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Session F

Preparing For The Liquidity Event

Presented By: Baker Tilly / Bernstein

How can you ensure you and your company are prepared to get the most bang out of what likely will be the largest deal of your life—a liquidity event from either the sale or partial sale of a company? And what should you be thinking about as you plan for your family’s financial future and the future of your company? Hear from an entrepreneur, wealth management specialist, transaction advisor, and private equity firm leader on what it takes to get a solid plan in place, how long in advance of any transaction you should start planning, and what life after liquidity may look like.


Craig Kleis
Bernstein Private Wealth Management

Craig Kleis has nearly 20 years of experience assisting business owners with transition, pre- and post-transaction planning, and investment management.  He provides counsel to clients and their professional advisors on a variety of matters, including the sale of closely held businesses, tax and estate planning, multigenerational asset allocation, philanthropy, and retirement planning.  Prior to joining Bernstein, Kleis held sales and marketing leadership roles for a technology company and a medical device company. Before that, he worked in public accounting as an auditor for Price Waterhouse. Kleis received a BBA in accountancy from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.



Bill Chapman
Baker Tilly

Bill Chapman, partner with Baker Tilly and a managing director of Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, has been with the firm since 2007. Bill has led numerous due diligence engagements focused on quality of earnings, quality of assets, operating leverage, break-even analysis, backlog, revenue recognition, revenue volatility, revenue concentrations, analysis of financial forecasts, tax compliance and structure, information technology, and operational issues. He also led numerous valuation engagements for purposes ranging from estate and gift planning, merger and acquisitions, S corporation conversions, reorganizations, and financial reporting requirements including ASC 805 and ASC 350.

Additionally, he provides private investment banking services including leading merger and acquisition engagements, private placements of debt and equity, and general corporate finance consulting. Bill has provided investment banking services to clients operating in a broad range of industries including, but not limited to, software development, logistics, metal fabrication, communication equipment manufacturing, rubber and plastic fabrication and lighting.


Ashley Hawks
Forever Bride

Ashley Hawks served the wedding community for over 10 years as the CEO of Forever Bride, empowering small business owners through networking events, seminars, podcasts, styled shoots, & an interactive wedding expo called “The Forever Bride Market.” Forever Bride was acquired by David’s Bridal in 2022. Ashley is currently serving business leaders through peer groups & exclusive events as the Founder of SOAR.

Michael McHugh
Founder - Managing Partner
GMB Capital Partners

Mike is the founder of GMB Capital Partners which has invested over $1.5 billion in junior debt and equity in over 100 companies through six funds. Previous to GMB Mike worked at Churchill Capital, USBank and Norwest Bank (ons Wells Fargo). Mike graduated from the University of Nebraska. Mike is a member of the Board of Advisors for University of Nebraska Finance Department, the University of St Thomas Dougherty Family School and the University of St Thomas School of Law.


Conference Location

6200 Interlachen Blvd.
Minneapolis, MN 55436
Tel: 952.929.1661