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The 3rd Annual West Coast M&A/Private Equity Forum

Strategy and Execution in a Shifting Market

Thursday September 19, 2024 | 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

The 黑料大湿Posts Institute is pleased to host the 3rd Annual West Coast M&A/Private Equity Forum this September at the Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley in East Palo Alto. This premier gathering of regional deals professionals offers timely guidance on key trends and developments impacting a dynamic US middle market. Join us for industry-leading educational content and professional networking in the heart of Silicon Valley. Stay connected by following #WCMA2024 for all the latest news and updates leading up to and during our premier event.

Registration is now available!

Event Details

East Palo Alto, CA

$595 USD (hotel rooms not included). Register before July 1 for a 15% early bird discount (automatically applied)

For questions about this event, please call 1-800-308-1700, extension 1 or email us at tri@thomsonreuters.com

Why You Should Attend

  • This conference addresses current trends and developments impacting the regional US middle market.
  • Our esteemed faculty offers buy- and sell-side guidance for navigating a lucrative deals environment.
  • Participants can network with key powerbrokers and prospective clients throughout the day's proceedings and closing reception.

Who Should Attend

  • Corporate counsel
  • Strategic sellers
  • Investment bankers
  • Transactional lawyers
  • M&A advisors
  • Corporate Development professionals
  • Business entrepreneurs

Chair(s) and Faculty

Chair(s) Faculty
Pavan Jawanda
Partner, McCarthy Tetrault LLP
Jason Rabbitt-Tomita
Partner, Baker Botts LLP
Zach Warren
Technology and Innovation Insights Lead, 黑料大湿Posts
Dan Waxman
Senior Director, Willis Towers Watson
David Taylor
Partner, Keller Benvenutti Kim LLP
Ben Stokes
Founding Partner, Chasing Unicorns
Scott Sher
Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Peter Munzig
Partner, TPG
Ziad Makkawi
Founder & CEO, EQUIAM
Nishant Jadhav
Managing Director, Woodside Capital Partners
Ken D Kumayama
Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Darlene Chiang
Counsel, Hanson Bridgett LLP
Thomas Bonfiglio
Senior Vice President, CAC Specialty

More Information





Event agenda

(all times local)

Thursday September 19, 2024

8:00AM-9:00AM PT Registration & Networking Breakfast
9:00AM-9:15AM PT Opening Remarks
09:15AM-10:30AM PT Pole Position: The State of the M&A Market and 2025 Forecast

As 2024 turned the corner, all signs pointed towardsonward and upward鈥 M&A momentum, moving activity out of the bear market of 2023. Optimists cheered decelerated inflation and reduced interest rates as evidence of an enhanced fiscal picture, but an improved financial market often makes financing more expensive to secure. Now, with feet planted firmly in the year, where does deal activity stand and what changes in deal volume and sector sweet spots are dealmakers seeing this year? Join us for our annual discussion of the current M&A landscape and forecast for the year ahead.


Jason Rabbitt-Tomita, Partner, Baker Botts LLP

10:30AM-10:45AM PT Networking Break
10:45AM-12:00PM PT Shifting Strategies: Perspectives on Private Equity in the Middle Market

As robust valuations remain on record, private equity has been experiencing an increase of take-privates, add-on acquisitions and carve-out听deals. Given both a squeezed and savvy market, PE firms are adding new attention on operational efficiencies and value creating processes aimed at driving profitability, as well as focusing on AI-enabled strategies to assist in identifying sound investment targets. How will these strategies inform PE activity in the year ahead? Do dealmakers expect valuations to remain high or will the market shift soon to allow for more buyout opportunities? This session will explore these and other critical questions for private equity in the current market.


Thomas Bonfiglio, Senior Vice President, CAC Specialty


Darlene Chiang, Counsel, Hanson Bridgett LLP
Ziad Makkawi, Founder & CEO, EQUIAM
Peter Munzig, Partner, TPG

12:00-1:00PM PT Networking Luncheon
1:00-2:00PM PT Nefarious Actors: Cybersecurity Considerations in Due Diligence

With the wide-spread use of artificial intelligence, nefarious actors now have more powerful tools at their command. Given that the health of a company鈥檚 cybersecurity posture is key to its valuation, what new considerations should dealmakers keep in mind as they undergo thorough cybersecurity due diligence of their potential targets? Where are the common vulnerabilities and how should one evaluate the history of incidents against the present-day cyber policies of the acquisition? How should dealmakers respond to unforeseen issues beyond diligence? Join us for a session that explores the evolving nature and ever-present issues of cybersecurity in dealmaking.



Zachary Warren, Technology & Innovation Insights Lead, 黑料大湿Posts Institute


Ken D Kumayama, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Nishant Jadhav, Managing Director, Woodside Capital Partners

2:00-2:15PM PT Networking Break
2:15-3:15PM PT Fires on the Horizon: Deal Risk and Response in Private Equity

There is a growing thread of public unease around private equity鈥檚 role in the economy. A burgeoning number of lawsuits have been brought forward, surveying PE鈥檚 role in alleged negligence of the products and services offered through their portfolio companies. Though not subject to the same requirements as banks, some are calling for sweeping regulatory changes for private equity. Are courts of public opinion enough to sway new action of regulators or within the courts themselves? If so, what can private equity do to insulate themselves from deal risk should it arise within a firm鈥檚 portfolio?


David Taylor, Partner, Keller Benvenutti Kim LLP
Dan Waxman, Senior Director, Wilson Towers Watson
Scott Sher, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

3:15-3:25PM PT Networking Break
3:25-4:25PM PT Breaking Ground: Exploring Deal Opportunities and Threats of Disrupted Industries

Porter鈥檚 Five Forces model notes that industries can experience large shifts in competitive market share from both the threat of new entrants and from substitute products/services. Staying ahead of potential shifts can yield big returns for dealmakers. With new substitutes (i.e. plant-based food products), and new entrants (i.e. AI-driven services), making waves in the market, what should dealmakers be doing to take advantage of growing disruptors in the market or adversely, protecting their current holdings from risk? What other sectors do deal futurists expect to see market interrupters emerge in? Join us as our faculty explore opportunities and threats in dealmaking within the disruptive edges of industry.


Ben Stokes, Founding Partner, Chasing Unicorns

4:25-4:30PM PT Closing Remarks
4:30-5:30PM PT Networking Reception

Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto

2050 University Avenue
East Palo Alto, CA 94303