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Q&A with Tom Kesoglou – President of the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors' NYC Chapter

Q&A with Tom Kesoglou – President of the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors' NYC Chapter
January 29, 2019

Partner Thomas Kesoglou is the office managing partner of Ice Miller’s New York Office, where he leads the Firm’s Private Equity Practice. He also serves as President of the Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors (AM&AA), an organization that connects CPAs, attorneys and other experienced corporate financial investors and advisors to better support their educational, transactional and relational needs.

Tom spoke with us about how he got started with the AM&AA, on what projects the organization is working and what advice he has for young professionals just starting their careers.

Q: How did you become involved with the AM&AA?

A: It was 2009, and I received an email about attending a summer AM&AA conference in Chicago. I hadn’t heard of the organization before, so I called the main number and ended up on the phone with Diane Niederman, who is the Vice President of the AM&AA. She gave me a very good overview of the organization and asked that I become a member and attend the Chicago conference. While I couldn’t attend the event in Chicago, I asked if they had any local chapters in New York City. She said they didn’t, but others had recently inquired about a NYC chapter. She then organized a call with three other individuals. We had our initial call and discussed starting a NYC chapter and what that would look like, what types of events we would put on and what we wanted to accomplish. We started the NYC chapter with three things in mind: networking, content and deal flow. We started recruiting people to the board and had our first chapter meeting in 2009, and that’s how I become involved with the organization.

Q: What long-term goals do you have for the organization?

A: My long-term goal for the organization is to continue building on the three key areas that we established from the beginning. We want to continue fostering relationships for our attendees, especially in the lower middle market for the private equity community.

Q: What are some of the short-term projects the AM&AA has in the works right now?

A: We need to start planning our upcoming chapter event, which will take place in March! We have quarterly events that have become well known in our space, and we take a lot of pride in giving our members and folks coming for the first time a great experience. We have high caliber speakers from amazing companies with incredible stories to share. A couple of times a year, we have a social and deal-sourcing event. Our events include food, drinks, great conversations and hopefully a lot of new contacts.

Q: How has your involvement with the AM&AA impacted your professional development and career?

A: I didn’t really have a strong network before I became involved with the AM&AA, so this was just one way, among others, that I really began to develop my relationships in the private equity community. I have met some tremendous people and built a great network. Some of my most treasured relationships, personally and professionally, have come through AM&AA.

Q: Why are organizations like AM&AA, that bring together individuals across various professions within an industry, so important to the legal community?

A: I would say organizations like this are not just important to the legal community. It’s important for the private equity community. The organization facilitates relationship building and is a forum to gather professionals working on similar transactions. At the end of the day, it’s a positive and impactful experience for everyone involved.

Q: What advice do you have for any young professionals starting their careers?

A: Start early on building your network, and follow-up is key! You can’t just go to an event and collect cards. You have to follow that up with meaningful ways to add value to your new contact. And relax. Remember, everyone is there for the same reason as you are, to meet people and make connections. I would also add that the more events you attend, the more comfortable you’ll be networking.

About AM&AA

The Alliance of Mergers & Acquisitions Advisors is an international organization that serves the needs of over 1,100 midmarket M&A professionals by providing educational and transactional support. Since 1998, the Alliance has connected CPAs, attorneys and other corporate and financial investors and advisors, who represent corporate and institutional sellers and buyers of businesses with transaction values ranging from $5 million to $500 million, to facilitate higher volume of deals and an efficient deal cycle, build meaningful relationships with owners and increase revenue opportunities.

About Tom

Thomas Kesoglou is the office managing partner of Ice Miller's New York Office, where he leads the firm’s Private Equity practice. Tom 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. Tom 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.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

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