Center for Finance Strategy Innovation Events and Activities

The Center for Finance Strategy Innovation Center sponsors a number of conference, panel, and workshop programs each year. Recent programs have concentrated on private equity, hedge fund, growth capital, public-private partnerships, and turnaround topics.


2013 – “Buying Neiman Marcus: The Winning Combination of a Global Investor and a Strong Brand”
With Canadian Consulate of Dallas
Opening Remarks:

Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas

Keynote Speaker:

André Bourbonnais, Senior Vice President of Private Investments, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board


USI Southwestern

2012 – 2nd Annual Private Equity Funds Symposium Key Speakers:

Kevin Boardman, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP

Gregg Buksbaum, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP

James Cheng, President & COO, NPIC (Natural Polymer International Corp.)

Harvey Fine, Managing Director U.S. Global Investments and Strategies, Fosun

Stephen Foote, Director, Northleaf Capital Partners

Kim Garber, Co-Founder and Principal, CORE-CCO, LLC

Gus Gatzios, Managing Vice President of Strategic Access Platforms at Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System

Micah Green, Partner, Patton Boggs LLP

R. David Kelly, Chairman, Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Roman Kikta, Managing Partner and Founder Mobility Ventures

Shoa-Kai Liu, Founding investor of RenRen

Paul Louie, North American Partner, Long March Capital

Matt O'Reilly, Chief Investment Officer, San Antonio Fire and Police Pension Fund

2012 – Succeeding With Financing in a Time of Economic Uncertainty Panelists:

Rick Pelini, Vice President and Treasurer of Lennox International

Henry Schopfer who has served as CFO of four public mid-sized companies

Mahesh Shetty, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Encore Enterprises

David Whiting, Senior Vice President and head of Comerica Bank’s Technology and Life Services Division

Suzanne Lovett, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Capital Finance

2011 – Private Equity Funds Symposium, Patton Boggs Key Speaker:

Ronnie Jung, Texas Teachers Retirement System

Representative Speakers:

Don Moorehead, Patton Boggs

Kim Garber, US Securities and Exchange Commission

Carl Kopfinger, TD Bank

Joy Brawner, McGladrey

Suzanne Kriscunas, Riverside Company

Brett Palmer, National Association of SBIC’s

Tony Schell, Escalate Capital

Roman Kikta, Mobility Ventures

Conner Searcy, Insight Equity

2010 – The Governance and Financial Tools of Public-Private Partnerships Panelists:

David Leininger, Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)

Paul Wageman, North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)

Sasha N. Page, IMG

Paul N. Wageman, North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA)

Robert M. (Bob) Brown, P.E., TXDOT

Michael Morris, P.E., Transportation Department of the North

Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG)

Col. Dennis Beal, USMC (Ret.), Texas A & M University System

Hon. Cynthia Figueroa, Attorney

Paris Rutherford, Catalyst Urban Development, LLC

John N. Crew, Public Werks, Inc.

Stephen W. McCullough, Public Werks, Inc.

2010 – Conference in partnership with Texas Hedge Fund Management Association Panelists:

Peruvemba Satish, Allstate Investments

Todd Centurino, Teachers Retirement System

Philip Durst, TollesonWealth Management

2010 – “Where Will Growth Capital Come From?” Panelists:

Trey Vincent, Riverside Company

Mary Jo Hoch, Capital One Bank

David Oden, Haynes and Boone

Ron Stacey, Legacy Advisors

Jorge Joramillo, ORIX Leveraged Finance

2009 – Turnarounds, Restructurings, and Distressed Investing Panelists:

Conner Searcy, Insight Equity

Michael Bruder, Macquarie Group

Jay Lucas, Lucas Group

Don Bibeault, Verto Partners

Harry Gray, Verto Partners

Economic Updates and Case Research

Economic Updates

Two indexes tracking the financial health and financial flexibility of the 50 largest publicly held corporations in North Texas are updated quarterly. The series starts in 2009.

Case Research

The Center is producing a series of contemporary case studies on innovative companies. Shortly, we will release the first case. It deals with innovation in the consumer packaged goods industry will be released shortly. The work will be useful to both professionals in the field and graduate students.

Analytical and Operational Support for Corporate Decision Makers

Starting and Growing Businesses

The Center provides support for the analytical needs, of both new and growing businesses, especially in the areas of funding, valuation and strategy. Parallel analytical help for government agencies that work with these businesses is provided. Both faculty and student help is available.

Turnarounds and Restructurings

The Center provides help to managers responsible for such activities. The help usually involves either analysis of current needs and gaps or the planning of operational improvements.

Enterprise and Corporate Transformation

The Center supports corporations in their transformation endeavors when the opportunity is appropriate. Such support may include diagnosis of needs, design of an integrated business plan for transformation and/or the implementation of the plan. The recent economy continues to produce many such opportunities. Recognizable names with whom we have partnered include JC Penney, Target, Fujitsu, and Tektronix.

Sustainable Business

The Center believes there is a real need for financial and business perspectives to be brought to bear in this rapidly emerging area. While relatively new to North America, the concept of designing and operating sustainable businesses finds wider use elsewhere in the world. Sustainable business refers to the balancing of human, financial and ecological concerns so that a business can serve all its stakeholders on a continuing basis. We intend to be part of the continuing evolution of this area.

Financial Management

For the last three years, the Center has provided faculty speakers for the Professional Development Program of the Financial Executives International Dallas Chapter.

Support for Private Equity/Venture Capital Fund Managers and Investors

The Center's capabilities and interests include the provision of professional education, analytical support, economic updates and conference/workshop activities. Analytical support can include the structuring and start-up of new funds.

Analytical Support for Public Policy Makers

Through impartial analysis in its area of expertise the Center actively supports improvements in public policy especially through public-private partnerships of different kinds and involving different levels of governments. In the areas of finance, economic development and innovation the Center is able to help frame issues and analyze needs for consideration by policy makers. The Center does not position itself as an active advocate or active promoter of specific courses of action in the public sphere. In recent years, we have partnered with the Texas Legislature, the City of Cedar Hill, and Dallas Arts District.

Graduate and Professional Education for The School of Management

The Center contributes to graduate and professional education in four major dimensions.

Development and Delivery of MBA/MS Courses

Graduate courses have been developed and are delivered in the areas of corporate renewal, private equity finance, entrepreneurial finance, turnarounds and restructurings, and international financial management. The Center is preparing to deliver further courses in the area of corporate transformations and project finance. The Center designed and delivered an experimental three credit-hour course in enterprise transformation for the Executive MBA program of the School.

Customized Individual Study

The Center pioneered the use of customized individual study opportunities developed in conjunction with outside companies which support the Center's activities. These opportunities are somewhat like internships, but allow more customization of calendar schedules, credit hours, team membership, matching of student capabilities with needs and nature of final product produced. Approximately fifteen students have used these opportunities in the last two years.


The Center serves and is allied with the Institute for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. CFSI works with the Institute in the finance/strategy sphere and provides finance and strategy academic and executive faculty members as appropriate.