The Executive Development Program for Private Companies

Coming Fall 2022

This program helps senior executives from privately-held companies prepare for what comes next for their company.

Private companies dominate the business landscape. They are resilient, entrepreneurial, and intimately understand their workforce’s talents and skills. Quite often, they not only drive and lead innovation—they amplify disruption. However, private businesses are not without challenges. 

Often, as a business moves to the next level of growth, founding members discover previously successful levers no longer maximize performance. Roles and responsibilities blur, and legacy cultures become fragmented—no longer supporting initiatives to build a more mature business. In addition, financial statements, valuations, and ownership structures all have unique challenges for private companies. Only one school—Chicago Booth—has designed an executive education program to help senior executives from private companies address these challenges. Ultimately, this program helps private companies accelerate performance through good governance and informative financial decision-making to make competitive, strategic decisions for their company. 

This program will benefit mid to senior-level executives from privately held companies such as family businesses, enterprises, employee-owned companies, and partnerships. Executives from portfolio companies backed by PE firms and those who serve on private company boards, councils, and advisory committees will also benefit from attending. 

Private companies from a wide variety of sizes and industries such as manufacturing, technology, retail, and healthcare will all find this program beneficial, especially those who are preparing for the stage of company growth. Those with titles such as General Manager, Managing Director, Vice President, C-Suite Executives, Board of Directors, Advisory Councils, and Presidents will find benefit. 

  • Explore critical global macro factors that fundamentally impact companies and how executives should think about these issues as they plan for what comes next
  • Assess your company’s culture readiness for new opportunities and tools to retain and attract talent—ultimately building good governance
  • Discover the unique role financial statements play in unlocking value for private companies and management’s role in producing transparent financial information
  • Explore what questions are raised for private companies as ESG reporting pressures increase globally
  • Examine exit strategies and ownership structures challenges and opportunities
  • Gain real-world examples of tax benefits in the sale of an entire private business
  • Gain the frameworks to analyze what your competition is doing, and explore innovative approaches to stay ahead of new threats

Michael Minnis

Professor of Accounting and Charles E. Merrill Faculty Scholar

Michael Minnis studies the role of accounting information in allocating investment efficiently by both managers and capital providers. His recent research focuses on understanding the role of privately held companies in the U.S. economy and how these firms use financial reporting to access, deploy, and manage capital. He particularly enjoys identifying unique data and methods to empirically examine issues in a novel way.

Effective January 2018, Minnis became a member of the Private Company Council, the primary advisory council to the Financial Accounting Standards Board on private company issues. In this role he helps FASB understand the effects of accounting standards on private companies and helps shape new standards as they relate to private companies. He has also been engaged in consulting projects, working with the investment bank Lincoln International to develop and launch the Lincoln Middle Market Index which tracks the value of private middle market companies.

Prior to pursuing his PhD, Minnis worked in a variety of professional roles. He first started in corporate finance at Eli Lilly and Company, Inc. and later at Fitzgerald | Isaac, p.c. as a certified public accountant. Building on his knowledge and experience, Minnis went on to found Controller Associates LLC. His firm provided part-time controller and Chief Financial Officer services to start-ups, small companies, and non-profit organizations, as well as a variety of financial statement analysis and consulting services. He sold the firm to Milestone Advisors in 2006.

“Having worked with and studied companies ranging in size from large multi-nationals to start-up ventures, I have seen the usefulness and the power of the information conveyed in financial statements. I want managers, investors, and students to be able to take full advantage of this information.”

Minnis received his PhD from the University of Michigan and his BS from the University of Illinois, where he graduated with Highest Honors.


Check back for fall 2022 and 2023 dates.