Recap: 2010 Michigan Private Equity Conference

Shannon Beeman
October 21, 2010

Thanks to the 150 who were in attendance for last week’s annual Michigan Private Equity Conference at the University of Michigan.  The jam-packed half day program featured industry experts who spoke on the current state of private equity and what to expect in the near future.

The event kicked-off with a presentation from David Brandon, the athletic director of the University of Michigan and former CEO of Dominos.  Brandon discussed his experience with IPOs and recommended executives in this position build the case for change, give people the resources they need to succeed and provide incentives.  At Dominoes, Brandon successfully led the company through the economic downturn by upping the pace of product introductions, reducing employee turnover and making personnel changes.

Next up was a panel discussion on the current marketplace, which led panelists to the conclusion that private equity is at an inflection point.  Right now, there’s very little coming back to investors when they put their money in a fund, and there’s still a lot of un-invested capital sitting on the sidelines.  David Evans, chairman and managing director of Glencoe Capital LLC, explained that private equity funds have a shelf life and within the next few years the market will be watching to see whether the money in those funds is invested, lost or extended.  But Evans is optimistic for the future as he sees the IPO window opening a bit.

Later in the day, a presentation by Michael Goss, managing director and COO of Bain Capital, pointed out the similarities between college football and private equity.  What are they?  Find out by going here to read Terry Kosdrosky’s recap on the analogy.