University of Michigan to Host Kevyn Orr and Ken Buckfire as Opening Keynotes at Ninth Annual Private Equity Conference

August 6, 2015

University of Michigan to Host Kevyn Orr and Ken Buckfire as Opening Keynotes at Ninth Annual Private Equity Conference

More than 200 Attendees Expected at Oct. 16-17 Event to Discuss Key Issues Impacting Today’s Private Equity Climate

Ann Arbor, Mich. – Sept. 4, 2014 – The Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business today unveiled details for its ninth annual Michigan Private Equity Conference. 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 at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “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

About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance, at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business, bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School’s three student-led investment funds, with over $7M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments, and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at

About the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society. Ross is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include the MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Entrepreneurship, Master of Management, BBA, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.