The first month of the fourth quarter packs one heck of a networking punch, thanks to a trio of regional conferences hosted by chapters of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG). All the elbow rubbing pays off. In 2014, October yielded more completed transactions than any other month. Here’s a cheat sheet to the 2015 season.
ACG LA Business Conference
Dealmakers convene at the luxurious Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, for the annual conference Oct. 6-7. On tap are big names in business, including Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE), and Robert L. Johnson, founder of the Black Entertainment Television network and chairman of the RLJ Companies, which includes private equity firm RLJ Equity Partners LLC.
Hosted by the Los Angeles chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, the conference also features Carey Lohrenz, the first female U.S. Navy F-14 Tomcat Fighter pilot; and Peter Diamandis, the CEO of non-profit XPrize Foundation. Other highlights include: a performance at ACGFest from Grammy Award-winning, seven-piece band Ozomatli, known for the music in the film Happy Feet 2; and food-truck snacks from Kogi, In-N-Out Burger and more.
More important than cuisine, the private equity executives, investment bankers, lenders, lawyers and other advisers that mix at the event will be brewing deals. The 2014 conference attracted more than 1,400 attendees.
Middle-market professionals make their way to the “City of Brotherly Love” Oct. 13-14 for the conference hosted by ACG Philadelphia. Held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the event boasts more than 1,300 attendees – almost 75 percent of whom said they sourced or potentially sourced a deal at the event, according to the chapter.
There are plenty of opportunities for one-on-one meetings. Deal Source, which brings PE investors and investment bankers together in pre-scheduled meetings, is spread over both days of the conference. Coupled with the Private Equity Marketplace scheduled on Oct. 14, dealmakers have ample time to matchmake targets with PE firms.
Attendees will hear from Howie Long, the former Oakland Raiders lineman and TV broadcaster; and Danny Meyer, the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, owner of a wide range of restaurants from Union Square Café to Shake Shack.
Midwest ACG Capital Connection
Hosted by ACG Chicago, the gathering is held at Navy Pier on Lake Michigan Oct. 19-20. One featured program is the Minority Finance Forum, which was developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
In its second year, the forum aims to help increase access to capital for minority-owned businesses and their advisers and investors. Other highlights of the conference are the NextGen Lunch for attendees under 40 and an event designed to bring together international investors and investment bankers.