M&A/Finance Festival


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2018 Global M&A Conference
Driving Middle Market Growth Worldwide
May 22, 2018  •  Noon - 7 pm

War Stories of Do’s & Do Not's of Global Deal Making



Michael Benson
Managing Director
Head of Diversified Industrials


Michael D. Benson is a Managing Director in the Investment Banking Group. Mr. Benson is responsible for the execution of investment banking transactions which include mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, and the private placement of senior debt, subordinated debt, and equity securities.
Mr. Benson has been involved in the successful completion of transactions for companies ranging from privately held, middle market companies to large multinational, publicly traded corporations. Additionally, Mr. Benson has been involved in restructuring projects, which range from providing strategic advisory services to under-performing companies to the sale and liquidation of companies both in and out of bankruptcy. He has been involved in many industries, including food processing and distribution, automotive, stamping, tool & die, computer software, transportation and logistics, information technology services, retail, natural gas utility, propane production and distribution, HVAC, building products, highway repair service, specialty medical equipment, banking, and REITs. He also has significant experience working with Industrial companies including automobiles & components, capital goods, and transportation companies.
Mr. Benson has lectured and presented continuing education seminars on various subjects, including mergers & acquisitions, business valuation, and restructuring & turnaround management. He is also a contributing author of “Overseas Investments”, a global textbook focused on M&A and cross-border investments, published in 2013 by Wuhan University Press through Dacheng Law Offices, China’s largest law firm.
Prior to joining Stout, Mr. Benson was a Senior Associate in the Investment Banking Group at First of Michigan Corporation, a subsidiary of Wall Street-based Fahnestock & Co. While at First of Michigan, Mr. Benson was responsible for the execution of investment banking transactions for middle-market and large-cap companies on a worldwide basis. Prior to joining First of Michigan, Mr. Benson was a Senior Commercial Credit Analyst with NBD Bank where he was involved in the analysis and subsequent placement of senior debt financing for middle market companies.
Mr. Benson is a board member for the Manufacturers Association of Plastics Processors (MAPP). He is also a licensed commercial pilot and flight instructor with over 2,500 flight hours in various private and commercial aircraft. 



Phil Bronsteatter
Pfingsten Partners


Phil joined Pfingsten in 2008 as a member of the corporate finance team, and since that time has been involved in acquisitions, debt and equity financing and supporting investment management activities.

Prior to joining Pfingsten, Phil was an Analyst in the Investment Banking Group at Lazard Middle Market in Chicago. Before taking that position, he worked as an analyst at Cleary Gull, a boutique investment banking firm in Milwaukee, and in financial valuation at American Appraisal Associates.

A Wisconsin native, Phil holds a BBA degree in Finance, Economics and Mathematics from Marquette University and an MBA degree in Finance, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management from University of Chicago Booth School of Business.



Lou Longo
Partner / Global Services
Plante Moran


As the leader of the firm’s international consulting team, Lou help clients increase their operational efficiency and grow their businesses across borders through strategic expansions. For nearly three decades, Lou has enjoyed building global relationships and forming trusted partnerships with clients through his on-the-ground experience in the markets in which they operate, along with his “shoot it straight” approach. Lou keeps his clients’ best interests in mind, even when the message may be difficult to deliver.

Lou was instrumental in helping Plante Moran open offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; and Mumbai, India. The teams in these offices create a better service experience for Plante Moran’s clients and provide the global team with on-the-ground insight in key growth markets that our clients wouldn’t get elsewhere.

Lou enjoys assisting clients in achieving the highest profitability and quality in their international operations, while mitigating the tendency to make decisions based on emotion or perceptions. While realizing management teams are held accountable to stakeholders, his team’s mission is to guide business decisions that support long-term growth. It’s this philosophy that earned Plante Moran’s international practice an AICPA Practice Innovation Award.

Lou has a B.B.A. from Wayne State University and is a frequent speaker on the topic of globalization. His international experience led to a federal appointment to the District Export Council. Lou is often quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, and other business publications and continually tries to leave his mark in the marketplace.



Kimberly Smith
Partner / Co-chair Private Equity Practice
KattenMuchinRosenman LLP


Kimberly T. Smith is a partner and co-chair of Katten's nationwide Private Equity practice. She is routinely recognized as part of The Legal 500 United States, and was named one of the 2017 Most Influential Women Lawyers in Chicago by Crain's Chicago Business and a 2016 Mergers & Acquisitions and Antitrust Trailblazer by The National Law Journal for her work on health care services transactions.

She has extensive experience leading complex transactions, including leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations and reorganizations, divestitures, joint ventures, and investments at all stages of a company's life cycle. She also provides advice to executives in compensation and equity-related matters.

Kim advises clients from a wide range of industries, including distribution and manufacturing, health care, business services, consumer, technology and financial services. Kim has represented a variety of companies, including ATI Physical Therapy, Baird Capital, Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Company, Boathouse Capital, D4C Dental Brands, Frontenac Company, Nobu Hospitality and Restaurant Group, Pfingsten Partners, Syclo, Tribeca Enterprises and Victory Park Capital.

Kim frequently counsels strategic acquirers and private equity funds in the purchase and sale of health care services businesses involving practice management models. She has also worked extensively on transactions involving search funds and independent sponsors.

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