Atlanta | How Does A Private Equity Firm Choose Independent Directors?

Thursday, February 13, 2020
05:30 PM - 07:30 PM EST
RSM’s Offices
1201 West Peachtree St NW, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30309



Private equity portfolio companies present the majority of the opportunities to sit on the board of a privately-owned company.  On Thursday, February 13th, we will hear experienced private equity investment professionals explain how private equity firms choose independent directors and hear from one director and one corporate secretary with experience in private equity board governance discuss how they were chosen and how to stand out when seeking these hard to secure board positions.





Ira Moreland
Partner, Managing Director
ICV Partners


Ira Moreland is a Partner and Managing Director with ICV Partners, a leveraged buyout firm with offices in NYC and Atlanta. Mr. Moreland manages the Atlanta Office and is responsible for all aspects of the deal origination, execution, value creation and investment realization process. Prior to joining ICV, Mr. Moreland was Managing Director and Group Head of the Financial Sponsors Group at a regional investment bank where he oversaw the firm's investment banking and leveraged finance efforts with private equity firms.

Earlier, Ira held the position of Managing Director at Banc of America Securities in the middle market investment banking group, providing capital raising and mergers and acquisitions advice to midsized companies. Before Banc of America Securities, he spent six years at Citigroup in the Financial Sponsors and Real Estate Finance Groups.

Mr. Moreland has served on the board of directors of several portfolio companies and currently serves on the board of Coverall Health-Based Cleaning Systems, Interventional Management Services (IMS), Universal Turbine Parts (UTP) and Outpatient Imaging Affiliates (OIA). Additionally, Ira maintains active involvement in several local non-profit organizations, including serving as a trustee for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Foundation, the Atlanta Beltline Partnership and the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church. Ira holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Morehouse College and a MBA from the University of Chicago.


Ben Emmons
Managing Director
Source Capital


Mr. Benjamin Emmons is a Managing Director at Source Capital and has been with the Firm since 2011.  Ben currently serves on the Source Capital Board of Directors for Displayit Holdings and M&M Refrigeration.  M. Emmons worked previously with Gladstone Companies, a business development company focused on making equity and debt investments in lower middle market companies; Sun Capital Partners, a distressed/turnaround buyout fund; and CIT, a specialty finance company focused on the middle market.  Ben received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Georgia Southern University.


Jim Douglass

Fulcrum Equity Partners

Mr. Douglass is a Partner of Fulcrum Equity Partners and brings more than 25 years of operations management, strategic development and financial experience with high-growth financial services, marketing services and healthcare companies.  Mr. Douglass was most recently CEO of Vesdia, a pioneer in loyalty and card-linked marketing for financial services, airline and hospitality companies, which merged with Cartera Commerce in January, 2011.  Previous to Vesdia, he served as CEO for Atlanta-based Visionary Systems, Inc. (VSI), a provider of decision systems for credit providers and retailers that was sold to Trans Union in 2004.

Prior to VSI, Mr. Douglass served as the Executive Vice President of Corporate Development and Chief Financial Officer with CheckFree Corporation.  While at CheckFree, he was part of the executive management team that grew the company to more than $500 million in revenue as the leading provider of electronic billing and payment services to financial institutions.  Prior to CheckFree, Mr. Douglass served as Vice President and Corporate Controller of Medaphis Corporation, a leading provider of medical billing and management software and services for physicians and hospitalsof medical billing and management software and services for physicians and hospitals.

Mr. Douglass began his career with KPMG in the Financial Services practice.  He currently serves on the boards of Digital Hands, Fattmerchant, Dropoff, SureFire Local, GoPivot and Synthio.  Mr. Douglass also served on the board of Gro Banking, a leading provider of digital banking software recently sold to Q2ebanking, FactorTrust, the leading provider of alternative credit data which was recently sold to TransUnion, and Paymentus a leading provider of cloud-based billing and payment solutions sold to Accel-KKR.  Jim also serves on the board of ACG (Association for Corporate Growth), Venture Atlanta,  and graduated with a BBA in Accounting from Georgia State University.


Paul Marcela
Governance Partners Group 

Paul Marcela is President of Governance Partners Group, a corporate governance services firm that specializes in providing external Corporate Secretary services to companies that seek support in attending to the corporate governance requirements of their Boards of Directors.  GPG focuses on providing governance services to private companies (including private equity portfolio companies and venture capital backed companies), small to mid-cap public companies and not-for-profit organizations that may not have sufficient internal resources to practice good governance in a robust manner.

Paul is the Vice President & Secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Private Directors Association.  He has also served the Society for Corporate Governance as Chair of the Society’s Private Companies Committee, as a member of the Society’s National Board of Directors and the Southeast Chapter Advisory Council and as President of the Detroit Chapter. 

Previously, Paul has been Vice President, Secretary & General Counsel of two Cerberus Capital Management private equity portfolio companies and Associate General Counsel & Assistant Secretary of Dow Corning Corporation. Paul earned a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University, a M.B.A. from Central Michigan University and a B.S. from Allegheny College.


Robbie Allen
Orthopedic Spine Center of Atlanta

Robbie got his start studying aerospace and chemical engineering at both Rensselaer and Georgia Tech.  He proceeded to study Clinical neuroscience and pursued board certification in Neurophysiology while founding a company that focused on outsourcing neuroscience needs of hospitals around the world.  After growing in excess of 20% per year organically for over 15 years, in 2012 he sold his company (called Neuromatrix) to Specialty Care Corp., a billion-dollar multispecialty conglomerate providing a range of clinical services related to the OR around the US and Europe.  He spent 4 years running the southern US operations for Specialty care and consulting to the board on M&A and business strategy before leaving to pursue a directorship in the telemedical space.  Following several years of private consulting around the world in telemedicine delivery and optimization of care models, He joined the Centers for Orthopedic and Spine Care (formerly Spine Center Atlanta) – a collection of surgery centers and clinics throughout the southeast that is actively expanding through domestic and international medical tourism as well as creatively delivering care to surgical patients via telemedical and on site methods – as the CEO and a member of the Board of Directors, both jobs he holds currently. 

Robbie has served on the boards of international adoption agencies, International Aid agencies, and several private corporations including, most recently, Sideqik – a leading influencer marketing and analytics company.  He is passionate about board development and retaining agility in director roles as well as diversity of attributes and thought.  Robbie has seven children and lives in the Greater Atlanta area where he enjoys the waters of Lake Lanier and the many greenspaces around his house that he uses for hiking and exploring.



Jason Fennessy
Transaction Advisory Services

Armed with more than 17 years of business experience that includes advising strategic and financial sellers and buyers on a range of transaction advisory service, Jason Fennessy now provides due diligence services to private equity investors, investment banking clients and corporations as co-leader of RSM’s sell-side practice. His practice focuses on buy-side and sell-side financial, operational, cyber & tax due diligence; normalized working capital; assessment of potential off-balance-sheet exposure; divestiture exit readiness; acquisition agreements; merger integration; post-deal integration assessments; and validation of synergies. Fennessy received a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting from Merrimack College, and a master’s degree in business administration from Northeastern University. He previously spent time in the assurance practice of a Big 4 firm.