Opus Connect’s mission is to enable our members to create, expand, and maintain long-term relationships within the finance industry. Membership to Opus Connect is by invitation only and all prospects are individually vetted and approved by the Opus Connect Selection Committee. Once admitted to our network, members gain unparalleled access to top-tier professionals through structured activities to form meaningful and long-lasting connections throughout the U.S. Our monthly chapter events feature a diverse group of esteemed speakers who deliver the latest state of affairs in the M&A and Real Estate domains.
Opus Connect members enjoy the following benefits:
Regular introductions to senior executives in fields such as financial services, M&A, real estate, law, international trade, accounting and more
Exchange of referrals for new business and deal flow
Exceptional presentations by industry leaders on a variety of topics of particular interest to senior level professionals
Monthly chapter events that accommodate hectic schedules (i.e. lunch or evening panels)
New York Private Equity Chapter Board Members
Robert (Bob) Goldsmith
President & CEO at BCMS Corporate LLC
Bob Goldsmith led BCMS’s formal entry into the North American mergers & acquisitions market in 2006 and is a founding partner of the North American business.
Bob spent 9 years at Continental Grain Company, one of the world’s largest privately held businesses, based out of Geneva and Bucharest, in corporate development, business management, and commodity marketing positions. In 1998, he relocated to the New York corporate headquarters as a member of the corporate strategy group focusing on corporate divestitures, corporate development, and strategic investments and acquisitions.
After Continental Grain Company, Bob joined Elie Tahari, a $350 million apparel company, as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer with overall management responsibility for the firm’s P&L.
Bob later led an investor group comprised of senior industry executives in the organization and expansion of the North American license of a prestigious European personal care products company.
Bob began his career at the Council on Foreign Relations where he spent four years focusing on international intelligence, trade, and security issues for the currently-serving Chairman of the National Intelligence Council in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Managing Member at Callari Partners LLC
Carollynn H.G. Callari has twenty years of corporate and bankruptcy law experience. She was formerly with AmLaw 100 law firms Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Venable LLP.
She is a general corporate advisor to her clients, providing counsel on day-to-day legal issues, acquisitions and commercial agreements. She serves as outside general counsel to portfolio companies and helps clients implement growth and turnaround strategies. Ms. Callari also has extensive experience in sophisticated business reorganization and restructuring matters, working across the full spectrum of Chapter 11 cases as well as counseling parties in workouts and restructuring matters conducted outside of judicial settings, and general commercial transactions. She has represented debtors in a number of large bankruptcy cases including retailers, such as The Hechinger Company, Frank's Nursery & Crafts, Petrie Retail, Inc., and Winkelman's and manufacturers such as Werner Holding Co (DE) Inc. In representing energy provider PG&E National Energy Group, she helped direct prepetition negotiations with creditors representing more than $2 billion in debt to facilitate the debtor filing bankruptcy with a pre negotiated plan. She also was instrumental in the prepetition and post petition sale processes of telecommunications company XO Communications, Inc., which resulted in competing offers and entry into an $800 million investment agreement.
She represents various sized private equity groups in connection with investments in distressed companies. Recently, she represented a purchaser in a $365 million bankruptcy acquisition while also representing a client in a $5 million investment transaction. She advises multi-million dollar corporations in connection with strategic corporate planning and business transactions.
Ms. Callari has handled numerous auctions involving the disposition of fee owned properties and more than 500 real property leases and has managed the claims objection and reconciliation process for thousands of claims.
She advises borrowers and lenders in connection with distressed loans.
Ms. Callari also represents investors and creditors (including secured lenders, trade creditors, landlords, indenture trustees, ad hoc committees and other interested parties) in Chapter 11 cases, such as Extended Stay Inc., General Growth Properties, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., US Mortgage Corp., Global Crossing Ltd., Teleglobe Communications Corporations, Worldwide Direct Inc., Alliant Protection Services Inc., Access Cardiosystems Inc., A&P and Borders Inc.
Ms. Callari is an Executive Director and a board member of the New York Chapter of Opus Connect, a private equity networking organization. For several years she served as an adjunct instructor at New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies, teaching a workouts, restructurings and bankruptcy course. She is a speaker at conferences addressing corporate bankruptcy issues and investments in distressed assets. Ms. Callari is also a qualified bankruptcy mediator having completed the American Bankruptcy Institute 40-hour bankruptcy mediation program at St. John's University School of Law.
Senior Director of Business Development at Marcum LLP
Bio: Rob Derbabian brings 32 years experience in sales, networking, banking, & finance across a wide variety of areas to his position at Marcum LLP. Although he primarily focuses on forging new relationships, Derbabian contributes to building business across all of Marcum’s service offerings, working with the firm's leadership across the U.S.
Rob spent 25 years in the commercial banking and finance industry. He worked closely with temporary staffing companies throughout the Northeast seeking financing. He spent two years as Vice President at Signature Bank where he was responsible for expanding business with professional services firms. Earlier in his career, Derbabian was instrumental in growing the temporary staffing portfolio and assisted in the purchase of a staffing funding company at Sterling National Bank. Prior to that he spent 14 years at Citibank in a variety of roles, from managing a branch to cash management to a leadership position on one of the key small business sales teams in Manhattan. Derbabian is a founding member of N3, a premier networking organization in Manhattan.
Principal at Kidd & Company
Ken joined Kidd & Company in 2008 and participates in all facets of the firm’s activities, including sourcing new opportunities, investment strategy development, conducting technical, financial and market due diligence, maintaining relationships with debt and equity co-investors and overseeing strategy execution for existing investments. Previously Ken was a Managing Director at Spencer Trask, an early-stage venture capital firm, where he worked with companies in the life sciences, healthcare, information technology, software and communications sectors. Prior to Spencer Trask, Ken was an investment banker at JPMorgan, where he worked on numerous capital-raising and M&A transactions. Ken received a BS in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University and an MBA from New York University, where he was a Stern Scholar. Ken currently serves on the Board of the New York Chapter of the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors.
Director at OFS Capital Management
Doug Bunim is a Director of OFS Capital Management and is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and executing investment opportunities for the Middle Market Lending Business, as well as portfolio management. Mr. Bunim has more than a decade of investment experience across the capital structure, in private equity and debt investing in the middle market and lower middle market. Prior to joining OFS Capital Management, Mr. Bunim held positions at Tamarix Capital Partners, an investment firm dedicated to providing flexible financing solutions to lower middle market companies. Prior to that, he held various positions at H.I.G. Capital in the middle market private equity group, and at Fenway Partners, a private equity firm focused on middle market buyouts. Mr. Bunim holds a B.S. in Finance and General Accounting with a minor in Politics from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.
Managing Partner at IDGB Capital
Ms. Bendor brings over 20 years of investment banking, corporate finance, investment advisory and senior management experience with focus on the technology life science and real estate sectors.
Prior to joining Axiom Capital, Ms. Bendor was a Managing Partner at Broadmark Capital and was heading its New York Office. Previously, Ms. Bendor served as a Managing Director at Marco Polo Partners (Spin-off from Lehman Brothers) responsible for the origination and execution of M&A and financing transactions focusing on the technology, and life science sectors. In addition, she held a managerial position in Becton Dickinson (NYSE:BDX) and led a Corporate Finance and Strategic Planning Department at Arthur Andersen, Israel.
Successfully developed and executed equity and debt financing and M&A transactions totaling over $1 Billion in value with leading real estate, technology, business services and life science companies.
Ms. Bendor serves as an advisor to senior management and boards of directors regarding complex strategic and financial transactions. She is also a frequent speaker at M&A, Finance and technology-and life science related conferences.
Ms. Bendor graduated with an M.B.A from the Hebrew University, summa cum laude. She holds Series 7, 79 and Series 63 FINRA registrations. Ms. Bendor is also a board member at the Opus Connect NY Chapter (an exclusive network of senior executives in fields such as private equity, family offices, banking, finance and real estate).
Managing Director at White Oak Global Advisors
Mr. Marzen is a Managing Director of Origination for White Oak and is responsible for originating and underwriting new investment opportunities for White Oak’s private debt funds. Mr. Marzen has nearly 20 years of experience in banking and commercial finance, as well as extensive experience in business operations and management evaluation. Prior to joining White Oak in 2014, he served as Senior Vice President (Loan Origination) with Wells Fargo Capital Finance. His previous experience included loan origination and underwriting at AloStar Business Credit, First Niagara Commercial Finance, Golub Capital, CapitalSource Finance, CIT Financial and Fleet Capital Corp., and he began his career as a CPA with Deloitte and Touche. A graduate of George Mason University, Mr. Marzen received his B.S. degree with a double major in Accounting and Finance. He is an active member of Opus Connect, the Commercial Finance Association, the Turnaround Management Association and the Association for Corporate Growth, among others.
Partner at Ice Miller LLP
Chase Stuart is a partner in Ice Miller’s Business Group. He represents a variety of private equity funds, mezzanine funds, family offices and independent sponsors. He provides strategic and legal advice in their investment and general corporate strategies, including leveraged buyouts, mezzanine financings, growth capital transactions, early and late stage private equity investments, and secondary transactions. He also represents large U.S. and foreign corporations in connection with general corporation matters, including their investment and M&A activities. He has represented a variety of companies in sectors such as technology, manufacturing, health care services, firearms and defense, and aerospace industries.
Managing Director/ Co-Founder at Post Capital Partners
Michael co-founded Post Capital in 2004. He has more than 25 years of private equity and M&A experience. Prior to Post Capital, Michael was a managing director and partner at Charterhouse Group International. While at Charterhouse, he was a member of the investment committee and had responsibility for several industry groups including, business services, technology, and environmental. Previously, Michael was a senior vice president with GE Capital’s equity capital group, the private equity division of GE. While at GE, he was the head of the consumer services principal investment effort. Michael is a member of the boards of the NY Chapter of Opus Connect, the NY Chapter of Alliance of Merger and Acquisition Advisors, and the Connecticut Chapter of Association for Corporate Growth. Michael received an MBA in finance from Columbia University and a BSEE from Tufts University.
Northeast Regional Sales Manager at Triumph Commercial Finance
Sam has 35 years of traditional Asset Based Lending (ABL), Leverage Finance and Lender Finance experience for both banking and commercial finance institutions. Sam has extensive knowledge and experience in business development and credit for ABL and leveraged senior secured debt transactions.
Sam began his career with The CIT Group Business Credit and has led origination efforts at the regional and national levels for such institutions as Wells Fargo Foothill, HSBC Business Credit, and GMAC Business Credit. Sam has also served as group head for the asset based lending arms of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Landsbank USA (NY) launching both businesses from de-novo start ups into successful middle market lenders. In addition to his lending experience, Sam was co-founder and managing partner for a boutique corporate finance advisory firm called Northern Lights Partners, LLC, which focused on raising debt and equity capital for middle market companies. Sam has been involved in over $7 Billion in senior debt transactions.
Sam graduated with a B.S. in Finance and an MBA from St. John’s University in Jamaica, NY. Sam has also been a part-time adjunct professor at NYU, teaching corporate finance, and Wagner College’s MBA Program teaching Capital Markets and Advanced Financial Statement Analysis.
Office Managing Partner at Ice Miller LLP
Thomas Kesoglou is the Office Managing Partner of Ice Miller's New York office, where he leads the firm’s Private Equity practice. Mr. Kesoglou represents private equity funds, mezzanine funds, SBICs, BDCs, family offices and independent sponsors providing strategic and legal advice in their investment strategies, including leveraged buyouts, mezzanine financings, growth capital transactions, early and late stage private equity investments and secondary transactions. Mr. Kesoglou also advises these investors in connection with the management of their portfolio companies, including acquisitions, dispositions, follow-on debt or equity investments, bridge loans, restructurings, recapitalizations, employment matters, stock plans and other general corporate matters.
Mr. Kesoglou serves as outside general corporate counsel to a number of privately held and emerging growth companies in connection with growth capital transactions, acquisitions and other general corporate matters. Mr. Kesoglou represents privately held companies in connection with the sale of their business to strategic or financial investors. He also represents large U.S. and foreign corporations in connection with their investment and M&A activities in the United States.
In addition to advising his clients, Mr. Kesoglou actively seeks transaction opportunities to refer to financial investors in order to facilitate introductions and transaction opportunities.
Mr. Kesoglou is a frequent public speaker on corporate legal matters and has authored several articles published in leading magazines, including Buyouts, Financier Worldwide, and The Deal. He was named 2014 AM&AA Conference Chair of the Year and AM&AA Chapter Leader of the Year in January 2013 by the Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors and was appointed as Chairman of its 2013 summer conference and 2014 winter conference.
Prior to joining Ice Miller, Mr. Kesoglou practiced in the private equity group at McCarter & English LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP in New York. Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Kesoglou worked as an investment banker in the Real Estate Finance and Securitization Group of CIBC World Markets in New York.
What Our New York Private Equity Chapter Members Are Saying
“You will meet a great group of hard driving entrepreneurial spirited bankers, Private Equity executives and Family Office professionals who you will not only like, but with whom you will have the ability to do some very valuable business together. Opus creates an environment where you can develop your business by helping them develop theirs.”
Paul Schnell, NFP Corporate ServicesNYC Chapter
“Within the independent sponsor community, we’ve been recognized as one of the groups who works well with them and has a reputation of doing so. And that reputation has benefited through our affinity and sponsorship of Opus Connect events.”