Private Equity in the Middle Market

Participating in the middle market affords the opportunity to potentially capture greater value in the private equity space. Where are the most promising investment areas? What are the most significant challenges to new deal execution and existing portfolio company operations? How has the credit market appetite for middle market transactions changed in the last year? What is the impact of larger funds moving “down market”?  How has the difficult fundraising environment affected investment strategies and transaction structures?



Alex Chi – Managing Director, Goldman Sachs Financial Sponsor Coverage Group

Alex is a managing director in the Financial Sponsors Group, where he manages the firm's relationships with a number of private equity and related portfolio company clients. He is also co-head of the Firmwide Asian Professionals Network and is the firmwide recruiting co-captain for MIT.

Alex joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 as an analyst and spent three years across the Information Technology, Fixed Income Capital Markets and Leveraged Finance Groups. He moved to Hong Kong to work on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings, privatization and restructuring assignments for clients across Asia. In 2000, Alex moved back to New York to rejoin Leveraged Finance, where he spent six years structuring and executing leveraged loan and high yield debt financings for corporate and private equity clients across all industries. He assumed his current role in the Financial Sponsors Group and was named managing director in 2006.

Alex earned an SB in Management Science from MIT in 1994. He and his wife, Margaret, have three children and live in Manhattan.



Justin Hillenbrand – Partner, Monomoy Capital Partners

Justin Hillenbrand has a good eye for both the art he collects and the companies he fixes. He lives to guide businesses from dysfunctional to efficient, and practices that skill set within Monomoy as well.  Don't be fooled by his easy smile, Justin has plenty of experience in turnaround investing and lives for buying industrial companies.

He is currently Chairman of the Board at Compass Automotive, Hess Industries, HTPG, Katun, Kurz-Kasch and Steel Parts. Prior to founding Monomoy, he was with KPS Special Situation Funds and worked as a senior analyst at Prudential Capital Group, providing mezzanine debt to middle-market manufacturers.

He holds a B.S. from Boston College. In his spare time, Justin adds stamps to his passport on a quest to visit every country in the world with his wife and two daughters.

Seth Hollander - Partner, Kohlberg & Company

Mr. Hollander is a member of Kohlberg’s Investment Committee and is responsible for leading the execution and monitoring of certain new and existing Kohlberg investments. Mr. Hollander joined Kohlberg in 2001 and was named a Partner in 2008. Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Hollander was with Bear, Stearns & Co. in their Leveraged Finance Group. He is a member of the board of directors of AGY Holdings Corporation, Centerplate, Central Parking Corporation, Concrete Technologies Worldwide, Hoffmaster Group, Kellermeyer Building Services, Nielsen & Bainbridge, Packaging Dynamics Corporation and Stanadyne Corporation. Mr. Hollander received a B.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

Paul Levy - Founding Partner, JLL Partners

Mr. Levy is a native New Yorker. He received his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1972 and his B.A., summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from Lehigh University in 1969.

Mr. Levy practiced corporate and securities law with Stroock & Stroock  & Lavan in New York. Mr. Levy is a founding partner of JLL Partners. Prior to forming JLL in 1988, Mr. Levy was a Managing Director at Drexel Burnham Lambert where he led its restructuring group.

JLL Partners manages four investment partnerships with committed equity totaling $3.5 billion. Mr. Levy is a director of public and private companies on behalf of JLL.

Mr. Levy is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Overseers of the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania (2001-2007), is currently on the Board of Overseers and Chair of the Law School’s $175 million Capital Campaign, and is also a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Levy is also a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania Healthcare System and Chairman of its Finance Committee. He is also currently a director of The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, where he Chairs its Investment Committee. He was recently a director of The Harlem Village Academies, and a trustee of The Jewish Museum and The Riverdale Country School, all in New York. 

Christopher Manning – Partner and Member of the Executive Committee, Trilantic Capital Partners

Christopher Manning is a Partner and member of the Executive Committee. His primary focus is on investments in the energy sector.

Chris joined Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking in 2000 and was concurrently the Head of Lehman Brothers’ Investment Management Division, including both the Asset Management and Private Equity businesses, in Asia-Pacific from 2006 to 2008. He was also a member of the Global Investment Management Division Executive Committee and the Private Equity Division Operating Committee.

Prior to Lehman Brothers, Chris was the chief financial officer of The Wing Group, a developer of international power projects. Prior to The Wing Group, he was in the investment banking department of Kidder, Peabody & Co., where he worked on M&A and corporate finance transactions.

Chris is currently a director of Antero Resources, Enduring Resources, Mediterranean Resources, the Cross Group, VantaCore Partners and Velvet Energy, as well as Chairman of the Board of TLP Energy.

Chris holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Mitchell Presser - Founding Partner, Paine & Partners

Mr. Presser is a founding Partner of Paine & Partners. Mr. Presser is a graduate of New York University (B.S., Accounting) and Yale Law School (J.D.). Prior to joining Paine & Partners LLC, he was a Partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, where he concentrated on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, leveraged buyouts, corporate governance and securities law matters and advised the Predecessor Firm, Fox Paine & Company, on numerous acquisitions and dispositions.

Mr. Presser serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of Icicle Seafoods, Capital Z and R360 Environmental Solutions, and is an active member of the New York State Bar Association.