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Private Equity: The Business Model, How Money is Made, and Why Invest Now?

The private equity industry grows businesses, supports local jobs and improves communities across the United States. At the same time, the industry delivers long-term returns to investors, traditionally outperforming public equity and bond markets over long investment horizons.

Private equity invests capital in companies that are perceived to have growth potential, and then works with these companies to expand or turnaround the business. Further, the number of public companies has declined over the past two decades while the number of private firms continue to increase.

While historically private equity was limited to family offices, foundations and endowments, main street investors now have access to this coveted investment opportunity.

Among the questions addressed on this webinar included:
• The term “Private Equity” is used in different contexts, what really is private equity?
• What does the due diligence process look like?
• What are the main differentiators among direct investing vs. fund investing vs. fund to fund investing?
• How are deals put together?
• What are some strategies for accessing coveted deals amidst a surge in competition for transactions?
• What makes a good investment?
• How does a PE firm create value in the portfolio company?
• What does success look like?


Sep 03 2020


  • Brian Buehler
    Brian Buehler
    Partner, Triton Pacific Capital Partners

    Mr. Buehler has over 20 years of investment, product development and distribution experience within financial services, commercial real estate, alternative investments and private equity. Mr. Buehler runs the firm’s capital markets strategy, bringing his expertise in building distribution platforms that have raised capital to support more than $2 billion of alternative investment strategies. Mr. Buehler is a member of the firm’s investment committee and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of its dealer manager, Triton Pacific Securities, LLC. Mr. Buehler sits on the Board of Directors of The Alternative & Direct Investment Securities Association (“ADISA”). Mr. Buehler actively advises and consults on strategic initiatives for U.S. based financial and investment firms and frequently contributes white papers on various financial services subject matter. Mr. Buehler holds FINRA Series 24, 7, 63 licenses and California P&C and L&H licenses. Mr. Buehler earned his B.A. from Chapman University.

  • Chirag Bhavsar
    Chirag Bhavsar
    Co-CEO, CNL Financial Group

    Chirag Bhavsar directs CNL’s private capital investments, financial management and other corporate services, while jointly managing capital markets activities and day-to-day operations. Since its founding in 1973, CNL has formed or acquired companies with more than $34 billion in assets.
    Mr. Bhavsar was previously chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Corporate Capital Trust, a CNL-sponsored business development company now listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Mr. Bhavsar also served as chief financial officer for CNL Bank. During his tenure there, he managed an investment portfolio in aggregate of $400 million, including non-government backed securities and other credit investments.
    With more than 18 years of experience as a chief financial officer, Mr. Bhavsar is well-versed in complex federal and state regulatory reporting environments. Additionally, Mr. Bhavsar was lead independent director and head of the Audit Committee of Currency Exchange International, Corp., an exchange-listed bank holding company, and reviewed and approved public financial statements and filings.

    Mr. Bhavsar also served as executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Florida Choice Bank, and senior audit manager of Hacker Johnson Cohen and Grieb, a specialized Accounting and Auditing firm for state and regional banks.

    Masters in Accounting, University of Florida
    B.S., Banking School, University of Virginia

  • Dan Vene
    Dan Vene
    Co-Founder & Managing Partner, iCapital Network

    Dan is Co-Founder and one of the Managing Partners of iCapital Network, where he leads enterprise-level platform integration with banks, asset managers, wirehouses, and other large-scale organizations. Prior to founding iCapital, Dan was head of private real estate capital raising at Fir Tree Partners, a $12.5 billion AUM multi-strategy investment firm. He was also a partner at Eaton Partners, where he was responsible for real estate and real asset fund origination, structuring, and distribution. Dan previously was Founder and CEO of, a leading financial database and aggregator of corporate events, which was acquired by Thomson Financial in 2001. He received a BS degree in finance and marketing from Cornell University. Dan also serves as a board member of the IPA (Institute for Portfolio Alternatives) and a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and NCREIF. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses as well as an FSA license.

  • Neil Menard
    Neil Menard
    President, Conversus, a StepStone Company

    Mr. Menard is the president of distribution of Conversus.

    Mr. Menard is a seasoned distribution leader with almost 30 years of experience in the financial services industry. Over his career, he has built a broad and deep network within the financial advisor and broker dealer communities.

    Prior to Conversus, Mr. Menard served as the president of CNL Securities Corporation and CNL Capital Markets where he oversaw the firm’s capital raising efforts. Before that he was a senior vice president at Franklin Square Capital Partners where he was responsible for selling business development companies to registered investment advisors (RIAs). He also sat on Franklin’s management committee. Previously, Mr. Menard was the head of distribution at Steben & Company, a leading provider of managed futures to broker-dealers and RIAs.

    Mr. Menard serves on the board of the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives (IPA) which coordinates the resources of its members to create opportunities for the advancement of industry objectives through established regulatory and political processes. The IPA’s mission is to continue to raise awareness of alternatives to legislators and regulatory officials, clearly communicating the distinct attributes alternative products can offer the investing public.

    Mr. Menard received a bachelor’s degree from Colby College and serves on the board of the Institute for Portfolio Alternatives. He holds FINRA 7, 24 and 63 licenses. He is on the board of the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute.