About Us

The Booth Private Equity Group is one of the largest and most active professional groups at Booth.

The Private Equity Group works in conjunction with the school and the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship to provide students with the opportunity to test classroom ideas, gain practical knowledge about the PE industry, and experience investing firsthand. Private Equity programming at Booth includes the Oxford Chicago Global Private Equity Challenge, Booth PE Conference, The Sterling Partners Investment Thesis Challenge, and PEVC Lab.

The PE Group at Chicago Booth is very active within the student community, providing career development, networking opportunities, conferences on current topics in the industry, group activities, industry-leading speakers, industry-focused trips, and many other resources for our members.

John Banks

Co-Chair  |  Communications

John is a PEG co-chair with the primary responsibility for communications. Prior to Booth, John was a Senior Associate at Ninth Street Capital Partners, a lower middle-market healthcare private equity firm based in Cleveland. Prior to Ninth Street, John was a management consultant at Oliver Wyman’s Chicago office and a Corps Member for Teach for America. John received a BA in finance, accounting, and history from Judson University. John interned at Flexpoint Ford as part of the Booth Private Equity lab during the school year and stayed on through the summer.

Najib Jai

Co-Chair  | Private Equity Conference

Najib is one of two PEG co-chairs with primary responsibility for the Private Equity Conference. Najib is a dual MD/MBA candidate and prior to Booth, completed three years of medical school at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, Najib worked at BASF chemistry labs as a research chemist. Najib graduated from Duke University with a BA in Chemistry. As part of the Booth Private Equity Lab, Najib interned with Chicago Pacific Founders.

Matt Matosian

Co-Chair  |  Private Equity Conference

Matt is one of two PEG co-chairs with primary responsibility for the Private Equity Conference. Prior to Booth, Matt was a Senior Associate at Arbor Investments ("Arbor"), a middle-market food & beverage focused private equity firm based in Chicago. Prior to Arbor, Matt was an investment banking analyst at Wells Fargo Securities in their Chicago office covering industrials clients. Matt graduated from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, earning a B.B.A with concentrations in accounting and finance. As part of the Booth Private Equity Lab, Matt interned with PSP Partners.

Bryan Kim

Co-Chair  |  Programming & Career Services

Bryan is one of two PEG co-chairs with the primary responsibility for Programming and Career Services. Previously, Bryan served as an investment professional at Aurora Capital Partners, Los Angeles based private equity firm with +$3B AUM, where he executed buy-out and turnaround transactions in the U.S. and Europe across a variety of industries, including consumer, industrials, business services, transportation and logistics. Most recently, Bryan was an intern at PSP Partners (part of PE/VC lab), direct investing group of Penny Pritzker’s family office. Bryan graduated with a BA in Economics from University of California, San Diego.

Alex Wildes

Co-Chair | Programming & Career Services

Alex is one of two PEG co-chairs with primary responsibility for the Programming and Career Services. Prior to Booth, Alex was a senior associate at Parallel49 Equity ("P49"), a middle-market private equity firm based in the greater Chicago region. Prior to P49, Alex worked as a private credit investment analyst at Prudential Capital Group, where he worked with public and private clients based in Wisconsin and Michigan. Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a BBA in Finance, Investments and Banking. Through the Booth Private Equity Lab, Alex interned with Seven Hills Capital.

Michael Praljak

Co-Chair  |  SF Trek

Michael is a PEG co-chair with the primary responsibility for leading the SF Trek. Prior to Booth, Michael was an associate at Water Street Healthcare Partners, a middle-market healthcare private equity firm based in Chicago. Prior to Water Street, Michael was an investment banking analyst in the Global Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in New York City. Michael graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Finance. As part of the Booth Private Equity Lab, Michael interned with One Equity Partners.

Juliana Vargas

Co-Chair  |  NYC Trek

Juliana is a PEG co-chair with primary responsibility for leading the NYC Trek. Prior to Booth, Juliana spent four years as an investment professional at Grupo Pegasus, a Latin-American focused private equity and real estate investment firm with offices in Buenos Aires and Bogota. At Pegasus, Juliana focused on direct investments in the real estate, retail, hospitality, and technology sectors. Prior to Pegasus, Juliana worked for two years in a risk management consulting firm. Juliana studied a double major in Economics and Business Administration at Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. As part of Booth's Private Equity Lab, Juliana interned with Equity International.

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