2017 Speakers included
Digby serves as Non-Executive Chairman of Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, On Logistics Ltd, Celixir Ltd, Thatcher’s Cider Ltd and G-Labs Ltd. He is Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the Unipart Expert Practices (UEP) Division and chairs the Advisory Board of Argentex LLP. He is a Non-Executive Director of URICA Ltd and Leicester Tigers plc. He is Senior Adviser to Harvey Nash plc and Babcock InternationalGroup plc. He is Corporate Ambassador to Aon RiskSolutions, Jaguar Carsand Ravenscroft Stockbroking. Digby is also Chairman of the Governors of Stratford Upon Avon College. He sits in the House of Lords as a non-aligned Crossbench peer.
Born in Birmingham on 28th October 1955, he began his schooldays (1960-1966) at Alvechurch Primary School Birmingham, before winning a major scholarship to Bromsgrove School which he attended between 1966 and 1974. He gained an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Law at University College London in 1977. Digby was awarded a University Cadetship in the Royal Navy and served between 1974 and 1977. Hethen took articles with the Birmingham Corporate Law Firm Edge and Ellison in 1978. He was admitted as a Solicitor in 1980.
Digby made Partner at Edge and Ellison in 1984 and it was in Corporate Finance and Client Development that he made his name. He was responsible for developing the Firm’s London presence and establishing its representation in many European countries and several states in America. He was involved in most of the major management buy-outs and merger and acquisition activity in the West Midlands in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. He was made Deputy Senior Partner in 1990, becoming the Firm’s Senior Partner in 1995.
In 1998 Digby joined KPMG as Vice Chairman of Corporate Finance, acting as close adviser to many public companies across the United Kingdom and in KPMG’s global markets
Digby served as Director-General of the CBI, the Confederation of British Industry, the UK’s ‘Voice of Business’, from 1 January 2000 to 30 June 2006. During his appointment, he regularly visited businesses in the UK and worldwide, understanding the different issues of business and feeding them in to those who make the rules, acting as the conduit between business and rule makers. He also took the British business message to 70 different countries, internationalising the organisation and opening CBI offices in Brussels, Washington DC and Beijing. Being regularly seen, heard and read in the media, he became known as one of the most effective lobbyists in the Country.
From 2007 to 2008 Digby served as the UK’s Minister of State for Trade & Investment and is still the only UK Minister not to belong to the Party of Government. He made 45 overseas visits, travelling to 31 different countries and meeting with the world’s top business leaders and politicians. He changed the way that UK Trade & Investment was perceived, delivering a record year for inward investment and expanding the UK’s presence in all of the major international markets.
He was UK Speaker of the Year in 2008 and in 2014 Digby received the EVCOM Fellowship Award for Services to the Communications and Marketing Sector.
Digby is an Ambassador for Cancer Research UK and is Vice-President of Birmingham Hospice. He is Patron of The Campaign for Learning, Every Child a Reader, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and F1 in Schools. He is a Patron of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Royal Shakespeare Company and The Guernsey Community Foundation.
Digby is a Guardian of The Birmingham Assay Office, a Member of the Bromsgrove School Foundation Board, Honorary Vice Patron of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, a Member of The Reform Club and a Freeman of The City of London.
Digby appears regularly on television, radio and in the newspapers, being known for his firm views on numerous aspects of life in a globalised economy. He is an active public speaker at events and engagements all over the world. He won the BBC's ‘Celebrity Mastermind’ in 2010, published his first book titled “Fixing Britain - the Business of Reshaping Our Nation" in 2011 and in 2014 he presented the BBC TV series, ‘The New Troubleshooter’.
Digby is married to Pat and they live near Stratford Upon Avon in Warwickshire. He enjoys the theatre, ballet, skiing, football, rugby, cricket and has more than a passing interest in military history.
Mr. Dennis is a Partner in the Ares Credit Group, where he focuses on the group’s European activities. Additionally, Mr. Dennis serves as a member of the Management Committee of Ares, the Ares Credit Group’s European Direct Lending Investment Committee and other select Ares Credit Group investment committees. Prior to joining Ares in 2007, Mr. Dennis was Head of the London Financial Sponsor Group at Barclays Bank, where he focused on originating middle market financing opportunities. Mr. Dennis holds a B.Sc. from the University of Nottingham and University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and an M.B.A., with high honors, from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Stuart is Head of Financial Sponsor Coverage for the UK Mid-Market. Prior to this role he was a Senior Director for 10 years in the Leveraged Finance team completing over 100 deals developing HSBC from a small participant to be the market leader in the UK mid-market.
Prior to HSBC, Stuart spent 7 years in M&A in both KPMG and EY focussing on the private equity market.
Stuart also sits on the board of the Entrepreneurs Exchange.
Adrian Breiter is a Director in the mid-cap Leveraged Finance team within RBS, focused on sponsor-backed leveraged transactions across origination and execution. Additionally, Adrian has been instrumental in developing and co-ordinating RBS’ various bank / fund collaborations in the leveraged mid-market.
Adrian has 13 years of diverse banking experience, including 9 years in leveraged finance (across mid-cap and large-cap, with 2 years in leveraged capital markets). His prior experience spans corporate restructuring and corporate credit (in London and Sydney). Adrian has been with RBS for 10 years, and holds a B.Applied Finance and B.Commerce from the Macquarie University of Sydney.
Ciara O’Neill joined DC Advisory in October 2011 as a Managing Director in the European Debt Advisory Group.
Ciara has sixteen years’ experience in the leveraged finance market and has arranged financing for a number of high profile clients including Biffa, EMAP, TDC and Formula 1 during her career. She joined DC from Mizuho Bank where she was Head of Capital Markets in Europe for the leveraged finance division. Previously Ciara worked in the leveraged capital markets team at RBS for 9 years and in the acquisition finance team at Lloyds for 4 years.
Ciara holds a degree in Civil Law from University College Dublin and a BSc in Financial Services from UMIST.
Alex Griffith is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of The Private Credit and Finance Groups.
Alex’s practice focuses onleveraged finance and general debt finance work, advising senior, mezzanine,second lien, unitranche and other private capital providers.
His extensive experiencecovers a wide range of transactions, including corporate refinancings,management buyouts and buy-ins, recapitalizations, institutional acquisitions,restructurings, public-to-private takeovers (both domestic and international),and other innovative, first-in-kind transactions involving private sources ofcapital.
In addition, Alex advises financial sponsors, corporates and management teams on the raising of debt finance in the European Markets.
Mr. Paulo Eapen is a Senior Managing Director with GSO Capital Partners focused on the origination and management of private credit investments, spanning distressed, rescue capital, refinancing and LBO acquisition financings. These investments span a wide variety of industries and geographies, primarily headquartered in Europe.
Before joining GSO Capital in 2007, Mr. Eapen was with Citigroup Private Equity focused on private equity and mezzanine debt principal investments, and was a founding member of the Citigroup Private Equity London office. Prior to Citigroup Private Equity, he worked in investment banking with Salomon Smith Barney, primarily in the M&A and Utilities practice.
Mr. Eapen has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania and is an Infantry Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces. Mr. Eapen is on the boards (as a director or observer) of EMI Music Publishing, Welcome Break Ltd., Ring International / Helios, and Morson Group plc. Additionally, Mr. Eapen is on the board of directors for the Ubuntu Education Fund, a charitable organization.
Cristobal Cuart (London) joined KKR in 2010 and is a Director of KKR, focusing on both private debt origination and capital markets solutions for financial sponsors and corporate clients. Prior to joining KKR, Mr. Cuart was an Associate at Apollo Global Management, where he invested across industries in private equity and distressed debt transactions. Previously, Mr. Cuart worked at Credit Suisse in the Financial Sponsors and Leverage Finance groups where he underwrote debt for a number of leverage buyouts. Mr. Cuart holds a Masters in Business from ESADE Business School, with a specialization in Finance.
Fenton is the Head of Deloitte's UK Debt Advisory practice and Co Heads Deloitte's Global Debt Advisory practice. The UK Debt Advisory team comprises over 35 people based in London, Manchester and Leeds with over 140 additional Debt Advisory professionals across a further 15 countries including Europe, the Americas and Asia, giving truly global reach. The Debt Advisory team is completely independent from providers of finance; our objectives are fully aligned with those of our clients, who include public and private companies,financial institutions and governments. In the last 12 months, Deloitte's Debt Advisory UK team has advised on over 70 transactions aggregating in excess of £3bn equivalent.
Paul Mullen is a partner in the leveraged and acquisition finance team at Hogan Lovells in London. Paul specialises in the financing of sponsor backed businesses in the mid-market and regularly acts for a wide range of bank and direct lender clients as well as borrowers. Recent deals include acting for Ares Management and Santander on the financing for Lyceum Capital's acquisition of Timico Technologies and acting for Avenue Capital, Northleaf Capital and HSBC on the financing for Vitruvian's acquisition of the AXIO and OAG aviation group.
Stephan Caron, Managing Director, is Head of European Middle Market Private Debt within BlackRock International Fixed Income. In this role, he is responsible for establishing the platform, originating investment opportunities, leading the investment process and maintaining relationships with key sponsors and intermediaries.
Prior to joining BlackRock in 2014 Mr. Caron was Chief Commercial Officer at GE Capital Bank Ltd, where he was responsible for originating, structuring and executing mid-market lending and leasing transactions and was also member of the Bank Executive and Investment Committees. He was with GE for 14 years in roles of increasing responsibility in structured finance, equity investing, Mergers & Acquisitions and leveraged finance. Prior to that Mr. Caron worked at Suez and JP Morgan.
Mr Caron earned an undergraduate degree from ISG in Paris is 1991 and a Masters from ESCP-EAP European School of Management in 1992. He is also a two-time Olympic medallist in swimming.
Prior to joining Hayfin, Mr Moravek was a senior member of the European Leveraged Finance team at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where he spent nine years focusing on the origination and execution of financial sponsor and corporate loan and high yield bond financings, before leaving to found the online investment platform Venture Founders.
Before his time at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Mr Moravek was a member of the Leveraged Finance team at JPMorgan Chase from 1999 to 2004.
Mr Moravek graduated from St. Andrews University with an M.A. in Economics and International Relations.
Samer joined Vision Capital in 2010 and is a Partner of the firm. He has global responsibility for financing across the portfolio. He is a member of the Investment Committee and currently serves on the board of United Initiators.
Samer was a founding member of the debt advisory firm Blenheim Advisors, which was acquired by Houlihan Lokey in 2007. Prior to Blenheim, Samer worked in leveraged finance and financial sponsor coverage at CIBC World Markets in London and New York. Samer holds a dual degree in Economics and in Middle East and South Asian studies from Columbia University.
Jean-Baptiste Feat joined Tikehau Capital in 2008, in charge of portfolio management and new investments. He developed the mezzanine debt business, and then the broader Private Debt activity, which he has co-managed since 2013. He began his career in mergers & acquisitions in 2001 at Citigroup and then at Goldman Sachs from 2005 onwards.
Education: EDHEC Business School, London School of Economics.
Ben Davis is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of The Private Credit and Finance Groups.
Ben’s practice focuses on advising on acquisition and leveraged finance facilities, corporate facilities and debt restructurings in the middle market and upper market. He represents a variety of clients including alternative lenders, private equity sponsors and corporates on unitranche loans, second-lien financings, first out / last out structures, mezzanine facilities, investment grade facilities, high yield bonds, real estate financings, litigation funding and distressed situations among other innovative, first-in-kind transactions involving private sources of capital.
George joined 3i in 2011 and is a Director in its Banking Team. He manages the firm's relationship with its financing institutions and provides debt financing advice and support to the private equity activities of 3i and its portfolio companies.
He has 23 years of banking experience and has worked on financing transactions for many of 3i’s portfolio companies, including Action, Aspen Pumps, Audley Travel, Basic Fit, BoConcept, Element, Eltel, ESG, Euro-Diesel, Lekolar, MKM, OneMed, Q Holding and SLR.
Prior to 3i, George worked at The Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of America and Barclays Capital, specializing in leveraged finance and sponsor coverage. He has also held positions in leveraged loan syndications and in corporate restructuring.
George holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Biochemistry from Imperial College (University of London), a BSc (Hons) degree in Financial Services from UMIST and a MSc degree in Operational Research from Strathclyde University.
Stuart is a Partner in Inflexion’s Partnership Capital team. Partnership Capital offers bespoke minority investment solutions for entrepreneurs who want to retain control of their business and work with a supportive investor to help accelerate their growth.
Stuart has been a private equity investor for 16 years. Before joining Inflexion in 2014 he was a Managing Director in the London office of US mid-market growth equity investor Levine Leichtman Capital Partners and prior to that he was a Director and Partner at 3i, investing in both private and publicly-traded companies. He has been involved in numerous transactions across a range of sectors including financial services, healthcare and education.
Following a Law degree at Durham University Stuart started his career in M&A at BZW before moving to Credit Suisse.