This panel will focus on the growth equity asset class and its recent rise. We expect the discussion to be centered around the macro trends of the sector, in addition to more specific philosophies each panelist may have related to sourcing deals, competition for investments, evaluating opportunities, valuation, post-investment value-add, and more. The panel is comprised of traditional growth equity investors and a growth equity-focused limited partner, making for what we believe will be a compelling discussion.​
 
 

Panelists:

Brian Rich '87, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Catalyst Investors

Dan O'Keefe, General Partner, TCV

Mark Benedetti, Managing Director, Ardian

Sarah Sommer, Partner and Co-Founder, Level Equity

 

Moderator:

David Snow, CEO and Co-Founder, Privcap

 

 

 

 

 

Panelists

Brian Rich '87

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Catalyst Investors

Brian Rich co-founded NYC-based growth equity firm Catalyst Investors in 2000 and focuses on technology-enabled services including internet and mobile services, cloud computing and digital media. As Managing Partner, Brian is responsible for Catalyst’s investment policy and overseeing the entire portfolio. Catalyst is currently investing its third fund.

 

A veteran investor, Brian has more than 20 years of experience investing in growth companies. He has served on numerous boards at Catalyst and predecessor funds and is currently on the executive committee of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) inaugural Growth Equity Group.

 

Brian founded and managed TD Capital (USA) Inc., the entity that made Toronto Dominion Bank’s U.S.-based equity, mezzanine, and limited partnership investments from 1995 to 1999. As group head, he oversaw approximately 40 investments totaling more than $600 million. He earlier served as a managing director in the bank’s Media, Telecom & Technology Group and started his career as an engineer at Intel Corporation.

 

Brian earned a BS in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

 

 

Dan O'Keefe

General Partner, TCV

Dan joined TCV in 2010 and has been in the venture capital industry since 1999. His primary areas of investment focus include the internet and software sectors. Dan serves on the board of Rent the Runway, and is actively involved with TCV’s investments in Dollar Shave Club, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), Prodege, Spotify, and VICE Media.

 

Prior to TCV Dan was a Principal at North Bridge where he focused on growth stage investments in the digital media, online marketing and software sectors. Before North Bridge, Dan was a Senior Vice President at Pequot Capital and an Associate at Apax Partners. Dan started his career in investment banking at Salomon Smith Barney in the Mergers and Acquisitions group focusing on the Technology and Telecom markets.

 

Dan is a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations, holds a Fellowship with the Foreign Policy Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York Venture Capital Association.

 

Dan received an A.B. in Business Economics from Brown University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar.

 

 

Mark Benedetti

Managing Director, Ardian

Mark Benedetti joined Ardian in 2006. Before joining Ardian, he was an Associate with KMPG Corporate Finance where he focused on Mergers, Acquisitions, and Capital Raising advisory. He began with KPMG in 2002 in their Assurance group and was a Senior Accountant on mandates such as Celestica Inc., and AT&T Canada. From 2000-2001, he was a Consultant to Finance and Treasury at Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), while attending university.

 

He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) from McGill University and is a Chartered Accountant.

 

 

Sarah Sommer

Partner and Co-Founder, Level Equity

Sarah Sommer co-founded and is a partner at Level Equity. She has spent her career as an investor in growth-stage software, media and internet companies. Sarah currently serves as a director of BoardEffect, Radiate Media, Sidewalk, SiteHawk, and Wombat Security Technologies. Prior to Level Equity, she was a member of the investment team at Insight Venture Partners.

 

Sarah is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

Moderator

David Snow

CEO and Co-Founder, Privcap

Prior to launching Privcap in September 2011, David Snow was a financial journalist covering the alternative investment market for 13 years. He began his career in 1998 at Thomson Reuters where he became editor of Buyouts magazine. He later joined a division of Guggenheim Partners to create an online information network for accredited investors. Until November 2010, he was Editor in Chief of PEI Media, a media company covering the alternative investment industry, with offices in London, New York, Singapore and Hong Kong. Snow played a key role across PEI¹s editorial products, events and business strategies, including the launch of magazines serving the private equity, private real estate and infrastructure asset classes.

 

He has a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Chinese Studies from the University of California at San Diego. He grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii. @SnowsNotes