M&A Diversity Forum
TOPIC: Diversity on Boards:
Examples of How Diversity Builds & Boosts Valuations
March 15, 2018 | 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Waterfront AB, Hyatt Regency San Francisco
With board of directors with varied talents, backgrounds, and perspectives, companies will better represent the interests of their many stakeholders, increase innovation, and thrive.
Moderator: Leigh Wasson, Senior Director, BNY Mellon Wealth Management
As a Wealth Director, Leigh Wasson collaborates with an extensive network of team members and external advisers to develop and implement comprehensive wealth management solutions for entrepreneurs, founders, philanthropists, business owners and executives.
Leigh frequently works with individuals and their advisers to prepare for the sale of a business or an exit. Leigh also specializes in working with individuals with assets in transition, such as from inheritance, retirement or divorce. Her experience includes advising individuals and families with international wealth planning needs and assisting in the administration of complex trusts. Leigh advises her clients on the topics of social impact investing, social entrepreneurship and charitable planning.
Panelist: Sonya Brown, General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners
Based in Palo Alto, Sonya Brown is a General Partner at NVP and co-heads the Growth Equity practice where she focuses on investing across a wide range of sectors including consumer, retail, internet, and business services.
Prior to joining NVP, Sonya was at Summit Partners, a private equity firm with over $11 billion under management, where she worked for nine years in the Boston office and was responsible for leading the firm’s Consumer and Internet Industry Group in North America. Sonya was engaged in all aspects of the deal process including deal sourcing, due diligence, deal negotiations and board representation. Her most recent and past board directorships and investments include Aramsco, Airborne Health, Central Security Group, Physicians Formula Holdings (NASDAQ: FACE), Snap Fitness and Sparta Systems.
Prior to joining Summit, Sonya was a founder and General Partner of iXL Ventures in 1999, where she oversaw the funding and growth of numerous technology and Internet companies. In addition, she was Vice President of Corporate Development for the parent company iXL Enterprises, Inc., one of the largest global web development companies at that time.
Sonya began her career in the investment banking division of Bear Stearns where she worked on numerous consumer and media transactions.
Sonya holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. In addition, she is a Chartered Financial Analyst.