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The Texas Private Equity Conference is sponsored annually by the Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance. The conference allows attendees to discuss current issues of interest to both the venture capital and buyout communities.


Date: Friday, February 10, 2023

Location: The AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center, George W. Gau Amphitheater (Room 204)



Registration is now CLOSED. 

If you are interested in attending the conference, please contact Juana Hardwick at




2023 Texas Private Equity Conference
Friday, February 10, 2023

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast


9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Welcome: Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business

Speaker: Ethan Burris, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, McCombs School of Business

9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Pia Orrenius, Vice President and Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas


10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.



10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Panel 1:  Private Equity: Creating Value in an Era of Economic Uncertainty

Description: Private Equity and Debt fundraising, deal, and exit activity remained robust during the first half of 2022 generating more than $3 trillion of dry powder available to invest.  During the second half of the year, as the Federal Reserve began aggressively raising interest rates and withdrawing liquidity from the markets, uncertainty about economic conditions led to a substantial decline in deal and exit activity across all sectors of the private capital markets.  This panel will address private capital, pricing, fundraising, asset allocation, and other strategies in an uncertain economic environment.

Moderator: Ken Wiles, Executive Director, HMTF Private Equity Center 

Ashley Baum, Senior Director and Head of Special Opportunities, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Tiffany Kosch, Managing Partner, CenterGate Capital
Bob Morse, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Strattam Capital
David Rosenberg, Co-Portfolio Manager, Oaktree Capital Management


11:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.



11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Panel 2: Venture Capital: Risk, Return, Repeat 

Description: Is this déjà vu all over again? What lessons from past economic cycles can help navigate the current economic environment? Venture Capital seeks investment opportunities that will disrupt existing markets and create new ones. Macroeconomic disruptions increase fundraising and deal uncertainty but also create the market opportunities from which new companies can emerge and prosper. Coming off two years of record fundraising, U.S. Venture Capital firms have more than $300 billion of dry powder to deploy in an increasingly uncertain market. This panel will address sector opportunities, fundraising, portfolio campany management, deal pricing and terms, exit opportunities, and other emerging topics in venture capital. 

Moderator: Jim Nolen, Associate Director, HMTF Private Equity Center

Roger Chen, Partner, Silverton Partners
Alex Moore, Partner and Investment Team Member, 8VC
Krishna Srinivasan, Founding Partner, LiveOak Venture Partners 
Gavin Turner, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Mainsail Partners


12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch and Fireside Chat: Jose Feliciano, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. and Neil Randall, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Introduction of HMTF Scholarship Recipients: Jonathan Cohn, Academic Director, HMTF Private Equity Center, McCombs School of Business


1:45 p.m. – 1:55 p.m.



1:55 p.m. – 2:55 p.m.

Panel 3: Special Topic in Private Capital: Agricultural Technology, Energy, and Real Estate

Description: Private Capital markets are being disrupted by rapidly evolving technology developments, macroeconomic uncertainty, investor preference, and government regulations, among others.  Three industries that are confronting these pressures more than many are food and agricultural technology, energy, and real estate, and this panel will address the unique challenges and opportunities in these industries including how to identify opportunities, portfolio strategies, capital allocation, and exit opportunities.

Moderator: Sheridan Titman, Director, Energy Management and Innovation Center, McCombs School of Business 

Jason Downie, Managing Partner, Tailwater Capital, LLC
Eric Lang, Senior Managing Director of External Private Markets, Teacher Retirement System of Texas
Vince Reyna, Senior Principal and CIO, Pennybacker Capital
Spencer Swayze, Managing Director, Paine Schwartz Partners


2:55 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Closing Comments: Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business

Keynote Speakers




Pia M. Orrenius
Vice President and Chief Economist
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Orrenius is a labor economist working on regional economic growth and demographic change. She manages the regional and microeconomics group in the Dallas Fed Research Department, is executive editor of the quarterly publication Southwest Economy and co-edited Ten Gallon Economy: Sizing up Economic Growth in Texas (2015, Palgrave MacMillan). Her academic research focuses on the labor market impacts of immigration, unauthorized immigration and U.S. immigration policy. She is coauthor of the book Beside the Golden Door: U.S. Immigration Reform in a New Era of Globalization (2010, AEI Press).

Orrenius is affiliated with several academic institutions. She is research fellow at the Tower Center for Public Policy and International Affairs and the Mission Foods Texas-Mexico Center at Southern Methodist University and at the IZA Institute of Labor in Bonn, Germany, as well as adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Orrenius was senior economist on the Council of Economic Advisers in the Executive Office of the President, Washington D.C., in 2004–05, where she advised the Bush administration on labor, health and immigration issues. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles and bachelor degrees in economics and Spanish from the University of Illinois at Urbana—Champaign.


José E. Feliciano 
Managing Partner and Co-Founder
Clearlake Capital Group, L.P.

José E. Feliciano is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P., an investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit and other related strategies. In addition to his investing responsibilities, Mr. Feliciano is responsible for the day-to-day management of the firm. Clearlake has over $70 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 400 investments. 

Prior to co-founding Clearlake, Mr. Feliciano was a Partner and member of the investment committee at Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a senior executive at govWorks, Inc., and started his career in investment banking at Goldman, Sachs & Co. 

Mr. Feliciano currently serves on the Board of Directors of several Clearlake portfolio companies. He co-founded the SUPERCHARGED Initiative, a philanthropic grantmaking and impact investment organization, in 2014. In addition, Mr. Feliciano serves on the board of directors of the Robert Toigo Foundation and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. He is also a trustee of Stanford University and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino. 

Mr. Feliciano graduated with High Honors from Princeton University, where he received a B.S. in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering. He received his M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.



Neil Randall
Managing Director, Private Equity
Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Neil Randall is the Managing Director of the Private Equity team at the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. In this role, he has primary responsibility for ~$30 billion Private Equity portfolio, is the Chair of the Private Equity Investment Committee, and serves on the TRS-wide Management Committee. Neil was a director on the ILPA Board of Directors from 2014-2021, serving as Chair from 2019-2021. Prior to joining TRS in 2007, Neil was at Convergent Investors, an early stage venture capital firm. At Convergent, he focused on evaluating new investments as well as portfolio management, which included acting as the Director of Business Development for one of its portfolio companies, TeraVicta Technologies. Previously, he also worked in the Enterprise Systems Group at Dell.

He received a BBA and MS, Finance from Texas A&M University.

Panelist Bios



Ken Wiles - Moderator
Executive Director
Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance

Ken is the Executive Director of the Hick, Muse Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, and a Clinical Professor of Finance at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.  He has been published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Finance Economics, Financial Management, The Journal of Empirical Finance, Financial Analyst Journal, and The Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, and in The Wall Street Journal. Ken has also been the COO or CFO of several companies, two of which were taken public by JP Morgan and Bear Sterns respectively, and one was sold to Oracle Corporation.  Ken founded and led a restructuring firm, was the managing partner of a money management firm, has worked at three investment banking firms, and was a finance professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 17 years.  Ken is a certified valuation and interest rate expert in federal bankruptcy court.  He was the Chief Restructuring Officer of Turnberry/MGM Grand Towers, LLC, which concluded a multi-year bankruptcy process in 2017.  He is also on the Investment Committee at LBJ Wealth Advisors and on the Board of Ken was appointed by Governor Brian Sandoval and, from 2011 until 2018, was the Chairman of the Nevada Economic Forum, which estimates the level of state revenues used to establish the Nevada state budget. He holds a PhD in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).

Ashley Baum
Senior Director and Head of Special Opportunities
Teacher Retirement System of Texas 

Ashley Baum leads Special Opportunities for the Investment Division of the Teacher Retirement System of Texas (“TRS”), a $193 billion pension plan serving the educators of Texas.  Special Opportunities is a 7-person cross-asset team she founded in 2013 to opportunistically deploy capital in areas the Trust might otherwise miss.  Her team partners internally and with external hedge fund, public equity and credit relationships; approximately one-third of the portfolio is available for single-name or thematic co-investment. Ashley joined TRS in October 2007 in External Private Markets, focusing on private equity, real estate, and special situation/credit investments. Ms. Baum served in the Investment Management Executive Division from 2010 to 2013 as Chief of Staff to then-CIO Britt Harris.  She also led TRS’ 2014 Strategic Asset Allocation Study. Before joining TRS, she worked in Transaction Services for PricewaterhouseCoopers. Ashley began her career in accounting policy at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) as a Post-graduate Research Assistant.  Ms. Baum graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Business Honors and an MPA in Accounting. She is a CFA charter holder and holds her CPA license in Texas. Ashley has been named as to Next Gen (2018) and Forty Under Forty (2017) by Chief Investment Officer, a Public Plan Rising Star (2016) by Institutional Investor, and a John W. Koza Leadership Fellows (2010) by the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA). 

Tiffany Kosch
Co-founder and Managing Director
CenterGate Capital

Ms. Tiffany Kosch is a Managing Director at CenterGate Capital a $350 million lower middle market private equity fund. Tiffany has over 20 years of investment experience creating value in lower middle market companies. She was a Managing Director at H.I.G. Capital, where she invested in underperforming lower middle market companies for eight years. Her experience covers a broad range of investment structures and types, among them corporate spin-outs and orphans, turnaround equity and distressed debt. Sectors covered are also broad, including business services, consumer products and manufacturing. Tiffany received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S., cum laude, from Georgetown University.

Bob Morse
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Strattam Capital

Bob founded Strattam Capital in 2013 along with Adrian Polak, and he serves as Managing Partner. He is currently director of Action Title Research, Affinaquest, CloudHesive, Contegix, Rock Solid Technologies, and Trax Group. Previously, Bob was a Partner and member of the Investment Committee at Oak Hill Capital Partners. He also worked at GCC Investments, a growth private equity firm based in Boston, and at Morgan Stanley. Bob attended Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude with a B.S.E., and Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he earned his M.B.A. and was an Arjay Miller Scholar.

David Rosenberg
Managing Director and Co-Portfolio Manager
Oaktree Capital

Mr. Rosenberg serves as a co-portfolio manager of Oaktree’s U.S. High Yield Bond, Global High Yield Bond and Global Credit strategies.  He joined Oaktree in 2004 following graduation from the University of Southern California with an M.B.A. in business administration.  Before attending graduate school, Mr. Rosenberg served as an associate in the Franchise Systems Finance Group at J.P. Morgan.  Mr. Rosenberg also holds an M.P.A. in professional accounting with a concentration in finance and a B.A. degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.  He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive)


Jim Nolen - Moderator
Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus in the Department of Finance and Associate Director of the HMTF Private Equity Center
McCombs School of Business 

Jim Nolen is Distinguished Senior Lecturer Emeritus in the Department of Finance and Associate Director of the HMTF Center for Private Equity Finance at the McCombs School of Business. Jim joined the faculty in 1980 and has taught Entrepreneurial Finance, Corporate Finance, Venture Capital and Private Equity courses.   In addition, he has developed courses and taught in both public and custom executive education classes at firms such as Dell, USAA, Samsung, SEMPRA, National Instruments, and BaylorScott&White.   He has also taught MBA finance courses in Mexico City, Dallas, Houston, Vienna, and Sao Paolo.  Jim is the founder and CEO of CFO Services, Inc., a financial consulting firm working with privately-held companies in raising capital, business valuation, and M&A advisory services.   He has served on the board of a $1.5 billion community bank, a medical distribution company, a general contractor, a pre-employment functional testing company, an e-commerce company, a recycling firm and an enterprise software company. Jim received his BBA and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.     

Roger Chen
Silverton Partners 

Roger Chen has been an active investor and technology leader for over 10 years. He is currently a Partner with Silverton Partners, a leading venture capital firm that invests in early stage software and consumer businesses with high growth potential. Roger is a board director and/or investor in AllVoices, Apprentice, Billie, Clerk, Fama, Fetch, Kickfin, Kronologic, Clerk, Restream, RouteFusion, Rx Redefined, and Wheel.  Prior to joining Silverton in 2017, Roger was a Principal at Genacast Ventures in New York, a boutique seed-stage venture capital firm affiliated with Comcast Ventures focused on B2B software investing. While at Genacast, he was involved with investments in BigID, DrayNow, and Uptycs.  Before his investing career, Roger worked as an engineer turned PM at Google in Mountain View where he led various initiatives within Google Maps and Chrome. Roger studied computer science and mathematics at the University of Michigan and holds an MBA from The Wharton School.

Alex Moore
Partner and Investment Team Member

Alex Moore focuses on incubating companies through 8VC’s Build Program, Defense, building talent networks and fundamental operational support for the portfolio. Alex also focuses on enterprise and seed-stage investments. Prior to joining 8VC Alex was a startup operator for 12 years. Alex was the first employee and Director of Operations at Palantir Technologies, building the team from one room to 350 people, $100mm in sales. Alex co-founded Backplane, a social media analytics company, and NodePrime, a cloud automation company which was acquired in 2016 by Ericsson. Following his operator career, Alex invested in over 50 seed-stage companies. Alex sits on the boards of Palantir, Epirus, Premise Data, Nylas, Quaestor, Anduin Transactions and FieldGuide. Alex graduated from Stanford University in 2005 with a BA in Economics.

Krishna Srinivasan
LiveOak Venture Partners 

Krishna Srinivasan is a co-founder of LiveOak Venture Partners and has been investing in early-stage Texas based companies and entrepreneurs since 2000. Prior to founding LiveOak, Krishna was a Partner at Austin Ventures. Before joining Austin Ventures, Krishna was with Motorola where he wrote large scale optimization software for supply chain planning and worked with a variety of business units on strategic and operational issues.  Krishna received his MBA from Wharton where he graduated with highest academic honors as a Palmer Scholar. He also has an MS in Operations Research from the University of Texas at Austin, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology.  Some of Texas based market leaders where Krishna has served on the board include DISCO (NYSE: LAW), Eventus, Homeward, Ojo Labs, Digital Pharmacist, Real Work Labs, and SchooLinks.

Gavin Turner
Mainsail Partners

Gavin Turner co-founded Mainsail Partners to partner with founders of bootstrapped software companies to help them realize their potential.  Over the past 20 years, the firm has grown into an experienced team of nearly fifty software investors and operators that specialize in helping founders and executives navigate the challenges and opportunities that come with rapidly scaling software companies. Gavin has extensive experience investing in vertical SaaS, financial technology, infrastructure software and information services technology companies. He has been an active Board Director on numerous software companies and he currently serves as a Director on the boards of the software companies Centerbase, Flight Schedule Pro, and SourceScrub.  With offices in Austin and San Francisco, Mainsail Partners has raised over $2.2 billion in committed capital and invested in more than seventy companies.  Gavin received an A.B. in Economics, with Honors, from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.


Sheridan Titman - Moderator
Professor of Finance and Finance Department Chair
McCombs School of Business 

Sheridan Titman is a Professor of Finance and Finance Department Chair at the University of Texas at Austin, where he holds the McAllister Centennial Chair in Financial Services at the McCombs School of Business. He is also the Director of the Energy Management and Innovation Center.  He is an award winning researcher and publisher of scholarly finance papers and textbooks, including the Smith Breeden Prize and the Jack Treynor Prize.   He has served as President of the American Finance Association and President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.  He received a B.S. degree from the University of Colorado and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Jason Downey
Tailwater Capital

Jason Downie has over 28 years of investment experience and co-founded Tailwater Capital in January 2013. At Tailwater, Mr. Downie’s primary responsibilities include deal sourcing, execution, and monitoring of the Firm’s investments as well as management of the Firm.  He currently serves on the boards of Goodnight Midstream, Pivotal Petroleum Partners, Pivotal Royalties Partners, Renovo Resources, Silver Creek Midstream, Tall Oak Midstream, and Triten Energy Partners. Prior to co-founding Tailwater Capital, Mr. Downie was a Partner with HM Capital and served on the Investment Committee. He joined HM Capital from Rice, Sangalis Toole and Wilson, a mezzanine private equity firm, where he was an Associate. Prior to Rice, Sangalis Toole and Wilson, Mr. Downie was an Associate in the Equity Trading Group with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, responsible for energy and transportation. He earned both a BBA and MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Eric Lang
Senior Managing Director of Private Markets
Teacher Retirement System of Texas 

Eric Lang is Senior Managing Director of Private Markets at Teachers Retirement System of Texas.   He responsible for formulating and directing the investment strategy and portfolio construction for 35% of the Trust (15 percent allocation to Real Estate, 14 percent allocation to Private Equity, and 6 percent allocation to Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure). He is a member of the TRS IMD Executive and Management Committees. He is also a member of the overall TRS Investment Committee, as well as a member of the Private Equity Investment, Real Estate Investment, and ENRI Investment Committees. Prior to his current position, Eric was a Managing Director of Real Estate at TRS. Prior to TRS, he was Managing Director of Kennedy Wilson and also was an asset manager with American General Corporation.  Eric is a past board director of Home Partners of America. He is Past-chairman and former board member of the Pension Real Estate Association (“PREA”) and is a member of PREA’s Capital Market Trends Affinity Group.  He is a current member of the PREA Foundation Board of Directors.  He was Chairman of the 2009 PREA Fall Conference.  Eric was the inaugural Chairman of the PREA|IPD U.S. Property Fund Index Advisory Board. He is also a member of the University of Texas Real Estate Executive Council.  Eric received his BBA from the University of Texas in Austin and his MBA from the University of Houston.

Vince Reyna
Pennybacker Capital 

Vince Reyna oversees strategy, process and partnerships along the continuum of Pannybacker Capital’s investments. He brings business and technical acumen to sourcing, closing, underwriting, and analyzing deal structures. Vince closely monitors existing investments and is a member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Vince joined Pennybacker Capital subsequent to his tenure as vice president and senior underwriter with CIT Corporate Finance. At CIT, he analyzed and structured asset and cash-flow based loans to middle market companies. Prior to CIT, Vince helped Prudential Capital Group originate, analyze, and monitor cash-flow loans to middle market companies. His earliest private equity experience was marketing limited partnership interests for private equity funds at JPMorgan. Vince earned his undergraduate degree in Astronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and serves on the Small Scale Development Council of the Urban Land Institute.

Spencer Swayze
Managing Director
Paine Schwartz Partners 

Spencer Swayze is a Managing Director at Paine Schwartz Partners.  Mr. Swayze joined Paine Schwartz Partners in January 2017. Prior to joining Paine Schwartz Partners, he was a Director of Investments in the Natural Resources group at the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), where he helped lead natural resources investment activities across all asset classes with a focus on agribusiness and infrastructure private equity. While at UTIMCO, he was responsible for monitoring a portfolio of investments as well as sourcing, assessing, and executing new natural resources investment opportunities, including fund commitments and co-investments. Prior to joining UTIMCO, Mr. Swayze worked at Ceres, Inc. an agricultural biotech seed company, where he was the Vice President of Business Development with responsibility for strategic planning and deal execution. He also spent four years in sales at Merck & Co.  Mr. Swayze currently serves on the boards of Axiota Animal Health, AgBiTech, and Hendrix Genetics. He received an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and a BBA from Oklahoma State University. He is a CFA® Charterholder and member of the CFA® Institute.



AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center
1900 University Avenue
Austin, TX 78705
Toll Free: 877-744-8822



Please book your room reservation here using our custom link.

If you call to make your reservation, please mention the 2023 Texas Private Equity Conference.  

Room reservations in our block need to be made by the January 10, 2023 cutoff date.

Below is a list of other hotels near The University.  We DO NOT have room blocks at these hotels.


Hampton Inn & Suites Austin at The University/Capitol
1701 Lavaca Street
Austin, TX  78701
(512) 499-8881


Hotel Ella
1900 Rio Grade Street
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 495-1800


DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel
303 W. 15th Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 478-7000

Past Conference Programs



8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

Welcome: Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business

Speaker: Jay Hartzell, President, The University of Texas at Austin


8:45 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Keynote Speaker:  A discussion with Rich Hall, Deputy Chief Investment Officer, UTIMCO and Jay Hartzell, President, The University of Texas at Austin


9:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.



9:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Panel 1:  Private Equity Continues to Reshape Financial Markets

Description:  Private Equity firms continue to reshape financial markets.  There are, for example, about half as many public companies as there were 15 years ago, companies are remaining private longer, and capital is flowing into PE firms at unprecedented levels.  For example, approximately $3.2 trillion in PE capital has been raised since the beginning of 2015, and PE firms now have about $2.4 trillion in dry powder.  In this panel, we will discuss pricing, deal flow, fundraising, potential regulatory concerns, tax and regulatory concerns, and exit opportunities (sale to fund/corporation, SPAC or IPO), among other topics.

Moderator:  Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business 


Brian Hegi, Partner, Crossplane Capital
Farah Khan, Partner, L Catterton
BJ Loessberg, Principal, TPG Growth
Drew Sweeney, Managing Director, TCW


10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.



11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Panel 2: The Evolving Venture Finance Ecosystem

Description:  Venture financing ecosystems have evolved substantially in recent years.  Emerging companies are now able to remain private longer by raising hundreds of millions – or even billions – of dollars in private financing rounds at attractive prices.  Alternative exit structures such as SPACs and direct listings have risen in prominence.  Concentrations of talent and capital have grown rapidly in markets outside of the Bay Area such as Austin, and the pandemic appears to have accelerated this process.  This panel will address how VC markets are evolving, how VC firms are adapting to market changes, and how these changes will affect capital raising, deal structure, and deal exit decisions.

Moderator:  Jonathan Cohn, Academic Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business


Thomas Ball, Managing Director, Next Coast Ventures
Kathryn Cavanaugh, Managing Partner, Capstar Ventures
Mike Maples, Partner, Floodgate
Alex Moore, 8VC 


12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m.



12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Keynote Speaker:  Bill Gurley, General Partner, Benchmark


1:00 p.m. – 1:10 p.m.



1:10 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.

Panel 3: The Evolving Importance of ESG in Private Equity and Venture Capital

Description:  Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) considerations are becoming increasingly important measures of LP, GP, and operating company performance alongside traditional financial metrics.  While considerable attention has been focused on governance measures and their influence on valuation and return expectations, the impact of environmental and, increasingly, social measures of diversity and inclusion on fund and company performance are evolving rapidly.  This panel will discuss how GPs, LPs, and companies are integrating ESG considerations into their investment and evaluation processes, the challenges that each are confronting, and what we can expect moving forward.

Moderator:  Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business 


Amanda Hopper, Sr. Investment Director, UTIMCO
Holly McMullan, Partner, Apollo Global Management
Verdun Perry, Sr. Managing Director, Blackstone
Neil Randall, Director, Private Equity, Teacher Retirement System of Texas


2:10 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Closing Comments: Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business


2020 Program


8:30 a.m. – 8:35 a.m.

Welcome: Jay Hartzell, Dean McCombs School of Business


8:35 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Keynote Speaker: Julia Coronado, President and Founder, Macropolicy Perspectives


9:20 a.m. – 9:40 a.m.



9:40 a.m. – 10:40 a.m.

Panel 1: Private Credit

Description:  This session will examine the private credit market. This market, which is estimated to total approximately $4 trillion, rivals the private equity market in size. The discussion will address the evolution of the private credit market, which offers investors a considerably different risk-return profile than private equity, and what we can expect in the future. The panelists represent the direct lending, real estate credit, energy credit, and distressed lending components of the market.

Moderator:  Ruchit Shah, Acting CIO, Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust 


Taylor Boswell, CIO, Carlyle Direct Lending
Marc Feliciano, CIO, Americas Real Estate DWS
Kirsten Hagen, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Patrick Hickey, Managing Director, EIG Global Energy Partners
Rakesh (Rick) Jain, Partner and Head of Global Credit, Pantheon


10:40 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.



11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Panel 2: Disruptive Technologies: What’s Next for VC? 

Description: Throughout history, venture capital has exploited disruptive technologies to create billions of dollars of value starting with semiconductors and continuing with personal computers, the internet, ecommerce, smart phones and mobile technologies, Enterprise SaaS, genome and other healthcare innovation.   As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, technologies such as 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, blockchain, robotics, autonomous vehicles, virtual and augmented reality, and IoT are poised to disrupt other industries.  This panel will explore what the next big things are in venture investing and what verticals may be overinvested or underinvested.

Moderator:  Bob Metcalfe, Professor and Clint W. Murchison, Sr. Chair of Free Enterprises, Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin


Josh Baer, Founder and CEO, Capital Factory
John Paulos, Board Chair, Central Texas Angel Network
Jon Richter, Vice President of Product, CognitiveScale
Zac Zeitlin, Founder and General Partner, New Ground Ventures


12:00 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.


Keynote Speaker:  Craig A. Bondy, Managing Director, GTCR
Scholarship Recipient Recognition: Tina Mabley, Assistant Dean for MBA Programs, McCombs School of Business


1:40 p.m. – 2:40 p.m.

Panel 3: Senior LP Perspective on the State of Private Equity

Description:  This panel will explore how LPs are adjusting their private equity portfolios in response to the very robust private equity environment and other pressures that they face. For example, the strategies and underwriting approach they are executing to protect returns, their perspective on future industry returns, the ways in which they are addressing fee pressures, views on backing larger GPs versus smaller managers, and how they are addressing governance, incentive alignment, and sustainability issues.

Moderator:  Ken Wiles, Executive Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business 


Chris Halaska, SVP and CIO, Memorial Hermann Health System
Tom Tull, CIO, Employee Retirement System of Texas
Russell Valdez, CIO, Wafra
Shelby Wanstrath, Co-Head of Private Equity Funds, Teacher Retirement System of Texas


2:10 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Closing Comments: Robert Parrino, Director, Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst Center for Private Equity Finance, McCombs School of Business