On March 27, Bell Nunnally Partner Ray A. Balestri co-presented to students at Southern Methodist University’s (SMU) Cox School of Business on “Law of Financial Transactions for Entrepreneurs.” The program, part of the business school’s Edwin L. Cox Business Leadership Center (BLC) Executive Speaker Series, offered MBA students insights into: evaluating investment opportunities, including private assets; structuring deals; and understanding deal risks. Issues were explored through real-life examples from throughout Balestri’s career facilitating mergers and acquisitions, private securities offerings and private equity and venture capital investments for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. This is his 18th year serving as a Cox adjunct professor.
Through the BLC, Cox graduate students gain insight into various facets of business leadership. BLC executive speakers are “C-level” business leaders drawn from prominent national and international companies – including the Bank of Texas, The Container Store, The Richards Group and the Sewell Automotive Company – who come to the SMU campus to share their knowledge. Students consistently rate what they have learned from BLC executives as “extremely valuable,” and many say that the BLC was a major factor in their decision to attend Cox. An attendee of Balestri’s roundtable remarked in a post-event survey that the program provided, “great insight from a unique perspective.”
Balestri has extensive experience with mergers and acquisitions, private securities offerings, private equity and venture capital investments, complex software development and enterprise license agreements, and general corporate counseling. His regularly negotiates and drafts a wide variety of commercial arrangements, including partnership and LLC agreements; service, supply, vendor and customer contracts; and employment-related agreements and compensation plans. Balestri is a graduate of Harvard Law School (J.D., 1985) and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (B.S., summa cum laude, 1982). In 2017, he was featured in D Magazine as part of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” list and in Texas Monthly as part of the “Texas Super Lawyers” feature.