As sponsors of the annual ACG InterGrowth Conference between April 24 and 26, we were perfectly positioned to direct attention to Merrill Corporation and how our services support the nearly 2,000 M&A and Private Equity dealmakers crowding the conference floor at Aria Resort and Casino.
From cocktail parties and golf outings to highly topical panels and side meetings, we had dozens of opportunities to make our mark. I spent most of the conference in the 20' x 20' Merrill booth -- also called our "lounge" -- which was custom-built for this show. We were located right in the middle of the show floor, promoting "The Magic of Merrill". We had mentalist/magician Kevin Viner at the booth, performing from his own stage, keeping our visitors stunned by his sleight of hand – “up close magic” -- the whole time weaving in key elements of the Merrill story. We were well represented across the entirety of the event, with more than 20 sellers and marketers available for our customers and prospects.
Not all of Merrill’s action was on the floor. On Tuesday, April 25, our chief product officer Thomas Fredell led a conversation with Mary Ellen Callahan on the role of cybersecurity as part of the Middle Market Insights Theater presentation series. The key message they impressed upon attendees was that it isn’t just about ensuring your systems are safe, but making certain the systems of acquisition and partnership targets are solid. Cybersecurity is increasingly a due diligence topic, as well as a growth industry looking for investors -- and one that we at Merrill take very seriously across our platforms.
Finally, I had the pleasure of meeting the winners of the ACG Cup Cleveland Chapter– a case study competition for student teams designed to give second semester MBA candidates from around the country real-world experience and insight into M&A, investment banking, financial advisory and private equity. Each case study culminates in the teams presenting valuation, capital markets and M&A strategic advice to current M&A professionals. The competition can be grueling – but is made simpler and more streamlined with each team using a Merrill DataSite virtual data room (VDR) to help with the work. The victorious Cleveland chapter is the only chapter that chose to reward their grand prize winner with an all-paid conference pass to ACG InterGrowth 2017.
Among all the activity, I was thrilled to also have the chance to meet the legendary Magic Johnson, who delivered the event's keynote address.
If you’ve ever been part of a huge conference like this, you know that it’s only part of the relationship-building process. Now, as we come back to our offices around the country, we continue to work with companies around the world, supporting their most critical technology and service needs as they focus on securing success for their businesses.