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09 Mar

HBS Dealmakers Breakfast Series – March 9, 2017

8:00 am - 9:30 am
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Discuss the future of Investing in Education with one of the leading investors and pioneers in the Education Industry, Jonathan Grayer, HBS Class of 1990, Founder and CEO of Weld North LLC. a partnership with KKR, which acquires and builds educational technology companies.

Investing in Education Technology is set to reach $252 billion globally by 2020, according to a recent article in TechCrunch (“EdTech in the next FinTech”), which suggested “Edtech is poised to be the biggest and possibly most profitable digitalized sector yet.” Learn more about where the Education Market is heading and what are some of the most exciting new opportunities in EdTech in this intimate roundtable discussion with one of the industry’s most innovative leaders.

Speaker Biography:

Jonathan Grayer is the Founder and CEO of Weld North LLC, a partnership with KKR, which
acquires and builds educational technology companies that use digital curriculum and the analysis of student data to create the best learning tools for teachers and outcomes for students.

He is the former Chairman and CEO of Kaplan, Inc., a global education company. Upon completing his M.B.A., Jonathan joined Newsweek, a WPO company, where he was soon named marketing director. He joined Kaplan in 1991 as regional operations director, and held several titles before becoming President and CEO in 1994. Jonathan was named Chairman of Kaplan in 2002.

When Jonathan became CEO of Kaplan, the company was an $80 million test preparation business. Through a series of strategic acquisitions that brought Kaplan into the higher education and professional training markets, and by creating substantial organic growth in Kaplan’s traditional lines of business, Kaplan grew into a company that provides lifelong learning to students around the world. The company had more than $2.3 billion in revenue in 2008 when Jonathan left Kaplan.

Jonathan graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with an A.B. in History in 1986 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1990.  He now serves on the boards of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center where he is active in supporting Genomics research, the Partnership for New York City and its affiliate the Partnership Fund for New York City.  The Fund directly invests in economic development projects in all five boroughs of the city.  Jonathan also sits on the board of the Columbia Global Reports.  In September 2005, he was named by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education.

Moderator Biography:

Joanna Stone Herman is a Partner at DeSilva+Phillips, a leading boutique leading M&A advisory firm specializing in the education, media & technology industries.

Joanna has worked in the broader media and technology industry for over 20 years and has served in executive roles at Reed Elsevier, where she was SVP, Global Strategy for LexisNexis, Thomson Reuters, where she was EVP Business Development for Thomson Financial Corporate Group and VP Business Development for Thomson Learning, Joanna also worked at Dow Jones, Time Warner and Accenture’s Media & Entertainment Practice. Most recently, Joanna was co-Founder and CEO of Librify, the exclusive eBook provider for Target, which was sold to Scribd.

Joanna has served as an investor and advisor/board member of several tech start-ups including City Maps (sold to Trip Advisor in 2016), Thuzio, Axial Markets, and Matterhorn. Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsweek, People and The New York Daily News.

Joanna is on the Board of Harvard Business School Club of New York, the Business Advisory Council for ProPublica, a non-profit investigative journalism organization, Vice President of the Alumni Council for The Dalton School and Board Member for the Leadership Committee for Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Kids Cancer Walk. Joanna has a BS and Masters from MIT and MBA from Harvard Business School.

Introductions By:

warner_robin_026Robin Warner is a Managing Director at DeSilva+Phillips, a leading boutique leading M&A advisory firm specializing in the education, media & technology industries.

Robin has closed 45+ transactions focused on technology information services in education, edtech, book publishing and healthcare to companies that include Amazon, Pearson, McGraw-Hill, Wiley, Macmillan, Cengage Learning. Discovery, Holtzbrinck Publishers, Scribd, and The Riverside Company.

Robin is on the Software and Industry Association Innovation Committee and is a frequent speaker at Industry events.

U.S. Securities Industry Registrations: Series 7 and 63.

About The Dealmaker Breakfast Series:

Sponsored by the NYC-based investment bank, DeSilva+Phillips, the Dealmakers Series are events for the top dealmakers and operators in the Media, Advertising & Marketing, Information, Education, Technology and Healthcare Communications industries. They feature industry experts discussing the future of investing in the media and technology industries, specifically focusing on recent and imminent notable transactions, as well as emerging trends and opportunities in our space. The HBSCNY Monthly Dealmaker Breakfast Series is intended to be a smaller, more intimate event designed to bring together HBS Alumni and influential industry leaders for stimulating discussions, valuable networking opportunities and engaging Q&A.  The program is a question and answer session where the moderator asks 30 minutes of questions, and then the speaker and moderator take 30 minutes of questions from the roundtable audience.

Date: Thursday, March 9, 2017
Time: 8:00am – 9:30am
8:00 to 8:30am – Registration & Breakfast/Networking
8:30 to 9:30am – Discussion and Audience Q&A

Venue: The offices of DeSilva+Phillips
475 Park Ave. S FL22 (btw 32nd and 31st Streets), NYC 10016

$20/Members & Member guest (limit one)

Space is limited and spots will be filled on a first come first served basis (with preference given to HBSCNY members and their guests). Please register by March 8th. No refunds will be issued. This event will be recorded.

Organizers: Joanna Stone Herman ’97

Registration: Click Here to Visit the HBS of NYC Website

Jonathan Grayer

Weld North


Joanna Stone Herman



Robin Warner




Venue Name: D&P Offices
Address: 475 Park Avenue South, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10016 United States

+ Google Map
Phone: 212.686/9700
Website: dp.oaklins.com


Organizer Name: Joanna Stone Herman
Phone: 212.686.9700
Website: dp.oaklins.com