Creating Value through the LBO

In today's markets, are private equity investors driving value through financial engineering or operational strategy? Portfolio CEOs and private equity investors will discuss how they develop their strategies in large-scale buyouts.


Margaret Cannella '76

Professor and Administrative Director of Private Equity Program, Columbia Business School

Margaret Cannella is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School, teaching a seminar she developed entitled “Credit Markets and Leveraged Buy-Outs: the Good, the Bad, the Ugly” and a block week course “From Feast to Famine and Back Again: Investing in the Credit Markets 2004 to 2014.” She is also responsible for the Private Equity Fellows Program. Margaret is a corporate board member of Advance Pierre Foods, a company owned by Oaktree Capital and Watford Reinsurance, associated with Arch Re and High Bridge Capital, a credit hedge fund. She is a trustee of the North America Schroder Funds and well as the Wilshire Funds.

In 2009, Margaret retired from JPMorgan after more than thirty years in financial services in the United States, Europe and Asia-Pacific. At JPMorgan, she built U.S. Equity and Global Credit Research; both currently rank number one in the Institutional Investor Survey. She chaired the firm’s capital markets strategy function and also represented the industry on SIFMA’s committees dealing with regulations related to research and banking. In 2007, Margaret herself was named to the Fixed Income Analyst Hall of Fame in 2007 for her publications on the credit crisis. As a sell-side bond analyst from 1992 to 2004, Margaret was ranked number one or two in the Institutional Investor Survey for her coverage of retail and consumer products companies. Prior to joining JPMorgan in 1998, for ten years, Margaret was a Senior Analyst in the Leveraged Finance Division of Citibank and Citibank’s Head of Global Research. Prior to that, Margaret was with Chase Manhattan Asia Limited in New York and Hong Kong.

Margaret is a graduate of Princeton University with an A.B. in East Asian Studies and a graduate of the Columbia Business School with an MBA in finance.



Seth Brody

Partner, APAX Partners

Seth Brody is a partner and Global Head of the Operational Excellence Group at Apax Partners. He has been with Apax since 2008 based in the New York office. His prior industry operating experience includes roles as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Razorgator Interactive Group, as Group Vice President and General Manager at Orbitz Worldwide, Director of Marketing at, and Product Manager at Netmarket Group, Inc. Mr. Brody has served in numerous interim management positions across the Apax portfolio including roles as the Chief Information Officer at Netrada Management GmbH and Chief Marketing Officer at Trader Canada Corporation. Mr. Brody serves on the Board of Directors for Bankrate, Inc. (NYSE:RATE) and as a director and advisor to numerous growth companies in the digital space.

He received his B.A. from Yale University and his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.


Andrew J. Cavanna '05

Partner and Head of Healthcare, Vestar

Andrew is a Managing Director and is the Co-Head of Vestar’s Healthcare Group. He came to the firm in 2006 from The Blackstone Group. Prior to joining Blackstone, Andrew was an associate at JPMorgan Partners and an analyst in the Leveraged Finance Group at Merrill Lynch. 

Andrew earned his BA, cum laude, in Economics and Government from Cornell University and his MBA from Columbia Business School. He is originally from Connecticut and now lives in Darien, Connecticut, with his wife and three daughters. Andrew is also a member of the board of The Community Fund of Darien and is a member of the Connecticut Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land.


Robert Dangremond

Senior Advisor, AlixPartners

As a Vice Chairman and Managing Director of AlixPartners, LLC, Mr. Dangremond helped build the organization into a 1000+ employee, global consulting firm, leading the European restructuring practice and co-leading both the North American restructuring practice and the overall worldwide practice. Following the sale of AlixPartners in 2012, Mr. Dangremond has remained on as a senior advisor to the CEO. Throughout his years with AlixPartners, he has held senior management and advisory positions in public and private corporations. Appointments have spanned diverse manufacturing, distribution, retail and service industries, including President and CEO of Forstmann & Company, CEO of Refco, Inc., CFO and CRO of Zenith Electronics, Treasurer of Unisys Corporation, and President and Chairman of AM International, among others.

Prior to joining AlixPartners, Mr. Dangremond held the positions of Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Leach & Garner, a $2 billion diversified manufacturing and trading company, Vice President of the Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., involving work with many multinational leveraged corporations, and with Scott Paper Co. in various sales and marketing functions.

Mr. Dangremond is a Certified Turnaround Professional and holds an MBA from NYU with a concentration in accounting and finance and a BS in agricultural economics from Rutgers University.


Sean Rodgers

Partner, Kirkland & Ellis

Sean Rodgers is a partner in the Firm's Corporate Practice Group, where he focuses on mergers and acquisitions. He regularly represents private equity firms and corporations in a wide range of transactions including leveraged buyouts, stock and asset acquisitions and sales, recapitalizations, mergers, private equity investments, and general corporate and securities law matters.

Sean received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from the University of California Berkeley School of Law.


Bill Toler

Senior Advisor, Oaktree Capital

William Toler is currently a Senior Advisor to Oaktree focused on the Food and Beverage industries. He began this assignment after 5 years as CEO of Pierre Foods and AdvancePierre Foods. This company is an Oaktree investment. Toler brought over 25 years of industry experience to AdvancePierre Foods, Inc. AdvancePierre is a leading supplier of value-added protein and handheld convenience products to the foodservice, school, retail, club, vending and convenience store markets. AdvancePierre offers a full line of packaged sandwiches, fully cooked chicken and beef products, Philly-style steak, breaded beef, pork and poultry, and bakery products.

Prior to joining AdvancePierre Foods, Inc., he served as President of PinnacleFoods and was a member of its Board of Directors. Mr. Toler joined Pinnacle Foods in March 2004 as Executive Vice President, Sales. Prior to that, Mr. Toler oversaw Aurora’s sales department beginning in April 2003 and was instrumental in executing a turnaround of the business. Previously, he was President of North America for ICG Commerce, a procurement services company.

Prior to joining ICG Commerce, Mr. Toler was President of Campbell Sales Company from 1995 to 2000. At Campbell Sales Company, he was responsible for $4 billion in sales. He joined Campbell Sales Company from Nabisco, where he was Vice President, Sales and Integrated Logistics from 1992 to 1995. Prior to Nabisco, he was Vice President/National Sales Manager for Reckitt & Colman from 1989 to 1992. Mr. Toler began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked from 1981 to 1989.