Sourcing: The Art of Woo: Creating A Value Proposition Beyond Currency
Sourcing new investment opportunities remains a key concern of Limited Partners investing in private equity. At the same time, sourcing continues to grow more difficult for firms as the private equity landscape becomes saturated, and as firms look to differentiate themselves in a commodity environment. The speakers will discuss how a proactive origination strategy can drive consistently higher returns, as a result of a greater number of proprietary deals and higher relevance of incoming investment opportunities. Further, the panel will discuss various non-monetary solutions to help firms win more deals.
John R. Buck
Versa Capital Management, LLC
Mr. Buck is a Managing Director at Versa Capital Management, a Philadelphia-based private equity firm with $1.2 billion of assets under management focused on executing a special situation control-oriented investment strategy. Mr. Buck is responsible for originating investment opportunities and secondary debt trades, and arranging loans to support Versa’s investments. He is a director of Civitas Media LLC, a community newspaper chain concentrated in Ohio and North Carolina.
Prior to joining Versa in 2006, Mr. Buck was Vice President at Cerberus Capital Management, where he led middle-market deal origination efforts, and supported the underwriting of numerous investments in a diverse set of industries. He was a co-founder of TenX Capital, a partnership that focused on control investments in underperforming technology, telecommunications, and business services companies.
Mr. Buck is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Fox Graduate School of Business. He is actively involved with the Turnaround Management Association (TMA), Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), and Commercial Finance Association (CFA), and is a board member of the Philadelphia Chapter of the TMA and member of the CFA Advocacy Committee. Mr. Buck has participated on numerous panels addressing topics on distressed investing, turnarounds, and credit markets on behalf of TMA, CFA, ACG, the Wharton School of Business, and the American Bankruptcy Institute.
Jay C. Jester
Audax Group, founded in 1999, is a leading investor in lower-middle market companies. With offices in Boston and New York, Audax has over $5 billion in assets under management in its Private Equity, Mezzanine, and Senior Debt funds.
Mr. Jester joined Audax Private Equity at its inception in 2000 and is one of the original senior investment professionals at the firm. In addition, he leads the firm’s marketing and business development efforts.
Prior to joining Audax, Mr. Jester was a General Partner with FCP Investors, Inc., a leading middle market private equity firm in Tampa, Florida. Mr. Jester also worked as an investment banker at Bowles Hollowell Conner & Company in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Jay received a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rob joined Graham Partners in 1998 and serves as a Managing Principal of the firm. Rob, along with the other Managing Principals, shares responsibility for all major operational functions of the firm, including transaction sourcing, structuring, negotiating and divesting; working with portfolio companies; and handling relationships with limited partners.
Previously, Rob was a member of Investcorp’s Private Equity group. Prior to Investcorp, he worked in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Rob received his M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was a Ford Fellow, first year co-valedictorian, and graduated as a Palmer Scholar. Rob earned his B.S. in Business Administration and his M.A. in Accounting with honors from the University of Texas. Rob is Chairman Emeritus of the Wharton Alumni Executive Board. He is also Co-Chairman and a former Co-President of Wharton Private Equity Partners.
Huron Capital Partners
Gretchen Perkins is responsible for managing Huron’s business development and investment sourcing activities, including outreach to deal professionals such as business brokers, investment banks, attorneys, accountants and consultants.
Gretchen has over 25 years’ experience in the finance and business development sectors serving a variety of capital market participants. Prior to joining Huron, Gretchen led the acquisition sourcing efforts at Long Point Capital, a middle market private equity fund. Gretchen also served as Vice President – Business Development for IRN, Inc., a market research firm, and has held senior business development positions at Fleet Capital Corporation and GE Capital Corporation, where she originated and structured senior debt packages for buyouts of middle-market companies. Gretchen is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Inc. (ACG) Global Board of Directors, a Director for the Detroit, Michigan Chapter of the ACG, the Co-Chair of the ACG’s Public Policy Committee, a Board Member for the Michigan Chapter of the International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation, and a Mentor for the Women of Tomorrow organization which mentors at-risk high school girls.
Carmen J. Romano
Carmen J. Romano, former chair of the corporate and securities group, represents private equity and strategic clients in mergers and acquisitions across a wide variety of industries, including health care, energy infrastructure, education, food and beverage, transportation, industrial, and consumer products.
Mr. Romano has been recognized for the past eight years as a leading lawyer for Corporate/M&A and Private Equity by Chambers USA, a referral guide to leading lawyers in the United States based on the opinions of their peers and clients. In addition, he has been recognized as a leading lawyer for M&A by Practical Law Company and has been recognized for his work in private equity, capital markets: high yield debt offerings and M&A by The Legal 500 (U.S.), and is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Romano handles transactions on behalf of leading private equity sponsors such as One Equity Partners, Jefferies Capital Partners, Bruckmann, Rosser, Sherrill & Co., Leeds Equity Partners, and many of their portfolio companies. In addition, strategic buyers and sellers, including Select Medical Corporation, Bentley Systems and Berwind Group, call on Mr. Romano to represent them in a full range of transactions and corporate matters.