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Discover influential and astute speakers within cross-border M&A. These experts will speak on the latest trends, best practices and analyses.

Trevor Williams

Trevor Williams

Former Chief Economist of Lloyds Bank, Visiting Professor at the University of Derby

Trevor Williams is the former chief economist of Lloyds Bank, a position he held for over 15 years. He has worked as an economist in the city of London for 30 years, including the government economic service. He has managed teams of economists and financial analysts in most of that period. His extensive experience covers financial markets, econometric modelling, banking markets, analysis of the UK and global economy. Topical Issues such as global trade, demographics, productivity, the third industrial revolution, global mega trends and the future of manufacturing are areas he has focussed on.

Trevor also runs his own consultancy – TWC: www.trevorwilliams.biz. He blogs and presents at conferences and other client-focussed events, representing economic views on a range of topics.

He is a visiting Professor at the University of Derby, Chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC), author of Trading Economics (Wiley), and writes a regular column in Moneyfacts.

Josien Bakker

Josien Bakker

Investment Manager, Robeco

Ms. Bakker is primarily responsible for sourcing deals and maintaining relationships with fund managers in France, the Benelux and the German-speaking countries. Prior to joining Robeco in 2017, she worked as a Manager M&A at Ahold and Ahold Delhaize, where she advised on and executed all significant mergers, acquisitions and divestments across the group. Prior to that, she worked as Investment Manager shipping for ABN AMRO bank, where she was involved with co-investments of mainstream shipping assets. She holds an M.Sc. in Business Administration Corporate Finance from the University of Groningen and she is a CFA Charterholder.

Sunaina Sinha

Sunaina Sinha

Founder & Managing Partner, Cebile Capital

Sunaina Sinha is the founder and Managing Partner of Cebile Capital, a private funds advisor based in London and New York. Under her leadership, Cebile Capital has quickly become one of the leading advisors in private equity and private debt. Cebile Capital has raised exceptional mid-market funds and served as an advisor to both buyers and sellers of a significant number of secondaries deals.

Sunaina is also an active investor and Non-Executive Director in several high growth companies, including Mindful Chef, a healthy recipe box company delivering over a million meals in the UK, Barrecore, UK’s largest boutique fitness business, Curve, Baby Mori and more.

Prior to founding Cebile Capital, Sunaina worked at Brevan Howard, a $40 billion asset manager, where she was in charge of marketing and investor relations in Asia, Middle East and Australia. Earlier, she worked at Bridgewater Associates, an $82 billion asset manager, where she covered investors in Europe, Middle East, Asia and the United States.

Sunaina obtained a BS in Management Science and Engineering and an MS in Chemical Engineering, both from Stanford University where she was also a Mayfield Fellow. Sunaina has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Benjamin Procter

Benjamin Procter

Senior Partner, Watermill Group

Benjamin Procter is a Partner at The Watermill Group where he leads the sourcing, due diligence and acquisition of new investments. Mr. Procter joined HMK Enterprises, Inc., (an affiliated holding company of The Watermill Group) in 1987. During more than 30 years with Watermill, Mr. Procter has led or been involved in over 40 acquisitions and numerous public and private financings. He also served as a senior executive of several HMK portfolio companies.

From January of 2007 through January of 2009, Mr. Procter served as a Partner at Woodside Capital. Woodside is an investor in distressed debt and equity for companies with up to $150 million in revenues. Mr. Procter’s primary responsibilities at Woodside were to source and manage control equity transactions in distressed or challenged companies. He served as a Director for several Woodside portfolio companies including as Chairman of Hamilton Specialty Bar, a steel bar producer located in Hamilton, Ontario.
Mr. Procter’s experience prior to Watermill included finance and accounting roles at Bolt Beranek and Newman and Peat Marwick. Mr. Procter is also an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth where he served as President and CEO of the Boston Chapter from 2010 to 2013 and previously served on the Global Board from 2001 to 2004. Mr. Procter received the ACG Meritorious Service Award in 2004. Mr. Procter is also a former President of the Dedham Country & Polo Club.

Mr. Procter received his B.A. in Economics from Trinity College, his M.S. in Accounting from Northeastern University, and is also a CPA. He is married with three children and is an avid Boston sports fan.

Maria Blair

Maria Blair

Partner, ghSMART & Company

Maria Blair is a Partner at ghSMART. She serves leaders of high performing organizations across all sectors in the areas of leadership development and coaching, management assessment, top team effectiveness, and organizational change initiatives and advises their boards, executives, and investors on their most important leadership challenges.

Prior to joining ghSMART, Maria was national vice president of the American Cancer Society, leading strategy and global operations. Previously, Maria was Deputy Associate Director at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She led an interagency effort to develop Federal recommendations for reducing and mitigating climate risks both domestically and internationally. Prior to the White House, Maria was Associate Vice President and Managing Director at The Rockefeller Foundation. Maria began her career as an Associate Principal at McKinsey & Company, serving financial institutions, nonprofit and multilateral organizations. Maria was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University’s Balliol College, earning a master’s degree in politics, economics and philosophy, and has her BA degree from Harvard University.

Maria leads executive leadership seminars for the Aspen Institute, is the past chair of the board of directors for the Nonprofit Finance Fund, and an Aspen Institute Catto Fellow. She has worked in 15 different countries, and traveled in an additional 45 countries. She lives in London with her husband and two daughters.

Siobhan Sweeney Cordova

Siobhan Sweeney Cordova

Executive Vice President of Global M&A and Corporate Development, American Industrial Acquisition Corporation

Siobhan Sweeney Cordova is the Executive Vice President of Global M&A and Corporate Development at the AIAC Group. American Industrial Acquisition Corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates. (“AIAC”) is a privately held industrial investment company with a long-term mission to build enduring businesses. Established in 1996, the portfolio consists of 78 manufacturing and distribution sites with over 8,500 employees in 24 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
Prior to joining AIAC, Siobhan worked at Bloomberg LP, UBS Investment Bank, CIBC Oppenheimer and Lehman Brothers. She serves on the supervisory board of MADES (Malaga Aerospace and Defense Electronics Systems) in Malaga, Spain and EES-PCB (European Electronic Systems) in Germany and Superalloy Manufacturing Solutions Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Siobhan is an active member of ACG (Association for Corporate Growth), TMA (Turnaround Management Association) and IAWA (International Aviation Women’s Association).
Graduated from Northeastern University in Boston and the Harvard Business School – Advanced Management Program.

JoEllen McLaughlin

JoEllen McLaughlin

Founder and Executive Coach and Management Consultant, Sage Business Coaching and Consulting

JoEllen McLaughlin is an Executive Coach and Management Consultant that specializes in Leadership Development, Assessments, Organizational Effectiveness and Change Management strategies. Her focus lies in helping leaders to enhance their leadership capabilities, executive presence, and overall communication effectiveness while creating strategic alignment within their organizations.

JoEllen began her career in the Washington DC area holding several leadership positions for small and mid-size organizations. After completing her certificate of Public Speaking at the FAES Graduate School at NIH, she began coaching senior level leaders in the corporate and political arena on public speaking. JoEllen received a Bachelors Degree in Business from the University of Maryland (UMUC) and a Masters in Positive Organization Development and Change from Case Western Reserve University. She received her training in Executive Coaching at Case Western and The Coach Training Institute (CTI). She holds a certificate in Hogan Assessments and Developing Leadership through Emotional Intelligence where she specializes in teaching individuals and teams how to improve their interpersonal effectiveness by understanding and enhancing their EQ capabilities. Currently, JoEllen is pursuing her doctorate (DBA) through the International School of Management in Paris, France with an emphasis on cross-cultural communications and global change management.

With an extensive background in business, JoEllen brings a strong balance of business acumen to her coaching expertise. Throughout her career, she has worked with hundreds of leaders in multi-national and Fortune 500 companies in industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, technology, finance, manufacturing and energy. Currently, she spends the majority of her time in private equity supporting leadership capabilities and growth strategies for the middle market.

Duncan Ramsay

Duncan Ramsay

Investment Director, ECI partners

Duncan works as an Investment Director in the commercial team at ECI partners; the UK’s leading growth-focused private equity firm with a 40+ year track record of investing in medium sized UK growth companies in deals of up to £200m. Duncan’s role revolves around supporting growth at the companies ECI invests in. His focus is on both assessing potential investments, as well as working with businesses within the portfolio to drive incremental growth via both organic and inorganic routes. He previously spent six years as a strategy consultant at PwC Strategy& in London, and four years at Telecom New Zealand.

Eddy Boorsma

Eddy Boorsma

Partner of SIG Transaction Services

Since 2014 Eddy is Partner of SIG Transaction Services, focussing on IT Due Diligence services to analyze the limits and potential of IT/software part of M&A. SIG was involved in over 120 transactions in the last 5 years. SIG takes the software product (e.g. source code) into scope. Besides the involvement in transactions SIG has an R&D division with 10+ computer science graduates and PhD’s that focus on expanding practical models to make the behavior and quality of software measurable and thus more predictable. From both transactions and research SIG sees a lot of trends in technologies (emerging and disappearing) and holds a expert view of whats HOT and whats NOT related to tech disruptions. SIG stands for independence and objectivity and believes the best results come from outside quality controls (just like audit reports from accountants). In the near future there will be (more) legal requirements related to IT (yearly external audits, compliance statements, certifications)

Eddy holds a masters degree in Business Administration and works with a team of 12 computer science educated consultants on transactions.

Eva Tarasova

Eva Tarasova

Communications Director, Wharton Asset Management Company Ltd.

With over ten years of experience in the family office space including the last five years at Wharton asset management, a single family office based in London, Eva is a true family office insider. Wharton AM looks after a diversified direct global venture capital and private equity portfolio with investments in sectors ranging from highly innovative biotech and high tech (particularly AI)  to more traditional consumer goods with truly global current portfolio spreading from US to Pakistan.

Eva brings a wealth of knowledge and insight on the inner working of the family office, responsible for all aspects of VC and PE transactions: from deal sourcing to DD to deal management to helping entrepreneurs within the portfolio with their everyday challenges.

Mike Hicks

Mike Hicks

Principal, Catalysis Advisory Ltd

As the head of Catalysis Advisory, Mike has advised UK and European mid-market private equity houses – and the leaders of the companies they back – on management, organisation and strategy issues, both pre- and post-deal since 2010.

Prior to that, he headed a team doing similar work within Grant Thornton. Earlier in his career, Mike spent eight years in Romania creating companies, opening Deloitte’s office, representing the EBRD and running the private equity arm of Creditanstalt Investment Bank.

He is an alumnus of the University of Oxford and Ashridge management school, and earned a D.Phil. which focused on the history of management recruitment and selection. He has chaired a UK and international careers guidance charity through more than a decade of turbulent times.

Joaquim Borràs

Joaquim Borràs

President, Edad y Vida Foundation

Mr. Borràs is President of the Edad y Vida Foundation, dedicated to the quality of life improvement of elderly persons. He is member of the Advisory Board of SISQUAL, a Portuguese people management software company and of ATREVIA, a PR and Consulting Company. He is collaborating with SSG, a Spanish Ambulance services company. He co-operates with several Business Schools lecturing about Corporate Social Responsibility and Integration of acquired companies, such as IESE, ESADE or UIC. Since 1st January 2019 he voluntarily discontinued his services with ISS, the Company in which he has worked since 1998.

For 20 years he has been Executive President of ISS Facility Services Iberia. Joaquim constituted ISS in Spain from zero in April 1999, alone. Since then, ISS Spain acquired and integrated around 55 companies in the facility services field: cleaning, building maintenance, catering, pest control, indoor air quality (legionella disinfection…), landscaping, support services (receptionists, internal mail) and security. In March 2013 he was given the responsibility of Iberia, adding Portugal to his management scope. In 2018 ISS Iberia had a revenue of around EUR 700 million and around 40.000 employees, from which 3.500 are immigrants and around 1.500 are handicapped. ISS is very active in the Corporate Social Responsibility field; among others, ISS has the Foundation “ISS Una sonrisa más” (“One more smile”) with around 6.000 employee volunteers, being the major Unions its patrons (CCOO and UGT), helping to create employment in less developed companies through micro credits.

Prior to this position, Joaquim was Country Manager of Nilfisk Advance in Spain and Portugal, a company producing and selling cleaning machines to both the household and the professional markets. He had different jobs, both local as international.

He has been member of different Boards of Directors, like CEVITISA (Wine), INTERLAIN (perfume), NILFISK Spain (cleaning products and machines) and ISS Facility Services. Today, he is Patron of Fundacio Garbi Pere Vergés (private school with around 2000 pupils), member of the Advisory ISS of ISS Facility Services and of the Foundation “ISS One Smile More”. He is also President of the Sailing club of Cabrera de Mar.
Joaquim studied a 5 years degree in Business Administration at ESADE, Barcelona, plus a Program of International Management at Mc. Gill University, Montreal and Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC), Paris. He speaks Spanish, Catalan, English, French and Portuguese, and has some notion of Italian, German and Danish.
Joaquim is not involved in political activities, he is not member of any political Party. His favourite sports are cycling, sailing, fishing, diving, skiing and hunting. He likes reading and photography.

Natasha Buckley

Natasha Buckley

Investment Practices Senior Manager - Private Equity, Principles for Responsible Investment

Natasha joined the PRI in 2011. She is responsible for the PRI’s work in private equity, through which the PRI acts as a global platform to understand and share good practice, develop reporting practices and establish LP-GP alignment on expectations around responsible investment. During her time at PRI, Natasha has produced the General Partner’s guide, the Limited Partners’ Responsible Investment Due Diligence Questionnaire, guidance on fund terms and on ESG monitoring, reporting and dialogue.

Before joining the responsible investment industry, Natasha held roles at UBS, the NHS and Simmons & Simmons (Paris). Natasha has an MSc in International Relations from the London School of Economics, a BA in History from University College London and has completed the University of Oxford Private Equity Programme at the Saïd Business School, under Professor Tim Jenkinson.

Freerk Smit

Freerk Smit

Financial Portfolio Manager, Karmijn Kapitaal

Freerk Smit is Financial Portfolio Manager at Karmijn Kapitaal. He holds over 15 years of experience in M&A, banking and private equity. Freerk joined Karmijn in early 2014 and is involved in Portfolio Management, Finance & Reporting, and Investor Relations. Prior to joining Karmijn he worked as an M&A advisor at Rabobank Rembrandt Fusies & Overnames and was involved in the setup of a new commercial bank in Mozambique (Rabobank). Freerk studied Financial Management and earned a Master’s degree from Nyenrode Business Universiteit.

Marie Weijler

Marie Weijler

Senior Manager, Princip.al

Besides her involvement with a single family office, Marie Weijler is the Senior Manager of Principal, an international network of 1,500+ single family offices and private investors founded to share deal flow. She has sourced and analyzed 95+ investment projects in high-tech industries and real estate. In 2019 she was included in the annual Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list in the Finance category. Marie holds a law degree from Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Tim Thomas

Tim Thomas

Partner, Liberty Corporate Finance

Tim has been working in the UK private equity market since 2000. He initially qualified as a chartered accountant at PWC and worked in corporate finance at KPMG. Prior to joining Liberty, he spent 12 years working for several mid-market private equity funds.

Stewart Licudi

Stewart Licudi

Managing Director, Financial Sponsors, William Blair

Stewart Licudi is a Managing Director and Head of European Financial Sponsors Coverage for William Blair based in their London office. He has been an investment banker with the firm since 2006 working on a variety of assignments involving M&A, private placements and public offerings. William Blair’s focus in Europe is on cross-border, sell-side transactions and Stewart has worked on deals in more than 20 countries over the past 10 years. His key focus is to work with private equity clients as both buyers and sellers of businesses in a variety of transaction types. He has 20 years of experience in corporate finance and private equity, working with companies across a broad range of industries at various stages of corporate development.

Prior to joining William Blair he was a private equity investor with 3i and LDC successfully completing 44 investments into more than 25 companies and has served as a non-executive director on several boards. Stewart received a B.A. from Stirling University in 1992.

Angie MacPhee

Angie MacPhee

Partner, Baker Tilly

Angela MacPhee is a partner at Baker Tilly and head of the global forensics consulting practice.

Angela MacPhee leads the global forensics consulting practice, a multidisciplinary forensic accounting and consulting services team that delivers accurate financial analysis for businesses in critical situations. She oversees practice-wide operations with offices on five continents, and is responsible for implementing strategy and driving growth within the team.

Angela is recognized as a leader who innovates, adopts multiple perspectives, resourcefully problem solves and consistently delivers beyond expectations. She has excelled in executive, accounting, finance, and operations roles and her background has allowed her the unique opportunity to better her community through work with not-for-profit and for-profit boards and associations. Angela currently serves as the Chair of the Global Board of Directors for the Association for Corporate Growth and is on the board for Colorado Business Bank. She has previously served on the board of trustees for Warren Village and on the board for the Denver Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

Angela served as the CEO of RGL Forensics, a leading forensic accounting firm, prior to the firm joining with Baker Tilly. Prior to joining RGL, Angela was the Vice President of the Timberline Region for O’Neal Steel, Inc., a $2.6 billion dollar company. Included in her tenure at O’Neal Steel, Angela was CFO of Timberline Steel where she was charged with leading the organization through its sale and transition into the new parent company, O’Neal Steel. Angela began her career in the Denver office of Arthur Andersen, gaining experience working with public and private companies in manufacturing, technology, healthcare, advertising and higher education.

Cliff Prior

Cliff Prior

CEO, Big Society Capital

Cliff Prior is CEO of Big Society Capital – the wholesale investor and market champion for UK social impact investment. In our first 5 years, we have made over £1.25bn available with our coinvestors, with £800m already taken up by over 800 social enterprises.

Previously Cliff was CEO of UnLtd for social entrepreneurs, which has supported 13,000 new startups, and built a 50-country Global Social Entrepreneurship Network.
Cliff has worked across the social sector as CEO and on boards, with government on policy and regulation, mentors emerging social leaders, and has co-created a number of social startups. He is currently a board member of the International Venture Philanthropy Centre.

Cliff is involved in the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing, and is leading an international working group to help more countries develop impact investment wholesalers and market development agencies.

Mauricio Rodriguez

Mauricio Rodriguez

Co-head of Impact Investing, Barclays Wealth Management

Mauricio joined Barclays from JPMorgan in 2010, his work was pivotal in the grow of the Equities business at the Investment Bank, with a focus on the renewable energy sector. At Barclays Wealth Management and the Private Bank, Mauricio was instrumental in the development and integration of an Impact Framework, as well as the launch and fundraising of some flagship products that included the Multi-Impact Growth Fund of Funds and a Sustainable Discretionary Strategy. This work has been recognised by the UK Cabinet Office, Investment Week, Euromoney, Fortune Magazine with Multiple production innovation awards.

Mauricio is a member of the development board at Ashden (Sainsbury Family Charitable Trust) a UK-based organisation that champions and promotes sustainable energy solutions. Mauricio is a CAIA charterholder, holds a MA in International Business Administration, and is an alumnus of the Impact Investing Programme from University of Oxford.

Harry Dolman

Harry Dolman

Partner and COO, HPE Growth Capital

Harry is Partner and COO at HPE where he focusses on the strategic and operational processes of the Portfolio companies. He has been in this role since 2009. He is closely involved with Airborne Oil & Gas and is currently serving as board member in AEVI.

He previously held a board seat at Cotesa (sold in 2018) and at Synova which was sold to de Beers in 2015.

He has over 25 years of Management experience and 22 years of International experience. Prior to HPE, Harry spent 17 years at the Walt Disney Company, where he served as Executive Vice President at Disney Consumer Products in a global management role out of Los Angeles and in European management roles out of Paris. He also served at Nutricia (now Danone) in the Netherlands and Unilever in Australia in Sales&Marketing and Logistics roles.

He has a MSc. in Mechanical Engineering from Delft University of Technology and an MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau. Harry and his French wife have an 8 year old daughter. He enjoys cooking, sailing and remodeling / renovating houses.

Nigel McNelly

Nigel McNelly

Partner, OPUS Corporate Finance

Nigel has been a partner at Opus since its inception in 2006. Nigel has clients across a broad range of sectors and specialises in advice to family and trust owned businesses. Areas of particular sector focus include events and event services, specialist property (including affordable housing and related services) and B2B consulting and business services.

Recent assignments have included advice to a large family owned brewer on succession issues and the trustees of a multi-generational  family trust in the property sector in relation to trust diversification requirements.

In addition, Nigel led the Opus team advising on the sale of the events services business Peppermint Bars to Conviviality. Other recent transactions include the investment by Related Companies in Pocket Living and Hearst Publishing in Mediablaze.

Nigel joined SG Warburg in 1983 and in 1997 was recruited as Head of Corporate Finance at Enskilda Securities in London. Nigel has a degree in Economics from Cambridge University and is a member of ICAEW.

Jo Bennett-Coles

Jo Bennett-Coles

Managing Director, FGI Finance

Jo Bennett-Coles is the managing director of FGI.

Mrs. Bennett-Coles is responsible for overseeing marketing for FGI’s UK and greater European operations, generating deal flow, and sustaining relationships with clients and industry professionals.

Mrs. Bennett-Coles brings over a decade of experience in the commercial finance and asset-based-lending industries and over twenty-five years in management and entrepreneurship. She has been featured in numerous trade publications such as The Secured Lender, TRF News, Global Trade Review, and the ABF Journal. Frequently, she speaks at leading industry events.

Prior to joining FGI, Mrs. Bennett-Coles served as managing director at Atlantic Risk Management Services, where she managed numerous projects—from workout to due diligence in the United Kingdom, mainland Europe, and the Far East. Previously, Mrs. Bennett-Coles was founder and director of NB Resources Limited; served as director and company secretary for LCS Services Limited; and worked as an assistant solicitor at Stitt & Co., where she qualified as a solicitor in 1990.

Mrs. Bennett-Coles holds an LL.B. (Hons) from the University of Essex and is a member of several organizations, including the Ancient City of London Guild, The Worshipful Company of Loriners, and The Law Society.

Born in Ramsgate, United Kingdom, Mrs. Bennett-Coles spent her early years in Kent, London, and Scotland and currently resides in Buckingham.

Ron Belt

Ron Belt

Managing Partner, Capital Mind

Ron is a Managing Partner of Capitalmind, which he joined in 2002, to grow the TMT/Ecommerce and Business Services advisory business.  He has 25+ years experience in M&A, and has successfully closed 100+ deals. Ron is fluent in Dutch, English and German.

Before Capitalmind, Ron was an independent corporate finance advisor and venture capitalist, while at ABN AMRO, he specialized in IPOs and M&A for technology companies. He also became Global Sector Director of Tech Research, responsible for a team of 20+ analysts across 15 countries – in 1999, this team was ranked 2nd in Reuters’ ‘small company research poll’. Over the years he was a boardmember of some leading TMT companies including personalised gifts e-commerce business Bulbby.com.

Ron holds a degree in Technical Information Science; and speaks fluent Dutch, English and German.

Thomas Seddon

Thomas Seddon

Principal, Origination

Tommy joined Riverside in 2013 and leads Riverside’s deal origination efforts in the UK & Ireland. In addition to this role, Tommy sits on the board of three of Riverside’s portfolio companies: Guestline, Brookson and OrthoD. Tommy joined Riverside from DC Advisory (formerly Close Brothers Corporate Finance), where he worked on a range of cross-border M&A and debt advisory mandates.