The M&A Forum

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Clifford Chance offices: New York

Unlock deal value and navigate M&A approval

The IR Magazine & Governance Intelligence M&A Forum was a multi-stakeholder conference that helped companies build shareholder support, guarantee certainty of close and deliver on the strategic aims of M&A deals. At a time when the M&A market was warming up we discussed how best to prepare for a wave of M&A activity while navigating the increasingly difficult approval process.

We were joined by 100+ corporate governance, corporate development and investor relations professionals in New York on November 7 to stay up-to-date on the outlook for M&A and learned how to drive shareholder value in 2023 and beyond.



Holders of the NIRI IRC® credential can earn up to 4 professional development units (PDUs) per day. IRC-credentialed speakers may also earn PDUs. More information is available at

Agenda 2023


View the 2023 PDF agenda here

Timings on the agenda are shown as Eastern Time (ET)

  • 08:30 AM
    Registration opens

  • 09:25 AM
    Welcome to the M&A Forum 2023

    Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine and Governance Intelligence

  • 09:30 AM
    M&A outlook: Anticipating a boom in deal making

    Tight credit conditions and high interest rates persist, but after a slump in deal making interest is gathering. How much activity has been happening behind the scenes, and when are we likely to see this interest materialize? How can companies position themselves to make the most of this expected rise in M&A once the market is fully active?

    • An overview of expected M&A activity in 2024 and how can companies position themselves for success
    • Learn which types of deals are expected to drive the most shareholder value in the current market
    • Discuss the key macroeconomic and geopolitical hurdles to deal making, and how deal teams, boards and management should address them

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine and Governance Intelligence
    Alexander Fries, director, corporate development, Progress 
    Alex Khutorsky, vice president, mergers and acquisitions, DuPont
    Thomas Le, vice president, corporate development, Ziff Davis 

  • 10:15 AM
    Navigating regulatory change: Respond to increased anti-trust requirements

    Despite growing interest, the regulatory landscape remains a significant challenge for deal teams. We’re seeing tougher merger guidelines proposed by the DoJ and FTC, with new HSR filing requirements expected at some point next year. In this panel our experts will discuss how the regulatory landscape is evolving around M&A and how best to prepare.

    • M&A best practices in the context of enhanced regulatory scrutiny 
    • Discuss what the new DoJ and FTC guidelines mean for public companies, and how to prepare 
    • Learn how the international regulatory landscape is evolving and its impact on cross-border M&A 

    Moderator: Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Governance Intelligence
    Leigh Oliver, partner, Clifford Chance

    Natalie Wong, senior director, M&A legal, Booking Holdings

  • 10:45 AM
    Morning networking break

  • 11:15 AM
    Communicating deal value: Ensuring companies and shareholders are in sync

    Just because a deal seems intuitive internally doesn’t mean it will be intuitive to your shareholders. In this session we’ll discuss the red and green flags investors face around M&A and share advice on communicating deal value in a transparent, meaningful way.  

    • Best practices on how to improve your messaging process around M&A 
    • Understanding investor risk appetite in the current environment 
    • Stress testing deals: How will external stakeholders react to the announcement? 

    Moderator: Steve Wade, head of content, IR Magazine and Governance Intelligence
    Brendan Dowhaniuk, vice president of corporate development, Hoonigan
    Michael Higgins, corporate strategy and investor relations, Advanced Drainage Systems

  • 12:00 PM
    Cross-border M&A in an era of growing geopolitical risks

    Here we will explore how growing geopolitical risks are influencing and challenging M&A activities and strategies. We will delve into the impact of geopolitical factors on cross-border deal sourcing and execution and share strategies for navigating these challenges as the risks evolve. 

    • Understand how the cross-border M&A landscape is shifting, and which trends are impacting this 
    • Strategies to identify, assess and mitigate geopolitical risks in M&A
    • Respond to developing international regulations around M&A
    • New deal-making opportunities: Leveraging M&A opportunities in the context of global uncertainty 

    Moderator: Laurie Havelock, editor-at-large, IR Magazine
    Renee Latour, partner, Clifford Chance
    Steven Rosenberg, senior director, global M&A, WTW

  • 12:45 PM

  • 13:45 PM
    Streamlining the due-diligence process: Tools, technologies and best practices

    The due diligence process is one of the most essential parts of M&A, but also one of the most time consuming. Recent developments in technology and AI promise huge boosts in efficiency, but for many companies the risks still outweigh the rewards. Here we will look at how deal teams are optimizing their approach to due diligence, and debate the risks and benefits associated with adopting new tools into the process. 

    • Understand how the due-diligence landscape has changed 
    • Share approaches to pricing risk into deals in today’s environment 
    • Learn which tools and technologies other companies are using to support their due-diligence process 

    Ben Maiden, editor-at-large, Governance Intelligence
    Saswat Bohidar, associate general counsel, corporate transactions, HPE

    Scott Hile, vice president, corporate development, Enviva

  • 14:15 PM
    Analysing M&A risks and opportunities through an ESG lens

    Companies are increasingly integrating ESG considerations into their M&A strategies, with studies showing that investors are willing to pay a premium for targets that demonstrate high ESG maturity. Furthermore, ESG red flags can have significant impact on deals, resulting in additional closing conditions, valuation reduction and even deal cancellations.

    • Best practices around integrating ESG into your M&A strategy 
    • Discuss key ESG pitfalls in the due diligence process 
    • Consider the impact of M&A on your sustainability disclosures process 

    Moderator: Laurence Taylor, senior conference producer, IR Magazine & Governance Intelligence
    Jeff Angerman, deputy general counsel, Blackbaud
    Dania Nasser, senior associate, general counsel, Canon

  • 15:00 PM
    Roundtable discussions

    Choose a topic and discuss with your peers in a highly interactive roundtable discussion.

    Roundtable topics 

    • Ensuring a successful post-merger integration
    • M&A tech trends and the future role of AI
    • Improving board oversight on M&A activity
    • Preparing for a rise in M&A activism
  • 15:45 PM
    Closing remarks and networking drinks

    Steve Wade, head of content, IR Magazine & Governance Intelligence


To inquire about speaking at a future forum, please contact [email protected] or call +44 20 8004 4818

What our attendees say

"Very interesting and on trend topics, with an all star line up of very engaged and dynamic speakers."

Sprouts Farmers Market

"The agenda was informative and fast-paced; the presenters were knowledgeable and engaging."


"Very strong speakers with evident leading knowledge."


"Highly relevant topics, knowledgeable panellists and highly informative."


"I felt the virtual format was faced paced and moved quickly. The size of the panels was good for different points of views and perspectives."

Murphy Oil Corporation

"Knowledgable panels. Productive discussion. Easy participation. Visibility and upvoting of questions. "

GCs Counsel

"Great selection of panelists. I thought the platform was very user friendly. "

Murphy USA

"I have been to a lot of these events and I have found the conversations to be richer and more insightful than many of the bigger panels - probably due to good moderation and good panelists. I was also impressed by how seamless the virtual format was. "


Who attends our events

Our attendees are leading governance, IR and corporate development professionals with a strategic role within their company.

Below is a sample of attendees:

Job title Company Job title Company
AGC and assistant CS Uber Technologies Senior counsel, corporate law Allstate
Associate Pegasystems SVP Aon
Associate general counsel Foot Locker SVP, IR and treasurer G-III Apparel Group
Chief communications, IR officer ResMed VP, IR, M&A Ameriprise Financial
Corporate secretary Viatris VP, global corporate media relations Henry Schein
CS and chief governance officer Chevron VP, associate general counsel Shake Shack
Chief governance counsel John Wiley & Sons VP, chief SEC counsel and secretary American Water Works
Director, communications Casella Waste Systems VP, corporate development Wheel Pros
Executive director, IR Insmed VP, corporate development Zimmer Biomet
Executive director, IR Perella Weinberg Partners VP, deputy general counsel Blackbaud
General counsel and CS Aterian VP, IR CACI
Manager, IR Brookfield VP, IR and communications World Kinect

Request full attendee list

Become a partner

Why partner with us?

The M&A Forum brings together some of the most influential people from legal, finance and corporate development at public companies. The event offers an effective approach to targeting clients at a time when they need it the most.

Through our unrivaled knowledge of the subject matter and commitment to in-depth agenda research, our events attract a qualified audience.

The unique buzz we create at our events makes them multi-faceted and highly interactive with great engagement in particular from corporate secretaries, M&A managers and heads of investor relations. This allows our partners to have meaningful conversations with corporate stakeholders across legal, governance and corporate development.

By partnering with us on an event, you can generate leads, showcase your thought leadership and position yourselves as the partner of choice to our community.

We’d love to have a chat with you about how you can get in front of a truly engaged and motivated audience – get in touch with Ian Richman or call on +1 (212) 430 6865.


Part of Governance LIVE 2023

The M&A and Activism Forum is part of Governance LIVE 2023, a series of events celebrating governance professionals and promoting excellence and good governance at public issuers. If you’d like access to all three events, visit our website to get your all-access two-day pass at a discounted rate!

The M&A Forum The Corporate Secretary Forum Corporate Governance Awards
November 7, 2023, New York November 8, 2023, New York November 8, 2023, New York

Deals and defense in a volatile market

Modernizing the boardroom

Celebrating excellence in governance


Book your two-day Governance LIVE pass

Coalition for the homeless

IR Magazine and Governance Intelligence are long-term supporters of the Coalition for the Homeless. The Coalition is doing all in its power to ensure that homeless New Yorkers get the help and protection they need.

We would be grateful if you are able to bring along any of the items outlined in the list below, to be donated to those in need through the Coalition.

For further information about their work, please visit




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