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Regulatory Landscape

 Visit the Slideshow of photos from the event

March 25, 2014

Alumni Networking Event and Panel on Regulatory Landscape

Columbia Business School Private Equity Program

Alston and Bird

On March 25, 2014 we examined the impact of recent trends in intellectual property, tax policy and Delaware law on the deal making environment for private equity. Fellow alumni enjoyed a cocktail networking reception after the program.

This event will be part of our series hosted by Alston & Bird LLP since 2011. This series of programs is designed to offer an overview of topics of interest to those alumni in the private equity industry.

Private Equity Program Director, Donna M. Hitscherich `90, will moderated the panel discussion with Ashley Larson `11, Egis Capital Partners, Michael O'Hara `02, Blackstone,  Vince Ponzo `03, The Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship and Alston & Bird LLP Partners Clay A. Littlefield , Kevin Miller, and Chris McArdle.


Featured presenters

Donna M. Hitscherich '90, Moderator
Director, Private Equity Program, Columbia Business School
Senior Lecturer in Discipline Finance and Economics

Professor Donna M. Hitscherich was appointed as director of the Private Equity Program in October 2010. Professor Hitscherich now serves as Senior Lecturer in the Finance and  Economics division, a position she has held since 2008 after a nearly  twenty year career in investment banking and law. Professor Hitscherich teaches Corporate Finance, Advanced  Corporate Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions and Business Law in the MBA and Executive  MBA programs.  From 1988 through 1990, Professor Hitscherich was an  assistant professor of law at St. John's University School of Law, where  she taught Federal Securities Regulation and Legal Ethics.

Prior to her present position at Columbia, Professor Hitscherich had a  career in investment banking, during which she held positions at CS  First Boston, J. P. Morgan & Co. Incorporated and Banc of America  Securities. Prior to her career in  investment banking, Professor Hitscherich was a corporate lawyer at  Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Her research interests include mergers and acquisitions,  valuation and fairness opinions.  She was a member of the St. John's Law  Review, and she is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York.

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Ashley Larson `11
Egis Capital Partners

Ashley Larson is a Principal at Egis Capital Partners and has ten years of corporate finance, investment, and operating experience. Ms. Larson is responsible for all aspects of Egis’ investment process, including transaction sourcing, analysis, structuring, financing, negotiation, and documentation. She also plays an active role in portfolio company oversight and provides ongoing operational support to management teams in marketing strategy, sales execution, business development, and corporate finance and acquisitions.

Previously, Ms. Larson was an Associate in the Corporate Development division of Red Ventures, a global marketing services firm, where she managed all aspects of M&A, venture investments, and capital raise transactions. She began her career as an investment banking analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, focused on the origination and execution of middle- market M&A and private placement transactions.
Ms. Larson holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BA from Wake Forest University.

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Clay A. Littlefield
Partner, Alston & Bird LLP

Clay Littlefield is a partner in the firm’s federal income and international tax practices. His clients include both U.S. and foreign companies and individuals. Clay regularly advises U.S. and foreign hedge funds, venture capital and private equity funds on the tax and legal aspects of various structuring alternatives and investment product proposals. Clay also regularly provides counsel and advice to U.S. and foreign clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, distressed debt arrangements, and real estate and corporate finance issues.

Prior to joining Alston & Bird, Clay worked in Washington, D.C. as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Associate Chief Counsel, Division of Financial Institutions and Products. Accordingly, he has significant tax experience and regularly advises clients with regard to issues involving banks, structured finance, asset-backed securitizations (e.g., REMICs, CDOs), hedging and the tax aspects of various derivative financial instruments and structured transactions. As the tax rules are constantly evolving, Clay regularly consults with his former government colleagues and industry contacts on emerging issues, trends and prospective IRS guidance.

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Kevin Miller
Partner, Alston & Bird LLP

Kevin is a partner in Alston & Bird's Corporate Transactions & Securities Group and the head of Alston & Bird's Financial Advisors Practice. The firm is regularly ranked by The American Lawyer and Corporate Control Alert among the leading counsel to investment banks acting as financial advisors, and over the last three years, Alston & Bird has advised large and midsized financial advisors on over $100 billion of M&A transactions. Kevin is also the co-head of Alston & Bird’s M&A Practice Quality Team.

Prior to joining the firm, Kevin served as the head of Credit Suisse First Boston’s Investment Banking Division’s legal group for the Americas. He is a frequent author and speaker on M&A topics, including recent legal and regulatory developments, fairness opinions, stapled finance and the role of investment bankers. Kevin is a member of the advisory boards of and the Deal Lawyers newsletter. He is also a frequent contributor to the Blog and PLI Securities Law Practice Center.

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Michael O'Hara `02
Managing Director, Restructuring & Reorganization

Michael O’Hara is a Managing Director in the Restructuring & Reorganization Group. Since joining Blackstone in 2006, Mr. O'Hara has assisted in advising on a variety of restructuring transactions including AbitibiBowater, AIG, American Axle & Manufacturing, Delphi, Dana, Enron (re: Azurix), Grupo Bimbo (re: Interstate Bakeries Corporation), Intrawest, MoneyGram International, Mrs. Fields, PBGC, Taro Pharmaceutical, and Washington Mutual. Before joining Blackstone, Mr. O’Hara worked in the M&A group at Wasserstein Perella & Co. and Stephens Inc. Mr. O’Hara holds a BS in Finance from Georgetown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.


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Vincent Ponzo `03
Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School

Vince Ponzo is currently Director of the Eugene Lang Entrepreneurship Center at Columbia Business School.

Before joining Columbia, Vince was General Manager at General Assembly, where he was responsible for the growth of the offline education business while later overseeing the curriculum, instruction, student, alumni and hiring partner products and teams.

Prior to General Assembly, Vince helped launch RadMatter, a startup aimed at redefining on-campus recruiting, spent time as the Executive Vice President of Partnerships at Kargo, a mobile advertising company, and served as the Vice President of Client Services for SelectMinds, an enterprise SaaS company acquired by Oracle for its social recruiting and alumni networking products.

Previously, Vince spent 9+ years at Fidelity Investments and Citigroup in roles ranging from Corporate Finance to Corporate Training. He has an MBA from Columbia Business School and a BS in Finance from Boston College.

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September 16

Alumni Event M&A Roundup: How the 2014 'Resurgence' is Impacting Private Equity"
Read More >

October 28

Info Session: Learn about the Private Equity Program and Deal Camp (for Current Students)
Read More >

December 5-7

Fourth Annual Deal Camp in Montauk
Read More >



New Research

No Free Shop: Why Target Companies in MBOs and Private Equity Transactions Sometimes Choose Not to Buy ‘Go Shop’ Options

By Charles W. Calomiris, Donna M. Hitscherich and Adonis Antoniades

Read the Paper >

Contact Us

Private Equity Program
Columbia Business School
Uris Hall, Room 218
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-7989