NACD Board Leadership Conference NACD Chapter System

Unlocking Corporate Value - Lessons From Private Equity

December 12, 2017
New York, NY



Over the past 30 years, the private equity industry has grown from humble beginnings to become an integral part of the global business landscape.  Worldwide, private equity firms control companies worth tens of trillions of dollars. With approximately $1.5 trillion in assets under management, the private equity industry in the United States is an important steward of a large slice of the country’s investment capital. And, indeed, the willingness of endowments, pension funds and family offices to invest in private equity is a testament to the success that leading buyout funds have had over the years.

Long gone are the days when private equity funds could create value through just leverage and cost reduction.  Today, the most successful private equity funds consistently demonstrate a keen ability to generate superior performance by creating real and sustainable operating and productivity improvements at their portfolio companies. 

Join us to hear our panel of experts identify the strategic, operating and governance factors that drive success at private equity-owned companies and how those factors differentiate PE portfolio companies from their public company counterparts.

Some of the questions our panel will address include:


  • What does a private equity fund look for in an acquisition target?
  • What changes take place during the first 100 days of private equity ownership?
  • How do private equity firms enhance the performance of the companies they acquire?  What are their keys to unlocking value?
  • What are the primary metrics PE funds use to monitor the success of their portfolio companies and how do they differ from those used by public companies?
  • What are some of the contrasts in management incentives and corporate governance between PE-owned companies and their public counterparts?
  • What traits and habits distinguish top performing PE funds from the rest of their competitors?
  • What are the most important lessons that public company directors can learn from private equity?




Larry Benjamin, Senior Advisor, New Mountain Capital


Ken Hanau, Managing Director, Bain Capital Private Equity


Adam Suttin, Managing Partner, J.W. Childs Associates, L.P.




Richard DeRose, Managing Director, Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin's New York office



  Unlocking Corporate Value

Location and Time


Yale Club
50 Vanderbilt Ave
50 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017

12:00- 12:30PM  registration and lunch

12:30 - 2:30PM    program and connect with colleagues


Speaker Spotlight


Adam Suttin

Adam Suttin is the Managing Partner of J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., a private equity firm focused on the acquisition of middle-market companies in the consumer product, specialty retail and healthcare service sectors. Mr. Suttin co-founded J.W. Childs Associates in 1995 after previously working at Thomas H. Lee Company from 1989 to 1995. He is currently a Director of Kosta Browne, KeyImpact, Comoto Holdings - parent company of Cycle Gear and RevZilla and Shoe Sensation. His previous portfolio company board roles includes Esselte, Mattress Firm, The Tile Shop, Sunny Delight, Advantage Sales and Marketing, Joseph Abboud, American Safety Razor, Pinnacle Foods, Meow Mix, NutraSweet, Ross University, Personal Care Group, and Brookstone. Mr. Suttin received a B.S. degree, Magna Cum Laude, from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Applied Science, Magna Cum Laude, from the Moore School of Engineering of the University of Pennsylvania.

Larry Benjamin

Lawrence Benjamin is a Senior Advisor at New Mountain Capital and a Managing Director of Capwell Partners. Mr. Benjamin has over 25 years of experience leading business turnarounds in the food industry with sales ranging from $200 million to $20 billion. From 2003 until his retirement in 2011, he served in several executive positions at Royal Ahold, the Dutch-based global food retailer, including Chief Executive Officer of U.S. Foodservice, Chief Operating Officer of Ahold's U.S. retail businesses, and Executive Vice President of Royal Ahold worldwide. Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer of several private equity-owned food companies including The NutraSweet Company, Specialty Foods, and Stella Foods. Prior to that, he held several management positions at Kraft, most recently as President of the frozen meals division. Mr. Benjamin is currently on the Board of Directors of four private companies: Diversified Foodservice Supply where he serves as Chairman; IRI Worldwide; ABB Optical Group; and Strategic Partners. He has also served on the boards of two public companies: Kate Spade (NYSE) and Royal Ahold (AMS). In addition, he is on the board of two non-profit conservation organizations: The Rainforest Trust and The International Crane Foundation.

Ken Hanau

Mr. Hanau joined Bain Capital Private Equity in 2015. He is a Managing Director and leads Bain Capital Private Equity’s North American Industrial & Energy Vertical. He also helps coordinate the firm’s activities in the industrial space. Prior to joining Bain Capital Private Equity, he was the Managing Partner of 3i’s private equity business in North America. He has 25 years of experience investing in the industrial sector and he was involved in the acquisitions and ultimate sale of his family business, K&H Corrugated Case Corporation. Mr. Hanau received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He graduated magna cum laude with a BA in History from Amherst College.

Richard DeRose

Mr. De Rose is a Managing Director in Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin's New York office, where his primary responsibilities providing investment banking, valuation and transactional opinion services. Heis a member of the Firm's Fairness, Solvency and Technical Standards Committees. With over 20 years of investment banking experience, he has extensive expertise in successfully managing complex transactions across a broad spectrum of industries. Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. De Rose served as managing director in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. In that capacity, he advised clients in negotiated mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, leveraged buyouts, contested takeovers, and proxy fights — completing over 100 M&A transactions. He was also a managing director in the Bear Stearns's Financial Restructuring Group, advising debtors, senior lenders, bondholders and prospective acquirers of Chapter 11 debtors and other financially distressed companies. He also served as a member of Bear Stearns' Valuation Committee. Mr. De Rose began his career as a corporate attorney at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. His responsibilities there included providing counsel to clients in M&A transactions and public and private securities offerings, as well as advising banks and institutional investors in connection with debt financings and troubled loan workouts. Mr. De Rose earned a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law. He is a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the American Bar Association, and American Bankruptcy Institute. He is registered with FINRA as a General Securities Representative (Series 7 and 63) and a Limited Representative-Investment Banking (Series 79).



Question about this Event?

Contact New York Chapter 555 8th Ave, Ste 1902, New York, NY, 10018 phone: 646-595-1817 fax: 212-208-0915 email: