Michael Kaufman, JD

Michael Kaufman

Michael Kaufman, JD is a partner of Astor Group, a New York boutique M&A advisory and investment firm. He focuses on assisting companies primarily in the restaurant and retail sectors with strategy and transactions to raise capital or to buy or sell companies or assets. A nationally recognized industry leader, Michael led Metromedia Restaurant Group (a $1.4 billion chain restaurant company) for a dozen years, created and successfully exited a restaurant start-up, and innovated a restaurant brand for a luxury retailer. Michael also served as an investment banker with Kluge & Company and an M&A lawyer with Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison in New York. A visiting lecturer at Harvard Business School, Michael co-developed and teaches a second-year MBA course, “Challenges and Opportunities in the Restaurant Industry” the first course HBS has offered on the industry. He served as chairman of the board of the National Restaurant Association, and is currently a director of the Association, vice-chair of the Association’s Strategic Task Force, a trustee emeritus of the Association’s Educational Foundation and of the Culinary Institute of America, an executive advisor to Gryphon Investors (a San Francisco-based private equity firm), a director of Dessert Holdings LLC (a $300 million dessert manufacturer), a trustee of Northern Westchester Hospital. He also served on the boards of Benihana, Inc., Culinary Concepts by Jean-Georges, and the Chappaqua School Foundation (including as its president). The recipient of a number of industry awards, including the Golden Chain Award and the Cecil B. Day Ethics Award, and a recognized keynote speaker, Michael is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. (Chappaqua, NY)