Dan is a Partner and serves as a member of the Investment Committee for Comvest’s direct lending strategy. He is responsible for originating, structuring, and managing investments.
Prior to joining Comvest, Dan was a Senior Director with Dymas Capital Management, where he served on the Investment Committee and was instrumental in the formation and growth of the firm from its start-up phase to an established middle-market finance company. He has served as a Managing Director at Square 1 Bank and Kugman Partners, and as an investment banker at Salomon Smith Barney. Prior to getting his MBA, Dan began his career with Arthur Andersen and Heller Financial’s Corporate Finance Group.
Dan received an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.
Eric Prezant represents clients in a wide range of commercial deal making, including corporate and real estate acquisitions and dispositions, mergers & acquisitions, structuring of joint ventures, mezzanine and private equity transactions, and corporate restructuring and workouts throughout the country. Eric is the primary relationship partner for several of the firm’s corporate, banking, and financial institutions clients. He is currently a member of the firm’s global board of directors, and previously spent six years as a member of the firm’s executive committee.
Eric aggressively represents his clients to maximize value and accomplish their specific strategic and financial goals. His pragmatic client-focused approach and cross-discipline expertise enables him to understand and effectively execute upon his clients' unique business objectives. As a result, he is able to leverage his specific expertise to maximize value and achieve superior results for his clients.
Eric has extensive experience representing banks and other lenders in negotiating and restructuring troubled and defaulted loans, and enforcing lenders’ and creditors’ rights and remedies, including in Chapter 11 bankruptcies, Article 9 sales, commercial real estate foreclosures, federal and state receiverships, and assignments for the benefit of creditors. His experience also includes representing companies in Chapter 11 bankruptcies and workouts, and representing strategic and financial buyers in the purchase of distressed companies.
His commercial lending expertise extends beyond workouts of distressed loans, and includes representing financial institutions in structuring, negotiating, and documenting new commercial loan transactions, including asset-based loans, senior and mezzanine debt, acquisition financing, project financing, and bankruptcy exit financing.
With respect to real estate acquisitions and dispositions, Eric has significant experience representing owners, sponsors, operating companies, institutional investors, banks, and specialty lenders in the investment in, and the remediation, ownership and redevelopment of, commercial real estate, including the brownfield redevelopment and repurposing of end-of-useful life industrial properties. In these transactions, he leads a highly-skilled team of experts in the areas of real estate acquisition, environmental remediation and risk transfer, joint venture and private equity capitalization, construction and development, and tax-efficient entity structuring.
Eric has been recognized as a distinguished practitioner in bankruptcy and restructuring law by Chambers and Partners; has been chosen as one of The Best Lawyers in America in Bankruptcy and Creditor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law; and has been named as a Super Lawyer in both restructuring law and in business and corporate law.
Passionate about bettering the lives of underprivileged youth, Eric also serves on the advisory board for the All Stars Project of Chicago, which is a not-for-profit organization that provides performance-based training and real-world business opportunities through paid internships to thousands of inner-city youth working to move beyond the barriers of poverty.
Mr. Grossman has over 20 years’ experience in alternative finance and venture lending. Preceding joining Decathlon Capital Partners, he led unitranche lending to software companies for CIBC’s Innovation Banking platform, covering the US and Canada. Prior to CIBC, he was a Managing Director for White Oak Global Advisors responsible for originating, underwriting, and managing industry agnostic investment opportunities for White Oak’s private debt funds.
Mr. Grossman previously served as Managing Director and co-founder of the Later Stage / Lower Middle Market group at Hercules Technology Growth Capital (now Hercules Capital, Inc.), where he was responsible for all aspects of debt investing. Prior to Hercules, Mr. Grossman was Senior Vice President for Silicon Valley Bank, leading their Colorado and Arizona deal teams to provide venture debt, asset based lending and general banking products to the entrepreneurial community.
Mr. Grossman holds an M.B.A. from Northern Arizona University, and a B. A. in Business Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is a member of the Denver Advisory Board, the Association for Corporate Growth and Opus Connect.
As Partner and EVP at Big Shoulders Capital, Alex Mazer focuses on deal sourcing and underwriting, and creative structuring.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Mazer moved to Chicago in 2009 to run a consumer product wholesale business for a publicly-traded inventory liquidation firm and discount retailer which was backed by a Chicago-based private equity group. He founded The BirdDog Group, a national inventory liquidation firm that worked with lenders, turnaround consultants, importers, wholesalers, and distributors to purchase and/or liquidate distressed inventory and conduct retail store closings.
Mr. Mazer completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business, and received his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management with a concentration in Finance, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He has lived and worked in Hong Kong and China.
Watch Mr. Mazer discuss how BSC is benefiting from lending situations that other firms are overlooking, and how ABLs can take advantage of these opportunities.
Alisa Rusanoff started her career a decade ago in investment banking at Martel Capital, working on M&A and capital raising initiatives for a diverse list of mid-market clients. She then joined a public interval fund based in NY where she oversaw portfolio analysis and was an Investment and Valuation Committee member.
Later in her career, Alisa focused on the Trade Finance industry working with several clients on credit analysis, management, investor relations, capital introductions, and alternative financing structures. A few years later, she served as Senior Vice President at Newbridge Global Sourcing, a trade finance boutique focusing on supply chain, accounts receivable financing and asset-based lending solutions for SME’s, managing close to $100M AUM. Later she was the first employee at an early-stage fintech startup called Marco Financial, helping to build a fintech platform providing working capital for Latin American exporters by heading the credit department and led several underwriting product projects. The Company raised over $80M in debt and equity in their seed round in 2021. In late 2021 she joined Crescendo Asset Management to launch a trade finance fund which specializes in supply chain finance, ABL, factoring and other structured debt solutions for its clients.
Alisa has published several articles on ESG, Economics, Fintech, Embedded Finance and has spoken at various conferences such as Global Trade Review Annual Conference, Money 2.0 Conference and others. She has been a guest lecturer at NYU, the New School Venture Lab, Antler VC, GC4Women Certificate Program, etc. In 2021, she got a 40Under40 Award by Secured Finance Network, in 2022 she was named top 25 women in M&A by Opus Connect and received a Leadership Award in Finance by Money 2.0 Conference. Alisa is a contributor to the upcoming textbook ‘Cases in Financial Management: Financial Analysis for Corporate Financial Management’.
Karina Davydov is a Senior Vice President, ABL Healthcare Originations at Greystone I Monticello, a Multifamily and Seniors Housing capital and services platform providing bridge loans; fixed-rate conventional loans; working capital; tax-exempt bond financing; and mezzanine/preferred equity products together with asset management and healthcare operations consulting. She is responsible for all facets of business development, including marketing, originations, deal structuring, and portfolio management. Karina has over 20 years of commercial lending and banking experience, including asset-based lending with a focus on the healthcare sector. Prior to joining Greystone I Monticello, Karina was a Managing Director at SLR Healthcare ABL where she was instrumental in growing the firm’s presence in the Midwest Market.
Ms. Adler is a founder and Managing Partner at Mizzen Capital. Prior to launching Mizzen Capital, Ms. Adler held senior management roles with SBIC investment funds including Medley SBIC LP, Sunrise Equity Partners LP and Hudson Venture Partners LP. Prior to that, she worked at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association in the fixed income group and at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in the investment banking division.
M&A magazine has named Ms. Adler as one of the top women in middle market for the last seven years – 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016. She was also named ACG’s Women of Leadership awardee for 2018. Ms. Adler is a board member of UJA’s private equity division, banking & finance division and women of wall street division. Previously, Ms. Adler was a Board Member of the SBIA Board of Governors (2014 to 2019) and chair of its BDC committee (2015 to 2017).
Ms. Adler earned an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BS with distinction from Cornell University.
Max has 20 years of underwriting and originations experience, both domestic and abroad, and across credit, capital markets, corporate development, and private equity. Max leads Caprice’s business development efforts.
Prior to Caprice, Max was a Vice President at Trive Capital, a Dallas-based, operationally focused private equity firm with $3B AUMs. Max developed and led Trive’s business development efforts with non-traditional intermediaries where he focused on sourcing control and non-control investments in family/founder-owned middle market companies.
Prior to Trive, Max was a Vice President in GE Capital’s lending business and a Director in its Corporate Development group. Over the course of his GE career, Max was responsible for underwriting asset based and leveraged lending facilities to sponsor and non-sponsor backed companies. He also spent time in Dubai, Hong Kong and New York originating cross-border financing solutions and executing capital markets and M&A activities as part of GE Capital’s joint venture and disposition initiatives.
Max earned his BBA in Finance at Texas Tech University. Max resides in Manhattan Beach with his wife, six-year-old daughter, and her “brother” Brody, an 80-pound boxer.
Credit and risk and business development professional with 20 years experience in commercial lending and 10 years as an entrepreneur. Previously with CIBC Bank USA as a Managing Director of Commercial Lending. Prior lending experiences include FirstMerit (now Huntington), Charter One Bank (RBS), Northern Trust and GE Capital, all working with portfolios of small to middle size businesses across many industries. MBA from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. from University of Michigan.
Heading the Origination, Underwriting and Marketing departments as President and Chief Commercial Officer of Republic Business Credit, Robert puts into practice more than 15 years of commercial finance experience. Currently, Robert serves as an Executive Committee Member of the Secured Finance Network, previously serving as the President of the Turnaround Management Association & President of the Secured Finance Network's Midwest Chapters.
Robert is a graduate of the University of Chicago and holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. Robert was awarded the SFNet Top 40 Under 40 Award in 2016. Robert resides in Chicago with his family.
Ryan is a Managing Director in Chartwell’s corporate finance practice. He focuses on capital markets transactions with extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and executing the placement of asset-based facilities, senior secured cash flow loans, split lien term loans, unitranche structures, second lien notes, mezzanine debt, and equity investments for both sponsored and non-sponsored clients. Over his career, Ryan has worked on transactions in support of both growth and value-oriented investment strategies in a wide array of industries.
Prior to joining Chartwell, Ryan was a Managing Director at LBC Credit Partners. He was responsible for sourcing, structuring, negotiating, documenting, and closing senior and junior debt investments for both sponsored and non-sponsored financings in support of LBOs, recapitalizations, refinances, and add-on acquisitions. Ryan also served as a rotational member of the firm’s Investment Committee.
Ryan received his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a B.S. from the University of Illinois.
Tom Affolter is currently Managing Director, Portfolio Development at Garrington.
Tom has over 20 years of debt and equity investment experience in a variety of roles. Tom was a partner at Victory Park Capital Advisors, and has served in various positions at CIT and GE Capital (separately via GE’s acquisitions of both Antares Capital and Heller Financial). Over his career, he has focused on middle market secured lending opportunities for leveraged buyouts, refinancings, recapitalizations and turnarounds in both private equity sponsored and non-sponsored transactions.
Tom has a BS in Accounting from Marquette University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Tom heads the firm’s US Debt Advisory practice, having built the team since joining the firm in 2011. He raises debt capital and arranges financings for a variety of transactions, including mergers & acquisitions, recapitalizations, and refinancings.
With two decades of experience in lending and advisory roles, Tom has become a trusted advisor to private equity firms and business owners. Throughout his career, Tom has worked with a variety of companies across a breadth of industries, focusing on finding the optimal credit structure so his clients can focus on their bottom line.
Prior to joining Livingstone, Tom worked in commercial banking at BMO Harris Bank and Bank of America / LaSalle Bank. Tom began his career in commercial finance with GE Capital.
William (Will) Bence is a Managing Director at Wingspire Capital, responsible for developing new opportunities, primarily in the Midwest market. Wingspire Capital is a diversified middle market focused specialty finance firm that provides senior debt solutions to companies across all industries.
Will has over 15 years of lending experience and began his career with LaSalle Business Credit (now Bank of America Business Capital). Prior to joining Wingpsire Capital, Will served as a Director at Fifth Third Business Capital. Will is presently an active member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG), Secured Finance Network (SFNet) and Turnaround Management Association (TMA) and serves as the Chair of the SFNet’s National Entrepreneurial Committee.
Will holds a B.S. in Finance from the University of Illinois and an MBA with Honors from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. In 2016, Will was named to the inaugural 40 Under 40 class by the Commercial Finance Association. Awards were based on those making an indelible impact on the industry, having a strong voice and commitment to their profession and involved in community service.
Will lives with his wife Kristina, son Warren, and daughter Naomi in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. In his free time, Will enjoys staying active by golfing and playing in basketball and softball leagues.
Opus Connect is looking forward to welcoming you to our first quarterly Midwest Chapter Meeting and Part II of our Debt Summit featuring three consecutive afternoon panels followed by an evening cocktail reception. These panels will feature industry leading private lenders and other M&A professionals, and will focus on current trends impacting the lending landscape. This exclusive IN PERSON event and will be hosted in Chicago at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP.
**Registration includes attendance to afternoon panels & reception only.
- Volatility and Shifting Market Conditions in Direct Lending
- Impacts of Inflation Concurrent with Falling Asset Values
- Grabbing the Tiger by its Tail - How Uncertainty and Market Volatility Creates Opportunities to Deploy Private Debt in Distressed Deals
Panel 1: Volatility and Shifting Market Conditions in Direct Lending
There’s been a significant reduction in activity across direct lending platforms. What’s causing this reduced appetite and what would bring those platforms back to historical levels of interest in the sector? How has private credit held up across different segments? Which sectors are slowing down, which are roaring ahead? How has turbulence in lending markets impacted M&A activity? What risks could impact recoveries in the next downturn in the direct lending space? Join our panel of experienced private lenders as we explore these questions and many more while sharing their 2023 outlook/advice with the crowd.
Moderator: Dan Lee, Partner at Comvest Credit Partners
Tom Lesch, Partner, Debt Advisory at Livingstone Partners
Alisa Rusanoff, Head of Credit / Trade Finance at Crescendo Asset Management LLC
Karina Davydov, SVP ABL, Healthcare Originations at Greystone I Monticello
Max Perdue, Partner at Caprice Capital Partners
Panel 2: Impacts of Inflation Concurrent with Falling Asset Values
Inflation, by definition, signals the increase in the cost of assets. However, many assets and asset classes decline due to the same market conditions. Our present heated conditions create a market not seen for 50 years. For lenders and investors, determining asset values may seem like “catching a falling knife”. Please, join a discussion on the impacts on current and future investments and practices your peers use to address these issues.
Moderator: Kevin Grossman, Vice President at Decathlon Capital Partners
William Bence, Managing Director at Wingspire Capital
Marilyn Adler, Founder & Managing Partner at Mizzen Capital
Thomas Affolter, Managing Director at Garrington Capital
Panel 3: Grabbing the Tiger by its Tail - How Uncertainty and Market Volatility Creates Opportunities to Deploy Private Debt in Distressed Deals
Traditional bank lending is expected to soften dramatically in the coming year due to changing market conditions. This will create a gap in the lending market that may be filled by private debt players. The strategic deployment of private debt capital can be a lifeline for businesses that are struggling against the headwinds of a turbulent economy. This panel will discuss various structures and opportunities to meet the changing market needs, and some pitfalls and risks that will need to be managed when lending into distressed business situations.
Moderator: Eric Prezant, Partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
Rick Kaufmann, Chief Risk Officer at Aequum Capital
Alex Mazer, Partner & EVP at Big Shoulders Capital
Rob Meyers, President at Republic Business Credit
Ryan Rassin, Managing Director at Chartwell Financial Advisory
Pricing (includes attendance to all three panels and cocktail reception only)
- Members: complimentary
- Non-Members (on or before Jan 4th): $295
- Non-Members (after Jan 4th): $395
By Invitation Only
Opus Connect is a membership-based organization.
If you have any queries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
*Opus Connect adheres to a strict no cancellations, no refunds, no application of registration fees to future events policy.
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2:00 PM CST
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
161 North Clark Street