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Where Tradition Meets the Future®


Join members of Henderson Franklin’s Business & Tax team on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, at the Embassy Suites Hilton – Estero and learn more into the intricate world of mergers and acquisitions in Florida. Our panelists will share their extensive knowledge and practical experience, equipping attendees with the tools to make informed decisions and maximize opportunities in this arena.

Event Details

Date: November 7, 2023
Time: 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Location: Embassy Suites Hilton – Estero
Cost: $25 per person

Meet the Henderson Franklin Panelists

Erin Houck-Toll is a Florida Bar Board Certified Health and Tax attorney, a rare distinction with only three such attorneys in the state. She chairs the Health Care, Mergers & Acquisitions, Business Organizations & Planning, and Tax practice areas at Henderson Franklin. Erin’s expertise lies in federal and state taxation, including IRS and Florida Department of Revenue representation. She’s also skilled in business planning, health care law, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property. Erin assists nonprofits and tax-exempt organizations, aiding in their establishment and tax-exempt status. In the community, Erin is a long-time member of the Special Equestrians Board of Directors.

Matthew Brust is a corporate lawyer and handles all aspects of business formations, operations, taxation (both state and federal), with a strong focus on mergers and acquisitions. He also represents clients before the IRS and the Florida Department of Revenue. Additionally, he serves on the Board of Directors for the Lee County Bar Association Foundation and volunteers for the United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

Alessandro Secino is a dedicated real estate attorney and helps his clients by facilitating commercial and residential real estate transactions, commercial lease agreements, and commercial loan transactions. He also has an active practice in water rights, addressing issues such as riparian boundary disputes, dock leasing, and sovereign submerged land leases. Alessandro is active in the local community and serves as Secretary for the Southwest Florida Seminole Club and is President of Cape Coral Tarpon Hunters. He is also a member of the Real Estate Investment Society of Southwest Florida.

Meet our Guest Panelists from HBK CPAs & Consultants

Amy Dalen is a principal and chair of the Tax Advisory Group, and the Co-Director of the Nonprofit Solutions Group at HBK CPAs & Consultants in Naples. She specializes in estate, gift, trust, individual, and nonprofit taxation. She is skilled at researching complicated tax issues, consulting on complex estate plans, and providing guidance for our clients to ensure they are in compliance with their tax filing responsibilities. Amy is an active member of various professional associations, including the Collier County Bar Association, Collier County Women’s Bar Association, Estate Planning Council of Naples, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants (FICPA).

Jeff Bergamo, CPA is a Principal at HBK CPAs & Consultants in Sarasota, FL. He began his career at PwC in 2010, working in various offices including Tampa, Boston, and London. In 2021, he joined HBK. Jeff specializes in financial services and asset management, handling audit and transaction advisory services for a diverse range of clients, from small private businesses to large multinational financial firms. In addition to his client work, he’s involved in training program development, software project management, and serves on local chamber committees, including as the board treasurer for the Sarasota-Manatee Area Manufacturers Association.


2:30 p.m., Registration

3:00 p.m., A Strategic Approach to Mergers & Acquisitions

Moderated by Matthew Brust; Panelists: Erin Houck-Toll and Guest Panelists Jeff Bergamo and Amy Dalen

Gain insight into various transaction types, including mergers, divestitures, joint ventures, and strategic alliances. The panelists will explain the strategic reasoning behind M&A decisions and explore the complexities of due diligence, encompassing legal, financial, and operational aspects. Additionally, attendees will learn valuation techniques and deal structuring strategies while staying informed about crucial regulatory and compliance considerations.

3:30 p.m., Buying and Selling Companies: Legal and Financial Perspectives

Moderated by Erin Houck-Toll; Panelists: Jeff Bergamo, Matthew Brust, Alessandro Secino

Discover how to prepare for a company sale or purchase, including realistic market evaluation and identifying the right opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Our panelists will discuss the essential legal aspects, including the Letter of Intent, contracts, and the significance of intellectual property assets in M&A transactions. This session will also focus on real estate due diligence, addressing critical topics such as property title verification, lease agreements, and financing considerations. Finally, our panel will guide you through negotiating and structuring transactions, tax implications, and post-transaction strategies. 

4:15 p.m., Tax Implications and Strategies in M&A Transactions

Moderated by Erin Houck-Toll; Panelists: Matthew Brust and Amy Dalen

Take a deeper dive into federal and state tax laws and learn to identify tax risks and opportunities while exploring tax-efficient deal structures and strategies. Discover how to effectively manage tax compliance and reporting obligations. The session will be enriched with real-world insights and case studies, providing you with valuable tax planning best practices.

5:00 p.m., Happy Hour

Join us for an insightful afternoon where you’ll gain a deeper understanding of mergers and acquisitions, legal and financial considerations, and tax implications. Don’t miss this opportunity to enhance your expertise in the world of M&A.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Gail Lamarche, Henderson Franklin’s DIrector of Marketing and Business Development, at or by phone at 239-344-1186.

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