Choate Hall & Stewart LLP is hosting its 5th annual DSO Conference to bring together the leading investors in the dental industry, representatives from Dental Service Organizations, and founder-owned dental groups for a dynamic day of presentations, panel discussions, and networking sessions. Participants will hear the latest on private equity and merger and acquisition trends in the dental sector, regulatory developments, and how the dental/systemic health connection is redefining the structure of provider and insurer groups.
Choate is one of the most active law firms in the dental sector, with more than 20 years of experience in the industry, and offers the only conference that focuses on bringing together the investment community and the leading executives and founders of DSOs and group dental practices. Lee Feldman and Julia Hesse, Partners at Choate, will be speaking at the conference. The RSVP response to date exceeds previous years, so space is limited but the Firm is still welcoming additional attendees. Choate’s website contains additional information about this conference, which will take place November 15th at the Park Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
The exclusive one-day program features panelists and speakers including leading investors as well as operating executives within the DSO industry. The keynote speaker this year is Paul Murphy, a Partner in Sentinel Partners, a New York based private equity firm that has made a number of significant investments in the dental space. His presentation will focus on how the private equity community looks at the dental sector, what makes partnerships succeed, and the future outlook for the dental industry from an investor’s perspective.
An “M&A Trends” panel will be moderated by co-sponsor Houlihan Lokey, an investment bank that is one of the most active in the dental space. Participants include private equity investors from a range of different firms as well as operating executives from leading DSOs. Panelists will discuss M&A trends in the dental industry, focusing on the types of deals that are taking place, current transaction multiples, debt financing, and acquisition terms.
Two innovations for this year’s conference include a panel focusing on the trend toward integrating dental health with whole health, and a panel discussion focused on founder-owned practices.
The “Dental in Whole Health” panelists, with backgrounds ranging from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine and the Harvard School of Dental Medicine academics to leaders from insurer groups, will discuss how the industry has changed its focus to seeing dental health as part of the spectrum of whole health. It is becoming increasingly evident that oral health is not separate from overall health, and both insurers and providers are recognizing the role of dentists in identifying systemic health issues. As a result, more formal group practices are deliberately combining dental and medical practitioners in the same office space, or intentionally locating side by side for greater collaboration and integration of dental care into a broader whole health view. This panel will be moderated by conference co-sponsor Henry Schein Special Markets.
A third panel will explore “Founder-Owned Businesses and Deal Making.” This will appeal to founder-owned group practices beginning to look for investors, and it will provide investors with a window into the landscape of founder-owned groups in the dental space. The expert panelists will discuss the pros and cons of taking private equity investment and how they envision the future with and without outside investors.
In keeping with Choate’s overall goal for this year’s conference, there will be plenty of networking opportunities throughout the day to allow investors, operating executives, and dentists to connect with one another in the hope of learning and developing new or enhanced relationships.