Singularly recognizes brilliant and exceptional young dealmakers from the private equity, M&A and restructuring communities for their achievements, dedication, and talents for closing value creating transactions. The “once in a life-time” honors, validates the dealmaker’s success and progressively taking on leadership role for many years to come. The program originates from the popular Top 50 Dealmakers editorial series.

2nd Annual Winners Circle: Features 6 dealmakers from the private equity, VC and lending group, 12 from the financial advisory and 8 lawyers for total of 25 winners, including 6 women.

Jennifer W. Cheng
Profession: Lawyer
Location: New York, New York
Education: LL.B., University of New South Wales

Jennifer focuses on advising companies on domestic and cross-border M&A transactions, divestitures, and private equity investments. Recent deals advised by Jennifer include Santander Bank sale of branch assets to First Commonwealth Bank and Cascadian Therapeutics sale to Seattle Genetics.

Gregory Cook
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois
Education: Master of Science in Finance, University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign

Greg advises middle-market companies on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), financial opinions, ESOP matters, and related advisory services. He provides project management services, valuations and related transaction analyses in support of capital structuring, ESOP implementation, recapitalizations, and management buyouts.

Brian DeCicco
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: New York, New York
Education: B.A. with Honors in Economics, Fordham University

Brian with more than a decade of experience in M&A, specializes in media and information services transactions. Recent notable transactions include Clarion Events’ divestment of select assets of PennWell Corporation, and the sale of EH Media’s technology brands to Emerald Expositions.

David Dolan
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: Washington, D.C
Education: M.B.A., Fordham University Graduate School for Business Administration

David with 15 years of investment banking and M&A advisory experience, focusing on Enterprise Mobility, Transportation Management System, Logistics, and Supply Chain Management sectors. He recently advised on its majority investment from ICONIQ Capital and Decisiv investment from Kayne Partners.

Jared Earles
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: Las Colinas, Texas
Education: B.A in Global Economics, University of California – Santa Cruz

Jared provides strategic advice to middle market companies and is responsible for managing the various aspects of due diligence through to deal closing. Jared was recently involved in the M&A Atlas Awards winning deal – the sale of Young’s Communications to Cotton Creek Capital.

Michael Firmage
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: San Francisco, California
Education: M.B.A., Yale School of Management

Mike has completed over 20 sell-side M&A transactions for founder-owned-and-operated technology companies. Recent noteworthy and M&A Atlas Awards winning transaction advised by Mike includes advising DistroKid investment by Silversmith Capital and Spotify.

Richard Fischetti
Profession: Lawyer
Location: New York, New York
Education: J.D., magna cum laude, Rutgers School of Law

Richard works with public companies, financial institutions, sovereign wealth funds, and private equity sponsors in various transactions involving acquisitions, dispositions, and co-investments. He recently represented Bojangles’ sale to Durational Capital and The Jordan Company, and GENEWIZ sale to Brooks Automation.

Stephen J. Jeschke
Profession: Private Equity Investor
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Education: M.B.A., Harvard Business School

Stephen focuses on investments in wide spectrum of industries including business services, technology and telecom. He has been involved in M&A Atlas Award winning transactions including investment in Lytx and Mega Broadband and Rural Broadband Investments.

Shaun Kalnasy
Profession: Investment Banker
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Education: M.B.A., Emory University, Goizueta Business School

Shaun advises entrepreneurs and owner-operators of middle market companies on M&A transactions, debt and equity recapitalizations. Shaun advised on two M&A Atlas Awards winning deals - Strauss Brands sale to Insight Equity (2019) and sale of Purple Innovation (2018).

Shanti M. Katona
Profession: Lawyer
Location: Wilmington, Delaware
Education: J.D., Washington University - St. Louis School of Law

Shanti works with debtors and creditors in all capacities, including handling numerous adversary actions, complex commercial litigation and patent litigation. Recent M&A and Turnaround Atlas Awards winning deals advised by Shanti include – Elements Behavioral Health, Chapter 11 restructuring, and PhaseRx Chapter 11 restructuring and acquisition by Roivant Sciences.