Christopher Taylor has stepped into the role of chief executive officer of Madison Capital Funding, a subsidiary of New York Life Insurance Co., effective July 1. The promotion from managing director was announced in January, as part of the lender’s long-term succession plan. Taylor joined Madison Capital in 2005, holding various positions in underwriting, portfolio management and distressed credit. In 2015, he ascended to the executive level, running the business development team and joining the investment committee and senior leadership team. Taylor has overseen growth in general industries, healthcare, insurance and financial services and led the firm’s expansion into software and technology in 2016. He also led the strategy in growing the firm’s third-party asset management business and focused on expanding the investor base in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. “As the firm moves into its next phase of growth, we are confident Chris brings the energy, knowledge and experience needed to capitalize on today’s strong industry fundamentals, and to continue to deliver strong outcomes for our clients,” said Yie-Hsin Hung, chief executive officer of New York Life Investment Management, in a statement. “In a highly competitive environment, private equity sponsors will increasingly need access to the in-depth industry expertise, decades of experience and solid financial backing that Madison Capital Funding is known for,” said Taylor. “I am fortunate to be surrounded by one of the most talented team of professionals in our industry who will work collaboratively to continue to drive our business forward for many years to come.” Taylor succeeded Hugh Wade as CEO. Wade, who co-founded the firm in 2001, is now serving as chairman until his upcoming retirement in December. Over the last five years, Madison Capital’s portfolio of assets under management has grown about 42 percent, standing at $9.5 billion at the end of the first quarter. In 2017, the firm did business with 17 new sponsors, bringing the total to 287. For more on the firm’s strategy, read our Q&A with Jennifer Cotton, Abundance of capital drives highly competitive loan process, says Madison Capital’s chief underwriter, and watch Investors from all over the globe are attracted to private debt, says Madison’s Sunil Mehta.

Exponent, a networking group for women dealmakers that launched in 2017, is gearing up for its first marquee event, called Exponent Exchange, on July 12. The keynote speaker is Sallie Krawcheck, who previously served as CEO of several banks, including Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and the Citi Private Bank, and is now the CEO of Ellevest, an online investing website aimed at women. Additional speakers include: Lisa Bernstein, global head of human capital, Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE: APO); Sarah Bradley, partner, Kainos Capital; Janet Cowell, CEO, Girls Who Invest; Mary Kathleen Flynn, editor-in-chief, Mergers & Acquisitions; Jennifer Lu, executive director, Moelis & Co. (NYSE: MC); Natalia Oberti Noguera, founder and CEO, Pipeline Angels; Thu Do, chief product officer, Tastemakers Africa; and Adrianne Shapira, managing director, Eurazeo Brands. Underscoring enthusiasm for initiatives aimed at women, sponsors of the event include leading dealmaking companies, such as Apollo, Baird, BDO, Merrill Corp. and Moelis. Read the full story: Entrepreneurs Sallie Krawcheck, Cheraé Robinson to speak at Exponent Exchange.

Deal news
Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN) has approached several public companies recently, including Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) and Alphabet Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOGL), to drum up sale interest, according to Bloomberg News. Recode first reported the developments on July 7, citing two people it said were briefed on the effort and without identifying the companies involved.

Arlington Capital Partners-backed Cadence Aerospace has acquired Perfekta Inc., a provider of metal, aluminum and structural parts for the aerospace, defense and space industries. Houlihan Lokey Inc. (NYSE: HLI) advised Perfekta. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey advised Arlington and Cadence.

Highlander Partners has purchased Queen City Candy Inc., a producer of gummies, jellies and fruit snacks. “QCC’s capabilities extend beyond regular confection products, and we believe that we can capitalize on the industry trends and the uniqueness of the company’s assets while pursuing gummy vitamin and other confection and wellness strategies over the next few years,” says Highlander managing partner Jeff Hull.

Arsenal Capital Partners-backed Carolina Color Corp. has purchased Chroma Corp. The target is a color and additive concentrate business that serves the packaging and electronics sectors, among others.

Ardian is buying a majority stake in Corob SpA. Wise SGR is investing alongside Ardian. Corob supplies automated services that are used in the production and distribution of paints and coatings, inks and chemical substances.

For a roundup of recent M&A announcements, read: The weekly wrap: Perry Ellis, Hunter Douglas, Jennifer Convertibles and more.

For news of private equity firms marketing new funds, read: PE fundraising scorecard: Aterian, Beekman, Carlyle, Estancia, Riverside Partners.

People Moves
Mike Anderson has been named head of investor relations at CVC Credit Partners, the credit management business of CVC. Anderson was most recently the head of investor relations at Pemberton Asset Management.

Paul Tropp was hired by Ropes & Gray’s New York office as a partner. Previously with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, Tropp represents issuers and underwriters in initial and follow-on public offerings and selling shareholder deals. He also represents independent boards of directors and financial advisors in M&A.

Jane Greyf has joined Latham & Watkins as a partner. Most recently with Goodwin, Greyf represents private equity firms and their portfolio companies on M&A.

To see which firms are hiring and promoting, including Lovell Minnick Partners and LLR Partners, read: People moves: Joan Binstock, Lovell Minnick, Seth Friedman, Global Bankers Capital, Cary Burch, LLR.

Featured content
Justify recently joined the elite group of Triple Crown winners. But, as anyone who’s ever bet the ponies knows, they can’t all be Justifys. Sometimes you get a winner and sometimes, for reasons that aren’t quite clear to anyone, you get an underperformer. It’s a concept with which most fund sponsors may be intimately familiar. You bet on the investment because you foresee its potential and understand the path it needs to take in order to achieve it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting a stuck-in-the-mudder into racing shape, written by Accordion‘s Rishi Jain and Anthony Horvat: 6 strategies to turn an underperformer into a “mudder.”

Huron Capital’s new Flex Equity Fund resonates with companies that “need a partner to help them grow, or to provide some liquidity, but don’t want to give up a controlling interest,” says partner Douglas Sutton in this video interview shot at ACG InterGrowth 2018. The Detroit firm won Mergers & Acquisitions’ M&A Mid-Market Award for 2017 Seller of the Year. Watch the video: Huron’s Flex Equity resonates with owners who don’t want to give up control.

As the dominoes start to fall and momentum builds, timing will matter to investors in cannabis, writes Jeffrey Howard, managing partner at Salveo Capital, an alternative investment firm specializing in the legalized cannabis sector, in a guest article. For most, the question isn’t whether the federal government legalizes cannabis, it’s how much longer investors will be able to capitalize on this undefined future to influence and profit from how the ecosystem ultimately takes shape, says Howard. If the M&A market can serve as a leading indicator, the runway for investors is already becoming shorter as strategic buyers represent, both, a threat and opportunity. In fact, major players within Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco and Big Pharma have each made inroads in the space, which proves out the investment thesis, but will surely beckon added competition. Read the full story: How to seize M&A opportunities in marijuana’s gray market.

Summer reading list: From stories of star athletes Arnold Palmer, Keith Hernandez and Tiger Woods to advice from entrepreneurs Bridgewater AssociatesRay Dalio, KPCB’s John Doerr, Nike’s Phil Knight and Brava Investments’ Nathalie Molina Niño, plus strategies to help business leaders in general, and female dealmakers in particular, the 15 books on Mergers & Acquisitions’ list entertain, instruct and inspire. Check out our listicle: Dealmaker’s guide to summer reading: 15 new books.