Our Speakers

Christian Blees, CPA, CM&AA

Chris began his career with a progressive CPA and Consulting firm, BiggsKofford located in Colorado Springs immediately after graduating with a degree in Accounting. Chris progressed quickly and made Partner at BiggsKofford after only 6 years with the Firm and later became the firm's President and CEO. Today, Chris plays a key role by directing several sectors of BiggsKofford's business including the Firm's Merger & Acquisition Practice.

As a result, the Firm has become a leader in this sector throughout the Western U.S., as demonstrated by the Firm's involvement in over 300 merger, acquisition, or sale transactions in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Chris' commitment to the acquisition and sale industry is personified by earning the Certified in Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, and by obtaining his Series-7 Securities License.

Mike Adhikari, MBA, MSEE, MSME, CBI, CM&AA

Mike Adhikari is the President and owner of Illinois Corporate Investments, Inc., a mid-market M&A Intermediary firm, handling transactions valued up to $100 million. Prior to his 15+ years in the deal business, he held a variety of operating and senior management positions with a Fortune 500 manufacturer of graphic arts equipment and supplies. He is the developer of Business ValueXpress, a one-of-a-kind business valuation software. His analytical business valuation work has been widely quoted, among other places, in the Wall Street Journal and in the US Congress. He teaches at the Kellogg Business School of Northwestern University. Mike is an investor in Acoust-A-Fiber.

Mr. Adhikari has an MBA from the Chicago Booth School of Business, an MS in Computers from Cleveland State University, an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Gujarat University.


Rick Marchese, CM&AA, CAIA, MBA

Rick is the founder of Lares Loreno Private Capital, a Singapore-based firm providing advisory and corporate finance services to small and medium-sized enterprises, family businesses and private equity investors. Rick is also a Director with Fortress Group, a US-based fund placement agent and oversees their fund placement operations in Asia.

He has over 20 years of experience, having completed nearly 60 transactions totaling over US$10 billion covering a broad base of global financing and M&A assignments. He has worked with a wide range of clients from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. Prior to establishing Lares Loreno, Rick was with Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenerette (acquired by Credit Suisse) in New York City and in Silicon Valley.

He is currently a member of the Singapore Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA). He graduated with an MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago – Booth and a BS in Economics from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis.