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Multiple:X Conference Chairs, May Thu Khine, MBA 2018 and Will Reising, MBA 2019

By Sheena Dave

LBS’s 14th annual Private Equity and Venture Capital Conference, Multiple:X takes place on 13 April. Life@LBS discuss the event with May Thu Khine, MBA 2018 and Will Reising, MBA 2019.

For those that don’t know, could you give a brief overview of this year’s Multiple:X and what it’s about?

We are hosting this year’s Multiple:X Conference at One Great George Street on Friday 13 April. The Multiple:X Conference is the flagship event hosted by the Private Equity and Venture Capital Club (PE/VC) and is run entirely by students. The PE/VC Club itself is 6,000-members strong today, and it is our 14th year of hosting the event. 

Every year, over 300 remarkable speakers, industry practitioners, alumni and students come together for a day of learning and networking. Some of our 18 confirmed speakers include Michael Whitman, Senior Managing Director & Head of Europe at Blackstone GSO; Cheryl Potter, Partner & Head of Consumer at Permira; and Lars Fjeldsoe-Nielsen, General Partner at Balderton Capital. This year, we have a new format, where attendees can buy either full-day tickets, or half-day PE only or VC only passes.

What can conference delegates expect?

We wanted to keep the topics broad, but also relevant and topical. We want students who are exploring PE/VC careers to be able to learn from highly-experienced industry professionals.  

We will be discussing PE in the morning session. This will include a mix of keynote speeches on private credit markets and greatest lessons learned over the course of a PE career, as well as panel discussions on executing deals in a crowded market and limited partner and general partner dynamics. We will end the morning sessions with Bradley Fried from the Bank of England discussing how the current macroeconomic and fiscal policy environment affects the PE industry. 

After lunch, we will be discussing VC topics, from comparing Silicon Valley to the European tech industry,to raising and investing capital to invest in various stages of a company’s development, to how VC firms work with their portfolio companies.  

What goes into planning an event like this?

Planning a conference with hundreds of attendees requires considerable time and commitment, yet it can also feel very rewarding!  We started assembling the team in October, and began brainstorming topics, speakers and sponsors immediately. We have dedicated teams of resourceful students across different programmes at London Business School. We have been putting a few hours every week into the conference, and are excited for the event.  The planning process has been a huge learning experience for us, and gives us an opportunity to practice some of the leadership skills we have been reading in class.

What’s the most challenging thing you’ve had to overcome so far?

With extracurricular activities like this, challenges can also be major learning opportunities. In our case, we realised how many different parallel work-streams are involved into planning a conference, and we learned to manage it over time. As the conference attracts senior professionals in the field, we have received many tips, and for us, incorporating feedback from a lot of different parties throughout the university has been a challenge, especially at the beginning.  

Which parts of the programme day are you personally looking forward to?

We are very excited about our lineup of speakers for both the PE and VC sessions, who have generously volunteered their time to talk about their experiences and share their vast industry knowledge with the attendees. We aimed to secure senior professionals covering diverse perspectives from the industry and are very happy with the cast of speakers.   

Additionally, we are looking forward to seeing how attendees respond to the new format of the conference - dividing up the PE and VC sessions and concentrating more closely on the content of the conference.

Find out more and buy tickets for Multiple:X