Dealmakers attending the ACG Los Angeles Business Conference heard from economist and former chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke on Sept. 16, the first day of the annual gathering.

Bernanke held two terms as chairman of the central bank of the U.S. from 2006 to 2014, overseeing the Federal Reserve's response to the financial crisis and resulting economic downturn.

The event, which has grown over the years from an initial “whim” to one of the association’s biggest events of the year, will also feature another famous name as a guest speaker.

On Sept. 17, former CIA director and four-star U.S. Army General David Petraeus will deliver the keynote address. Petraeus is currently chairman of the KKR Global Institute and a director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

The previous two conferences featured former U.S. presidents as keynote speakers: Bill Clinton, the 42nd president, in 2013, and George W. Bush, the 43rd president, in 2012.

Other speakers at the conference include David Stern, commissioner emeritus of the National Basketball Association, and Rick Caruso, chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated, one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the U.S.

The featured speaker at the Women’s Forum on the 16th was Janice Fields, former president of McDonald's USA LLC (NYSE: MCD).

The conference, which is hosted by the ACG Los Angeles chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth, is being held at the Beverly Hilton. Mergers & Acquisitions is conducting video interviews at the conference. Check back later in September to view our video interviews. And in the meantime, for more on ACG LA, see "Meet 5 California ACG Chapters."

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