How many conferences really focus on the special needs of middle market companies as they expand abroad through acquisition, manufacturing, distribution and otherwise? What about the exploding interest among private equity firms in helping their portfolio companies into new markets and in exploring direct investments in China, India and elsewhere?
I was pleased to be part of a fine group of international committee members who organized ACG Chicago's "Is the World Really Flat? Middle Market Companies Competing in the Global Economy."
The February 28 event drew about 300 participants and featured Fareed Zakaria as our lunch keynote speaker (congratulations on a fine presentation, Fareed) as well as Julie Sell of The Economist and her cross-border dealmaker roundtable with Jay Jordan of The Jordan Company and Steve Pagliuca of Bain Capital (which I thought really went to the heart of many of the middle-market's cross-border challenges).
In addition to working with Julie, Jay and Steve on their panel, I put together and moderated our "Sourcing Cross-Border Deals" session. As described below (click on the images to enlarge), I was joined by senior dealmakers from Illinois Tool Works (a very international Fortune 100 company), Cathay Fortune Corp. (a China-based private equity firm) and S.H. Lang & Co. (Scott Lang, formerly of Brown Gibbons Lang, the mid-market investment banking firm).