Opening Keynotes by Kevyn Orr and Ken Buckfire Highlight Ninth Annual Private Equity Conference

Shannon Beeman
September 4, 2014

You may have seen the save-the-date for the ninth annual Michigan Private Equity Conference hosted by the Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance; today, full details have been unveiled. The “boutique” conference, which will be held October 16 and 17, will spotlight topics in the nation’s credit markets that pose challenges and new opportunities for those in private equity and institutional investing. Private equity, investment banking and business professionals from around the United States and from the University of Michigan alumni community will be in attendance.

“Today’s venture market has flattened out quite a bit, but the private equity market is still holding strong and taking on some of the traditional venture capital roles by investing growth capital in young companies,” said David J. Brophy, director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance. “In a sluggish economy, private equity is booming – especially in the middle market. This conference will provide great networking and learning opportunities for companies and investors who are searching for these types of deals.”

Pre-conference events start on Thursday, Oct. 16 with a golf outing at the University of Michigan golf course as well as the opportunity to go on the U-M football field and tour the locker rooms. This will be followed by a dinner reception at the Campus Inn for all conference registrants. The formal conference program will start on Friday, Oct. 17 and run from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Michigan Union.

The opening keynote will be presented by Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager and Ken Buckfire, president, managing director and co-founder of Miller Buckfire, both of whom played key roles in Detroit’s restructuring efforts following its historic Chapter 9 bankruptcy. A second keynote will be delivered by T. Bondurant (Bon) French, the chief executive officer of Adams Street Partners, one of the largest managers of private equity for institutional investors, which manages more than $22 billion of committed capital.

In addition, a series of panel discussions and a networking lunch will be held. Panel sessions will focus on “Emerging Trends in How LPs are Currently Investing” and “Perspective on the Current PE Regulatory Environment.” A concurrent workshop, led by Nick Barker of Huron Capital Partners, will spotlight a case study on the firm’s buy-and-build strategy as it relates to the dental market.

Panelists at this year’s event include:
• Jeremy Duksin, Credit Suisse Private Fund Group
• Brian Gimotty, UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust
• Brian Kolin, Blackstone
• Sid Murdeshwar, AlpInvest Partners, Inc.
• Audrey DiMarzo, Rizvi Traverse Management LLC
• Ian Rivera, ACA Compliance Group
• Josh Westerholm, Kirkland & Ellis LLP
• Michael DuBay, Honigman

Online registration for the conference is open through Tuesday, October 14. For more information or to register, visit