University of Michigan to Host Annual Private Equity Conference

Kevin Albert of Pantheon Ventures and John Diggins of Platinum Equity Partners to Headline Oct. 4 Event Drawing Top Alumni and PE Professionals to Michigan

Sep 26, 2013, 09:00 ET from Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 eighth annual Michigan Private Equity Conference, taking place October 3 and 4. The 'boutique' Conference will cover current and emerging topics in the nation's credit markets that pose challenges and new opportunities for those in private equity and institutional investing. More than 200 private equity, investment banking and business professionals from around the United States and from the University of Michigan alumni community are expected to attend.

"Today, the private equity sector is certainly healthy and well-funded, but it has shifted its sights away from strictly doing buyouts, to providing growth capital to younger, high-potential companies in the post-venture-capital stage of financing," said David J. Brophy, director of the Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. "Private equity shops are finding value in this middle market area, and that's where they're doing a lot of their investments. These are just a sampling of the kinds of deals that get done at the event and company owners who want to meet these types of investors should attend this conference, which is the best of its kind in the Midwest."

A pre-conference golf outing at the University of Michigan golf course and dinner reception will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3. The conference will kick off at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 with a networking breakfast. The opening keynote address will be delivered by Kevin Albert, global head of business development at Pantheon Ventures, an international private equity fund-of-funds manager. Albert will shine a spotlight on new trends in fundraising by private equity shops. A second keynote address will be delivered later in the morning by John Diggins, a partner at Platinum Equity Partners. Diggins will share his insights into where the California-based private equity firm is placing its investment dollars and what attracted the firm to the state of Michigan. He will also speak about Platinum Equity's stake in the Detroit Pistons and the firm's experience with the NBA franchise.

In addition, a series of panel discussions and networking lunch will be held. Panelists include:

  • Eric Dykema, Lineage Capital LLC
  • Gerry Boylan, Long Point Capital
  • Frank Muller, Jr., Behringer Harvard Holdings, Inc.
  • Michael Oleshansky, PSP Capital Partners LLC
  • Joseph O'Connor, AlpInvest Partners
  • Bruce Engler, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
  • Mike Vlasic, Vlasic Investments
  • Jeff Arnesen, Houlihan Lokey
  • Michael Faremouth, Linsalata Capital Partners
  • Sandra Bosela, OPTrust Private Markets Group
  • Brian Demkowicz, Huron Capital
  • Brendan Edmonds, Atlantic-Pacific Capital
  • Eric Wilcomes, DuPont Capital Management Corp.
  • Shawn Winnie, State of Michigan Department of Treasury

Post-conference, Brophy will host a 'fireside chat' on investment banking and the path to private equity, which is open to the public. The panel starts at 3:00 p.m. in room 1210 at the Ross School of Business. Panelists include representatives from Kohlberg & Co, Blackstone Group, Pine Brook Partners, Apollo Global Management and Moelis & Company.

Online registration for the conference is open through Wednesday, Oct. 2. 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 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 $6.5M 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

SOURCE Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies