Welcome to the iiBIG homepage. Celebrating 10 years of service!

 May 1, 2019

PwC Auditorium

New York, NY

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To apply to become a member of the executive speaking faculty, please complete our online JOF questionnaire. Review the preliminary topic outline, suggest other topics, and tell us about yourself and your expertise. For more information about opportunities to join our faculty, please contact:

Don Buford, Founder & CEO, iiBIG 
Phone: 212-300-2521
Email: DonB@iibig.com

John BertrandJohn Bertrand, Partner, Kennedy Lewis Investment Management LLC

John Bertrand was formerly a Managing Director and Co-Head of Leveraged Finance Sales at RBC Capital Markets, where he covered many of the leveraged finance markets’ most sophisticated investors, and also managed primary and secondary distribution across the firm’s platform, from 2015 to 2017.  Before joining RBC, Mr. Bertrand was a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley in High Yield and Distressed Debt sales, from 2010 to 2015. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Mr. Bertrand was a Director at Deutsche Bank in High Yield and Distressed sales, and also in Real Estate, and Gaming & Lodging Investment Banking, from 2002 to 2010. Prior to Deutsche, Mr. Bertrand was an Associate in Investment Banking at Thomas Weisel Partners from 2000 to 2001. He began his career in in 1994 at Prudential Securities within the fixed income division.  Mr. Bertrand received a BA from Georgetown University in 1993 and an MBA from UCLA Anderson in 2000.

Brad CharchutBrad Charchut, Managing Director, Private Credit Group, Bain Capital

Brad Charchut joined Bain Capital Credit in 2011 and has 23 years of experience in leveraged lending. He is a Managing Director in the Private Credit Group and is responsible for capital markets and originations in North America, including private equity sponsor coverage. Previously, Mr. Charchut was a Senior Director at Cerberus Capital where he originated, underwrote, and syndicated senior and subordinated financings for private equity sponsors. Prior to Cerberus, Mr. Charchut was a Vice President in Merchant Banking Syndications at Heller Financial and also underwrote leveraged loan transactions at BT Alex.Brown and First Chicago NBD. Mr. Charchut received an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a B.A. from Northwestern University.

Bob FriendBob Friend, Managing Director, PAAMCO (KKR Prisma)

Bob Friend is a Managing Director and Sector Specialist for the Distressed Debt strategy at PAAMCO. Bob is responsible for manager selection and portfolio construction within the strategy. He is also co-portfolio manager of Prisma Apex Credit, a co-invest strategy that focuses on direct investment in less liquid credit opportunities. Prior to PAAMCO, Bob worked at Bayview Asset Management, a Blackstone affiliate, with responsibility for a portfolio of stressed residential mortgages. Prior to Bayview, he was Vice President at Plainfield Asset Management where he was responsible for $800 million in distressed and special situation credit. Bob has held CIO positions at Recon Capital and UBK Asset Management, which specialize in high yield, distressed and capital structure arbitrage within the Merton Model Framework. Bob has worked with PAAMCO’s founders at a predecessor fund of funds where he was responsible for manager due diligence. His early career was spent on Wall Street as a proprietary derivatives trader with Goldman Sachs, Merrill and NatWest. Bob has more than 30 years of investment and capital markets experience including 15 years managing credit portfolios. Bob holds an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles and a BA with honors from the University of Virginia.

Erica FrontieroErica Frontiero, Managing Director, Head of Capital Markets, Carlyle Global Credit, The Carlyle Group

Erica Frontiero is a Managing Director with The Carlyle Group and the Head of Capital Markets for Carlyle Global Credit, a $35Bn platform, and a member of the investment committee for Direct Lending.  With over 17 years in leveraged finance, Erica invests in and raises debt capital for corporations and private equity clients, structuring, syndicating and trading, commercial loans.  Prior to joining The Carlyle Group in 2016, Erica spent twelve years with Antares/GE Capital in Capital Markets and began her professional career at Banc of America Securities (Bank of America Merrill Lynch) in leveraged finance, in New York and in London.

Erica holds a B.A. in Economics from Wake Forest University.  She is a member of the Board of Directors of Dress for Success, an international not-for-profit focused on achieving economic independence and empowerment for women.  Erica is also one of the founding members of the creative advisory board for Orchid Worldwide, a boutique, sales, marketing and travel-company, and a member of the inaugural class of Pipeline Angels, which aims to increase the number of women angel investors and social entrepreneurs in the US.  She is also a member of the first class of WomeninPower.org, an executive fellowship program created by the 92Y in Manhattan.  Erica also serves as a mentor within Parity Partners’ P3 program focused on advancing women through strategic leadership development and community building, and a member of the Private Equity Women Investor Network (PEWIN), an alliance of senior women leaders in private equity.  She also serves as a member of the Governance Board of the Wall Street Woman’s Alliance; an inter-firm network dedicated to promoting women to c-suite roles in the financial services industry and a member of the board of directors of the LSTA (Loan Syndications and Trading Association), the leading advocate for the U.S. syndicated loan market since 1995, fostering cooperation and coordination among all loan market participants.

Tom GoliaTom Goila, Managing Director, Comvest Partners

Tom is responsible for originating, structuring and managing investments for Comvest’s direct lending strategy. Prior to joining Comvest, Tom was a Senior Restructuring and Finance Consultant with CarePayment, a healthcare patient financial engagement company. Tom served over nine years at Goldman Sachs, starting as a Vice President and then as a Director in the Specialty Lending Division. Tom received a B.A. in accounting from Furman University.

Jeff HammerJeff Hammer, Managing Director, Illiquid Financial Assets Group, Houlihan Lokey

Jeff Hammer is a Managing Director and Co-Head of Houlihan Lokey’s Illiquid Financial Assets practice focused on customized transactions for holders of illiquid securities. He has more than two decades of experience in principal investing, investment banking, and building businesses in the private markets. Mr. Hammer is based in the firm’s New York office. Mr. Hammer has led transactions involving portfolios of minority equity, structured settlements, non-performing loans, hedge fund LP interests and side-pocketed assets, private equity LP interests, life settlements, equity co-investments, and intellectual property.  He has worked on behalf of clients including Pequot Capital Management, PartnerRe, Plainfield Asset Management, BNY Mellon/Ivy Asset Management, Synovus Bank, Octavian Advisors, and Fortress Investment Group as either a sell-side or buyside advisor, and as a financial advisor in highly structured fund recapitalizations and restructurings. Before joining Houlihan Lokey, Mr. Hammer was a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns & Co., where he was the Global Head of Origination for the Private Funds Group. Mr. Hammer also co-founded BDC Financial Inc., a firm that provided customized private equity investment management and advisory services to institutional and high-net-worth investors, which was sold to Bear Stearns. Mr. Hammer also founded two other investment management firms: Gotham Investment Group, a real estate investment company capitalized by Nomura Securities, and Commonwealth Property Investors, an investment management firm formed by AEW Capital Management and the AT&T Pension Fund. Both firms focused on making direct principal investments in the former Soviet Union. Previously, Mr. Hammer held investment banking positions at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Mr. Hammer received an A.B. from Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard University.

Matthew HarveyMatthew Harvey, SVP, PCG Direct Lending

Matt Harvey is a Senior Vice President in Prudential Capital Group’s Alternatives Group, located in Chicago. He is responsible for originating and underwriting Direct Lending investments, managing the portfolio, supporting the firm’s fundraising efforts, and leading the team that supports Direct Lending efforts. He joined Prudential in 2003, originally on a team in the Chicago Corporate Finance office responsible for private placement investments throughout the Midwest region of the U.S. Matt then joined Prudential Capital Partners, the middle-market mezzanine debt and structured equity fund management business sponsored by Prudential Capital Group, in 2005 until 2012, when he relocated to the London office to lead Pricoa’s mezzanine investment efforts. He returned to Prudential Capital Partners in 2015 before leading Prudential Capital Group’s Direct Lending initiative in 2018.

Matt received a BS from DePaul University.

Stephen HealeyStephen Healey, Managing Director, CapX Partners

Stephen Healey joined CapX Partners in February 2014 and is responsible for business development in the Northeast. Steve opened the firm’s Boston office and provides creative loans and leases backed by fixed assets and equipment to middle market companies in diverse industries. Prior to CapX, Steve was Managing Director at several financial institutions including Full Circle Capital, CapitalSource, and Fleet Bank. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has over 25 years of experience in the finance industry.

Brett HickeyBrett Hickey, CEO, StarMountain Capital

Brett Hickey is the Founder & CEO of Star Mountain Capital, a specialized investment firm bringing large market capabilities and resources to established small and medium-sized private businesses. Star Mountain’s distinctive investment platform provides superior information, relationships and resources to the lower middle-market through three complementary verticals: (i) Direct Investments in Businesses, (ii) Strategic Primary Fund Investments (including to SBIC funds), and (iii) Secondary Fund Investments. Star Mountain provides its portfolio companies (generally cash flow positive businesses with $10 million to $150 million of annual revenues) with strategic capital, human resources and relationships to grow and achieve their business objectives. Star Mountain’s unique “Collaborative Ecosystem” includes custom-built technology, an educational and networking events platform, experienced team members who have run multi-billion-dollar investment platforms and over 25 advisors who are former senior executives from firms such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Star Mountain represents one of the largest small and medium-sized business investment platforms in the U.S. with a portfolio of over 200 companies and local investment partners in over 20 cities. Mr. Hickey has been investing in private U.S. small and medium-sized businesses since 2004. Prior to being a principal investor, he was an Investment Banker at Salomon Smith Barney / Citigroup where he covered asset managers and financial institutions. In that role, Mr. Hickey analyzed and underwrote leading fund managers and financial institutions across multiple asset classes, ultimately working on over $20 billion in completed strategic acquisitions and capital raises. Mr. Hickey received a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from McGill University (Finance Major and Accounting Concentration) and graduated from Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management Program (three-year executive program for business owners). He is a frequent guest lecturer on industry panels and at academic institutions. Mr. Hickey is also a former Canadian national gold medalist and North American medalist in speed skating.

Stephanie HogueStephanie Hogue, Managing Director, PwC

Stephanie is a Managing Director at PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance LLC based in New York. Stephanie has nearly 15 years of experience in investment banking, in M&A, Structured Finance, and Debt Capital Markets.  Having worked in New York, Sao Paulo, and Mumbai, Stephanie has advised clients globally on capital raising, structuring, as well as syndicated deals in both the loan and private bond markets. Prior to joining PwC, Stephanie was with Standard Bank of South Africa, Natixis, and Calyon in various debt capital markets and structuring capacities throughout the Americas. At PwC, Stephanie is responsible for working with clients across industries considering raising debt capital from the private markets, as well as leading the execution teams for those transactions. Stephanie advises clients on the structuring and pricing of transactions, managing deals from the commercial discussions around the need for capital, through evaluation of options, identification of potential investors, to financial close with institutional financiers. Stephanie holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Rochester, and a BS of Business from Miami University. She is a Series 24 Principal and also holds her Series 7, 63, and 79 licenses.

Daniel LaweeDaniel Lawee, Managing Director, PAAMCO (KKR Prisma)

Daniel Lawee (New York) joined the firm in 2008 and is a member of the Portfolio Management team, leading the Prisma Apex Credit strategy, and responsible for credit hedge fund investments.  Prior to joining , Mr. Lawee was a portfolio manager at Northwater Capital Management Inc., responsible for fixed income and derivative hedge fund strategies.  Previously, he was a vice president for the corporate foreign exchange desk at TD Canada Trust, responsible for coverage of corporate and institutional accounts and options marketing for the corporate and commercial FX sales teams. Prior to TD Canada Trust, he was an account executive in the mortgage department at Republic National Bank of New York.  Mr. Lawee earned a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Business Studies from Concordia University and an M.B.A. from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. He is also a CFA Charterholder.

Daniel LeeDaniel Lee, Partner, Comvest Partners

Dan is a Partner and serves as a member of the Investment Committee for Comvest’s direct lending strategy. He is responsible for originating, structuring, and managing investments. Prior to joining Comvest, Dan was a Senior Director with Dymas Capital Management, where he served on the Investment Committee and was instrumental in the formation and growth of the firm from its start-up phase to an established middle-market finance company. He has served as a Managing Director at Square 1 Bank and Kugman Partners, and as an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney. Prior to getting his MBA, Dan began his career with Arthur Andersen and Heller Financial’s Corporate Finance Group. Dan received an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.

Ira PerlmuterIra Perlmuter, Founder and Managing Director, T5 Equity Partners

Ira Perlmuter heads all direct private equity investing for a very large, sophisticated, international family office. He has completed ten control buyouts of companies, including four in bankruptcy (and beat out three stalking horse bidders), and also acquired a community bank. He serves as Chairman of five of these companies and also as Chairman of the bank’s Credit and Board-level Compliance Committees. Ira is also on the Board of the Bank and its holding company. He has also initiated, negotiated and concluded joint ventures with an off-shore, billionaire family office, and with the $17 billion, BYD group of companies, and with a family office-backed truck manufacturer, etc. In addition, Ira led the efforts to win multi-billion dollar oil and gas licenses in Cyprus, to acquire an eastern European truck manufacturer, a middle eastern airline, a middle eastern bank, a Mexican maquiladora, a Canadian restaurant chain, a U.S. restaurant chain, a major automotive manufacturer’s medium duty truck manufacturing business, a $2 billion real estate portfolio, etc. Mr. Perlmuter manages over $17 billion of complex, U.S. and international, restructuring, turnaround and bankruptcy/distressed M&A experience as a banker, investment banker and as a family office principal in over 50 different industries. He was selected as Emerging Private Equity Manager of the Year, 2010

Richard AcostaWarren Philipp, Principal, Stonehenge Structured Finance

Warren Philipp is a Principal at Stonehenge Structure Finance Partners where he provides focused and innovative financing solutions for the specialty finance, fintech, asset management and collateral servicing business segments. Principal investor in various business models that utilize traditional asset backed finance structuring techniques to optimize balance sheets for lenders. Can source or provide capital across the balance sheet from start-up equity to senior lines of credit. Particular emphasis on risk management and analysis of the probability of default and loss-given default under various portfolio stress situations. Trusted adviser to Boards, management groups, and investors.

David RobbinsDavid Robbins, Managing Director, Monomoy Capital Partners




Ted WongTedmond (Ted) Wong, Principal, The Firmament Group

Tedmond Y. Wong is a Principal at The Firmament Group, where he is involved in all aspects of the firm’s investment activities. Mr. Wong is responsible for transaction execution, the firm’s international expansion efforts, and recruitment and training of junior investment professionals. Mr. Wong currently serves on the Board of Directors for Denali Water Solutions, Logistyx Technologies, and Transferre Technologies. While at Firmament, Mr. Wong has sourced and lead execution on over 100 deal opportunities across diversified sectors, with an acute expertise within the Transportation & Logistics and Waste & Environmental Services industries. He has mastered the legal process from all angles and deeply understands the driving forces behind deal structures having negotiated a myriad of investment scenarios. Mr. Wong has executed numerous private debt transactions in complex “layer cake” structures, where Firmament has participated alongside banks, senior and junior lenders to deliver complete financing solutions to borrowers. Mr. Wong has invested in straight unitranche, first out / last out, upside down unitranche, and traditional senior / mezz structures. Mr. Wong can speak to how and when the aforementioned structures are effective and key business and legal considerations. Mr. Wong holds an MBA, with a concentration in finance, from The Wharton School where he served as Co-Chair of the Wharton Restructuring & Distressed Investing Conference. Mr. Wong also holds a J.D. from Penn Law School, where he served as an editor of the Penn Law Review. Mr. Wong received his B.A. cum laude in economics from Harvard University.