- For Students
Alumni Networking Event and Panel
Note - this event has SOLD OUT
Please join us next time. We will have another event in Spring 2018
Chris Kirsten `82, Moelis [bio]
Sean Nelson `16, KKR [bio]
Michael Saarinen, Alston & Bird [bio]
David Wachter, W Capital Partners [bio]
Moderator: Donna M. Hitscherich `90, Columbia Business School [bio]
Donna M. Hitscherich '90
Director, Private Equity Program, Columbia Business School
Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Business
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.
Chris Kirsten '82
Managing Director, Moelis & Company
Chris Kirsten is a Managing Director at Moelis & Company where he focuses on Private Funds Advisory. Mr. Kirsten has over 25 years of securities distribution and investment banking experience. Most recently, Mr. Kirsten was a Managing Director and Chairman of Greenhill’s Private Capital Advisory Group. Previously, he was a Managing Director and Global Head of Lehman Brothers’ Private Fund Marketing Group and prior was a Director in the Private Equity Finance Group at Deutsche Bank. Mr. Kirsten’s private equity experience involved helping source, position and raise numerous buyout, venture, growth and real estate funds for financial sponsors. Mr. Kirsten began his career in institutional fixed income sales and management at Nomura and Citicorp.
Mr. Kirsten holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and was a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder from 1992 to 2013. He also serves as a Columbia Business School Private Equity Mentor.
· Over 25 years of securities distribution and investment banking experience
· Previously Managing Director and Chairman of Greenhill’s Private Capital Advisory Group
· Worked as Managing Director and Global Head of Lehman Brothers’ Private Fund Marketing Group and prior was a Director in the Private Equity Finance Group at Deutsche Bank
Sean Nelson `16
Principal, Client and Partner Group, KKR
Sean Nelson joined KKR in 2010 and is a Principal in the Client and Partner Group, focused on working with leading private wealth platforms, family offices, registered investment advisors, and high net worth individuals. He originally joined KKR as a member of the private markets area focused on North American Private Equity and Real Assets. Prior to KKR, he worked at UBS Investment Bank in the media and communications group. He holds an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. He is an active volunteer and mentor in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) program.
Partner, Alston & Bird
Michael Saarinen is a partner with Alston & Bird’s Investment Management, Trading & Markets Team. Michael represents a diverse group of fund sponsors, from small, closely held startup businesses to global financial institutions. He advises on the formation and operation of a wide range of fund products, including private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds, real estate funds and customized investment vehicles such as managed accounts, single-asset funds and hybrid funds. Michael also counsels clients on regulatory and compliance issues, examination and enforcement matters, compensation arrangements, strategic transactions and governance.
In 2015, Michael was honored by Private Funds Management as one of the “30 Most Influential Private Equity Lawyers Under the Age of 40” and highlighted as “a fund formation lawyer to watch in the coming years.” Michael has also been recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Investment Fund Formation and Management: Alternative/Hedge Funds.
Managing Director, W Capital Partners
David is a Managing Director and Founding Partner of W Capital Partners. Since inception in 2001 W Capital has been a leader in the emerging direct secondaries market providing private equity investors with shareholder liquidity and growth capital for private companies. The firm manages $2 billion in capital. David has spoken at events around the world regarding the growing market for liquidity in direct private equity. Prior to founding W Capital, David was an investment banker for 15 years at Lehman Brothers and Jefferies. He holds an M.B.A from New York University and B.S. in Engineering from Tufts University.