Distinguished Speaker Series: Rocky Wirtz

Rocky Wirtz on Business, the Blackhawks and The Breakaway
Hosted by: Distinguished Speaker Series Advisory Group

Hockey teams will be making a playoff push in March with the NHL’s regular season ending April 4, 2020. In the midst of it all, Rocky Wirtz, president of Wirtz Corporation and chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, is joining us for the March Distinguished Speaker Series luncheon! Join us for a conversation with Dan Kastholm, CFA, chair of CFA Society Chicago, and Rocky Wirtz where they'll discuss business in Chicago and the Blackhawks.

While most know Wirtz as the owner of the Chicago Blackhawks, the truth is that his expertise and business interests are much wider. Wirtz Corporation has substantial interest in real estate, banking, media, distribution, and sports entertainment. Wirtz is one of the most connected individuals in the Chicago business community. The mayor recognized this, asking him to play a prominent role in her transition team. However, if one reads The Breakaway, they will see that the Wirtz family has played a prominent role in Chicago’s economic well-being for generations. Wirtz’s grandfather, Arthur, was a true Chicago industrialist and his father, Bill, carried on the legacy for many decades before passing it to the next generation. 

Many know the Chicago Blackhawks transformation from a loss-making franchise to one of the premiere hockey franchises during the past decade. However, The Breakaway shows that this is just a part of a continuous metamorphosis. The book chronicles the many changes that Wirtz family undertook over the decades such as how to deal and learn to adapt to radio, television, and internet. Today, globally integrated fanbases see teams being followed by hundreds of millions of fans across the globe. However, the same technology has given rise to esports that compete with traditional sports for fans. Sports entertainment has become an established sector of our economy with some reports placing the value of the sports industry at 3% of our GDP. While multibillion-dollar franchise valuations might be a newer development, the Wirtz family experience in the sports industry spans multiple generations and includes many adaptations to the industry’s changing landscape. 

Wirtz’s diverse business interests, family history, current responsibilities and success make him uniquely qualified when it comes to assessing challenges and opportunities of doing business in Chicago while also being able to talk about the challenges and opportunities facing sport investors and franchise owners today.

Members - $45 or FREE with function ticket 
Student Members - $20
Nonmembers - $65
Reserved VIP table - $450 (10 guests, company name on table, contact office directly, limited available) 
(member pricing underwritten by CFA Society Chicago)

Note: Copies of The Breakaway: The Untold Story of the Wirtz Family Business and The Chicago Blackhawks will be available for purchase at the event. Both Rocky Wirtz and Hall of Fame goalie Tony Esposito will be available immediately after the program to personalize your copy. Copies can be purchased onsite for $50 with ALL proceeds from the sale going to the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. If you would like to purchase a copy of the book onsite, please make sure to include your response during registration.

CFA Institute Qualified Activity: Eligible for 1 credit hour

Attire: Business Casual

Menu: Chef's Choice (vegetarian meal available upon request)

Registration: Online

11:30 am - 12:00 pm: Registration & Networking
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm: Program

*Please note distribution of presentation slides is at the discretion of the speaker and may not be available for this event

Speaker Bio:
W. Rockwell (Rocky) Wirtz was named president of Wirtz Corporation and chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks in October 2007, following the passing of his late father, William W. Wirtz. Today, Wirtz Corporation is one of the largest privately-held and family-owned companies in the United States. As president of Wirtz Corporation, Wirtz’s role extends to a vast array of businesses from sports and beverage distribution to entertainment, real estate, agriculture, insurance and banking.

As chairman of the Chicago Blackhawks, Wirtz is responsible for all aspects of the club’s operations. He was just two years old when his grandfather, Arthur Wirtz, purchased the Chicago Blackhawks in 1954. Wirtz grew up within the walls of the storied Chicago Stadium, and he oversaw the team’s historic Stanley Cup championship victories in 2010, 2013 and 2015. Wirtz is also the co-chairman of the Executive Committee of the United Center and is a member of the National Hockey League’s Executive and Audit Committees. 

Wirtz has led the family’s beverage business since 1980, and his strategic vision, commitment to investment and time-honored focus on running a value-driven business helped the company expand its footprint. In 2016, Wirtz drove efforts to form a partnership with The Charmer Sunbelt Group, creating Breakthru Beverage Group (BBG). Today, BBG employs more than 7,000 associates and has operations in 14 states across the U.S. and Canada. Recognizing his many contributions to the beverage industry, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America honored Wirtz with a Lifetime Leadership Award in 2014.

Wirtz Realty has developed properties in Illinois for decades, and the company owns and manages over 20 commercial and residential properties along Chicago’s lakefront and throughout the suburbs. Wirtz also oversees Wirtz Insurance, as well as banking interests at First Security Trust and Savings, based in Elmwood Park, Ill., and First National Bank of South Miami in Florida. 

Through it all, Wirtz continues to lead his family’s commitment to numerous civic and charitable organizations. His dedication to the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation is unwavering. Founded by his father and formerly known as Chicago Blackhawks Charities, the foundation has donated millions of dollars to dozens of organizations focused on youth programs, education, housing and health and wellness. When seeking a new practice rink for the Blackhawks, Wirtz went beyond creating a single-use home for the team and set out to build a $65-million community ice rink and practice facility. The facility offers numerous benefits to Chicago’s youth who may not have the opportunity or resources to learn the sport of hockey. Since its opening at the end of 2017, 6,000 CPS students have participated in programming at Fifth Third Arena – Chicago Blackhawks Community Rink. 

Wirtz is a member of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago and serves as a Trustee at The Field Museum of Natural History and Northwestern University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in communications in 1975. At Northwestern, he established the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Endowment for Visiting Artists. That program, named in honor of his grandmother, allows Northwestern’s School of Communication to invite nationally acclaimed performers to work directly with students and staff at the Theatre and Interpretation Center. In April 2014, the center was renamed the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts in recognition of the family’s financial gifts. In 2017, he endowed the W. Rockwell Wirtz Professorship in the School of Communication to attract top professors. 

Moderator Bio:

Daniel R. Kastholm, CFA,
is a managing director and Regional Group Head of Fitch Ratings’ Latin America corporate finance team. He is responsible for the management and all operating aspects of the group’s activities. Dan chairs Fitch’s Latin American corporate rating committees and directs the group’s credit ratings and research efforts.Prior to managing the Latin America corporate finance group, Kastholm was a group vice president in the global power group at Duff & Phelps Credit Rating (DCR), where he covered the global utility and energy sectors with specialization in the emerging markets. In the global power group, he was instrumental in the expansion of the firm’s Latin American utility and project finance business. He took over responsibility for the Latin American corporate finance business at DCR in 1999 and subsequently Fitch, following its merger in June 2000.

Kastholm has more than 25 years of experience as a financial analyst. He spent several years at LaSalle Business Credit, a subsidiary of ABN Amro, where he served as a vice president in the corporate finance area. His responsibilities included new business development and the evaluation and structuring of acquisition and leveraged finance transactions, primarily for mid-sized industrial companies. Before LaSalle, Kastholm worked at Security Pacific Business Credit as a senior credit analyst, where he was responsible for coordinating due diligence and underwriting activities for specific leveraged and acquisition finance transactions in the corporate finance area. Kastholm holds a BA and an MBA from the University of Illinois, Urbana–Champaign. He was awarded the professional designation of chartered financial analyst in 1992 and is an active member of CFA Society Chicago.

*Special Notes Regarding Fees:
Regular, Candidate, and Affiliate Members may apply function tickets as payment for Nonmember or Student Member. Credit card required to guarantee ALL reservations except for reservations using Function Tickets. Day-of-event registrations accepted on-site only if applicable and space available. There is a $5 surcharge for walk-ins. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club are accepted. Cancellations accepted until 5:00 pm, March 5, 2020.

Passport Program
Members of any CFA society may attend at the CFA Society Chicago member rate. Please call the CFA Society Chicago office at 312-251-1301 to register. If you are only a member of CFA Institute, you do not qualify for the Society member rate.

CFA Institute CE Qualified Activity
This program qualifies for credit under the guidelines for the CFA Institute Professional Development Program.

3/11/2020 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Palmer House HIlton 17 E. Monroes Street Chicago, IL 60603 UNITED STATES

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