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Twenty-Second Annual Private Equity Forum


Speaker(s): Adam B. Frankel, Amran Hussein, Ann Gittleman, Eric Zoller, Justin Storms, Kara Fricke, Laura S. Friedrich, Leah Boyd, Leor Landa, Mark Polemeni, Michael S. Hong, Sarah R. Davidoff
Recorded on: Apr. 29, 2021
PLI Program #: 306433

Adam B. Frankel is General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer at CBAM Partners, managing all legal and compliance issues associated with the firm. Before joining CBAM, Adam served as Evercore’s General Counsel from its initial public offering in 2006 through 2017. From 2003 to 2006, Adam was the General Counsel of Genesee & Wyoming, an international owner/ operator of short line freight railroads, and in addition to legal and compliance matters, Adam also managed human resources and government affairs. Adam started his career as a corporate associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in London and New York. Adam has a B.A. in Economics from Brown University and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.


Amran Hussein is a partner in the Corporate Department and a member of the firm's Private Funds Group. Amran’s practice focuses on the organization and operation of private investment funds. Amran represents sponsors of a wide range of private investment funds, including buyout funds, growth equity funds and credit funds. She advises clients on the development, formation, marketing and operation of their funds, as well as on regulatory and compliance matters for funds and their management companies. Her representations have included multi-investor funds, fund-of-ones, separately managed accounts, fund of funds and co-investment funds. Amran’s funds practice has also included private equity fund spin-outs, investment management M&A transactions, secondary transactions and strategic joint venture arrangements.

Amran is widely recognized for her achievements by a number of industry publications. She was named “Best in Investment Funds” at the annual Euromoney Legal Media Group’s Americas Women in Business Law Awards and one of Crain’s New York’s “Notable Women in Law” in 2020. Recognized by Chambers for her work in private equity funds, clients praise Amran as “a wonderful lawyer; she’s terrific.” Amran was selected as one of the few Next Generation Lawyers for investment fund formation and management by The Legal 500, described as a “very hardworking lawyer” with “an immense depth of knowledge when it comes to underlying fund documentation and the fundraising marketplace.” According to Who’s Who Legal, Amran is “a go-to lawyer in the funds space,” and she is also recognized as a Highly Regarded Practitioner by IFLR1000

Amran speaks and writes regularly on a variety of topics relating to private funds, including as a panelist at IBA/ABA’s Annual International Conference on Private Investment Funds in London.

Amran was awarded the Africa House Hero Award by New York University Africa House for her advocacy work. She is also on the board of directors of The TEAK Fellowship, a non-profit dedicated to helping talented New York City students from low-income families gain admission to top high schools and colleges.


Ann Gittleman is a managing director for the Disputes and Investigations practice. Her practice is focused on providing expert forensic and dispute assistance in fraud, white collar matters, U.S. Regulatory investigations involving the Securities and Exchange Commission and Department of Justice, internal investigations, purchase price and post-acquisition disputes, international asset tracing engagements, controls review, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) reviews, accounting and auditor malpractice matters and related GAAP and GAAS guidance and damages. Ann additionally acts as a financial advisor in U.S. Bankruptcies and assists companies with complex accounting matters and financial statement restatements.

Based in New York, Ann has over 17 years of forensic accounting experience, during which time she led substantial international projects in the U.S., Europe, the Caribbean and China. Ann has been retained as a testifying expert in numerous matters, including those involving asset tracing, fraud and corruption, financial reporting, and the application of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and Generally Accepted Auditing Standards and damages. She also frequently consults on complex accounting reporting and SEC matters.

Ann joined Duff & Phelps with the acquisition of Kinetic Partners, where she was a director and co-head of the New York Forensic & Dispute Services practice. Prior to this, Ann was an attorney at a prestigious New York law firm practicing securities litigation and providing in-house forensic accounting consulting services. Previously, Ann was the in-house forensic accountant at the Office of the General Counsel at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), working on auditor negligence matters. Immediately prior to that, she was an auditor in the alternative investment management group at PwC in New York City, where she audited hedge funds, venture capital funds, private equity funds and commodity pools.

Ann received her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and her B.S./B.A. in both accounting and computer information science from Bryant University. She is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified in Financial Forensics, a Certified Insolvency and Restructuring Advisor and Accredited in Business Valuation. Ann is also a licensed attorney (admitted in both New York and Massachusetts) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Association of the Bar of the City of NY and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.


Eric Zoller founded Sixpoint Partners in 2007 as a specialist advisor focused on the private equity and alternative asset industry. Since then, Sixpoint has grown into one of leading advisory boutiques with an exclusive focus on the middle-market and a twin focus on delivering independent advice and exceptional execution. Mr. Zoller has represented clients in a variety of geographies and sectors including technology, industrial, distribution, healthcare, business services, consumer, aerospace and defense, tech-enabled services, mineral rights among others.

At Sixpoint, Mr. Zoller is responsible for helping to set the overall strategic direction of the company. He has ultimate responsibility for global distribution, secondaries, co-heads the firm’s fund origination effort and manages select private fundraising mandates. He is also involved in all major operating, management, fund origination and investment decisions of the company.

Mr. Zoller received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and later his law degree from The Law School at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his professional career working first at White & Case, in the mergers and acquisitions department. He later joined Merrill Lynch & Co. in New York in both the Public Finance and later the Infrastructure Finance group, where he had senior relationship management responsibilities. Mr. Zoller is an active member of YPO (Young Presidents’ Organization) and a frequent panelist and lecturer on the private equity industry. He has guest lectured at the Wharton School MBA Program at the University of Pennsylvania on private equity fundraising. Eric is also involved in a number of philanthropic organizations. He is a General Securities Representative (Series 7, 63, 79) and a General Securities Principal (Series 24), registered with FINRA.


Justin Storms is a corporate partner based in the New York office of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and a member of the firm’s Investment Management Group.

Mr. Storms represents clients in a wide range of activities in the private alternative investment space, including the organization of traditional private investment funds and co-investment structures, the establishment of bespoke separately managed accounts and platforms, the development of “house” governance and compensation structures and select representations of institutional investors.

Recognised as a leading individual for private equity funds by Chambers Global (2019) and Chambers USA (2019), the guides describe him as “incredibly insightful” and a “fount of knowledge in fund formation matters.” He is also praised by clients for his “incredibly deep understanding of the issues at hand,” and for being “an extremely commercial and practical lawyer” who is “able to come up with smart and creative solutions.”

Mr. Storms joined the firm in 2019. He received his B.A., summa cum laude, from The University of Texas in 2000 and a J.D., magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law in 2003. He is admitted to practice in New York.


Kara Fricke is an Executive Director of Morgan Stanley Investment Management Legal, leading the legal coverage team for private equity and solutions and multi-asset investing. She joined Morgan Stanley in 2015 and has over 20 years of investment industry experience, covering all aspects of private equity, real estate and hedge fund investing. Previously, she led the legal coverage team for Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Kara was in-house counsel for alternative investments at Citi Private Bank and, before that, an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP. Kara received a J.D. from New York University and a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University. She is a member of the bar of the State of New York.


Leah Boyd has over 10 years of business law experience. Prior to joining Whitehorse, Leah was a Partner at Goodmans LLP, a leading Canadian law firm, where she maintained a corporate and securities law practice with a focus on private equity and mergers and acquisitions. ln her private equity practice, Leah advised institutional investors, private equity funds and family offices on a range of matters, including fund formation, investment activities, secondary transactions, acquisitions and divestitures. Leah also regularly advised companies and boards on matters relating to corporate governance and regulatory compliance.

Leah has authored numerous papers for Canadian and international legal publications on topics relating to private equity and mergers and acquisitions and is a regular guest lecturer at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.

Leah is a member of Women in Private Equity and Women in Capital Markets. She currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of Bereaved Families of Ontario – Toronto, a local charitable organization.

Leah holds a Juris Doctor from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management and Economics from the University of Toronto. She was called to the Ontario Bar in 2008 and is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, the Ontario Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association and the American Bar Association.


Leor Landa is head of Davis Polk’s Investment Management/Private Funds Group. He advises a wide range of clients on the formation and operation of private investment funds, including private equity funds, hedge funds, credit funds, secondary funds, real estate funds, funds of funds and advisory platforms. He also regularly provides regulatory and compliance advice to his private fund clients.

He is widely recognized as a leading adviser for complicated secondary transactions, including sponsor-led secondaries, and he has deep experience advising on acquisitions, dispositions, seeds and spinouts of investment advisers.

Mr. Landa also represents several large institutional investors that invest in private funds.

Representative private fund clients have included Avenue Capital, Mudrick Capital, Enfoca, Graticule Asset Management Asia, RoundTable Healthcare Partners, Hitchwood Capital, Perella Weinberg Partners, Reverence Capital, Czech Asset Management, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and J.P. Morgan.

Recognition

Chambers USA notes that Mr. Landa has “broad and deep experience across private investment funds of all types,” and “can provide a blended perspective” which “is informed by a range of clients.” Chambers commentators have described Mr. Landa as an “unbelievable attorney in investment management" and "incredibly business-savvy and commercial." One praised: “… he’s one of the leading funds lawyers in the country. I get thorough, expert advice in a timely way whenever I need input.”

Mr. Landa is recognized as a leading fund formation lawyer in various industry publications: Chambers Global; Chambers USA; IFLR’s Guide to the World’s Leading Private Equity Lawyers and the IFLR1000, The Legal 500 U.S.; Who’s Who Legal–International, Who’s Who of Private Funds Lawyers and International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers; Best Lawyers in America and Expert Guides: World’s Leading Private Equity Lawyers; World’s Leading Investment Funds Lawyers and Best of the Best USA.

Of Note

Memberships

  • Member, Private Investment Funds Forum
  • Former Member, Committee on Private Investment Funds, New York City Bar Association

Professional History

  • Partner, 2005-present
  • Associate, 1998-2005
  • Law Clerk, Hon. Senior Judges' Chambers, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, 1997-1998

Education

  • B.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1994
  • J.D., Columbia Law School, 1997; Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar


Mark Polemeni is Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Regulatory Counsel of Perella Weinberg Partners. In this role, Mr. Polemeni is responsible for overseeing the Firm’s compliance programs globally and is responsible for development, oversight and assessment of PWP’s policies and procedures to ensure compliance with government and industry regulations.

Mr. Polemeni has more than 20 years of compliance experience in the investment industry. Prior to joining PWP in 2017, Mr. Polemeni was Chief Compliance Officer and Associate General Counsel of Citadel, LLC, an SEC-registered investment adviser where he managed its asset management compliance program globally. Prior to joining Citadel in 2011, Mr. Polemeni was the Chief Legal and Chief Compliance Officer for Odyssey Investment Management and earlier for Alexandra Investment Management. Prior to joining Alexandra in 2005, he was a Partner in Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.’s  New York office.

Mr. Polemeni earned a Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Speaking Faculty of the Regulatory Compliance Association and serves on the Board of Governors of the Georgetown University Alumni Association. 


Michael S. Hong is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department, practicing in the Investment Management Group. He advises sophisticated private fund managers across all asset classes in their most complex, high-value transactions. Mr. Hong’s advice encompasses fund formation, M&A-related transactions (with a special expertise around co-investments), and ongoing investment-related advice on behalf of private equity, growth capital, credit, hedge, energy, real estate, co-investment and fund of funds managers.

Mr. Hong also has extensive experience advising clients on secondary transaction matters, including GP-led secondary transactions. He also regularly advises clients in connection with GP-stake sales, as well as purchases, spin-outs and joint ventures involving alternative asset managers. Mr. Hong also regularly represents investment professionals in connection with their employment arrangements with fund sponsors, as well as emerging, “first-time” fund sponsors.

His clients include Harvest Partners, Trilantic Capital Management, Lightyear Capital, Tailwind Capital Management, Glendower Capital, Cornell Capital, Cowen Investment Management, BeaconLight Capital, BBAM and GHK Capital Partners. Prior to joining Davis Polk, Mr. Hong also advised Apollo Global Management and GSO/Blackstone on the formation of numerous private funds, managed accounts and related matters. 

Mr. Hong is featured regularly in various industry publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Private Equity Law Report, and Hedge Fund Law Report

Recognition

  • Private Funds Management Magazine: One of the “30 Most Influential Private Equity Lawyers Under the Age of 40” stating, “[w]hen a big fund is being marketed, don't be shocked to find Michael Hong as part of the process.”
  • Chambers USA: Clients comment: "He has a lot of market knowledge, is very practical and has a lot of experience" and provides “great service to his clients.”
  • The Legal 500 U.S.: One of a select few “Next Generation Lawyers”: Investment Fund Formation and Management
  • IFLR1000: "Highly Regarded," Private Equity, Private Equity Funds and Investment Management
  • Who’s Who Legal: Described as “a much-respected and energetic lawyer”

Memberships

  • Partnership for New York City, David Rockefeller Fellow, 2018-19
  • Member, Committee on Private Investment Funds, New York City Bar
  • Member, University of Toronto Faculty of Law Alumni Association


With a career spanning more than two decades, Sarah Davidoff is a partner in the asset management group and a co-head of Ropes & Gray’s Client Program. The world’s largest and most prominent US and non-US alternative asset managers turn to Sarah for guidance on issues relating to the formation, fundraising and operation of their private equity funds, growth funds, hybrid funds, credit funds and hedge funds. In Chambers USA, Sarah’s clients have commended her as being “uniquely talented,” praising her ability “to take the legal theory and really put it into practice” and to be “a strategic advisor” that is “incredibly proactive” and able to “mobilize all the capabilities of Ropes & Gray.” As such, Sarah’s clients “very much view her as a critical partner,” recognize that Sarah “universally has the highest regard or her peers” and notice that, “of her competitors, she [is] their top referral.”

Sarah has particular expertise with spinouts, reorganizations, asset management M&A transactions, seed arrangements, high net worth access products, structuring internal compensation programs, designing bespoke and hybrid investment vehicles and launching innovative fund products. Sarah’s esteemed client roster and proven track record of making an impact on fund managers, and, more recently her cutting-edge work in advising on cryptocurrencies, demonstrates she is among the top women in the industry. Sarah regularly advises clients at the forefront of the constantly evolving regulatory and compliance landscape, is a frequent speaker at conferences, forums and other seminars in the private funds industry, and has contributed to a number of well-known legal publications.

Honors & Awards

  • Chambers Global: “Leading practitioner in hedge funds” (2009-2021)
  • Chambers USA: “Leading practitioner in hedge funds” (2008-2020)
  • The Hedge Fund Journal, “50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds” (2019)
  • The National Law Journal, “Crytptocurrency, Blockchain and Fintech Trailblazer” (2018)
  • The Best Lawyers in America (2018-2021)
  • Legal 500 (2015-2020)
  • IFLR1000 (2018-2020)
  • Expert Guides’ Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law (2014-2016)
  • US Legal 500: “Leading lawyer in investment fund formation and management” (2009-2014)
  • Who’s Who Legal (2013, 2016)
  • Euromoney's Guide to the World's Leading Women in Business Law (2013)
  • Guide to the World's Leading Investment Funds Lawyers: “Leading investment funds lawyer” (2010)


Laura Friedrich is a partner in the Asset Management Group. Ms. Friedrich has extensive experience in the fund formation area, representing US domestic and international private investment fund sponsors, distributors and investors on formation, investment and regulatory matters. She advises US and international private equity, venture capital and hedge funds and their sponsors, with investments in the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, working with both fund sponsors and investors in fundraising efforts for multibillion-dollar funds, as well as middle market, regional and sector-specific funds. She has represented sponsors across a variety of asset categories, including buyout, real estate, funds of funds, debt, energy, infrastructure, transportation and media.

Ms. Friedrich also counsels funds and their sponsors on a broad range of business and transactional matters (including co-investments), internal management, and regulatory and compliance issues.

Ms. Friedrich is a Member of the Private Investment Funds Forum and the New York City Bar Association Private Investment Funds Committee.

Ms. Friedrich received a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1996 and an AB from the University of California, Berkeley in 1993.

Awards and Recognition

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America for Private Funds/Hedge Funds Law (2021)
  • Ranked as Leading Individual by Who's Who Legal for Private Funds - Formation (2020)
  • Ranked in the area of Investment Funds: Private Equity: Fund Formation in Chambers USA (2020)
  • Listed in Legal Media Group's Women in Business Law Expert Guide (2020)
  • Recognized for Investment Funds in Legal Media Group's Expert Guides (2020)
  • Named a Leading Lawyer in The Legal 500 (2019) for Private Equity Funds (Including Venture Capital)
  • Named as one of the Top 100 Female Lawyers in Latin America by Latinvex (2018 & 2017)