This prestigious annual M&A conference assembles corporate development leaders, in-house M&A counsel, and private equity investors to discuss current challenges impacting complex transactions and learn about innovative methods to improve deal performance.M&A Conference at Wharton San Francisco

The cross-disciplinary agenda will be unpacked by a diverse speaking faculty from various industries and regions, who will share first-hand experiences, best practices, and guidance from their vast M&A experience. See photos.

Wednesday March 20, 2024
12:00pm - 7:30 pm PST

Welcome Lunch | 12:00 - 12:40 pm

Opening Remarks | 12:40 - 12:45 pm

Shifting M&A Sentiment | 12:45 pm
How are the most sophisticated and systematic dealmakers navigating uncertainty and opportunities? Are there ways to protect deals against sudden economic, regulatory, or geopolitical events? Can more sophisticated mechanisms be employed to ensure M&A performance? Are there emerging changes at various points in the M&A process? What are the current factors that may impede dealmakers from realizing value? 

Craig Lange, Vice President - Strategy & Business Development, Caterpillar
James Harris, Principal, Corporate Development Integration, Google
Duane Nelles, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Qualcomm 
Daniel Friedman, Managing Director & Senior Partner; Global Leader of Transactions & Integrations, BCG (Chair)


Developing M&A Targets | 2:00 pm
What landmines should be avoided when contacting a target and negotiating an NDA / confidential information exchange? How can Indications of Interest (IOIs) and Letters of Intent (LOIs) be crafted to be protective and also competitive? What is the current market norm for exclusivity periods and "go shop" provisions? Are there underappreciated risks in coordinating agreements and methods for avoiding standstills? How early do you assess -- and discuss with the target -- the degree of closing difficulty? 

Carlos Rivas, Director & Associate General Counsel, M&A, Instacart
Katherine Whitney, Head of M&A, Atlassian
Ravi MaheshDirector, Senior Corporate Counsel, M&A, Salesforce
Dave Daetz, Senior Vice President Corporate Development, Netskope

Chris Moore, M&A Partner, Cleary Gottlieb (Chair)


Employing New Methods for M&A Target Diligence and Beyond | 3:15 pm
How are AI platforms being employed to improve acquisition assessments and test the feasibility of the deal thesis?  Can outside-in assessments, fieldwork, and third party analytics be used to speed the deal process and complement traditional target diligence? What current market factors should be applied to the assessment of a target’s base performance and growth prospects to support bid confidence? Are there varied approaches for synergy sequencing? What missteps should be avoided when calculating positive and negative synergies? How will generative AI change M&A in 2024?

Jeff Hennig, Vice President, Corporate Development, AMD
Ryan Stone, Group Director, Corporate Development, Cadence Design Systems
Jann Lau, Senior Director, Corporate Development, PayPal
J. Neely, Senior Managing Director and Global M&A Lead, Accenture Strategy (Chair)

Avoiding Regulatory Hurdles | 4:30 pm
How are the new merger control guidelines and changes to the HSR process being addressed in practice? What is the current antitrust sentiment at the DoJ and FTC? Are there emerging standards and best practices for disclosing corporate relationships and the rationale for a transaction? Ho2024 M&A Conference at Wharton San Franciscow are previous acquisitions and market conditions being considered by the agencies? Are there ways to head off labor market driven competition reviews?

William Diaz, Chief Antitrust Counsel, Amgen
Angela Yoon, Senior Director, Competition and Regulatory, LinkedIn
Chris Ries, Director & Associate General Counsel, Competition Law, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Mary Lehner, Antitrust Partner, Freshfields (Chair)


Optimizing Treasury Management in M&A | 5:30
What variables should be in focus when evaluating an acquisition’s cash position, debt structure, working capital, and treasury policies? How is interest rate risk, foreign exchange risk, and commodity price risk effectively determined and addressed? Are there clever ways to diligence and de-risk a target’s treasury functions? When should the compatibility and integration path for treasury management systems be determined?

James George, Executive Director, M&A Escrow & Paying Agent Services, J.P. Morgan 
Varoon Mandhana, Executive Director, Payments M&A Advisory, J.P. Morgan


Wine Reception | 5:45 - 6:30 pm
The robust discussions will continue during the wine reception.

Dinner and M&A War Stories | 6:30 - 7:30 pm
Dinner is always a highlight with deal teams sharing war stories and enjoying the amazing views over the San Francisco Bay.

Thursday, March 21, 2024
8:15 am - 5:00 pm PST

Breakfast and M&A Innovation Showcase | 8:15 am

Executing Strategic Divestitures | 9:00 am
How are the most effective corporate development teams executing divestitures? Should the M&A team look for imbalances in the portfolio of business lines, or leave this assessment to the CEO and the Board? Are there insights from the wave of activist campaigns that are pushing for divestitures? How should deal teams confidently consider spin-offs, carve-outs, and sales? What is the key to running a proactive and well-considered separation?

Ashish Tuli, Vice President, Head of Corporate Development Strategy, Intel
Kostas Katsohirakis, Vice President, M&A Integrations + Separations, Applied Materials
Hemant Hebbar, Vice President, Corporate Development, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
Sulagna Mukherjee, Partner, Deals (M&A Advisory), PwC (Chair)


2024 M&A Conference at Wharton San Francisco

Improving the Cross Border M&A Process | 10:00 am
What are the emerging foreign direct investment challenges that need to be avoided? How can dealmakers navigate protectionist regulatory regimes to acquire national champions? Are there ways to structure deals to address labor issues that make cross-border acquisitions more achievable? What is required to perform proper FCPA and sanctions diligence? How should the DoJ's new M&A Safe Harbor policy be incorporated into the diligence process?

Paul Castor, Vice President and Chief Corporate Counsel, Viasat
Gwen Pope, Head of M&A Business Platforms, A.P. Moller Maersk
Barnaby Gibson, Senior Director, Legal - Mergers and Acquisitions, ServiceNow
Rishab Kumar, M&A Partner, Cooley (Chair)

Pursuing M&A Alternatives | 11:00 am
How are corporate development teams effectively using minority investments? What deal terms should be pursued? Are joint ventures and equity alliances a clever way to pursue strategic goals with reduced risk? What are the most effective governance practices? What do M&A teams need to understand regarding exits and potential outcomes? Are there specific buyout options and controls that should be negotiated up front?

Jonathan Duckles, Partner, Head of Fund Transactions (Legal), SoftBank
Brad Marzullo, Vice President - M&A | Strategic Partnerships, DaVita
Alex MarquezGlobal Managing Director, Head of Experian Ventures, Experian
Omar Alam, Vice President, M&A Legal & Associate General Counsel, Salesforce

Michael Dorf, M&A Partner,  Shearman & Sterling (Chair)

Lunch and M&A Innovation Showcase | 12:00 pm
Some of the most innovative M&A technology platforms will be available for demos. 

New M&A Research from the Institute | 1:00 pm
Dr. Gregory Schlimm, M&A Research Faculty, Transaction Advisors Institute2024 M&A Conference at Wharton San Francisco

Negotiating Critical Deal Points | 1:15 pm
How are deal teams shifting the allocation of risk among courter-parties and third-parties? What are the relevant differences between holdbacks and other protections? Are misperceptions -- or real market changes -- limiting the use of transaction insurance? What fraud, non-reliance, and no-recourse provisions are shifting? How do you make sure one party does not control a closing condition? For long-close acquisitions, what terms should be structured to adjust? How can outside dates, ticking fees, efforts, reverse break fees, equity grants, and other deal points be designed to work in concert?

Evan Johnson, Senior Corporate Counsel, Hewlett Packard, Inc.
Naomi Ogan, Vice President, Associate General Counsel - Mergers and Acquisitions, Fortive

Anson Lau, Deputy General Counsel, Strategic Transactions and Commercial, LONGi Solar
John Fisher, Partner, Head of U.S. Technology and Life Sciences M&A, Freshfields (Chair)

Retaining Human Capital | 2:30 pm
How can deal teams uncover troubling undercurrents across the workplace, including deeply rooted norms and working styles? What are the best ways to integrate management teams? Do contingent consideration mechanisms create the right behaviors post-close? Can you identify disruptive employees before closing? Should dealmakers try to head off frustration and resentment over benefit inconsistencies, or leave that to the integration team? How can you ensure retention is not an afterthought?  Are different approaches needed when acquiring a business from a financial sponsor with a large founder investment?

Purvi Shah, Director HR M&A, Applied Materials
Shari DelCarlo, Senior Director, HR M&A, LinkedIn

Holly Costa, Senior Director, M&A People Strategy & Integration, Workday
Dhruv Mehra, Partner, Private Equity & M&A Advisory Services, US & Canada, Mercer (Chair)

Integrating to Capture Value | 3:30 pm2024 M&A Conference at Wharton San Francisco
What’s the optimal level of engagement with the target in developing the integration thesis? How do you enhance visibility on sources of value across revenue, costs, talent, and technology? What positive and negative synergies are often missed in deal models and discovered during integration? How do you uncover unrealistic integration costs and timing? What fault lines need to be tackled before divisions become too great? Are there fundamental best practices that have stood the test of time, or, is each deal unique?

Kathie Resteiner, Vice President, Corporate Development , Head of Value Creation Office, Intel
Victoria ShawHead of M&A Integration, Intuit
Lindsay Seefeldt, Director of Corporate Development Integration, Meta

J. Dana Hughes, Partner and Associate Director - Post-Merger Integration Practice, BCG (Chair)

Reception and M&A Innovation Showcase | 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
A number of innovative platforms that are advancing the M&A practice will be available for review.

Who Should Attend

This M&A conference is solely for public-company corporate development and integration leaders, in-house M&A counsel, chief financial officers, chief executive officers, board members, and private equity investors. See past M&A Conference Speaking Faculty. The proceedings are closed to the media.

If you are a qualified corporate M&A professional, this downloadable Justification Letterand M&A Conference Programcan be used to convey the benefits of attending this important M&A Conference.  

This conference is not open to M&A advisors or M&A service providers. Registrations for individuals who are not in-house M&A professionals will be canceled and refunded, less a $100 bank fee. 

This M&A program will provide 9 CLE and 11 CPE credits.

M&A Innovation Showcase

M&A Conference at Wharton San FranciscoBlack Duck Audits from Synopsys provide insights to quickly assess a broad range of software risks in an acquisition target’s software. A Black Duck Audit provides a complete picture of open source license, application security and code quality risks so you can make informed M&A decisions with confidence.
Western Alliance Bank's Business Escrow Services team is a specialized, trusted resource for strategic buyers, leading law firms, exiting companies and other deal constituents. They offer paying agent and escrow services related to mergers, acquisitions, asset purchases and other business escrow transactions.

Intralinks provides an artificial intelligence-assisted platform to increase efficiency, reduce risk, and streamline the entire M&A process—from strategy and deal preparation through the due diligence process and post-merger Integration.

Also at Wharton San Francisco

M&A Academy | March 19 & 20, 2024

Join the Institute at the start of the week for the M&A Academy, an in-depth course on improving M&A performance from strategy development to closing. This program is led by Stephen G. Morrissette, Ph.D, from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business.
Transaction Advisors Institute M&A Conference