CEO, Fortior Ventures Inc.
Wonderful event that delivered on my objectives and was good value for money.
David Dougherty, Synergy
It was exceptional for me. I am working to become an operating partner and I got more done to that end through the panels and networking than I have on my own in 6 months.
Previous attendees included
Managing Director, Operations & Strategy
OMERS Private Equity
Managing Director and Operating Partner
Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
Francisco Partners Consulting
Industry Value Creation
Managing Director, Portfolio Operations
View each tab below to explore 2019’s agenda, packed full with insightful roundtables, panel discussions and powerful networking breaks for the leaders in value creation.
For speaking opportunities for 2019, contact Marc Mele at email@example.com or call +1 646 581 9295.
Day 1 - Wednesday 16th
Women in PE & VC portfolio operations breakfast
This closed-door session will explore what it’s like being a woman in PE & VC portfolio operations:
• What are the issues causing a disparity in genders?
• Exploring career paths, development, and how to position yourself as female leaders
• What are you doing at your companies to tackle diversity and open dialogue?
• Are there any changes in recruiting that will create a more equal playing field?
• Looking at trends and stats in gender & diversity in PE & VC
Lily Chang, Chief Portfolio Services Officer, Leonard Green & Partners
Tricia Witty, Senior Principal, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
Registration and continental breakfast
Uncovering key success factors in turnarounds
• Understanding warning signs and weaknesses early on to develop your strategy
• Defining key success factors to go from distressed to transformation
• Sharing successful turnaround war stories: dos and don’ts in troubled situations
• How can operating partners work with management teams to enact an effective turnaround plan?
• Focusing on a viable business with growth potential and the workforce of the future
• Utilizing data-driven analysis in your turnaround strategy
Ray Anderson, Principal, Transaction Advisory Services, EY
Proactive management of the PE-CEO-CFO relationship
• Grasping misalignments in the PE firms’ investment theses
• Achieving senior team alignment in the first 100 days
• How to you create buy-in for your value creation plan with management?
• How can PE best support portco CEOs and CFOs?
• Risk, governance, leadership: what are the pain points?
• Helping management teams that are great at running a business think about growing a business
• Board dynamics: how CFOs work with the board and with CEOs as strategic partners
Ted Bililies, Managing Director and Chief Talent Officer, AlixPartners
Michael Kohlsdorf, President, Francisco Partners Consulting
Mike Pulli, CEO, Verifone
Keynote interview | Increasing asset value and managing risk in long term investments
Mark Sotir, Co-President, Equity Group Investments
Strategic implementation of digital transformations throughout the lifecycle
• Looking at specific ways operating partners are harnessing better digital strategies for returns based on where they are in their lifecycle
• Covering the four phases: due diligence, 100 days, hold, exit
• Understanding how operating partner teams get started when it comes to thinking more digitally
• How do you diagnose digital opportunities & analytic capabilities and catalyze change across your portfolio?
• What are the implications for each stage of the investment? What are important differences by industry?
Brad Haller, Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, West Monroe Partners
The art of the operating deal: operational best practices in the deal evaluation phase
• Operating synergies: how the deal was done and what role did the operating partner have in it in terms of due diligence and then post-close
• Achieving an operating partner mentality at your firm: integrating operating partners in the investment lifecycle
• Operating partner success factors when partnering with deal teams
• How does your team define a successful deal? Are there standard growth, EBITDA, cost, or ROI metrics that are utilized?
• How do you really get at what the opportunities are to understand what the value creation plan should be?
CEO perspectives: accelerating growth and transforming models
• Inside the mind of a CEO – what they think about and what keeps them up at night
• Understanding playbooks for growth by industry sector and how value creation is different in every sector
• Moving quickly on top line growth
• Dissecting operational models and executional capabilities that work for the CEO
Jim Corey, Managing Partner, Blue Ridge Partners
Interactive value creation working groups
This session will allow the audience to break into interactive roundtable discussions with designated facilitators at each table. The following key value creations areas will be covered per table:
• Table 1: Digitalization & technology
• Table 2: Human capital & leadership
Hami Ebrahimi, Managing Director, Operations & Strategy, OMERS Private Equity
• Table 3: Sales & go-to-market strategy
• Table 4: Pricing
• Table 5: Cost reduction/optimization
• Table 6: Digital Marketing
• Table 7: Supply chain & procurement
Wendy Buxton, President, LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions
• Table 8: Finance
• Table 9: Automation
• Table 10: Governance
Track 1 | Panel | Cultural integration ingredients for success
Whether a merger equals or add-ons to a platform, when it comes to successful integration, leaders are often missing (or worse, ignoring) a critical element necessary for short and long-term value creation: organizational culture. Lack of successful cultural integration impacts the number one value driver in the combined firm—the people getting the job done. This session will explore key considerations for driving a cohesive cultural vision, integration, and ongoing execution in the midst of a complex transaction to achieve synergy targets.
Track 2 | Panel | Advanced analytics – turning data into revenue & EBITDA
• Reliance on conventional KPIs actually blocks revenue & EBITDA gains
• Integrated analytics pinpoint previously invisible revenue & EBITDA upsides
• Real-time profit impact visualizations sharpen planning & tighten control
• Ongoing analytics link revenue & EBITDA impacts to specific operating decisions
• Advanced analytics enables an entirely new level of operating control & financial results
Track 3 | Roundtable | Operating partner perspectives: managing relationships with third party advisors
• When to use consultants vs build capability in-house
• Which specialized third-party support is most valuable for opcos?
• How to identify and select third-party providers
• How to scope projects and manage third parties during the course of a project
• How do you view third party advisors in the value creation process?
• How to hold third parties accountable and how to hold portfolio companies accountable
Sean Mooney, CEO, BluWave
Andrew Walshe, Director of Portfolio Operations, Sightway Capital
Track 4 | Roundtable
• Sharing success stories of partnerships with deal teams, management, and external resources
• Impact of recent trends on due diligence & valuations
• Commonly overlooked sources of value
Curt Gendron, Senior Manager, M&A Advisory, Crowe
Track 5 | Panel | Operational due diligence: pre-deal assessments of the leadership team – how to know if and when to switch out members to rapidly achieve the value creation plan
• Framing the thought process around organizational leadership changes
• Criteria for evaluating leaders in portfolio companies with PE owners
• Assessing the cultural impact of making early and significant changes in leadership
• How to manage through the change and motivate the team/organization to support the changes
• Lessons learned – where leadership changes went well and hindsight from changes that went wrong
Shannon Gabriel, Managing Director, Leadership Solutions, TBM Consulting Group
Track 6 | Panel | How software and AI are changing the future of finance
Learn about how the modern finance function is being transformed by software, AI and new approaches in the back-office. This panel of experts will dive into how AI and other technology is altering the jobs of CFOs. Throughout the conversation, we will share insights on the impact technology has on finance.
Scott Tynes, CEO, Consero Global
Track 7 | Roundtable | The most important sales effectiveness questions
• Key questions and benchmarks during diligence
• Ongoing metrics to track during the hold period
• When to invest in additional sales headcount
• When to invest in overlay headcount (e.g. lead gen, channel, specialists)
• When to invest in enablement, technology and tools
Track 8 | Roundtable | Cybersecurity and resiliency: what to do if it happens to your business?
• Vetting cyber security when acquiring companies in deals
• Discussing standards for cyber security across portfolio
• Information security assessments: how to keep your guard up
• First-hand portfolio examples covering what to do if it happens to your business
Mike Barry, Operating Partner, Francisco Partners Consulting
Track 9 | Panel | Leveraging the procurement transformation angle for EBITDA improvement & valuation enhancement
• Individual company cost optimization vs. cross-portfolio programs
• Looking at cost savings/procurement optimization in the diligence phase
• Procurement transformations in the first 100 days
• Building cross-portfolio strategic roadmaps and the importance of spend visibility
Jake Wojcik, Senior Vice President, Insight Sourcing Group & SpendHQ
Track 10 | Panel | Developing a successful multichannel sales strategy in an increasingly digital world
• Focusing on digital sales transformations and profit driven digital marketing channels to drive topline growth and scale your business
• Optimizing the digital sales organization: what strategies and playbooks are you using?
• Understanding your digital marketing effectiveness in looking at the consumer
• Utilizing strategic marketing efforts and growth strategies based on market dynamics
• Key insights in demand generation, voice of customer, messaging, and content creation
Track 11 | Roundtable | PE sponsor-CFO relationship dynamics
• Discussing the good, the bad, and the confusing aspects of the PE firm-finance dynamic
• Uncovering the misalignment between the value that sponsors feel they provide their portfolio companies, and how that value is (or is not) received by CFOs
• Looking at helpful insights to improve CFO-PE sponsor communication, collaboration, and ultimately, investment success
• Examining five critical dimensions: the focus – PE-backed CFO objectives, the model – PE firm organizational & operational paradigms, the value – PE firm contributions & guidance, the work – CFO reporting & resourcing, the fault lines – big picture problems
Track 12 | Roundtable | Getting tech right in first 100 days to be prepared for the next 3 years
• Vetting your tech infrastructure to identify limitations and IT cost reduction
• Managing transitions smoothly from a tech and digital point of view
• What does your 100-day tech plan look like and what can be modified in the process?
• Fast start accelerators – adding value through tech enablement early on
• What tech tools are you using to drive more efficiency, improve performance, and scale your business?
• What outcomes were realized from technology to drive value creation for revenue & operations
A.Amarnath, Senior Vice President & Global Head – Strategic Engagements, Wipro
The future of work: automation to accelerate value creation
• How are you thinking about opportunities around automation?
• Doing automation right: utilizing automation technologies to accelerate value creation
• How to prioritize and align business and technology priorities
• Enabling scale & improving profitability
• Transforming the cost base and accelerating margin expansion
Building out pricing capabilities in your portfolio
• Identifying pricing value in your portfolio early on
• Capturing pricing upside and other profitable growth opportunities within portfolio companies
• How pricing compares to other value creation strategies across PE deals
• Case studies in strategic pricing projects and other topline initiatives
• Integrating data to inform pricing decisions
What makes a great PE operations team in the modern-day tech boom?
• What roles exist on your operations team? What are the specialist skill sets & traits of successful operating partners? What makes a great digital operating partner?
• What will the future of the role look like in an increasingly digital world?
• What are current best practices in building out an operating team: structures, staffing, & value creation programs
• In-house operating capacity vs. outsourced services/advisors
• How to quantify operating partner performance: KPIs and metrics used by firms
• What are the primary goals for your team and how are you positioned with your portfolio?
• Engaging with portfolio companies to drive initiatives: is your approach autocratic or laissez faire?
End of day one chairman's remarks & cocktail reception
Day 2 - Thursday 17th
Invitation-only think tank for full-time operating partners: value creation war room
This closed-door discussion will allow you to learn and share best practices of successful operating partners. The think tank will allow you to submit topics to be covered to include trends in PE/VC impacting the role, compensation, third-party providers, best value creation practices and the toughest challenges operating partners face daily. It will allow you to select one of the three groups divided by experience levels and your role in portfolio operations.
Group A: Advanced/Seasoned Operating Partners
Cory Eaves, Operating Partner, General Atlantic
Gregg Kaplan, Operating Partner, Pritzker Private Capital
Group B: Emerging Operating Partners
Group C: Human Capital Operating Partners
Registration and continental breakfast
Human capital as a key value creation lever
• Utilizing the hottest technology & best resources for talent acquisition, assessment & development
• How do you evaluate and select a search firm?
• What level in the organization does your PE firm get involved in talent selection? Do you get involved in talent issues at lower levels?
• What do you see as the chief challenge in recruiting/retaining talent in your portfolio companies?
• Quantifying the impact/ROI of human capital – what processes are generating returns?
• Performance improvement through people: goals, incentives, and compensation
Breaking down cloud impact from diligence to optimization
• How portfolio companies leverage cloud to increase value
• Reducing risk and accelerating value by considering cloud maturity
• Best practices to create repeatable results
• Developing a cloud first culture
• Overcoming challenges and roadblocks
• Thinking beyond cost to business value
• What tools were used to accelerate engagement
Tara Jones, Private Equity Partner Manager, Amazon Web Services
Accelerating value and reducing risk in carve-outs and divestitures
The objective is to discuss where value exists in the planning and execution phases of carve-outs, and understand the respective roles of PE investors, management and partners in positioning for and driving value. What is the impact of time to market to get to stand-alone entity vs. spend? Are there trade-offs and what does exceptional look like?
• What are key value levers driving successful carve-outs and getting to a stand-alone entity? How do PE investors, management and partners view these levers? Is there transparency and alignment on value?
• What are the risks, cost, time and value trade-offs that need to be considered?
• What strategies are required to reduce complexities, risks and improve the value equation? Are there areas in pre-close, quiet period and post close where slack time can be used to drive value?
• Where can tools and technology make a difference? What should partners be considering as we go forward?
• Discuss the most common pitfalls and pain points for PE investors, management and partners
• What does success look like? What are the right metrics and internal controls to avoid misalignment?
Martin Glenn, Principal, RSM US
The cognitive enterprise: reinventing your company with AI
• Redesigning company workflows around AI
• Going beyond AI
• How are you thinking about opportunities around IoT and blockchain?
• What IoT means for your industry and how it can make companies more efficient, flexible and productive
• The cognitive reinvention: understanding where and how to apply modernization and repeatable innovation
Track 13 | Panel | Add-on acquisitions: best PE practices in adopting the buy and build philosophy
• Cost synergies and revenue synergies: best practices for automating synergy tracking
• Cash flow analysis in a high velocity “buy and build” environment
• How to think about a company’s cash flow when they’ve had multiple mid-year acquisitions
• Creating a playbook to prepare a company’s process, technology, and people for a merger
• How to execute a strategy successfully to avoid a clash in systems/culture
Track 14 | Panel | Transportation, mobility, delivery & distribution innovation for your portco businesses
• Looking at spend and capitalization of your equipment to help manage transportation
• Understanding the future of mobility with innovation: autonomous vehicles
• Best practices in managing distribution and delivery for your portfolio companies
Track 15 | Roundtable | Monitoring & quantifying portfolio performance with data science & technologies
• What new tools are you adopting for portfolio management?
• Looking at best methodologies for portfolio company reporting
• Applying growth KPIs and metrics for operational improvement in different stages
• Using data science to measure the success of a company and drive value creation
• Approaches in utilizing data lakes and big data to drive results
• Should value creation teams include heads of data science?
Track 16 | Roundtable
Track 17 | Panel | Modernizing back office operations: the power and value of a true shared services model
• Rationalizing back-office overhead costs through an outsourced shared services model
• Converging technological trends to remake the back-office: SAAS, outsourcing, and robotic process automation
Nate Medoff, Partner, ContinuServe
Track 18 | Panel | Leveraging cloud communications in a global, mobile workplace
Changes in how people choose to communicate today, dispersed mobile workforces, increasingly global interactions, and demand for integration with core cloud business systems are driving rapid change in the communications space. How can your PE firm and portfolio companies best leverage these technologies to improve communications and operations while also cutting costs?
Track 19 | Roundtable |Three strategies to grow EBITDA through finance
• Aligning people/process/technology for fast wins
• Architecting change: business models, M&A, talent
• Scaling up with technology: best practices
Track 20 | Roundtable | Leveraging the supply chain for growth
• Leveraging technology & data to enhance your global supply chain process
• Strategic sourcing to be most effective in your sector
• Effective planning to simplify complexities and reduce costs
• Executing with precision in today’s fast pace world of e-commerce
Tricks of the trade: driving top line value creation initiatives in addressing key elements of a business
• What areas/levers drive the most value creation in focusing on operating partner operations in different stages?
• What holds you back from driving the most value fast?
• Tracking value creation performance: do you track? How do you track?
• What approach do you use to ensure that your strategy is aligned to execution and that you have clear visibility to the progress of activities towards EBITDA goal achievement?
• Building and incorporating playbooks for growth: what is being done that is new and improved to help companies?
• Looking at cross-portfolio programs vs. individual portfolio company initiatives
• How are you thinking about exit? Is there anything that you doing specifically in relation to exit?
LP views of the operating partner role and its significance in the industry
• LP views and demands in looking at differences in operating partners models and how they are applied
• What could the industry do better and what do LPs want to see?
• How do LPs diligence operating partners and value creation during their fund diligence?
• How do LPs evaluate operating partners in steering their investments?
• Are LP views of operating partners and value creation influencing how PE firms utilize operating partners?
Operating Partners Human Capital Forum networking luncheon
Big data & workforce analytics: looking at the future of human capital with AI on the horizon
• How is AI affecting and going to affect recruiting and developing talent?
• Utilizing workforce analytics to quantifying performance improvement across the portfolio
• What tools have you effectively used to analyze team dynamics and make comparisons of management capability across your assets
• Innovations in “people data science” to uncover hidden patterns in data to make you reconsider how you pay, retain and engage your employees
• Utilizing big data to help you win the war for talent
Digital operating partner-CEO alignment
Global human capital operations: best strategies for taking your portfolio operations global
• Portfolio company expansion: support low head count in multiple countries
• Risk-management strategy: employment contracts designed to mitigate exposure to risk
• Cross-border benefits: offering locally appropriate benefits packages to maximize employee retention post deal close
• Help your portfolio companies negotiate with candidates in any country where they find employees
• Engage a team in any country where your portfolio company wants to hire employees
• Cross-border M&A best practices from a human capital perspective
Bob Cahill, Chief Financial Officer, Globalization Partners
What makes a great human capital operating partner?
• What will the future role of the human capital operating partner look like – looking at the emerging role of the chief talent officer
• How do you provide the most value in your HR operating partner role? When does your firm engage the human capital operating partner and for what?
• Looking at prerequisites, backgrounds, and skill sets that enable success in the role
• Are you involved in strategy around succession planning, compensation, and management incentives?
• How are you thinking about diversity and diversity of boards?
• How do you use external consultants?
End of conference
Operating Partner, Francisco Partners Consulting
Managing Director and Chief Talent Officer, AlixPartners
President, LynnCo Supply Chain Solutions
Chief Portfolio Services Officer, Leonard Green & Partners
Managing Partner, Blue Ridge Partners
Operating Partner, General Atlantic
Managing Director, Operations & Strategy, OMERS Private Equity
Managing Director, Leadership Solutions, TBM Consulting Group
Director, Mergers & Acquisitions, West Monroe Partners
Operating Partner, Pritzker Private Capital
President, Francisco Partners Consulting
Co-President, Equity Group Investments
Director of Portfolio Operations, Sightway Capital
Senior Principal, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Senior Vice President, Insight Sourcing Group & SpendHQ
The Operating Partners Forum 2019 will offer a unique opportunity for organizations to raise their profile by meeting with the largest gathering of private equity value creators across two days of sessions.
For exclusive sponsorship packages for 2019, contact Lawrence Dvorchik at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1 646 545 4429.
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