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  • 1. Customizedfor:Eric( The media’s watching Vault! Here’s a sampling of our coverage. “For those hoping to climb the ladder of success, [Vault’s] insights are priceless.” – Money magazine “The best place on the Web to prepare for a job search.” – Fortune “[Vault guides] make for excellent starting points for job hunters and should be purchased by academic libraries for their career sections [and] university career centers.” – Library Journal “The granddaddy of worker sites.” – U.S. News & World Report “A killer app.” – The New York Times One of Forbes’ 33 “Favorite Sites.” – Forbes “To get the unvarnished scoop, check out Vault.” – SmartMoney Magazine “Vault has a wealth of information about major employers and job searching strategies as well as comments from workers about their experiences at specific companies.” – The Washington Post “A key reference for those who want to know what it takes to get hired by a law firm and what to expect once they get there.” – New York Law Journal “Vault [provides] the skinny on working conditions at all kinds of companies from current and former employees.” – USA Today
  • 2. Customizedfor:Eric(
  • 4. Customizedfor:Eric( Copyright © 2009 by, Inc. All rights reserved. All information in this book is subject to change without notice. Vault makes no claims as to the accuracy and reliability of the information contained within and disclaims all warranties. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the express written permission of, Inc. Vault, the Vault logo, and “The Most Trusted Name in Career InformationTM ” are trademarks of, Inc. For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, contact, Inc., 75 Varick Street, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10013, (212) 366-4212. Library of Congress CIP Data is available. ISBN 13 : 978-1-58131-695-7 ISBN 10 : 1-58131-695-X Printed in the United States of America
  • 5. Customizedfor:Eric( Acknowledgments Vault’s acknowledgments: We are extremely grateful to Vault’s entire staff for all their help in the editorial, production and marketing processes. Vault also would like to acknowledge the support of our investors, clients, employees, family and friends. Thank you! v
  • 6. Customizedfor:Eric(
  • 7. Customizedfor:Eric( Table of Contents INTRODUCTION 1 THE SCOOP 3 Chapter One: The Middle Market Niche 5 The New Landscape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 The Downturn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 The Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Chapter Two: Deals and Dealmakers 9 M&A Big and Small . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 A Family Affair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Ramping Up, Here and Abroad . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 In Demand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Chapter Three: Research Below the Radar 15 The Niche . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 The Job . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Chapter Four: Middle Market Models 19 Boutique Shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 The New Crop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 More Flexibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Private Equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 GETTING HIRED 27 Chapter Five: Education and Internships 29 Educational Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 Internships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 vii
  • 8. Customizedfor:Eric( Chapter Six: Preparing for the Search 33 Cover Letter and Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Sample Cover Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Sample Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Headhunters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Chapter Seven: Acing the Interview 41 Studying Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 The Interview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 Sample Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Expertise Questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48 ON THE JOB 51 Chapter Eight: Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 53 The Jobs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .53 Lifestyle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56 Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Compensation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Uppers and Downers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59 Chapter Nine: Days in the Life 63 Analyst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63 Managing Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66 FINAL ANALYSIS 71 FIRM PROFILES 73 Allegiance Capital Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Alpha Omega Capital Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77 Baird . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79 BCC Capital Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83 Bengur Bryan & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .85 Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Table of Contents viii © 2009, Inc.
  • 9. Customizedfor:Eric( Boenning & Scattergood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .87 Breckenridge Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Brisbane Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91 Brookwood Associates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Brown Gibbons Lang & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 C.V. Lemmon & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 Caymus Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 Curtis Financial Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101 Dominion Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103 Edgeview Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105 Evercore Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107 FOCUS Enterprises . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112 Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116 Gemini Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119 Growth Capital Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121 GulfStar Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123 GW Equity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125 Harpeth Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127 Harris Williams & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129 Headwaters MB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131 Heritage Capital Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133 Herrera Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135 Hyde Park Capital Advisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137 Ironwood Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .139 Janes Capital Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .141 Jefferies & Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .143 JMP Securities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147 JPS Capital Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151 Keefe, Bruyette & Woods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153 KPMG . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .156 Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .160 Lazard Middle Market (Goldsmith Agio Helms) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .163 Leerink Swann . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165 Lighthouse Capital Advisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168 Lincoln International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170 McColl Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172 McGladrey Capital Markets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .174 Morgan Joseph & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178 Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Table of Contents ix Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 10. Customizedfor:Eric( Mosaic Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180 Newbury, Piret & Company, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .182 P&M Corporate Finance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184 Penn Capital Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .186 Piper Jaffray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188 Prairie Capital Advisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .192 Provident Healthcare Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194 Robertson & Foley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196 Shoreline Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .198 SPP Capital Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200 St. Charles Capital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203 The DAK Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .206 Trenwith Securities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .208 Triangle Capital Corp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210 Vercor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .212 Verdant Partners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .214 Watermark Advisors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216 William Blair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .218 APPENDIX 221 Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223 Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Table of Contents x © 2009, Inc.
  • 11. Customizedfor:Eric( Introduction The idea of a high-powered investment banker’s lifestyle has been shaped by Hollywood for decades, extolling a culture of corporate raiders with a "greed is good" mentality. Those hunting for a job on Wall Street imagine a future guiding Fortune 500 companies through dramatic multibillion-dollar hostile takeovers. And history has done little to shake that image—until now. Realigning Wall Street There has been a massive realignment in the U.S. banking system in the last year, one not seen since the Great Depression. Global financial turmoil due to the credit crisis and a massive dislocation of stock markets have caused the collapse of several storied investment houses. Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch were forced into emergency sales, while Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. Citigroup, the banking powerhouse cobbled together in 1999 as a financial supermarket, is now in the process of selling its Smith Barney division to Morgan Stanley as a way to stay alive. Together, three-fifths of the U.S. investment banking industry's biggest names virtually disappeared overnight—with only Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley remaining independent. That leaves a handful of small investment banks, including Lazard and Evercore Partners, to provide services like M&A advice to companies. The hundreds of smaller firms that specialize in middle market deals have gained prominence because they have run into less trouble during the downturn by avoiding betting on risky mortgage-backed securities that vanquished their larger peers. Meanwhile, the government plans to pump more than $700 billion into the beleaguered banking system in 2009 to shore up bank balance sheets. But with that plan comes restrictions. President Obama has placed drastic restrictions on how much banks that take taxpayer money can pay in bonus compensation for their top bankers. That means the end of Wall Street’s freewheeling days, and the beginning of an exodus. A growing number of veteran bankers are leaving major firms to escape having their compensation scrutinized. Many of them are heading to middle market and boutique investment banks, which are largely private firms that aren’t subject to such restrictions. And these well-known bankers are expected to lift the prospects for smaller firms as they compete against the Wall Street establishment. Growing in the middle From billionaire investor Carl Icahn's takeover of TWA in the 1980s to Exxon's $86 billion acquisition of rival Mobil two decades later, the lore of investment banking's greatest hits has become a cornerstone of business school textbooks. But what aspiring bankers might want to take into consideration is that there are more than 13 million companies operating in the United States, a broad swath of businesses spanning from the corner pet store to corporate titans like IBM and General Electric. Not every player in the merger and acquisition landscape fits into a neat category. A select number of deals done between members of the Standard & Poor's 500 index 1
  • 12. Customizedfor:Eric( or Dow Jones industrials are certainly plastered across the front pages of leading financial newspapers. But, for each of those transactions, there are thousands more that never capture the media's attention. The increase in the number of smaller deals, known in the financial world as the middle market, has grown significantly in the past few years. Investment bankers specializing in these kind of transactions say it is a sign of the times. Those family owned businesses whose leadership has been handed down from father to son are now finding the latest generation unwilling to take the reins. In other cases, midsized companies can't compete against bigger rivals who have a more global reach. They comprise the backbone of American entrepreneurship, those companies that cram into business parks along major highways from Indiana to California to New Jersey. And they are ready to make deals. Where the action is With all the talk about a global economic slowdown, the conventional wisdom holds that corporate buyouts would be sharply curtailed. But as organic growth stagnates, many companies turn to acquisitions as a way to expand. The buyout party certainly continued in 2008, with bankers perched in corner offices, securing more than $1 trillion worth of transactions. But that was a 27 percent decline from the same period the previous year, despite big global deals like Swiss drugmaker Novartis' record- setting $39 billion stake in ophthalmology specialist Alcon. Middle market activity showed an increase. There were 3,417 middle market deals completed last year, up from only 2,403 in 2007, according to data provider Dealogic, which tracks investment activity. And the first quarter of 2009 showed that middle market deals remained on track. There were 500 transactions announced, which is slightly higher than the year ago period. "The middle market is really where all the action is right now," Andrew Apfelberg, a corporate M&A attorney and partner at Rutter Hobbs & Davidoff, told U.S. News & World Report. The rise in these kinds of transactions comes during a very bleak period for the investment banking industry. Looking beyond the big guys Industry analysts believe it could be months or even years before the winners and losers of this latest cycle emerge. But, the smaller firms that handle middle market companies have certainly become more appealing destinations for top workers in the industry. And they also are becoming more popular among big and small companies alike, especially since many of their founders are headed by industry veterans. For example, the former Smith Barney chief executive, Robert Greenhill started Greenhill & Co. in 1996; Lehman Brothers banker Roger Altman runs Evercore; and ex-UBS investment bank head Kenneth Moelis runs Moelis & Co. So, those looking to launch their career as an investment banker might be wise to cast a wider net than the textbooks dictate. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Introduction 2 © 2009, Inc.
  • 13. Customizedfor:Eric( THE SCOOPVault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking The Middle Market Niche Deals and Dealmakers Research below the Radar Middle Market Models
  • 14. Customizedfor:Eric( 4 © 2009, Inc.
  • 15. Customizedfor:Eric( The Middle Market Niche The lure of Wall Street Most people looking to break into the world of high finance have long sought out jobs at some of Wall Street's most venerable investment banks. For generations, these firms have done everything from finance the nation's industrial revolution to ponying up the cash to launch the latest high-technology company. The big investment banks handle a variety of tasks for corporate America. Chief among their roles has been to buy and sell companies, but that's not where it ends. Companies also turn to investment banks to raise capital, either through massive loans, bond offerings, or even going public on a major stock exchange. They are the counselor to every member of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, and the privately held companies that form the backbone of American business. Everyone's heard of Wall Street's biggest investment banking names like Goldman Sachs or Morgan Stanley. And, a massive consolidation craze in the late-1990s forced some key firms into the arms of even bigger retail banks, such as Smith Barney having been folded into Citigroup. But, there has never been more change in the industry than what occurred in 2008 -- a year that will be remembered as the start of the biggest financial crisis to hit the world since the Great Depression. America's biggest investment banks took some huge gambles in the securities market, and lost. This caused the oldest and most revered names to vanish almost overnight. Lehman Brothers, a securities firm that got its start in 1844 as a dry goods store in Montgomery, Alabama, filed for Chapter 11, which instantly became the biggest bankruptcy in the nation's history. Bear Stearns was sold at a fire-sale price to retail banking giant JPMorgan Chase & Co. And, Merrill Lynch & Co.—the world's biggest brokerage—agreed to sell itself to Bank of America to avoid a collapse. THE NEW LANDSCAPE These names are what the industry calls the "bulge bracket firms." But, the biggest changes on Wall Street since the 1930s have left it with a stark new landscape. While thousands of investment bankers have found themselves working for a new firm or looking for work, there's an important niche in the investment banking world that continues to thrive. Enter the middle market, those smaller firms are scattered across the country and do everything their bigger rivals can—just on a smaller scale. Middle market firms like Keefe Bruyette & Woods in New York, Oppenheimer in Toronto, Canada, and Thomas Weisel Partners in San Francisco are all smaller-sized securities firms that are making some big money, despite the deepening malaise. Thomas Weisel, who started his firm in 1998 after a previous middle market investment bank he launched was bought by Bank of America, sees opportunity amid the industry's chaos. And his company has steadily been hiring throughout the downturn. "With the demise of several large Wall Street firms and the redirection of [the] business models of others, opportunities in investment banking have never been 5 Chapter 1
  • 16. Customizedfor:Eric( greater," he told analysts recently. "On the brokerage side, based on U.S. trading, we estimate that the average middle market firm could see brokerage revenue grow incrementally by up to 20 percent. This presents opportunities to gain market share in both investment banking and brokerage, and we expect to capture these opportunities." Weisel’s firm and other middle market players offer pretty much what the giant Wall Street firms do. On the investment banking side, they offer advice to midsized companies looking to buy a rival or sell out. They’ll offer the companies they advise services like raising capital, either through underwriting loans or issuing debt. And some of their clients might even be on the path to going public on a regional or major stock exchange. There are middle market firms that often invest in their clients’ businesses in the hopes of cashing out at a premium down the road. And full-service middle market investment banks even act as research houses and offer stock advice on small publicly traded companies that aren’t on the radar of bigger competitors. THE DOWNTURN Major Wall Street firms tend to have their best quarters during the big growth spurts in the U.S. economy. That’s when their army of bankers, who negotiate deals and lead big capital-raising campaigns, collect those eye-popping paychecks. But when the economy cools off, so do the deals. Lenders in the past year have grown wary of approving transactions on concerns these companies might go belly up and not be able to pay them back. But, middle market deals—which typically range from $500 million to $1 billion—have kept rolling along. These deals aren't going to be bragged about on television stations like Fox Business or CNBC, nor will they make the front pages of The Wall Street Journal or the Financial Times. The stock market's record Bull Run pushed corporate valuations to sky-high levels by the time 2007 rolled around, making merger and acquisition deals much more expensive to complete. But, the financial crisis has, in a sense, let the air out of the market and brought prices back down to earth. That's opened up opportunities for middle market deals, which some believe remains fairly insulated from economic ups and downs. With valuations returning to normal, midsized public and private companies are a bit more willing to put themselves out there. "Despite what's going on with the market and the economy, a lot of the businesses that we look at are still very good businesses. There will be opportunities, certainly, in a distressed world, and recessions don't last forever," said Sean Traynor, a partner at private equity firm Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe in New York, speaking at a conference at the Wharton School of Business. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking The Middle Market Niche 6 © 2009, Inc.
  • 17. Customizedfor:Eric( Holding steady According to Dealogic, megadeals slowed nearly to a stop in 2008. Deals in the middle market continued, though at a slower pace. Separate surveys from Ernst & Young and Thomson Reuters found the same pattern. While overall volume remained down, middle market deals continue to be relatively strong in relation to the broader market downturn. THE DIFFERENCES The world's biggest investment banks have suffered losses so steep that they are balking at making loans or backing M&A deals. And, those blockbuster M&A agreements that once stunned the financial world because of the prices paid are falling apart. The biggest example in 2008 was the collapse of mining behemoth BHP Billiton's $188 billion acquisition of rival Rio Tinto. That added to a startling statistic during the fourth quarter of the year that the value of busted mergers during the period was nearly equal to the value of the deals that went through. According to Thomson Reuters’ data, there have been $322 billion of withdrawn M&A deals in the fourth quarter of 2008 as the credit crisis worsened, compared with $362 billion of announced deals. For every 100 mergers or acquisitions announced in the fourth quarter, seven were called off. That means the big investment banks on these deals will lose out on the coveted merger fees that once propelled their earnings. But, the dead deals might also give bankers some piece of mind these days. A combination like BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto would have meant the 16 or so banks involved would have had to underwrite tens of billions of dollars of loans for which there are few buyers as credit has dried up on Wall Street. Regional advantage Middle market transactions don't really have this problem. While the firms in this industry still collect the same high fees for advising on a deal, they often obtain financing through regional and community banks that haven't racked up the kind of massive losses that the nation's biggest financial institutions have during the crisis. These smaller banks, in many cases, are still willing to lend, though, they are doing so with a much more cautious tone. These deals are also being struck for entirely different reasons than those megadeals that are falling apart these days. All in the family Acquisitions are most often sought out for economic reasons. As an example, Bell Canada has been struggling financially and finally agreed to be acquired by a number of private equity firms for about $42 billion. That deal is among those that likely won't go through because it is so difficult for the acquirers to raise the financing for it. On the contrary, middle market companies tend to be quite solvent and are being put on Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking The Middle Market Niche 7 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 18. Customizedfor:Eric( the auction block for other considerations. In many cases, these are family owned businesses that choose to sell for reasons such as succession or estate planning. We are the world Another big push for midsized companies has been globalization. Smaller companies have felt the need to grow overseas to compete with bigger rivals, and that's kept investment banks with a middle market bent quite busy. Booming economies like China and India represent opportunities for American companies. These countries might be perceived as only exporting goods and services to the more developed world, but they also need equipment and expertise. That's where partners in the U.S. come in. Even midsized U.S. manufacturers, so frequently written off as dinosaurs, can continue to compete by teaming up with partners from abroad. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking The Middle Market Niche 8 © 2009, Inc.
  • 19. Customizedfor:Eric( Deals and Dealmakers M&A BIG AND SMALL The main role for middle market firms around the country is to serve the needs of businesses looking for merger and acquisition advice. They put buyers and sellers together, helping companies grow geographically or just unload a business entirely. In some cases, middle market firms will even invest their own money into an acquisition in the hopes of cashing out at a bigger profit later. In a sense, these firms act similar to the large private equity companies that have dominated M&A for the past three years. Private equity shops tend to buy a company, own it for about five years, and then cash in with a splashy initial public offering later down the line. Most of the companies middle market firms invest in tend to be too small to garner any attention in a public flotation, so bankers will instead try to sell them to other companies once valuations climb higher. There are a number of reasons why the chief executive of a midsized firm might want to get a deal done. The main motivation has always been growth, a way companies can expand both product lines and geographic footprint. The past few years have seen the emergence of other factors, such as tax reasons, accounting standards, social reasons, structural issues and the need to raise more capital to keep the business going. Turning to a middle market firm might be not just the best solution for companies looking to for some M&A advice, but in many cases their only solution. The big Wall Street investment banks, while they have field offices around the world, might not have the same specializations on Main Street as their smaller brethren. Middle market firms often specialize in specific regions of the country, industries or types of deals. They also provide a level of attention and detail that the big investment banks cannot offer to midsized companies. That, in itself, is the biggest reason why middle market firms are thriving despite the intense competition in the investment banking industry. A FAMILY AFFAIR Interviews with the heads of middle market investment banks have turned up one main reason why midsized companies are looking to do deals. Many midsized companies these days are family owned operations that might be reluctant to seek out investment advice from an investment bank thousands of miles away. Take a look in any town in the United States and you’re bound to find businesses that have been handed down from one generation to the next. They might be auto parts makers in Ohio or Michigan that feed products to Detroit’s big automakers. They could be oil services companies in Texas and along the Gulf Coast states. They are agricultural- based companies in America’s farm belt. These companies exist in every city, county and state that once dominated the nation’s backbone during a time when industrial companies ruled the business landscape. And, as the U.S. began to shift to a more services-oriented business culture, these companies began to diminish. Today, only 9 Chapter 2
  • 20. Customizedfor:Eric( the strong survive. And, the owners are finding that they need help if they want to stay in operation. These companies turn to middle market investment banks to make a sale. “As middle market interest grows, private equity and strategic buyers will do well to focus their sights on what makes these deals unique if they want to increase their success in bidding for and completing them,” said Mitchell S. Ames, an M&A partner in the New York office of law firm Pepper Hamilton LLP. “It’s important to match the financial expertise of the investor with the operating expertise of the owner- operator with sensitivity, whether it involves the introduction of a new finance officer, the addition of debt to the target’s balance sheet or the creation of incentive-based compensation plans where there were none.” The need for “sensitivity” comes into play because many of these companies are used to wheeling-and-dealing on their own. Here’s a typical case study: Bill Kirk, president and CEO of Virginia-based Associated Asphalt, wanted to raise some capital by attracting a private equity investor. The company has been in existence since 1948, and is one of the biggest asphalt suppliers in the Southeast. But, when it came time to infuse the company with new capital, Kirk was uneasy. “I was initially reluctant to hire an investment bank because I had been approached by various strategic purchasers. I felt that I knew what the value of our company was in the marketplace,” he said. He turned to middle market firm ICG Capital Partners in Charlotte, North Carolina, for a recapitalization. The firm quickly found a match with private equity firm Thayer Hidden Creek Capital Investors in a multimillion-dollar deal. Increasingly sophisticated Making an acquisition a decade ago might have been as simple as having an attorney draw up papers, and sitting down with a loan officer at a local bank to put the financing together. But, today’s midsized company faces furious demands and a whole new level of competition. The deals have also become much more sophisticated. That local factory that needed to expand might have simply bought a competitor a few counties away to take care of growing capacity needs. Now, it might be looking to cement a deal in not only different states, but abroad. Those looking for a job that entails scouting out businesses and putting deals together for a middle market firm might want to make sure their passports are up to date. There’s a growing indication that the next wave of investment banking deals might be coming from overseas, where local currencies dwarf the U.S. dollar and make American companies look cheap. Meanwhile, the tightening of the credit markets, and the resulting sharp decline in highly leveraged megadeals, has shifted much of the M&A activity toward smaller, easier-to-finance deals. RAMPING UP, HERE AND ABROAD Leland J. Lewis, a managing partner at Greenwich, Conn.-based Key Principal Partners, expects the boom in middle market deals will only ramp up in the coming years. He also agrees, with firsthand knowledge that the trend for overseas Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Deals and Dealmakers 10 © 2009, Inc.
  • 21. Customizedfor:Eric( transactions will only pick up speed in the years and months ahead. Going out on the road and meeting with many owners, Lewis said he expects this will be a growing part of the business. “Manufacturing companies in particular have been feeling pressure from their customers to be global. Many older owners are intimidated by the idea of trying to implement such a strategy, and this may be the tipping point for them to decide to sell the company. Sometimes they may have kids in the business but they still sell because they don’t want to put this burden on their kids either and think that cash today may be a better thing to pass on. “ Pennsylvania to China The vast majority of M&A transactions that Lewis puts together are still domestic. But there was one recent deal that not only might represent the future for middle market investment banking, but sounds almost like the screenplay of a Hollywood movie. His firm held a controlling interest in a small company located in Ridgeway, Pennsylvania, that made metal components used in small engines such as lawnmowers or transmissions. Ridgeway is a small, somewhat isolated town with about 4,000 residents located in the Northwest part of the state. It’s a part of the country in which you wouldn’t exactly expect a company to be thinking globally. But, that’s exactly what this metals components maker did when the owners wanted to start up a plant—7,200 miles away in Yizheng, China. The company scouted out plants in the Chinese city to help grow its business, install its technology and train workers there how to use it. That created quite a culture clash, Lewis said, when it came time to dispatch workers from Ridgeway clear across the world to meet their new colleagues from the East: “Two of the folks sent over there not only did not have passports prior to the trip, but actually had never flown before. One of the workers was a mountain of a man with a tattoo, beard and a penchant for wearing cutoff sleeve sweatshirts and black construction boots. He requested the assignment. It was pretty entertaining watching him interacting in Yizheng, China.” In 2008, there were 2,398 announced China M&A deals involving middle market companies, an 11.8 percent increased compared to a year earlier, according to a study by investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co. Dollar volume in 2008 totaled $117.5 billion, up 42.3 percent from the prior-year period. That shows the intensity of transactions in China, especially with a backdrop of declining deals throughout the rest of the world. On the domestic front Domestically, companies are also faced with a number of regulatory, accounting and governmental issues that might spur them into selling or buying a company. Financial advisory firm PricewaterhouseCoopers’ transaction services group issued a report in 2008 outlining a number of factors that may drive a further increase in middle market deals—and possibly all deals—in the months ahead. Among them: Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Deals and Dealmakers 11 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 22. Customizedfor:Eric( • The possible increase in the capital gains tax under President Barack bama, a move that will end the breaks that business owners have received in deciding to cash out. More importantly, if passed by Congress, hiking capital gains could prompt private equity firms to sell off some of their holdings and might even discourage some midsized business owners from selling their businesses. A large part of private equity earnings come from carried interest, in which a fund's manager claims a percentage of the total profits earned of the fund when an investment is sold. Management fees are taxed as high as 35 percent, the carried interest is regarded as capital gains in the U.S. tax code. Instead of the average capital gains tax of 15 percent, private equity fund managers could see their carried interest taxed up to 35 percent. The opposition to the current tax treatment argues that managing a fund is a service and should be taxed in the same way as other service providers like, say, teachers or mechanics. • There’s also a host of new accounting rules that went into effect in 2009 that has left the M&A community spinning. Midsized companies will turn increasingly to investment banks to gain expertise in how to pursue acquisitions while navigating through a number of new rules, known in the industry as Financial Accounting Standards. Among them is FAS 141R, a rule on business combinations that requires more up-front reporting about the nature of business deals, and the fair value of the assets and liabilities that are changing hands. Business owners also must grapple with FAS 157, which goes over the dos and don’ts of measuring how the fair value of a company is calculated. • The U.S. Treasury Department’s $700 billion bailout of the nation’s banking industry allows financial institutions to tap the fund with the requirement that the new capital be used for lending. With the extraordinary turmoil that has been experienced in the nation’s capital markets and in the investment banking sector, commercial banks have become more important than ever to the U.S. economy. Since middle market deals rarely depend on using the bond or stock markets to raise money for an acquisition, that’s put even more significance on bank lending. Midsized companies rely on commercial banks of all sizes to extend loans as a way to finance deals, and that slowed in 2008 due to the credit crunch. The early stages of the government’s TARP program has indicated banks are still hesitant to loan out money, even after obtaining capital from the government. This must change if middle market deals are to flourish, and there are some indications that bank chiefs realize this. “As a strong regional bank with a major focus on financing small and middle market businesses, we are pleased to have this additional capital to better serve the lending needs of customers throughout the Western United States,” said Zions Bancorp Chairman and CEO Harris Simmons after his company received $1.4 billion under the government program late last year. “We expect to deploy this new capital in the form of prudent lending in the markets we serve.” Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Deals and Dealmakers 12 © 2009, Inc.
  • 23. Customizedfor:Eric( IN DEMAND There was a time when those looking to join the investment banking field’s ranks would have settled for nothing less than a top-notch Wall Street firm. All that changed with the great tumult of 2008, and instead recruiters are placing candidates at boutique and middle market investment firms that offer more job stability. The deals you’ll work on will certainly be smaller in size, but the experience is similar in nature to what you’d find at the bigger firms that carry more cachet in the investment banking world. Many first-time bankers are being advised to ride out the bear market at middle market firms, where they can build an impressive resume with the ultimate goal of landing that perfect job on Wall Street. Peter Kies, head of the investment bank recruiting committee at Baird told The Wall Street Journal that there has been a 50 percent increase in interest from MBA graduates over 2008. He said the firm is appealing to students on a national level rather than just at business schools from the Midwest and East Coast. "We're sort of like kids in a candy store right now in terms of tracking high-quality folks," he told the newspaper. That also means that middle market firms can be much more discerning about who they bring on board. Big Wall Street banks, during the high-rolling bull market days, would hire a thousand new recruits a year from America’s business schools. Their collapse has certainly left a big void in the industry. But the good news is that there are hundreds of middle market investment banks around the country, with the number of employees varying from a few dozen to hundreds. These firms are hiring as more attention trends toward middle market deals, the CEOs of these firms told Vault. The kind of jobs out there vary, but still closely mirror the functions that you’d find at a premier name like Goldman Sachs. Here are some career paths in the middle market niche: • Mergers and acquisitions The bread-and-butter of any middle market firm, those working in this area advise clients, value transactions and hammer out deals. Your duties could involve analyzing deals. So, expect to begin running lots of valuation models on spreadsheets and gradually get more client focus as you progress. You might also be asked to recommend to the management team whether or not they should participate in a deal the firm is working on. Many middle market firms take investments in the companies they advise, an area known in the business as merchant banking. • Advisory One subset of an investment bank’s M&A business is the advisory services business. Positions on this team might provide areas like risk management to clients. Other times, analysts on the team will be asked to determine a client’s value, options for creating value or tracking conditions in the client’s industry. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Deals and Dealmakers 13 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 24. Customizedfor:Eric( • Corporate finance Positions in this group work to help companies raise the capital they need, whether it be to finance new projects or operations. They look to identify the amount and structure of the funds needed for the client, and that could take the form of loans, equity investments or securing more sophisticated forms of debt like bridge financings. Starting analysts in corporate finance work might be asked to prepare the necessary paperwork for the capital financing, and even be asked to attend the “road shows” used to pitch investors. • Trading Some of the biggest middle market firms might just be a notch down in size from the big Wall Street banks, and could be involved in businesses such as sales and trading. After the investment banking side lands a deal that involves underwriting equities or bonds that finance the transaction, their traders are asked to sell them. Trading is one of the toughest jobs on Wall Street where one must have a thorough knowledge of the markets, financial instruments and an almost sixth sense about how to buy and sell. The bottom line is that any job on a trading desk demands the ability to convince other traders why they should purchase your stock. • Institutional sales Some of the bigger middle market outfits that deal with small publicly traded companies might also have an institutional sales business. Those hired for these jobs would be responsible for pitching securities to institutional investors, like portfolio managers at mutual funds or pension funds. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Deals and Dealmakers 14 © 2009, Inc.
  • 25. Customizedfor:Eric( Research Below the Radar The history of stock advice For as long as stocks have traded on an exchange, investors have relied on the advice of others to tell them what to buy and what to sell. The roots of The Wall Street Journal, America’s leading publication covering all things business, stretch back to 1882 under the masthead Customers’ Afternoon Letter. That publication helped investors obtain investment advice in the days when the New York Stock Exchange first set up shop at the corner of Wall Street and Broad Street in lower Manhattan. A few years later, reporters Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser converted the letter into its current incarnation. They also added as a regular feature the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the first of several indexes that tracks the biggest U.S. companies. For more than a century, investors have been relying on anything written about stocks to guide them in their investment decisions. In the Internet Age, finding this kind of stock advice is just a click away. Investors with online brokerage accounts can tap into resources from the biggest U.S. investment banks just as easily as a wealthy investor leaning on the knowledge of his high-profile broker. While the face of investment banking might be changing radically around the world, the one constant will continue to be solid investment advice. Driving the business This has been one of the most lucrative businesses for Wall Street’s elite banks. Stock analysts, some making millions of dollars a year, are paid to pore over the balance sheets of major companies and find out what is really driving revenue. They earn a living trying to discover which companies might become the next Enron, shifting around assets to hide the fact they are losing money. They try to identify the next big company to become the darling of Wall Street, like a Google or an Apple. Most of the big research houses track America’s biggest companies, those that fall under the Dow’s 30 members or the Standard & Poor’s 500. But, that begs the question: What about the other 10,000 companies that list some form of security on American stock exchanges? Listing shares Many U.S. companies don’t even trade on a major exchange, instead listing their shares elsewhere. Until acquired by the New York Stock Exchange in 2008, the once mighty American Stock Exchange was home to about 600 public companies. Hundreds of others, labeled as “small-cap,” traded on regional exchanges in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Miami and dozens of long-defunct ones in cities like New Orleans and Los Angeles. Then there are those tiny companies that don’t even trade on an exchange, and instead rely on electronic quotation systems that display real-time quotes and information for many “over-the-counter” (or OTC) securities. For instance, the “Pink Sheets” is an alternative exchange that got its start in 1913. 15 Chapter 3
  • 26. Customizedfor:Eric( Pink OTC Markets to this day facilitates the exchange of securities electronically between brokers for securities that don’t trade on any brick-and-mortar exchange. Research matters There is a reason why major investment banks and brokerages don’t push their research departments to cover midsized, publicly traded companies. It is all about demand. When putting merger and acquisition deals together, investment banks typically cater to larger companies that can afford high-priced fees. They collect more money advising a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average rather than a smaller company grouped into smaller indexes. So, when it comes to providing research to clients, the big investment banks usually stick to companies that they might do business with. And, with a limited number of analysts, these firms also want to cover the most actively traded stocks. Their retail brokerage customers will most likely want to buy shares of a big conglomerate like General Electric rather than a small up-and-coming company that isn’t widely known. But, that doesn’t mean covering midsized companies is not a lucrative field. In fact, it is very much in demand. Middle market investment banks have research departments specializing in companies that aren’t covered by their bigger rivals. From covering small retail chains to upstart biotechnology firms, the middle market investment banks have carved out a very important niche. Stock pickers are coveted throughout the entire financial industry, but even more so for those companies that fly under the radar. And they are winning accolades for it, one example being Piper Jaffray, a Minneapolis-based middle market investment bank and securities firm that was recently given top honors in The Wall Street Journal’s 2008 Best on the Street analysts survey. A number of its analysts were recognized with awards, resulting in a 14th place ranking overall in 2008. The newspaper chose 220 award winners in 45 industry groups from more than 1,700 eligible analysts. Joel Denney, head of investment research at Piper Jaffray, said the awards were “a great example of how our investment research team is fully dedicated to continually providing clients with proprietary and unique research, as well as high-quality stock analysis across various industries.” THE NICHE Providing that high-quality analysis of midsized public companies is a hot commodity on Wall Street these days. Not only are middle market firms hiring analysts, but there are a number of privately run trading operations, such as hedge funds or private equity firms, willing to pay top dollar for analysts that can focus on smaller companies. This means that big investment houses like Morgan Stanley or JPMorgan or Citigroup’s Smith Barney aren’t the only places to send your resume. There are dozens of middle market firms – like Piper Jaffray – that are on the hunt for analysts Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Research Below the Radar 16 © 2009, Inc.
  • 27. Customizedfor:Eric( who can break down a Dow component as well as a member of the broader Wilshire 2000 index of smaller companies. The small-cap universe Investors are constantly in search of good stock picks for smaller companies. In fact, indexes like the Wilshire 2000 are often the first group of stocks to move higher when a bear market begins to wane. While these stocks might be a bit more volatile, they often provide bigger gains for investors. That’s why a simple search of the internet will turn up hundreds of different websites catering to investors who crave information about small-cap stocks that are ready to take off. Reading some of these sites might be a good way to familiarize yourself with what the industry calls the “small-cap universe.” or are two places to start. You’ll quickly see why analysts covering these companies are in high demand. To become a securities analyst at a middle market shop, you have to gain specific knowledge about an industry or a region. This means not just the large companies, or “big-cap” stocks, that are covered by the major research firms. Instead, middle market investment banks tend to specialize in small-caps. But, don’t let the labels fool you. The growth of stock valuations over the years, despite the recent bear market, has elevated small-cap stocks into some pretty big companies. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the price of a stock by the number of shares outstanding. This represents the market’s value of a stock, without taking into account assets, how much cash the company might have or the value of any publicly traded bonds. And, these days, small-caps carry the same kind of value that the big S&P 500 companies did just a few decades ago. Big-cap vs. small-cap The definition of big-cap and small-cap might differ between various investment banks, though the differences are mostly minor. Big-cap generally refers to major companies like General Electric or IBM, which are also called “blue chip” stocks in market lingo. They are considered to carry less risk during market downturns, but also have the least upside potential during a bull market. However, these represent a minority of publicly traded stocks. Small-cap stocks are generally considered to be more risky because of their size, but offer the most upside potential. They also attract a distinct group of investors. While many people hold blue chips for years, those sinking money into small-caps are often considered momentum investors. They pick stocks of companies whose earnings are growing rapidly, and whose stock-price charts indicate strong upward momentum. These investors rely on good research to find stocks where they can ride the momentum for a short period of time, then cash out at the first sign of trouble. Stocks like Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, which offers hardware and software for the medical community, or personal products company Smith & Wesson, have been cited as just a few small-cap names that are being closely followed. Both trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market’s small company exchange, and are followed mostly by middle market analysts. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Research Below the Radar 17 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 28. Customizedfor:Eric( © 2009, Inc.18 Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Research Below the Radar While stocks that fall below blue chip size might not attract the attention of analysts at big research houses, there’s still a real need to cover smaller companies. The classifications between different classes of stocks are important because mutual funds use these rankings to determine which stocks to buy. Here’s a rough definition of the various stock rankings: Big-cap—Market cap of $10 billion and greater Mid-cap—$2 billion to $10 billion Small-cap—$300 million to $2 billion Micro-cap—$50 million to $300 million Nano-cap—Under $50 million THE JOB Many job seekers applying to major research houses might start off as a junior analyst, and get a limited amount of hands-on experience in how to cover stocks. At a middle market firm, which doesn’t have the staffing levels of bigger firms, be prepared to hit the ground running. They are looking for analysts that are already well versed in specific industries and sectors, and can immediately get on the telephone and begin contacting institutional investors. Middle market shops also aren’t just looking for recent MBAs or undergrads. Experience in the industry can be a big plus. For instance, someone in the restaurant field might be able to use that as a springboard to becoming a restaurant industry analyst. Knowing an industry inside and out, and the ability to spot trends and provide accurate forecasts, is key to the job. Analysts are often referred to as either quants or fundamentalists. Fundamentalists make recommendations based on what's going on at a company – how's the CEO, what are the earnings, etc. Quants look at computer programs that identify undervalued securities, markets or even whole countries. There are fewer quant jobs, but they often pay more because the required skills are greater. A bachelor’s degree is essential for analysts, who might also benefit from a specialty in business administration, accounting, finance or statistics. In addition, an understanding of administration and accounting are strongly suggested. Additional recommendations include courses on bond valuation, risk management and options pricing. Beyond trying to join an investment bank, those looking to become analysts also have another option. One way to break into the business is to start as a ratings agency analyst. The pay is relatively low and advancement opportunities aren't great, and the investment banks know it and use the agencies as hunting grounds for new analysts. Moody's Investors Service rates $5 trillion worth of securities and has 560 analysts. Standard & Poor’s rates $2 trillion worth of securities and has 800 analysts. These agencies are highly profitable and grade the credit quality of companies accessing the markets. They collect most of their revenue from issuer fees. "We are not auditors and we don't use lie detectors, so it's up to our analysts to be smart enough to ask the right questions," Edward Emmer, executive managing director and head of S&P's corporate ratings department, said in a recent interview.
  • 29. Customizedfor:Eric( Middle Market Models The bulge bracket model that dominated Wall Street for generations has collapsed in on itself. This has led to a total reshaping of the industry, and given rise to middle market firms trying to solidify a niche in the world of investment banking. Some have just a few departments being run by a dozen or so employees. Others count hundreds on their payrolls. But this unexpected and sudden power shift brings opportunity. For potential bankers, it opens up an entirely new segment that’s looking to hire. And, for the owners of these middle market firms, it is a golden opportunity to forge an investment bank that serves the needs that beleaguered Wall Street banks no longer can. Want to get a job in this expanding sector? Better get to know their business models. There are firms that focus only on mergers and acquisitions for a variety of industries, and some of them offer research. Others combine M&A with private equity. Still others toss in brokerage capabilities to their offerings. But there are also niche models that focus on a specific sector in a move to “own” the industry they track, known in the industry as boutique investment banks. Others not only put together M&A deals for a specific sector, but also actively invest their own money through private equity plays. BOUTIQUE SHOPPING Despite the economic downturn, one thing has remained a constant for Wall Street’s investment banking business: Boutique firms. These are small banks specializing in mergers and acquisitions for a specific field, and they are often the first place the industry turns to for advice. They’ve also carved out a very important niche over the years, and, in many cases, the owners have sold their shops to bigger investment banks and then have gone on to form new firms. A decade ago, the financial world was abuzz about firms that zeroed in on the technology industry – and there’s some evidence that there is about to be a major resurgence in this field. Companies these days are discovering that smaller firms that focus all of their attention on one field often help make the best merger matches, are able to time the market right for an IPO and have the kind of institutional knowledge to help provide better advice. The tech sector The most well-known boutique firms have come from the technology sector. And the best way to show their influence on the industry might be through a little history lesson. In the late 1990s emerged what bankers called “the Four Horsemen” firms: Robertson Stephens, Hambrecht & Quist, Montgomery Securities and Alex. Brown. They focused primarily on technology companies during the go-go internet days when a small, unknown startup would routinely explode into a global player almost 19 Chapter 4
  • 30. Customizedfor:Eric( overnight. None of them exist as independent firms today, with all four swallowed up by bigger banks as the technology boom began to wane. However, they illustrate how much influence boutique firms have over the entire industry. And they also indicate how this sector sometimes rises from its own ashes, much like mythology’s phoenix. How it works The best example might come from Sandy Robertson and Thomas Weisel. Both men have been among the fiercest rivals in Silicon Valley investment banking circles, and their moves have been among the industry’s most tracked. Robertson, along with Robert Coleman and Ken Siebel (who later went on to found Siebel Systems) formed Robertson, Coleman & Siebel in 1969. That firm focused on middle market investment banking, and in 1971 Weisel joined the firm, rebranded with his name in its title. Seven years later, Weisel pulled off what was described later as a “mutiny,” ousting Robertson and Coleman, and renaming the firm Montgomery Securities. Robertson went on to form a new firm that was later named Robertson Stephens. The two duked it out through the 1980s and 1990s, dispensing M&A advice to early technology companies. Middle market and boutique investment banks have always operated under the careful eye of Wall Street’s bulge bracket firms. Eventually, both Robertson and Weisel found their firms swallowed by larger rivals. NationsBank acquired Montgomery Securities and Bank of America snapped up Robertson Stephens. And after NationsBank and BofA combined, Robertson Stephens was sold yet again. After changing owners a few more times, the firm was eventually liquidated, and Montgomery Securities was later rebranded Banc of America Securities. Their founders didn’t just vanish. Weisel opened up Weisel Partners, which remains one of the middle market’s biggest firms. Robertson helped form private equity shop Francisco Partners, which owns technology companies like AdvancedMD and API Software. The tale of these two storied firms demonstrates that the middle market and boutique M&A business plays a crucial role on Wall Street. And though some firms ultimately don’t remain independent, their leaders often go on to launch other financial companies. This means that getting a job with a niche firm could lead to an entrance into a bigger firm down the line. And, there is evidence that boutique firms are in the midst of a reawakening. THE NEW CROP There’s a new breed of boutique investment banks making significant inroads these days, and, ironically enough, in the technology industry. Sure, the tech-heavy NASDAQ Stock Market finished 2008 down about 43 percent in 2008—and has slipped another 16 percent in the first quarter of 2009. But with the American economy still ruled by companies like IBM, Apple and Google, technology continues Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 20 © 2009, Inc.
  • 31. Customizedfor:Eric( to be one of the nation’s biggest economic drivers. This industry also remains in consolidation mode as it matures, and middle market investment banks have not lost sight of this. Companies like Robertson Stephens and the other major boutique firms focused in the 1990s on research, stock sales and initial public offerings in addition to M&A. This new crop of boutique firms are focusing more narrowly on M&A advice, and are also actively engaged in raising private equity money into the most lucrative deals. Addressing the IPO draught Sticking with the example of technology companies and the firms that focus on them, Silicon Valley produced just one initial public stock offering in 2008, the skimpiest number in more than two decades and down from an average of 28 IPOs a year since 1985. Boutique firms once were able to bring companies public in splashy IPOs that created legends on Wall Street. They did that with Netscape in 1995, Google in 2004 and VMware in 2007. ArcSight, a relatively obscure systems security firm, was the only Silicon Valley IPO of 2008. In the first quarter of 2009, the IPO market remainef frozen with only one major deal coming to market. That’s decimated the world of venture capital firms, which identifies fledgling companies and invests seed money in them. The VC firms bank on the fact that, eventually, the companies they invest in will go public in multimillion-dollar IPOs. That’s when the VC firms cash out and distribute the proceeds to their own investors. The new wave of boutiques has become a welcome presence at a time when the IPO drought has made it tough for anybody to make money. Getting the attention of the big Wall Street firms for IPOs and other major deals has become almost impossible, industry analysts say. "We can't get our companies out, and one reason is we can't get the attention of the investment bankers," says Mark Heesen, president of the National Venture Capital Association. That’s opened the door to boutique firms that can arrange private equity dollars or targeted M&A deals. "We're not trying to be everything to everybody," Brian Roberts, a senior managing director at Evercore Partners, told BusinessWeek. His New York- based firm is one of those offering M&A advice along with a $1.2 billion investment fund that sinks private equity cash into companies. "We would much rather have a dialogue with the CEO about what keeps him up at night." That might be why Yahoo! Inc., one of the world’s leading search engines, hired boutique middle market firm Moelis & Co. to provide advice to defend itself against a hostile advance by Microsoft Corp. The firm was formed in 2007 by former UBS investment banking head Ken Moelis. Emboldening the case for middle market boutique banks was the man Google hired—Frank Quattrone another M&A luminary who worked at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse before forming his own firm. He participated in some of the biggest deals in Silicon Valley, including the initial public offerings of Netscape, Cisco and Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 21 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 32. Customizedfor:Eric( MORE FLEXIBILITY Boutiques use longstanding industry relationships and small teams that assign senior staff to deals. They offer flexibility to dart in and out of smaller buyouts to win business. They're gaining prominence as some of the top banks have cut or reassigned bankers due to the credit crisis. Take a look at Allen & Co. Long known for its media expertise, the firm is making a name for itself as a matchmaker between Silicon Valley web companies and East Coast sources of capital. The New York-based company advised CNET Networks on its $1.8 billion sale to CBS, and advised social networking website Bebo on its $850 million sale. Allen is also tied to brokering other high-profile tech industry financings, helping widget software company Slide secure $50 million. Evercore Partners is another firm that has also carved a niche in Silicon Valley. (?) The firm advised Electronic Data Systems on how to structure its $13.9 billion sale to Hewlett-Packard. Evercore has been among the top-25 banks based on M&A transaction value for the past four years, after ranking 104th in 2003. Here are a handful of others that are recognized in the industry for providing niche services: • Leerink Swann - The company specializes in the health care field by offering institutional sales, research, corporate finance and asset management services. • Caris & Company - The firm is a full service investment bank headquartered in Del Mar, Calif., that focuses on technology, health care, consumer and energy companies. • Fox Pitt Kelton - The boutique investment bank specializes in the financial services sector. • JMP Securities - JMP was founded in 2000 by ex-Montgomery Securities (now part of Bank of America) managers to fill a void left by acquired smaller, research-driven investment banks. Picking up volume To be sure, the major investment banks are still the most powerful deal brokers on Wall Street when it comes to acquisitions and investments, and the credit crisis and recession in 2008 has certainly cut into business. A slowdown in M&A activity has also put dents in some prominent boutiques. Companies worldwide completed 2,000 M&A deals in 2008, 11 percent fewer than 2007, according to Thomson Reuters. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 22 © 2009, Inc.
  • 33. Customizedfor:Eric( But, M&A lawyers say volume could pick up again, particularly in the internet sector, as the slower U.S. economy forces Web 2.0 startups to sell, and “angel” investors look to liquidate their portfolios. Boutique banks have been able to thrive by competing for the largest deals, while having the flexibility to reach down and scoop up business on smaller deals sometimes bypassed by larger firms. But the little guys are able to charge rates comparable to those of their larger competitors. "Their premise is not that the fees are lower, it's that the service is better," says a law firm partner who has advised tech companies on dozens of M&A deals. "This used to be the guy who ran tech M&A at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse or Morgan Stanley, and now they're focused on you." PRIVATE EQUITY The boom in mergers and acquisition helped more than just investment banks flourish during the past few years. Private equity was a big contributor to the buyout frenzy. These firms raise money through investors, which is known as a “fund” in the industry. These funds vary in size from just a few hundred million to $10 billion or more. Middle market firms, some that specialize only in private equity, have been an active participant in this business. Bigger private equity firms used their funds to buy distressed public companies, then take them private with the goal of turning them around. They then bring them public in an average of five years later, hoping to reap a big return in the process. Middle market firms invest in privately held midsized companies. Consider that leading buyout firms like The Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. have spent the past decade snapping up publicly traded companies, aiming to quickly sell them at higher prices. Middle market private equity firms have done just the opposite. Instead, these firms tend to look for growing private businesses that need capital for further expansion. And, unlike the bigger private equity firms, middle market buyout shops also tend to buy companies within their area of expertise. For instance, one that specializes in health care companies won’t go outside the box and sink money into an auto supplies manufacturer. The fortunes of this more modest segment of the private equity business are also not entirely dependent on the credit markets. Certainly, free-flowing credit that financed the M&A boom a few years ago has dried up. Both big and small private equity firms are having more difficulty raising money to make investments. Major banks, for the most part, have pulled back from lending the billions of dollars that firms like KKR and Blackstone need to buy a company. But these lenders are much more open to bankrolling less-expensive middle market transactions. In some cases, some midsized companies are being acquired mostly or entirely without any debt at all. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 23 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 34. Customizedfor:Eric( A recent deal And one recent deal highlights that investors are still willing to put money into private equity funds. Babson Capital Management LLC, an investment management firm based in Boston, Mass., announced late in 2008 that it closed a $1.58 billion mezzanine and private equity fund. Investors include domestic and international corporate and public pension plans, insurance companies, banks, high-net-worth individuals and families, and funds of funds. The fund will invest in companies in the small end of the middle market, or companies with enterprise values of less than $200 million. "We are pleased that the fund is now fully committed and able to take advantage of the growing investment opportunities in this niche area of the market," said Mike Hermsen, managing director of Babson Capital. Targeted expertise Once the M&A market begins to regain strength, analysts believe much of the business might be thrown to smaller firms like Babson with more expertise in a particular field. Their experience might help put smarter deals together, and that will also bring middle market investment banks with private equity businesses to the forefront. These firms have been able to keep investing throughout the downturn, though at a slower pace, while the big investment banks have been pretty much sidelined. The portfolio of companies that middle market private equity shops hold are also less likely to contain companies acquired by excessive prices and debt. Limited cash flow Researcher GF Data Resources tracks 104 middle market firms throughout the U.S., and found that deals in 2008 were on par with the prior year. The firm reported that merger and acquisition deals worth $10 million to $250 million were holding up at 2007's levels until the last two months, but plunged once the stock market began sliding in September. Meanwhile, deal financing loans are getting scarcer, but are still available for smaller deals. "Cash flow lending is almost impossible to come by" from major banks, while regional and community banks are stepping up to fill in part of the gap, said co-owner Andrew T. Greenberg. Attractive deals for strong companies are still getting done, and sale prices haven't yet fallen, but marginal deals with weaker companies are getting "pulled back," and those banks still lending are charging more. Transactions that pass the $5 billion mark sharply declined in 2008. There were 13 in the first half of 2007 and two in the second half, according to Thomson Reuters data. However, there were none in 2008. This shows that middle market firms may suffer less than their larger rivals from losses on the acquisitions they made during the boom period. The big private equity firms bought public companies whose stock Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 24 © 2009, Inc.
  • 35. Customizedfor:Eric( prices soared during the last bull market, while middle market shops specialized in more reasonably price buyouts. Opportunities remain Meanwhile, the latest twice-yearly survey of middle market merger professionals by the Association for Corporate Growth and Thomson Reuters revealed that there are opportunities for private equity that will come despite the downtrend. The sectors that will experience the most M&A activity in the next six months, dealmakers are most bullish on: financial services, health care/life sciences, energy, manufacturing and distribution. “The results of this year’s M&A survey were quite sobering with our local ACG members (corporate and capital providers alike) not being exempt from these difficult times,” said Sonny Williams, ACG Raleigh Durham Chapter president and managing partner of High Rock Partners, Inc. “All are diligently reviewing business models [that] evolved during the hyperactive M&A market preceding this downturn. However, astute firms and business leaders are refusing to get caught up in the malaise – aggressively seeking ways and ideas to adjust their businesses to capture opportunities allowing them to exit this difficult period stronger than when they went in.” He said there are opportunities to improve the capital structure of companies in the coming months. While more challenging, there are also transaction opportunities for the healthier firms. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Middle Market Models 25 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 36. Customizedfor:Eric( GETTING HIREDVault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Education and Internships Preparing for the Search Acing the Interview
  • 37. Customizedfor:Eric( 28 © 2009, Inc.
  • 38. Customizedfor:Eric( Education and Internships It used to be that an Ivy League education at a prestigious business school was enough to land a well-paying job at one of the world’s illustrious financial institutions. That first banking job was transformative, giving new hires the fat salary, four-week vacation and big year-end bonus for which Wall Street is known. Banks like Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would literally hire hundreds of junior bankers each year during the Bull Run, expanding not just in the U.S. but abroad. As one investment banker put it, the last four years or so was the “age of wine and roses.” But, the financial crisis has essentially put a cork in that bottle and left more thorns than petals on the flower. Getting in the door these days means candidates must not only be aggressive, but also demonstrate they have the ability to master all facets of the industry. While middle market firms are hiring, not all candidates are right for the job. Some Harvard graduates who spent years in school learning how to prepare sophisticated business models for opaque investment strategies probably won’t fare that well in the interviewing process. But, a well-rounded candidate – no matter the education – is going to catch the eye of any middle market player. These firms operate with leaner staffs, where bankers must be able to juggle a variety of tasks. So, you can forget about getting a personal assistant to fetch the coffee or a clerk to handle your photocopying. Jobs at middle market firms require you to know all facets of the business, from analyzing potential takeover targets to working on financing plans to hammering out a deal in boardroom negotiations. The CEOs of middle market firms say they are looking for candidates that are still willing to learn no matter how many graduate degrees they have. That’s a big positive for anybody who doesn’t have a high finance background, yet instead possesses a “can-do” attitude and an ability to pick up new things fast. EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS Just like major investment banks, those in the middle market require that bankers and analysts have a college degree. That’s pretty much a standard for the industry, with very few exceptions. Candidates armed with a bachelor’s degree, usually linked to finance, can get an entry-level job at an investment bank. Those that extend their education with an MBA also have entry-level opportunities, though at a higher level than recent college graduates. Undergraduates Most middle market investment banks are looking for some kind of an undergraduate business or economics degree. That doesn’t mean other bright candidates will be turned down flat if they possess something outside the box. For instance, a middle market firm that specializes in doing business with retail companies might find use 29 Chapter 5
  • 39. Customizedfor:Eric( for an applicant with a related background. And, those that have a finance-oriented background also should be sure to sprinkle their transcript with some liberal arts classes to widen their appeal. So much of the investment banking world is based on building relationships, and a candidate that spent four years of college just looking at numbers might appear a bit wonkish. That said, recruiters will also be on the hunt for applicants with a flush background outside of the classroom. A resume that includes internships, extracurricular activities and any other evidence of self- motivation will help out immensely. Service-oriented activities and philanthropic projects can also be important. Not having an MBA means you might start a bit farther down the ladder than for those that hold an advanced degree. Having an MBA certainly won’t hurt in snagging the attention of a potential employer. But, it might not be that much of an issue when applying at middle market firms. Bigger investment banks tend to have multiple layers of bureaucracy and a rigorous path for advancement. Middle market players, being smaller, are a bit more willing to bring people onboard with the expectation that they’ll be given intensive training and on-the-job exposure. And that’s where having a diverse amount of experience, solid course work, a strong GPA and a compelling cover letter comes into play. MBA graduates Think of going to graduate school like enrolling in the ROTC—when it comes time to join the military, you get to bypass those that enlisted and become an officer. Certainly, you’re not likely to get a vice president’s job with your MBA. You will, however, be able to jump to a higher entry-level job. Candidates with an advanced degree on their resume will also get more attention from recruiters, and that can’t hurt during a period when the entire investment banking industry is contracting. Many recent college graduates have even opted to pursue an MBA as a way to wait out the financial crisis and then enter Wall Street when times are better. Having an MBA will also help you capture a bigger salary, and a recent study by Forbes magazine showed that more than pays for the degree. Those going to B- school at Stanford will pay about $225,000 in tuition plus the salary you would have made during the two years in school. Meanwhile, a state resident of Iowa who goes to the local university’s business school will be out about $90,000. The survey of 85 schools concluded that the extra education paid back quite nicely for the class of 1998, a group that worked through the boom and bust period of Wall Street since graduation. MBA grads tripled the salary they would have made without their degree within just five years out of school (annual income growth during that time in the U.S. was about 2.5 percent, while MBA graduates averaged 11 percent.) The growth also varies depending on from which school the MBA is obtained. Top-ranked programs include Northwestern, Stanford University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania and UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, among others. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Education and Internships 30 © 2009, Inc.
  • 40. Customizedfor:Eric( Further education Though not needed for entry-level jobs, those aspiring bankers that continue to climb the ladder at an investment bank might need to secure licenses from the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). The most typical include Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses, which, for the most part, allow investment bank associates to evaluate and analyze the financial performances of businesses. These licenses also permit associates to build models of deal structures and prepare presentations for clients. Most investment banks guide you through what licenses are needed, and often help prepare you for the exams. INTERNSHIPS “I opened the doors for you … showed you how the system works … the value of information … and how to get it! Fulham Oil, Brant Resources, Geodynamics. And this is how you pay me back, you COCKROACH!” – Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987) Having someone like fictional Wall Street tycoon Gordon Gekko help you get into the business would certainly open lots of doors. But after a few investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it probably won’t pay off. Those looking to break into investment banking better find other avenues. Internships offer aspiring bankers an opportunity to get real-time experience and meet industry executives. Many middle market firms already have an internship program in place, but don’t be discouraged if they don’t. Some of the smaller middle market firms might just need some convincing for an internship candidate who is hungry for experience. The general rule is that you’re either in school or have graduated but are not yet working full time. Some firms will even consider internship applicants from people with other backgrounds, such as those making a career switch from another field. The best way to land an internship is through on-campus recruiters or by calling up the human resources department at a middle market investment bank. Just like finding a job, those seeking internships should also search the internet for middle market firms located near them. For those just starting out, recruiters advise them not be too picky about the assignment. An aspiring banker looking to wheel and deal might be wise to work as an intern for an analyst, and an analyst might want to get a taste of how deals are put together. Just like getting a full-time position, finding the right internship requires a solid resume, school records and interviewing skills. The internship programs vary from firm to firm. For instance, bigger middle market investment banks might have highly structured programs where interns spend most of their time in classroom-like settings or going from department to department. And, during the end of the 12-week course, interns typically will work directly with a banker or a team. Smaller middle market firms might skip the course work and have interns work almost like an assistant for some real hands-on experience. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Education and Internships 31 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 41. Customizedfor:Eric( The biggest advantage to accepting an internship is that employers will take note of successful interns, and often offer them jobs later down the line. Regardless, it becomes an invaluable notch in your resume and makes getting an entry-level position much easier. The experience gives undergrads a ground-level view of the industry. And, this kind of exposure gives interns a key experience in whether they want to go into investment banking. Researching opportunities Perhaps the biggest hurdle to finding a middle market job is just finding opportunities. Up until a year ago, most applicants would target the Big Five investment banks, send their resumes to them and meet recruiters. With Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as the last two Wall Street names standing, the application process has become not only more narrow but much more difficult. Those seeking a job in the industry are expected to increasingly turn to the middle market to get a position and gain experience, but there are hundreds of these firms spread out across the nation, meaning they aren’t all located in major financial centers like New York, Los Angeles or Charlotte. Boenning & Scattergood, one of Pennsylvania’s oldest regional investment banks, calls the Philadelphia suburb of West Conshohocken home. Or take Heritage Financial Capital Group in Jacksonville, Florida, or Dominion Partners in Glen Allen, Virginia. All of these firms have carved out a niche in the industry, serving not just the regions where they are located but the industries that thrive there. That means job seekers need to do a bit of research to determine which middle market players to target, and – more importantly – what they are looking for. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Education and Internships 32 © 2009, Inc.
  • 42. Customizedfor:Eric( Preparing for the Search COVER LETTER AND RESUME The next and most crucial step to a career in middle market investment banking is putting together a winning resume that will catch the attention of recruiters. The old adage that first impressions last certainly applies here. Investment banks big and small are inundated with resumes every year. So keeping yours tightly written and professional could mean the difference between nailing an interview and ending up in some dusty file cabinet for “consideration at a later time.” 15 seconds to make an impression At bigger firms, analysts and associates will sift through the resumes that come in and forward the stronger candidates to someone above a vice president level. Smaller firms might use a human resources person to weed out the good resumes from the bad ones. And don’t expect these folks to spend hours reading over your experience and pondering exactly how good of a fit you might be. The average amount of time their eyes hit your resume is anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds. So your pitch better be spot on. The first thing candidates need to do is highlight any business or finance experience they might have, even if they worked as a bank teller one summer or answered phones at a local brokerage office. If you have no practical experience, then play up high any college studies done that relate to finance. This is especially important if you’ve attended any of the nation’s major business schools. Investment banks are looking for any candidates that have any kind of financial background, and those are the resumes that typically make it past that 30-second glance. Investment bankers are looking for resumes that pop—something that catches their attention quickly. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should sabotage your chances by printing your resume on yellow paper or lead off by highlighting your experience as a short-order cook at a fast-food joint. Be tactical. The first 10 lines or so of your resume needs to show that you have the education, training or work experience to do the job. That doesn’t mean the rest of the resume can be filled with flowery prose and superfluous words. Recruiters want to see these resumes tightly written, never more than two pages (though some on Wall Street believe one page is better). The rest of the resume needs to be packed with details that show you are motivated, which means including experience in things like charity work, public service or serving as a campus leader. Cover letter caveats Your cover letter should never be more than three paragraphs, and serves as an introduction to your resume. Many times these letters aren’t even read, as recruiters scan resumes first. But, the cover letter is still a way to summarize who you are and what you are looking for. Think about why you want a job in middle market investment banking, and how your skills will apply to such work. Since many of these 33 Chapter 6
  • 43. Customizedfor:Eric( firms are regional or track a specific industry, it is a good idea to play up any pertinent experience. For instance, highlight the fact that you grew up in Massachusetts and are, therefore, familiar with the area’s biotechnology industry if applying to a Boston- based firm that specializes in that industry. Remember that potential employers are looking for teamwork and an entrepreneurial drive. If you’re attending a job fair on campus, you might not necessarily have to present a cover letter – but it’s good to have one just in case. Identifying your target Before sending your package out, there’s one last thing to remember. Try not to send it blindly. Starting off your cover letter with “Dear Human Resources Department” is a surefire way to get tossed into the “don’t hire” bin. It demonstrates that you don’t do your homework and lack motivation. Jump on the internet, find the company’s website and identify who the right person is that handles recruiting. If you can’t find anything, pick up the phone. And, as a last resort, address your resume to the chief executive or managing partner. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 34 © 2009, Inc.
  • 44. Customizedfor:Eric( SAMPLE COVER LETTER Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 35 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Mr. Herbert Hoover Vice President of Recruiting Eichacker & Smith LLC 100 Skyscraper Road, Suite 300 Indianapolis, IN 46201 Dear Mr. Hoover: I am writing to apply for a position as a junior analyst at Eichacker & Smith, and believe I have the qualifications and motivation you’re looking for in a strong candidate. The reason I want to join your team is, above everything else, to learn everything I can about the middle market business. I’ve worked hard at my academic career, but believe there is more to me than just the degree on my wall and my GPA. I want to point out my 12-week internship at Gemini Partners, leadership on Cal State Economics Society, and obtaining a junior management position at Macy’s while working my way through school. But I’m most proud of my work as a volunteer at the local Big Brothers Big Sisters program. I know this doesn’t count as high finance, but it certainly demonstrates dedication in the things that I believe in. Volunteering has not only given me a strong sense of self, but developed interpersonal skills and drive to help get a job done. As a junior analyst, I want to direct that same kind of discipline and dedication to serving clients. I’ve been successful in my internship, work in retail, volunteering, and education. Now I want to be successful working for Eichacker & Smith. Thanks for your time and consideration. I look forward to your reply. Sincerely, Hayden Berg
  • 45. Customizedfor:Eric( SAMPLE RESUME Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 36 © 2009, Inc. Hayden Berg 23 Revere Drive • Los Angeles, CA 92714 213-555-1212 • OBJECTIVE To gain an analyst-level position, with the opportunity for advancement and growth at an investment banking firm. EDUCATION California Sate University, Los Angeles, CA Bachelor of Arts in economics, with a minor in accounting, May 2007 Current GPA: 3.2 Major GPA: 3.7 EXPERIENCE Intern, Gemini Partners, Los Angeles, May to August 2008 • Learned the inner workings of a private equity firm during a 12-week internship. • Assisted analysts and associates in creating research and meeting materials for clients. • Researched areas including real estate investment trusts, real estate tax law, fixed-income instruments and equities. Member, California State Economics Society, September 2006 to present • Helped put together a quarterly journal of popular economics, which reports on developments in the subject to a broad audience. • Managed all club meetings and activities, along with the club’s relationship with the Chancellor’s office. Assistant Manager, Macy’s, South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, CA., Summer 2006 and 2007 • Served as the No. 2 manager in the men’s department of one of the biggest Macy’s stores in the West. • Managed employees, schedules and day-to-day operations of the department and assisted with budgeting and purchasing. • Handled customer inquiries and complaints. Mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters program, Irvine, CA, 2004 to present • Served as a big sister to three teens from broken homes, helping with homework and providing a positive role model. • Marketed the program to the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas. • Aided in creating the program budget over the last two fiscal years. SKILLS Proficient in all Microsoft Office products and most major financial database software. Fluent in Spanish, and can speak French acceptably.
  • 46. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 37 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. HEADHUNTERS Many investment banks hire recruiting firms to help identify candidates. These firms have flourished in years past because jobs in the financial services field tend to be higher paying. And recruiters collect their job finding fees based on the compensation package of the person who they get hired. So, in addition to sending your resume and cover letter to investment banks, you might want to identify recruiters willing to consider you as a potential candidate for future jobs. Here’s a list of headhunters around the country that specialize in finding banking and finance jobs: • Advanced Market Group Inc. • Geneva Financial Group • National Bank & Finance Executive Search • Sterling Staffing • Cannellos-Smartt Associates • Objective Paradigm • CTPartners • The EMAC Group • Financial Recruiters Unlike cover letters for some other jobs, don’t say you’re going to call the employer to follow up. Ask your recruiter about it, but frankly, if you’re good enough, they’ll call you; never fear. They have enough going on without you ringing the phone constantly. The recruiter will serve as a fine contact for that sort of thing
  • 47. Customizedfor:Eric( • Ramer Search Consultants • Allen And Associates • Analytic Recruiting • Employment Atlanta • BancForce • BFL Associates • Brokerage Consultants • Capital Search Group • Coffou-Kanzer & Associates • DM Stone • Drum Corps • Granite Solutions Group • HFC Executive Search • Kunin Associates • Michelangelo Recruitment • MRI The Boston Group • Personnel Consulting Associates Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 38 © 2009, Inc.
  • 48. Customizedfor:Eric( • Rainier Management Group • Teeman, Perley, Gilmartin • The Edgewater Group • Wall Street Services • Harris & Associates Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Preparing for the Search 39 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 49. Customizedfor:Eric( Acing the Interview The cover letter’s been written. The resume has been polished and sent out to dozens of middle market firms looking for a bright, young star. Now you play the waiting game. Don’t bother picking up the phone to make sure you have a dial tone in case a call was missed. And checking your e-mail for some kind of reply every few minutes isn’t going to help either. Like applying for any new job, it is a game of patience and persistence. Sure, you should follow up your application within a week or so to make sure they got it. But after that, it is up to the recruiters or human resource departments to put your resume into the right hands. Unless you know someone on the inside of the firm that’s willing to talk you up, just wait for them to reach out. Even in a bad economy, a sharp resume and well-written cover letter will get you the all-important invitation for an interview. Your phone personality When that phone call (or email) finally does come in, your first exposure to the middle market firm will likely be quite informal. Consider the old saying that “time is money” because your first contact will likely consist of a brief telephone interview. As part of the process of hiring, they want to connect a voice to the resume before them. They want to know if your personality over the phone – especially in an industry where there’s lots of legwork done on the telephone – is worth setting up a face-to-face meeting. These will typically be more softball questions as the firm tries to determine your experience. Be prepared to quickly give them a rundown of what you’re looking for. Offer a brief synopsis of your skills and track record. And, above anything, try to sound motivated for a job in the middle market. Saying “I’m only applying at this firm until I can bide my time and go work for Goldman Sachs,” probably isn’t a good way to start things off. Yes, they know you want to work in the big leagues, just like everyone else. Remember that these firms were started by entrepreneurial bankers who found incredible earnings potential in focusing on midsized companies instead of cobbling together deals for Fortune 500 members. You want to explain that this is a niche that you would not only thrive in, but exceed. The last bit of advice for these telephone interviews is to not gush too much about yourself. Nobody wants to listen to a 10-minute answer that could have been summed up in much less time. But don’t be so brief that you’re giving two word answers. There’s a delicate balance between too much and not enough and it is your job to find that happy medium. Your mission is to intrigue them enough with your background to make them want to meet you in person. Keep these four things in mind about what these firms are trying to glean out of the conversation: • Can the candidate get the job done? • Will the candidate make sound decisions? • Does the candidate know the demands of the firm and job? • Is this someone who the already existing team will get along with on a personal level? 41 Chapter 7
  • 50. Customizedfor:Eric( After these telephone interviews, the person in charge of setting up meetings will sift through all the resumes to determine who gets an invitation to come into the office. If that’s you, congratulations – you made it through the preliminary round of a very long process. It might take up to six months to get a job offer if you’re applying for a junior analyst position, and that’s pretty standard across the entire industry. Middle market firms, which have fewer layers of bureaucracy, might be a bit faster than the bigger firms. The interviewing process for a 12-month junior analyst slot typically begins in February, with an offer coming by the summer. If hired, the job won’t start until September and will last through the same month a year later. If you’re gunning for an associate spot, the start date won’t be as rigid. And the timeframe for all other positions will simply depend on when the firm needs someone onboard. STUDYING UP Don’t expect your first face-to-face interview to end with a job offer and application for an American Express corporate card. You’ll likely have about three rounds of meetings, working your way from a senior analyst all the way up to the middle market firm’s chief executive or managing director. This means that preparing for your interview is crucial. Just because you have a fancy business degree in economics or some other high finance curriculum doesn’t put you in the pole position for a job. You need to be ready to discuss the industry at length, and back up your answers with real industry examples and supporting data. The same kind of industry knowledge is demanded whether you are applying for a job as a research analyst or are on an investment banking track. That means you have to study up before an interview. And that doesn’t mean going over your curriculum from the last semester you took that focused on investment banking. Middle market firms are a very unique breed on Wall Street. They demand you to be thoroughly familiar with a particular region or industry, but also have a broader grasp on the entire spectrum of companies that fuels commerce. Major business newspapers often describe the market as a living, breathing entity. You’ll often see phrases like “the market feels” when the Dow Jones industrial average jumps or plunges 200 points. Corporations and industries interact much like the environment. Global warming might heat up a lake, kill off the algae, which cuts off the bottom part of the food chain for fish, which hurts the fishing industry, which makes salmon harder to find at your local market, etc. In the corporate world, a recession causes less demand for automobiles, which in turn means the Big Three Detroit carmakers cut back expenses, which results in hard times for everyone from auto parts makers to the car insurance industry. It’s all relative, and the ability to have a broad knowledge base about all different kind of industries will make you an even more valuable hire. Hard times for an auto parts maker might create an industry ripe for consolidation, and that kind of insight during an interview is crucial. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 42 © 2009, Inc.
  • 51. Customizedfor:Eric( Certainly, no potential employer expects you to have a photographic memory of all things business. But, that shouldn’t prevent you from being as well versed in the current business climate as possible. Here’s what you need to know to stay on top of things: • The Wall Street Journal. That’s the nation’s business bible, and you should read it – or, at the very least, skim through it for stories of interest – on a daily basis. Pay specific attention to the “Heard On The Street” column that is run every day, which is a Wall Street standard. And, while online, preuse the WSJ’s various blogs like “Marketbeat” and “Deal Journal.” • The Financial Times is a London-based paper that covers U.S. business quite intensively. Given that today’s business environment is becoming increasingly global, this is a good publication to get a more international glimpse into finance. Pay attention to the “Lex Column,” which is well read by the investment banking community. • Yahoo! Finance is a good way to get a real-time view of business on not just a daily basis, but by the hour. This site, which aggregates news stories from a variety of media outlets, is well used by traders and bankers alike. • The Daily Deal is a trade publication followed closely by Wall Street. It covers M&A, private equity, venture capital financings, bankruptcies and other topics of interest. It was launched in 1999 and bankrolled by Bruce Wasserstein, a major force in the investment banking world whose name anchored such M&A powerhouses as Wasserstein, Perella & Co. and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. • There are also dozens of news outlets that will give you a regional glimpse of business if you’re applying at a middle market firm. Each major city has a business journal to record the comings and goings of finance in those areas. A quick search of the internet should find the one you want. If not, check out popular sites like American City Business Journals ( or Crain’s Business ( • More news about investment banking can be found on the blogosphere or from business-oriented websites. An internet search might find you the site that will apply for a specific job you’re interested in. Others are more general. For example, one popular Wall Street blog is Deal Breaker ( • If the middle market firm you are applying for specializes in a specific industry, poke around for blogs or other websites that cater to those sectors. For instance, if you’re interviewing at a technology-based firm, check out sites like C-Net ( or Red Herring ( Every sector has some little corner of the internet where business turns for information and viewpoints. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 43 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 52. Customizedfor:Eric( As they say, information is power, and you want to have as much in your arsenal when you sit across a desk from someone that might be in the position to offer that all- important job. You certainly don’t need to memorize every deal that’s come through the pipeline in the past year, but being able to cite some fresh examples of the industry will go a long way demonstrating to any potential employer that you’re ready for the job. After all, the vice president leading the group you want to be hired into is counting on his staff to be his eyes and ears for the latest industry trends or sectors ripe for takeovers. THE INTERVIEW Studying up before your first and future interviews is an important first step. Being well prepared is a key. You’ll also need to be relaxed and get a good night’s sleep before the big day. But, there are some other ways you can prepare for the interview. Anticipating some of the questions and formulating your own to ask the interviewer are two ways to stay a step ahead. Certainly don’t expect your interview to transpire exactly verbatim to what is written here. There’s a certain framework that will be true for all initial interviews, no matter what kind of job you’re pursuing. Bankers want details, starting with everything and anything about their candidates that might help them make a smart decision. The objective is to be as concise and to the point with your answers as you can without leaving any gaps. The breakdown Here are some of the basics: The routine 1.Provide your GPA, and be prepared to go through your course history and what classes interested you the most. 2. Some firms will require that you’ve taken a Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) before they will formally consider you as a hire. Be prepared to provide your scores. 3. Many interviewers will want you to defend why you chose to follow your academic course. So if you have a minor in art history, think about how you want to frame your answer. 4. Be ready to explain any of your college-related activities, such as clubs or organizations you belonged to. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 44 © 2009, Inc.
  • 53. Customizedfor:Eric( The resume 1. You’ll be asked to walk the interviewer through your resume. Make sure to accentuate the parts that matter most. 2. The interviewer might want you to explain some of your choices. That summer job at the fast-food restaurant might not seem like high finance, but turn it into an asset and explain how it showed you the value of hard work. 3. Be prepared to explain any gaps. The career path 1. Any middle market firm will want to know why this style of investment banking fits into your goals? 2. Are you committed to sticking with this industry, and how would you grow into the job and within the firm? 3. Show your knowledge of the industry. Your choice 1. You’ll be asked exactly why you’ve targeted this firm for a job. 2. The firm will also want you to provide knowledge of some of the recent business they’ve done, and an overview of what you know about them. c) Get ready to answer how you’ll be a good fit. That might relate to the geography the firm covers, or perhaps its specialization, etc. Behavioral 1. What are your strengths? This gives you a chance to go back and explain a point in your resume that might be seen as an asset. 2. What are your weaknesses? Don’t be afraid of this question. Nobody’s perfect. Use this as an opportunity to reveal a mistake (make sure it’s not too much of a doozey) and explain how you learned from it. 3. They’ll want you to talk about teamwork and your leadership abilities. 4. Then there are questions about who you are as a person, how outgoing you are, and perhaps even what your hobbies are. Certainly, show that you are money- oriented but not a complete stiff. Remember that investment banking, at all levels, is personality-driven. Technical 1. Research questions 2. Investment banking questions Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 45 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 54. Customizedfor:Eric( Your turn to ask questions 1. Show you’re interested by asking questions about the job and the firm. 2. Find out what the interviewer likes and dislikes about your application. 3. Find out what kind of experience would be beneficial for the job. 4. Use this opportunity to talk about an industry, story or topic you feel most well versed in. SAMPLE QUESTIONS Think of the interview as a chess game (or even a game of checkers if that’s more your style). The interviewer has tossed these very same questions out to dozens of candidates in just the past few weeks, hundreds over the years. They’ve heard all the answers, and both the good and bad probably stick out in their minds. In many cases, even the most detailed and well-thought-out answers can fall flat. “We’re not looking for the candidates that think they know it all, we’re looking for the ones willing to learn it all,” said one executive at a middle market firm. “ Universally, on Wall Street, the interview process includes some fairly broad questions to gauge your knowledge of the financial sector. They’ll also throw some specific questions your way, most likely on a specific industry or maybe a recently completed acquisition that made headlines. They want to test your financial acumen. You’ll also be given some situational questions to see what you might do when working on a potential deal. Here are 10 questions you most likely will encounter during that first interview: 1. Why are you interested in working at a regional middle market firm instead of going to one of the big New York players? As discussed previously, this is a chance for you to explain why middle market firms offer expertise that can’t be found at a bigger investment bank. You’ll most likely want to explain how a smaller firm will offer more varied experience and more “hands-on” opportunities. 2. This firm isn’t going to hand you a big expense account and the fast Wall Street lifestyle, what can you learn from it? How will you fit in? Don’t even think about explaining how you’re willing to give up your two-martini client lunches. You want to highlight that this first job is about learning as much as you can from those farther along in the industry. This is your ground-floor opportunity, and that you’ll fit in through a hard work ethic, verve, panache and élan. 3. Give me some examples of why your background will make a good fit with a firm focused on regional companies/specific sectors? The interviewer obviously has a copy of your resume and cover letter in front of him. So this is an opportunity to highlight some of the areas in your experience that make you the perfect choice for a middle market job. For instance, here is Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 46 © 2009, Inc.
  • 55. Customizedfor:Eric( where you want to explain how your years of working retail jobs makes you a good fit to analyze potential acquisitions in that industry. Or that growing up and attending school in Texas has given you an institutional knowledge of the oil industry without ever stepping foot on an oilfield. 4. Why did you pick your specific university or educational program? Be prepared to explain your reasons, but this isn’t the kind of question that will merit a long and detailed answer. 5. Explain how your education has prepared you for a career in investment banking? List classes you’ve taken that jibes with finance? This is a pretty self-explanatory question that begs a very straightforward answer. Be prepared to go through those classes you took that are relevant to finance. But also don’t feel intimidated to bring up something unique that might capture the interviewer’s attention. 6. What would make you a better investment banker rather than a corporate analyst? Or vice versa. You want to be as well rounded as possible. So answer this question as honestly as possible. There’s no need to bend your skills one way or another because the interviewer will soon catch on to what you’re cut out for. But one thing is common on Wall Street and Main Street, be aggressive in explaining your case if you feel passionately about one job or another. 7. Are you ready to work long hours? The secret to this question is to be enthusiastic without making yourself sound like a martyr. Managing directors, in general, require really three basic things from their first-year employees: that you’re at your desk before they come in, that you work your heart out but do not outshine them, and that you’re at your desk when they leave at night. Assure them of those basic principles, and you won’t go wrong. Long hours are just part of the job. 8. Sell yourself to me in two minutes. Why should we hire you? What distinguishes you from your peers interviewing here? Just as if you’re in a pitch meeting with a client, you’ve only got so much time to nail the deal. This is the same thing. As discussed earlier in the book, these interviewers are looking for personality and aptitude ahead of even the fanciest of resumes. Many of these middle markets are small, so the goal is to find someone with the right fit – the right mix of education, experience and personality. This is your chance to show them you are that someone. This is where you might bring up any personal experiences that demonstrate your dedication and ability for leadership. They want to see drive. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 47 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 56. Customizedfor:Eric( 9. What is your greatest strength? Your greatest weakness? This is a fairly standard question for any interview. The key to this one is to spin a weakness in a positive way. Perhaps it is some mistake you’ve made in life or in business that taught you a lesson. Show that that you’re willing to learn. As for your biggest strength, modestly is the key. 10. Detail your path through investment banking. Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? You’ve probably gone over this question in your head before you typed your name on top of your resume or finished your first finance class. The world of finance offers a million different roads to travel. Investment bankers at middle market firms might go on to become entrepreneurs themselves, or move on to a bigger international firm. You might want to start your own firm, or go work for a private equity firm. You might have a sense already about what you want to do. But there really is no right or wrong answer here. Just keep in mind that first jobs in any industry are really an opportunity to get your feet wet. It’s a chance to understand more about a career in the field, and learn the ropes. Explain that you want to voraciously learn every inch of investment banking, from dealing with clients to modeling acquisition targets, and see what comes naturally. EXPERTISE QUESTIONS Any middle market interviewer will assume that you’re already a student of the industry. You’ve studied the league tables that rank the world’s biggest investment banks. You know in which regions of the world that deals are flourishing, and what sectors are hot. Your finger is on the pulse of not just one industry, but on all of them and how they relate to one another. They are also going to assume that you’ve paid attention in class, know your way around a corporate balance sheet, and have the skills it takes to analyze what company is ripe for a takeover as opposed to the ones that aren’t. This is where all of your internship experience and classroom hours will come into play. Most interviewers are going to throw you an expertise question that will not only show them if you’re up on the industry, but also if you know some of the basic skills for the job. The kinds of questions will depend on the type of firm to which you’re applying. It might be a private equity question, or one that focuses on a company’s earnings. The answers will be used to determine how honed your skills are at such an early stage in your career. Here are a few examples: What industry areas do you find interesting? Do some research: first off, identify the niche in which the middle market firm you are interviewing at does business. Then study up. If the firm focuses mostly on technology companies in the Boston area, be ready to name the biggest public and Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 48 © 2009, Inc.
  • 57. Customizedfor:Eric( private firms operating there. Do some digging on the local business journal’s website and brush up on some of the biggest deals that have come through the pipeline. If a particular company interests you, bone up on the CEO and what some of his best (or worst) moves have been. Any middle market executive wants to see if you know where the opportunities are. And further, they want to make sure you’ve done your homework. All the answers you need are just a mouse click away. One of my clients wants to buy a rival to expand distribution and cut costs. Would this company’s balance sheet indicate a good fit or a bad one? Paying attention during classes and listening to mentors who’ve guided you during internships will pay off at this point. You should already know how to read a balance sheet and be able to breeze through any earnings statement. Be ready to figure out the company’s sales volume, their price-to-earnings ratio, and be ready to provide the multiples. Use a model to project the company's free cash flows provided by operations for about 10 years. Be ready to discuss the liquidation value of all assets and liabilities. Explain how you’d look for transactions involving peer companies, and use them to model how much a buyer might end up paying. This is where all of your skills come into play. When you evaluate a potential deal, beyond just the numbers, what’s the most critical element you look for? Obviously, you want to have a good grip on how the target company is currently being managed, and what improvements could be made by bringing in new leadership. You’ll also want to be able to analyze market opportunity, and how well the company’s products are doing in the marketplace. Companies with a strong-minded and independent management might be a bit unwilling to do a deal, so you’ll need to really get to know who runs the company even if you’ve never meet them in person. Things like market opportunity must also exist since, at the end of the day, sales drive profits. And, you’d better know the products they sell or the technology they build. Knowing a deal inside and out is the impression you want to leave upon the interviewer, and be able to provide some real examples. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Acing the Interview 49 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 58. Customizedfor:Eric( ON THE Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle Days in the Life JOB
  • 59. Customizedfor:Eric( 52 © 2009, Inc.
  • 60. Customizedfor:Eric( Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle THE JOBS The dictionary defines investment as “laying out money or capital in an enterprise with the expectation of profit.” And, the bankers are the ones that get the job done, whether it’s for an individual investor looking to save for retirement or a multinational company looking to put money to good use through a big M&A deal. The concept is still the same. It is the investment banker’s job to understand market forces and the economy in advising clients on a variety of financial matters. That’s not any different from the wide range of middle market firms that advise their clients on every facet of their business strategy. It might mean convincing companies on the issuance of stock or overseeing a potential initial public offering. Investment bankers also analyze the potential execution of a takeover or a private equity deal. A career in investment banking pulls together a variety of skills, with communication, creativity, analysis, initiative and people skills among the biggest demands. That kind of versatility and broad knowledge can provide the extra edge for getting hired. The career path at investment banks big and small tend not to differ (though, middle market firms typically offer advancement at a faster pace with more hands-on experience). During the course of a career, an investment banker might start off crunching numbers as a junior analyst to one day supervising an entire team of dealmakers as a managing director. The key is that the more a banker knows about the field or the company they are hired by, the higher the chances of success. Analyst If you’re just starting out in the investment banking world, get ready for the fun-filled lifestyle of a Wall Street analyst. These are the grunt jobs typically given to recent undergraduates. Be prepared to work long hours, master the art of Excel spreadsheets, keep schedules, generate prospectuses, be a business newshound and spend lots of time on the phone with clients. These jobs tend to run from first- year analysts to third-year analysts, at which point you’re able to be promoted to the associate level. After two years, most analysts leave to get their MBA or pursue other positions. It all depends on the firm. Some places have a pretty strict policy of getting rid of you, while others are more relaxed about it. The duties of an analyst depend on what track you’re on. For those looking to be dealmakers, analysts serve as the support staff. They provide analysis for investment bankers looking to put deals together, like helping to write pitch books. Many banks offer one-year training programs in which first-year analysts attend courses covering topics such as accounting, financial analysis, deal structuring, product knowledge and professional development. If you get one of these jobs, you’ll cycle through different aspects of the job in a rotation that might include corporate banking, capital 53 Chapter 8
  • 61. Customizedfor:Eric( markets or working on product-focused groups. This provides an opportunity to hone your financial analysis skills, gain an understanding of the markets and client needs, and build expertise in areas like corporate finance or M&A. Don’t expect much money in this first stage of your career. Starting salaries range from around $50,000 to $70,000 annually, and bonuses are lighter than those given to investment bankers. But, it also gives you an opportunity to network, observe and participate. For research analysts, the title might stick for your entire career but the pay can only go higher. These positions do nothing but analyze companies, picking apart everything from corporate earnings reports to new product rollouts. They put together research reports that help advise everyone from individual investors to institutions, stating whether these companies are worth investing money into them. For middle market firms, most of their research capabilities are focused on small-cap to midsized companies. These analysts might start out with salaries of about $75,000. But as these analysts get promotions to titles like associate, vice president or managing director, the compensation will skyrocket. Associate The next rank up is the associate, or “investment banker” title for most firms. These are the folks who work with clients and identify new business. This is considered a very entrepreneurial job, the area of an investment bank’s business that helps to generate the most fees. Like analyst jobs, these positions run from first-year associates to third-year associates at most of the bigger middle market firms. At smaller ones, expect this class of job to run about a year. These also tend to be the entry-level positions for those possessing MBAs, bypassing the title of analyst. But no matter how you get into the job, the experience is pretty much the same. This is the real launching point of an investment banking career where associates get a chance to prove their negotiating skills. At a middle market firm, you’d be assigned to work closely with corporate clients in developing their business strategy. These companies might want a big private equity investment, or they decide the time is right to make a transformative acquisition. Either way, you’ll be on a team that comes up with the advice and the plan. You’ll use the analysts ranked below you to come up with the data, but the real responsibility falls upon the associates who are trying to make a name for themselves. The final decision is certainly not yours, and your input stays internal. An associate, in many ways, is really considered to be an “expert analyst.” The job is high stress for those just starting out, and provides a chance to prove your worth – crucial for advancement. The next stop is assistant vice president, or even vice president. Until then, you have to demonstrate an expert ability to make valuations, push spreadsheets through, connect with clients and deal with corporate egos. At this point, the associate also needs to be a master at networking both within the middle market firm and with key clients. You’ve really made it if you become an associate. It provides the chance to prove you have what it takes to succeed in investment banking. This job means you Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 54 © 2009, Inc.
  • 62. Customizedfor:Eric( are only a few years away from getting your own clients, initiating your own deals and making some good money. The salary that middle market firms are willing to pay is between $70,000 and $120,000. Vice president Getting this title at a major bulge-bracket firm is actually easy. Each year, thousands of bankers across Wall Street get VP printed on their business cards because it is mostly a ceremonial title. They’ve put in the time and have the experience to graduate from the associate level. This is a much tougher feat at middle market firms, which might count 100 or so employees among its ranks. After about five years or less as an analyst and associate, a smaller investment bank is likely to offer you this promotion. That means you’ve been rewarded for your motivation, skills, and have been deemed one of the firm’s most-trusted associates. It also means you’ve been placed in a position with more direct client contact, and often oversee a number of associates and analysts below you. The upshot is that you might be put in charge of a regional office, or will be overseeing a large number of clients. You’ll be their eyes and ears, dispatching M&A advice and relying on those who work below you. For that, compensation gets much better. Middle market firms will pay between $75,000 for an assistant vice president to $200,000 for a senior vice president. Bonuses also grow depending on how much business is brought in. Director/managing director Finally, after years of service, a successful, entrepreneurial, client-driven VP can be named a managing director. In these positions, an MD can expect to be in charge of associates in a major branch office, or even in the firm’s headquarters. They’re given the most high-profile clients, or the problem clients whose money is just too valuable for the firm to lose. If you’ve made it this far, then expect a salary of $300,000 and up. That’s the good news. The bad news is it might take a decade or more to reach this kind of a gig at a middle market firm. As one investment banker put it, “You’ve gotta work if you want to get paid.” Indeed. Here’s an example of the skill set one Chicago-based middle market firm recently advertised for a managing director position. This ad actually serves as the perfect example of why working from the ground up will provide the best experience for those looking to make a name for themselves in investment banking. It also demonstrates that middle market firms zero in on a specific industry, which is a crucial point when applying for a job. The ad reads: “Premier corporate finance and advisory services firm is seeking an experienced investment banking professional for sector leadership role. The successful candidate will possess strong marketing and lead origination skills, while also exhibiting experience in executing M&A and capital-raising transactions. We are seeking individuals with in-depth expertise in health care or industrial markets. The candidate should possess: 10+ years investment banking Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 55 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 63. Customizedfor:Eric( experience; proven ability to originate new business and build referral relationships; ability to independently manage and execute corporate finance transactions; be externally aggressive with a sales mentality and a self-starter; internally collegial, sharing and inclusive; have proven leadership-by-example skills; be entrepreneurial and have an outside-the-box mentality.” LIFESTYLE The lifestyle of the investment banking world is legendary. Take Stephen Schwarzman, a former Lehman Brothers executive who founded private-equity powerhouse The Blackstone Group. He spent millions of dollars to celebrate his 60th birthday in style. He hired Rod Stewart as the main attraction, and Patti LaBelle was on hand to sing “Happy Birthday” to the banker. The guest list was a who’s who of Hollywood stars, politicians and Wall Street celebrity. John Thain, former CEO of Merrill Lynch and the New York Stock Exchange, was there. Donald and Melania Trump, CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo, television’s Barbara Walters, media’s Tina Brown, former New York Governor George Pataki, and even New York Cardinal Edward Egan turned out. The birthday party went down as the biggest New York social event of 2007. That same year, even those starting out at the bottom rung of the investment banking ladder appeared to be enjoying the fruits of their labor. A 23-year-old investment banker named AJ became an internet sensation for a video known as Models and Bottles. A local New York City television station followed him on a booze-filled night on the city’s party scene. A Thursday night, which he says his fellow financial analysts call “the night we bowl … we go top down.” This is the work hard, play hard mentality, and AJ explains in the video that it doesn’t hurt to show up with “gorgeous eye candy.” Cutting back Fast-forward to 2009, and it’s easy to see that this is Wall Street’s past. Investment banks have not only slashed staff, but have cut the perks. Expense accounts are scrutinized, and fancy conferences in exotic locales have been scrubbed. The broad realignment of Wall Street has made the big city banker an endangered species. And those lucky enough to still have jobs are learning not just to be frugal, but to be much more humble. The days of wine and roses might be over – at least for now. In fact, many of the Street’s biggest bankers aren’t waiting for a return. There has been a flood of bankers leaving bigger firms and moving to smaller, niche firms that serve the middle market. We’re not sure where AJ is today. But, if he took a job at a middle market firm, it can be assured the lifestyle he hoped to live has been scaled back. Instead of New York City, he might be living elsewhere: Boston, St. Louis, Dallas and other big American cities. He’ll be focusing more on work than heading to the clubs. His salary is Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 56 © 2009, Inc.
  • 64. Customizedfor:Eric( probably cut in half – but, he is most likely living in a city with a less expensive standard of living. And still better than being out of work in such in a tight job market. Extensive travel Most likely the first job you take at a middle market investment bank will be working somewhere outside of New York City. But don’t think you’ll be able to avert the kind of high-paced, hectic lifestyle that comes with working in a big city. The hours won’t be anywhere near 9-to-5. One advantage of working In the Big Apple is that most of your clients regularly will visit the city, or are located there. The life of a middle market banker involves extensive travel. It might be spending hours in a car to visit a few clients in the Midwest, or taking to the skies and hopping from one small airport to another. Middle market investment banks cater to business spread out around the country, and specifically ones that aren’t located near a major metropolitan area. Being able to respond at a moment’s notice is also a key to the job. Business isn’t done on a set schedule, but by opportunity. One client located in Indiana might suddenly find out about a factory up for sale in Arizona, and, on 24-hours’ notice, needs a banker to fly out and make a deal happen. Those working at middle market firms might also manage a portfolio of companies, and that involves plenty of road trips to meet with management to discuss potential acquisitions or sales. Travel is still a key to this business despite how much technology makes it easier to network by using things like video conferencing. But there’s something to be said for pressing the flesh. And, remember, these trips might not all be glamorous. These days, all companies are clamping down on expenses, so you’ll probably not be checking into the Ritz Carlton for a business meeting, though, you certainly won’t be staying at a small, one-star hotel, either. There are some advantages to traveling for work. Of course, you’ll have an expense account and be expected to use it. Taking a client to the best restaurant in town is a great way to curry favor, get a transaction completed, and win their confidence. One middle market investment banker joked that he gained 10 pounds on a business trip to Puerto Rico. He works for a regional firm that specializes in financial services companies, and flew to San Juan to meet with the CEOs of the island’s four biggest banking companies. “It’s a pretty small city, and I basically spent two days being driven to their homes. Well, mansions really. At each stop they had a full meal prepared, and you just have to eat,” he said. “It was hard explaining that to my boss, who at first thought I spent the entire time in my room because there was nothing on my expense account.” Deadlines and pressure Traveling for client visits, no matter the mode of transportation, also carries with it varying levels of stress. That’s a given in the financial world, whether you’re stock broker, portfolio manager or investment banker. With these jobs comes a great responsibility to safeguard other people’s money, and their livelihoods. For the Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 57 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 65. Customizedfor:Eric( investment banker, there might even be higher levels of stress to orchestrate multimillion-dollar deals. Many people in the business say this is exactly why they are in the business–the rush of getting a transaction done. There’s also the deadline pressure that comes with a job in high finance. For instance, be prepared to stay up all night cranking out a proposal. Get used to pressure from managing directors and others who need models pulled together because they began negotiations on a deal. There are equal amounts of stress on the road and in the office. Working on the weekend might also be required. But many middle market bankers tend to enjoy a bit more quality of life that leaves time for friends and family. DIVERSITY Studies have been completed throughout the years that show Wall Street is shedding its image as being a mostly white male establishment. For the most part, that continues to be the case–though great strides have been made to broaden diversify in staffs. All the major investment banking houses have diversity programs to attract women and minorities. Anecdotally, that appears to have paid off. Women are excelling, such as Zoe Cruz, who climbed to become co-president of Morgan Stanley, and eventually moved on from that firm. Erin Callan was the chief financial officer at Lehman Brothers before the firm was sold to Barclays Capital. And, Vikram Pandit rose to the level of CEO at Citigroup. Middle market firms tend to be leaner, and typically don’t have such programs to attract minority hires. However, considering these firms are smaller, they tend to hire whoever comes in with the best qualifications. There’s also been a movement by investment banks big and small to make sure a diverse group of bankers is on hand for strategic purposes. Business is becoming increasingly more global, with American companies looking overseas to strike partnerships or make acquisitions. Having an investment banker familiar with the Chinese culture could open up new doors in the East. And, even at home, having a diverse staff also helps to attract minority clients. COMPENSATION Anybody seeking a junior analyst position should be looking at a base salary in the range of S60,000 to $100,000. These salaries vary between firms and the region of the country in which you’re working. Bonuses typically would be 10 percent to 60 percent of salary to start, and can move up to one to three times your salary as you progress. As you climb through the company, expect your compensation levels to grow as well– at a high rate. Base pay will typically hover around $100,000 to $150,000 each year. But seasoned investment bankers consider their base pay to be chump change Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 58 © 2009, Inc.
  • 66. Customizedfor:Eric( compared to the real payday: the bonus. After about five years on the job, hitting the level of associate, you’ll begin to see compensation packages that stretch to nearly $500,000 or more. Each deal you’re instrumental in making will be rewarded with a higher bonus. Top performing investment bankers can take home more than $1 million a year. After gaining experience in the middle market, some bankers might begin to consider taking a leap to a larger investment bank where compensation packages can balloon. Consider that the average Wall Street CEO, during the boom years earlier this decade, pulled in $20 million or more a year. Many CEOs like Morgan Stanley’s John Mack have pointed out that they are being paid less than some of their top bankers. Life on Wall Street can be brutal, causing many bankers to make as much money as possible at the start of their career and opting to retire before the age of 50. UPPERS AND DOWNERS Like any job, there are pros and cons to a career in middle market investment banking. Here are a few of the most notable uppers and downers for anybody considering entering the field. Uppers • Compensation Admit it. One of the biggest reasons anybody looks into a career in investment banking, no matter the size of the firm, is for the paycheck. The industry remains among the most lucrative in the world for compensation, especially when you reach the managing director level. Considering that middle market firms are scattered around the country, the salaries can be stretched much farther than they would living in Manhattan. • Challenge This is a career that rewards those with a healthy entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to work without much direction, and anybody that can think outside the box. There’s no set pattern about how deals are put together, and finding the best way to please a client and get a deal done can be incredibly gratifying. • The rush There are two kinds of bankers out there. First, there are the bankers who are just in it for the money with the realization that every new deal will mean a lucrative bonus at the end of the year. As Donald Trump says, it is the art of the deal. Then there are the bankers that get a rush from helping midsized companies achieve their goals, either through a sale or an acquisition. Those really happy in the business are the ones that are excited by both. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 59 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 67. Customizedfor:Eric( • Knowledge Each day is different, just like each client. Taking a job as a junior analyst will immediately give you exposure to a wealth of knowledge from more senior partners at the firm. You’ll learn a variety of skills, from how to deal with clients to how to structure a deal. The interpersonal skills will be invaluable, regardless of if you stay in the field or not. • Lifestyle The amount of money you make will certainly be a boost to your lifestyle. The big paychecks mean you can buy a nice house, take nice vacations and put money away for retirement. If you live within your means, the kind of compensation levels that investment bankers get will erase fears about paying rent and bills. Downers • Hours There will be plenty of them. Don’t even think about having any kind of set schedule. You’ll likely have to cancel plans or vacations when a last-minute business trip comes up. And don’t even think about turning off your BlackBerry. You’re on the job 24/7. • Demands Investment bankers lead extremely stressful lives, full of demands from management and clients alike. If you’re looking for something low stress or can’t handle intense pressure, then this is not the career for you. There are always a lot of balls in the air, and it is your job to keep them in the air. • Security The success of investment banks is tied to the overall economy. During boom times, clients are plentiful and so are bonuses. That all ends when the economy contracts. Your base pay might remain the same, but don’t count on the bonus check at the end of the year. Businesses tend to scale back on making acquisitions, and instead save money. Investment banks also tend to let staff go during periods when business is slow. • Burn out One investment banker described going into work each morning like a warrior going into battle. Careers in the financial world are for the strong, and suited for people adept at burning both ends of the candle. Most bankers tend to be under 40, and hope to make enough money to get out of the business and try something new. The hours are long, the clients demanding, and there comes a point when many people look for the exits. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 60 © 2009, Inc.
  • 68. Customizedfor:Eric( • Location This can be both an upper and a downer. If you were looking to live the glamorous lifestyle of a Wall Street banker with a stunning SoHo apartment, then working at a middle market firm probably won’t get you there. You’ll most likely be looking at jobs in smaller cities. But that might not be a bad idea. Take a look at real estate prices these days. A four-bedroom house with a pool in the backyard in a tony suburb outside of Wilmington, North Carolina, will run you about $220,000. That amount of money will get you an efficiency apartment, most likely without any direct sunlight, in one of the less prestigious neighborhoods in Manhattan. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Career Paths, Compensation and Lifestyle 61 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 69. Customizedfor:Eric( Days in the Life No matter what kind of investment bank at which you take a first-year position, the job requirements are pretty much the same. Any managing director will tell you it takes lots of dedication, and lots of time in the office working and out of the office thinking about work. If you’re looking for a 9-to-5 job, this life ain’t for you. We’ve asked insiders at middle market firms what their day is like. Here’s a compilation of what one typical day might be for those analysts looking to put together deals and those put in charge of analyzing companies and industries. ANALYST 6:00 a.m.: Just because your firm might not have a poncy Wall Street address doesn’t mean the day doesn’t begin early. The regional clients catered to by middle market firms need the same kind of intense service. Your day doesn’t begin with the alarm clock screaming out. Many first-year analysts say their biological clock, perhaps because of routine, wakes them up. The first thing they do is reach for their BlackBerry and not the snooze button. The first 15 minutes of the day is spent sifting through the subject lines in your email box for anything that might need immediate attention. 6:15 a.m.: Given that today’s market runs 24/7, you’ve responded to any emails on your BlackBerry that needed immediate attention. The next portion of your wake-up regimen is to sit on the sofa and enjoy your most peaceful moment of the day – watching CNBC, most likely in the morning darkness. You’ve tuned in to hear the latest commodity report that might influence the oil services account you’re working on, any interesting earnings news that could help out a tech company you’re representing, or a big market swing overseas that could slam the client who wants to open up shop in China. This would also be a good time to cruise through the major internet news sites, like, that might give you a jump on the news everyone will be talking about when you get into the office. 7:30 a.m.: This is a good time to get into the office, considering most everyone else will arrive within the next hour. This is when you check your voicemail, email and anything that might have landed on your desk since you left the night before (or earlier that morning). Responding this early in the morning to client requests is impressive, and shows management you’re on the ball. It also gives you a jump on things before the rest of your colleagues roll into work. And this is also a good time to pass on information to superiors, any important information like case studies or news events. 8:30 a.m.: This is when the rest of the analysts, managing directors and others typically will arrive into the office (assuming they have no early appointments). Your task: try to look relaxed. You’ve already sent the emails needed to inform others that you’ve been on the case for hours. Make sure to greet everyone that might come your way, but don’t “suck up” too much. The key is to be calm, confident and on top of 63 Chapter 9
  • 70. Customizedfor:Eric( your game. Don’t be afraid to stop a superior at the door if there’s an emergency, though, most appreciate a chance to get in and get settled into the morning before being approached. 9:00 a.m.: The workday for most of the world beings. The hour ahead of you is crucial because this is when you’ll get most of the direction for the day. Your boss might ask you to follow up on some client questions, or look into any developments that might have emerged overnight. It is an hour that is focused on getting as much information as possible, giving your team an edge in the investment banking world. This most critical period is probably when the largest amount of emails and telephone calls will be made. It’s all about preparing for the meetings ahead. 10:00 a.m.: The first meeting is typically a conference call from the middle market firm’s various offices and executives. This is when the entire company will run down what is expected from the day. The managing director is likely to lead the meeting, going from industry to industry to get a handle on what the firm faces. Don’t even think about tuning out until they talk about your industry. You might not be expected to talk during this conference call, but it’s a good idea to know what the key items are for each sector. As discussed, most industries cross over each other these days and it’s a good idea to have at least some knowledge about the ones you don’t directly cover. Take notes. 10:30 a.m.: The call is over and you have about 30 minutes to follow up on anything that came out of it. It’s perhaps the most fast and furious period of the day. The managing director might have asked your superior to get that pitch book polished off for a lunch meeting, or gather some more research on why a glut in processors might influence the small chip-making plant your firm is advising. Answers are needed, and quick. 11:00 a.m.: This is about the time that your superior will want a one-on-one meeting to see what you’ve accomplished. You might be meeting with the managing director at smaller middle market firms or a senior analyst at bigger ones. This is where you’ll get the direction needed to set the pace for the rest of the day. This gives them a chance to prioritize what is expected of you, and for you to update them on what you’ve learned since the day began at 6 a.m. 11:30 a.m.: The meetings are over. And, you’ve got your marching orders. Workers outside of the investment banking world might be thinking about lunch. But this is a brief window to reach out to those who actually take a lunch at noon. If you’re on the research side, you’ve got calls out to the investor relations departments at the companies you follow. Working on the deal side? There’s research to be done, maybe by reaching out to clients, to complete the models for which you’ve been asked. Not getting these calls in before noon could set you back hours, considering the people you’re calling are heading off to lunch. And, most of the business world doesn’t eat at their desks like you do. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 64 © 2009, Inc.
  • 71. Customizedfor:Eric( 12:15 p.m.: This is what one investment banker calls “the dead zone.” Responses to emails slow to a trickle. The phone doesn’t ring. The information your day hinges on isn’t going to get done for the next hour. If you’re smart, all the calls you need to make the day a success have already been placed. And that makes your calls high on the list of callbacks. This is the time to run across the street, BlackBerry at the ready just in case, and quickly get a lunch you can bring back to your desk. 12:30 p.m.: After returning to your desk, this is the moment where you can catch up on the day’s news. Check out how the Dow is doing. See what the trades are saying. And, most importantly, take a look at some nonbusiness news sites. “Don’t ever lose sight of the fact there’s actually news beyond just the business section,” one middle market investment banker said. The reason? “Knowing about the sports score from the night before is just as important as knowing their balance sheet backwards and forwards. It’s all about relationship-building.” 1:00 p.m.: If you’ve got all your calls out, from clients to investor relations departments, now is the time where you’ll get the response you’re waiting for. The next hour will be about getting the answers to the questions you’ve been pondering since the day first began. 2:00 p.m.: Remember the workers’ mantra of working 9-to-5? Well, you’ve already done it, only it’s 2 p.m. and you’ve got hours to go. Try not to fall asleep. Get some afternoon coffee and prepare for the last leg of the day. Senior analysts, managing directors and everyone else at the middle market firm you’ve joined are now looking for updates. Your boss might want to talk about that research he asked for, and be ready for the client calls that will come and come and come. 4:00 p.m.: The late afternoon, assuming things get slow, is when new business begins to come through. It might be calls from clients or directions from your managing director. You might be asked to put together a company overview for a new client, or maybe weigh some M&A potentials in the manufacturing sector. A corporate board might be looking for a quick turnaround on a model for the takeover of a rival that some consider risky. Pore over a bunch of regulatory reports or earnings releases. You might even be asked for a 50-page memo to be turned in before the next day begins. And that’s when the unexpected midnight oil burns for the life of an investment banker working at firm big or small. A few funding questions might get thrown at you, and be prepared to call up other bankers to learn how to raise funds for an acquisition. The last part of the day is sure to throw you the kind of curveballs that make you reach for your BlackBerry before the alarm sounds off. 5:00 p.m.: Just like earlier in the day, this is your last chance to get your questions asked – at least before the morning. With most folks leaving to go home, you squeeze whatever you can into the last hour of the day. It might be working on current business that your managing director has asked about. It might very well be the new business your boss asked you to look into. Either way, your questions need to be answered before the next morning, and this is your last chance to get calls in. You might need to compile some industry reports, scour the internet for information, make copies of reports, or put together working group lists for deal teams on a transaction. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 65 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 72. Customizedfor:Eric( 6:30 p.m.: Want to get ahead? It’s dinner time. If you have thoughts of a quiet night alone at home with a pizza, forget about it. For first-year analysts who want to get ahead, this is networking time. Three or four times a week, this period of the night is spent meeting with counterparts working in investor relations, or clients, colleagues or more senior partners at the firm. It’s all about networking in investment banking, and this is the time to do it. Don’t rely on a corporate Amex card. You probably won’t get one at a middle market firm, but they will likely give you a decent expense account. Make sure to have enough money on your credit card to pay for the entire meal, or face an embarrassing rejection from the waiter. And, given you’re not getting the exorbitant amount of money the rest of Wall Street is getting, the first-year analyst better be prepared to wait for reimbursement for a month. Maybe two. 8:30 p.m.: Back in the old days you’d probably have to go back to work, take what you’ve learned and prepare for the next day. Welcome the home office. That’s where you’ll spend the next few hours thinking about what you learned at dinner, reading over the news since you left the office, taking into consideration the direction you got from your boss, and putting all of that into action. Emails are sent, calls are made, and you get a jump on the next day. 9:30 p.m.: If your boss asked for that discounted cash flow model to get done before the morning, this is when you polish off your work. Hopefully you got most of it done earlier in the day. You’re still checking your BlackBerry for anything else that might have come in, and responding promptly to demonstrate you’re still on the job. 11:00 p.m.: Your BlackBerry goes off. It’s the managing director who got that late report you filed hours ahead of time. “Thanks,” he writes. Not especially verbose, but at least a recognition of the hours you’re putting in. It gives you the inspiration to put a few more emails out. Obviously you’re not expecting a response. It’s almost midnight. You’ve got another hour of reading to do about a perspective company, and its bulky balance sheet to look over. A little light reading before bed, you think to yourself. 1:00 a.m.: One last check on your BlackBerry, and then dial into your voicemail. Seems things are quiet. Until you wake up, at least. At this point of the night, with only five hours of sleep ahead, you think about the paycheck. The bonus. And the lifestyle you’ll live once the big promotion comes. MANAGING DIRECTOR 6:00 a.m.: It seems early, but even as the boss you have to wake up early. By habit, you log on to your BlackBerry to sift through whatever emails have come in overnight. While doing so, you multitask between getting yourself ready for a day of work and switching on your computer to scan through the business headlines on everything from blogs to major newspapers. You’re looking for any stories or articles on mergers and acquisitions, potential target companies or clients. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 66 © 2009, Inc.
  • 73. Customizedfor:Eric( 7:00 a.m.: As the managing director of a middle market firm, your next part of the day involves reading any email or listening to voicemail from those that work for you. The doorbell rings. It’s a courier dropping off an M&A pitch about which a decision needs to be made. The analysts that work at the firm have prepared the documents overnight under a tight deadline to get them finished before the big meeting later that day. You, as managing director, are flying to the Silicon Valley at the end of the day to go over options with the client. This is the third meeting with the chief executive of the medium-sized company that is looking to sell itself, and this could help seal the deal. 8:00 a.m.: On the way into work, you make telephone calls to various angel clients that are looking to buy or sell part or all of their companies. These are pretty normal phone calls, mostly just status updates or opportunities to give personal attention to clients that might make you money in the future. Some might pan out, others not. But that’s good business. 9:00 a.m.: You get to work and begin responding to voicemails as you dial into another conference call, which you quickly put on speaker phone so that it gives you a bit more mobility in the office. The CEO of one company wants to discuss some details that you need to put into a final pitchbook. A note pops into your inbox from the CEO of another company you talked to on your way into work. He wants some legal work done before he moves ahead on an acquisition, and you add that to the list of things that need to be finished before you fly out to California later that day. 10:00 a.m.: You attend a meeting with your staff to go over what was discussed in meetings held earlier in the morning with analysts. There are reports about new companies that might be good to take meetings with. Another banker talks about the next big thing that will sweep middle market activity, chip manufacturing suppliers. You don’t really pay that much attention. It’s a hunch, and your job is to worry about what’s in front of you right now. But the concept was interesting nonetheless, and you ask for a full report. Maybe it is a way to cash in, you ask yourself. Your strong suit has always been those last-minute negotiations that get the big fee your firm depends on, so a long session of crunching numbers isn't exactly the way you want to spend your morning. 11:00 a.m.: An analyst pins you down in the hallway to discuss a pitchbook for a struggling company that has been a client for years. While he shows some promising work, you simply don’t have time to go over the details. You make an appointment for later in the week, while at the same time trying to keep the analyst’s morale up and not sound discouraging. You realize your job is part dealmaker, part cheerleader. You drop into a quick meeting with your senior staff, each of them ready to report what their analysts are working on for the day. It’s a rapid-fire meeting where only the essential information is given, a status report that filters all the nonessential stuff out. You've got a working lunch set up for noon, and, crunched for time, you exit the meeting early. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 67 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 74. Customizedfor:Eric( 11:30 a.m.: You drop back into your office for the first opportunity to respond to phone calls and emails that weren’t deemed all that important when you first saw them on your BlackBerry. Like all good executives, that BlackBerry is on and active throughout the day. You learn to only respond when it’s a priority, but that doesn’t dismiss all the other email that comes in that isn’t capturing your attention. Being accessible is important. You spend 15 minutes taking care of whatever you can, and then head out for your lunch meeting. 11:50 a.m.: You’ve printed out whatever information needed to prep for your lunch meeting. You read it while in the car. One of the perks of the job, a driver – at least during the day. 12:00 p.m.: Two CEOs from companies that are among your clients are interested in a deal, and agree to meet with you for lunch. You've had an idea for a while that both companies might want to share technology, maybe even team up on new products together. The companies have very similar cultures, and could make a blockbuster team if their executives sign off on the idea. The CEOs are interested in a deal. They agree to explore some opportunities, and you give them some direction about how to go about it. Your people will get in touch with their people. With work out of the way, you spend the balance of the lunch talking about current events, films and updates about your personal lives. 2:00 p.m.: Rushing back into the office after lunch, you do the all-too-familiar check of email and voicemail. The CEO of the company you’re meeting with in the Silicon Valley has a whole host of questions. It’s a curveball. And you immediately call the analysts on the deal to get to work. It could be another long night for them, and that would make two in a row. The next call isn’t so good. The owner of another company that was looking to make a deal has turned the prospect down. The deal would have been a perfect fit, you think. Now there’s even more incentive to put your staff to work, coming up with even more ways to convince the two parties to come together. 3:00 p.m.: You meet with a candidate to become CFO of one of the portfolio companies that you manage. This is among the best parts of the job because you get to meet new people, and hear their ideas about how to make one of your companies great. During some interviews, you use the lulls to map out strategy for other ideas you have. But, this one in particular is interesting – and the candidate seems to be simply perfect for the job. He's also turning out to be an expert in an area where you see some opportunity to make more deals, and could even be a potential CEO sometime down the line. 4:00 p.m.: The chief counsel from an oilfield services company calls to go over a proposed term sheet. The phone call was last minute, and mostly informational, as you haven't lined up all the specifics yet about a potential deal. You assure the lawyer that you understand all the terms. In fact, you’re not exactly sure what all the terms are. But you do your best to keep the call quick and pledge to get back to him with all the information he requested. Another example during the day of how you need to delegate. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 68 © 2009, Inc.
  • 75. Customizedfor:Eric( 4:30 p.m.: With some downtime before the next meeting, you again scan the financial headlines, sift through some emails and make a few personal calls. You check in with your senior staff, and then turn your attention to a stack of due diligence reports about potential deals that seems to be piled high in the corner of your office. You decide to put it off after a day packed full of meetings. Perhaps some light reading on the weekend. 5:00 p.m.: The last meeting of the day could hold the most potential. The CEO of a tech company protests that he’ll only sign off on a deal so long as it can guarantee that none of his employees will be laid off. That’s an almost impossible term to promise. But you happen to know about another company looking to expand – a company that can use all the help it can get. You assure to the client, without providing any specific details, that you have just the company in mind. A few things for you to think over on the way to the airport 6:00 p.m.: On the way to the airport, your BlackBerry beeps. It is from the hotel in California where you’re staying. You asked for a regular room but they ran out. But, because you stay there each and every time you fly to the Sunshine State, they let you know that you’ve been upgraded. A suite. Sometimes, you think, “it is nice to be in charge.” 7:00 p.m.: While at the airport, you gaze around the room. Most people are making last-minute phone calls to loved ones, letting them know if their flight is on time, what time they’ll be in, and asking what the weather is like. You’re buried in paperwork and emails to look over. But, at the same time, you’re looking forward to being in the air for six hours and not having your BlackBerry go off. Finally, some time for you. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Days in the Life 69 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 76. Customizedfor:Eric( Final Analysis Not surprisingly, the start of 2009 doesn’t bode well for anybody making a living that depends on financial deals. Big, multibillion-dollar transactions have ground to a halt, with the major investment banks left on Wall Street reporting very little activity. For middle market firms, the picture isn’t exactly encouraging. Deals have declined, but haven’t entirely dried up. Global M&A deal activity in during the first month of 2009 was off to an inauspicious start, according to Robert W. Baird & Co. Deals were down 38.7 percent in January, which is the largest monthly decline since 2001. And, despite the low numbers, the middle market experienced even larger declines in the number of deals and dollar volume than the overall market. The number of global announced middle market transactions was 555, a decrease of 47.6 percent, and middle market dollar volume decreased by a staggering 61.2 percent to $24.8 billion. In the U.S., there were just 157 announced middle market transactions in January 2009, a 45.1 percent decline over the same period the previous year. Dollar volume for January was just $9.4 billion, a 66.8 percent decline compared to the same period the prior year. Keep in mind that was coming off some pretty depressing numbers in 2008. Baird reported that the average M&A deal size in the U.S. was down considerably in 2008— $274 million versus $342.7 million in 2007. With a 25.4 percent decline from 2007, U.S. middle market activity hit a record 14-year low, with only 3,076 registered deals in 2008. Not throwing in the towel yet The investment firm summarized that “the current outlook for 2009 is uncertain at best” in its prognosis of 2009. But it did state assuredly that an expected increase in the availability of credit and any improvement in the economy would boost this year’s outlook. And others claim that despite the gut-wrenching 2008 numbers and 2009 projections, it is not time to throw in the towel. Both Baird and William Blair & Co., another middle market investment bank, predicted companies looking to buy a competitor or expand into new markets through an acquisition for strategic reasons likely will dominate the M&A landscape in 2009. M&A is sure to fall in 2009 compared with the year before, but “the lower end of the middle market” should hold up relatively well since smaller deals require less financing, experts say. Some firms are waiting on the sidelines for things to balance out. “We are kissing a lot of frogs right now,” Brad Woloson, a general partner with JMI Equity, said at a conference on private equity deals. “We are sitting here waiting for the dislocation to happen in our markets … waiting for rational sellers.” Meanwhile, banks that specialize in lending money for middle market deals remain encouraged. Ellen Marshall, a managing director with New York’s CIT Bank, said, “we have every intent to be active in the current market.” And Wells Fargo Chief Executive John Stumpf said on a recent conference call at the start of the year that his bank “never stopped lending” for middle market deals during the big downturn. 71
  • 77. Customizedfor:Eric( This segment of his business rose 14 percent in 2008, and he expects that those commercial loans will continue once the market regains some balance. Looking to technology One area on everybody’s list in 2009 is technology. With the economy not likely to recover quickly, many companies in the tech space are running tight operations bent on producing decent earnings and wrangling with a curbed appetite from their cost- minded customers. But that also means tech companies will be more cautious when shopping for an acquisition. That means they will prefer to complete deals that don’t use up all their cash, and where the target company is healthy and able to weather the economic storm. That means 2009 could well be the year of small- and medium- sized deals, bankers say. Don’t rule out another run by Microsoft Corp. to snap up rival Yahoo! Inc., or a sprinkling of other multibillion-dollar acquisitions. It is expected that supersized deals will make up a smaller percentage of the volume for tech, and middle market acquisitions will fill in the gap. "Large, cash-rich strategic companies are unlikely to make large, transformative acquisitions," said Jeff Bistrong, who heads the technology group at investment banking firm Harris Williams. Rather, he told BusinessWeek, he expects more "bite- sized" acquisitions. "Most will keep as much dry powder and liquidity as they can, because of the indeterminate duration of this downturn.” That’s backed up by a PricewaterhouseCoopers’ report on the 2009 M&A Outlook. The business advisory firm predicts that there will be “aggressive acquisition activity from industry leaders ... as they take advantage of once-in-a-decade low prices to pursue strategic portfolio fill-ins as well as cross-sector transformative deals." Fighting against the big guns That means that the surviving Wall Street banks, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. or Morgan Stanley, will be fighting against smaller middle market banks for deals. And, with a natural edge due to their roots in the middle market industry, the smaller firms will find themselves in a more advantageous position against their bigger rivals. And for those looking for a job in investment banking, get ready for a scrappy way of business as the markets heal during 2009. Middle market executives say they are going all out in not only attracting new business, but making sure deals get done. Anybody looking for a job as an analyst, and pushing themselves from promotion to promotion until they get that long sought-after gig as managing director, might be wise to take on that same kind of spirit. “What was agreed to, what wasn’t agreed to, was open to additional negotiation,” said Glenn Gurtcheff, managing director of the Harris Williams & Co. office in Minneapolis. “Duct tape, shoe spit … We did everything we could to keep deals from falling apart.” Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Final Analysis 72 © 2009, Inc.
  • 78. Customizedfor:Eric( FIRM PROFILESVault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking
  • 79. Customizedfor:Eric( 74 © 2009, Inc.
  • 80. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Full service shop Allegiance Capital Corporation is a full-service investment banking firm specializing in the middle market (companies with revenue from $20 million to $500 million), with offices in Dallas, New York, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Vancouver, Shanghai and Tel Aviv. Founded in 1998 after a spin-off from Northstar International, Allegiance Capital specializes in the sale and divestiture of middle market companies. Through its worldwide network, Allegiance Capital assists companies in every aspect of selling and financing a business, including debt restructuring, mezzanine financing, buyout management, strategic partnering, consulting and other related services. The firm says it differentiates itself by having deep industry knowledge, vast contacts with potential buyers, heavy investment in educating sellers and by obtaining premium pricing for clients. Today, the company serves a wide range of industries, including service, manufacturing, health care, retail, technology, natural resources, energy, aviation and wholesale distribution. A safe haven Allegiance Capital's management targeted a large and robust sector in the U.S. economy—the lower middle market. Representing approximately 30,000 companies with earnings ranging from $5 million to $40 million, given an enterprise value of approximately $1.5 trillion, this market is huge. "Despite tightening within the financial markets, the lower middle market is a safe haven," notes David Lonsdale, president of Allegiance Capital. "Transactions in the business sector use less leverage than larger transactions, which helps obtain financing in the current credit market." ALLEGIANCE CAPITAL 5429 LBJ Freeway, Suite 750 Dallas, Texas 75240 Phone: (214) 217-7750 SPECIALTIES Alliances Buyouts Corporate Finance Cross-Border Transactions Divestitures Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Sales EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder & Chairman: David Mahmood Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 6 75 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 81. Customizedfor:Eric( Allegiance Capital has a client base of 50 companies, and has a sign-up rate averaging one new client per week. Recent deals Allegiance recently announced the sale of Precision Motors Transport Group, a Michigan company specializing in the transport of European luxury cars throughout the United States. The purchaser is Corinthian Capital Group, LLC, a private equity firm that specializes in investing in small and middle market companies. Allegiance Capital, acting on behalf of the seller, was the investment bank on the transaction. Getting Hired Point of contact If you’re interested in working for Allegiance Capital, your best bet is to email them directly at Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Allegiance Capital 76 © 2009, Inc.
  • 82. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop 100 under 100 Since 1999, Alpha Omega Capital Partners has been providing in-depth advisory services to privately owned, entrepreneurial firms in the mid-Atlantic region with annual revenue under $100 million. The firm provides a full range of investment banking services, including seller representation, valuation services, financial advisory services and management consulting. Having sold over 100 companies, the firm is currently representing over 30 sell-side, buy-side, capital raise, valuation and consulting clients in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan and Utah. A diversity of experience The principals of Alpha Omega have extensive operational and financial experience with numerous industries including plastics processing, printing, job shop manufacturing, retail (including auto dealerships), internet-based companies, distribution, and business-to-business services. They have run companies, provided financing for growth or acquisitions, and provided M&A investment banking advisory services. The firm also controls subsidiary Alpha Omega Capital Securities, based in Richmond, Virginia. The unit is a licensed broker-dealer that raises capital for investment banking opportunities. Alpha Omega Capital Securities employs a team of principals and registered representatives who specialize in providing their clients with funding choices, including traditional debt instruments, mezzanine financing and private equity. ALPHA OMEGA CAPITAL PARTNERS 7202 Glen Forest Drive, Suite 300 Richmond, VA 23226 Phone: (804) 282-7680 SPECIALTIES Business Valuations Buying Businesses Capital Raising Owner Exit Strategies Selling Businesses EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Partner & Founder: Tony Vincent Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3 77 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 83. Customizedfor:Eric( Merging for success In 2004, Alpha Omega merged with investment banking and venture capital firm Story Point Capital. Tony Vincent, president of the firm, said that "this merger will assist smaller middle market companies by bringing together the investment experience of Stony Point Capital with the M&A experience of Alpha Omega." The firm’s services also include mergers and acquisitions, financial restructuring, and debt placement advice, financing arrangement, and strategic consolidation and equity removal strategies. Aside from manufacturing, retail and financial services, the firm serves the health care, media, telecommunications and transportation sectors. Getting Hired Point of contact If you’re interested in working for Alpha Omega, your best bet is to check our its website, which has information on how to email the firm (without actually providing a direct email address!) Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Alpha Omega Capital Partners 78 © 2009, Inc.
  • 84. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop What slowdown? While other banks handed out pink slips in 2008, Milwaukee’s R.W. Baird & Co. (better known as Baird) handed out job offers. The firm added more than 200 employees to its payroll, bringing global headcount to nearly 2,300. Of these, the majority are in the United States; Baird’s overseas business remains modest, with just about 100 professionals, but according to the firm, European and cross-border assignments have accounted for one-third of its mergers and acquisitions work in recent years. In January 2009 the firm ranked No. 14 overall on Fortune’s 2009 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For. It also came in No. 3 among small companies (those with 2,500 employees or fewer). This was the sixth consecutive year in which Baird made the prestigious national listing. Baird was also named the 2008 “Middle Market Investment Bank of the Year” by Buyouts magazine. Since the late 1990s Baird has advised on over 615 M&A and financing deals with a total value of over $94 billion. A storied founder Robert Wilson Baird wasn’t just the founder of the firm that bears his name: he was also one of the funders of the National Association of Securities Dealers, and served as the NASD’s third chairman. Baird the bank traces its roots to 1919, when Robert Wilson was named lead partner of the First Wisconsin National Bank’s securities division. He rose to become president of the division, called First Wisconsin Company, which was later spun off and renamed the Securities Company of R. W. BAIRD & CO. INCORPORATED 777 East Wisconsin Avenue Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: (414) 765-3500 Fax: (414) 765-3633 SPECIALTIES Asset Management Equity Capital Markets Fixed Income Capital Markets Private Equity Private Wealth Management EMPLOYMENT CONTACT baird/careers/careers.aspx Chairman, President & CEO: Paul E. Purcell Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 78 79 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 85. Customizedfor:Eric( Milwaukee. By 1948 the firm had obtained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and assumed its current name. Baird gathered its strength in Wisconsin in the 1980s, becoming the state’s top investment bank before embarking on a strategic expansion in the 1990s. This led to the opening of dozens of new offices in the United States and in Europe. Wholly owned by its employees, Baird has also stayed true to its hometown and maintained its headquarters in Milwaukee. Baird’s business mix Baird’s asset management division includes Baird Investment Management (which manages equity mutual funds) and Baird Advisors (a fixed-income investment manager). It’s a small group, with just three offices: San Francisco, Milwaukee and Cincinnati. Investment banking, research and equity sales and trading comprise the equity capital markets business, which includes an institutional sales team in London and i-banking teams in Germany and the U.K. The fixed income capital markets unit, with about 25 offices in the U.S., consists of fixed income sales and trading and public finance. The private wealth management division, which serves high-net-worth individuals, corporate clients and business owners, has 58 offices nationwide. Finally, the private equity business is carried out by several partners around the globe: Baird Capital Partners, Baird Capital Partners Europe, Baird Venture Partners and Granville Baird, a German affiliate. Target: Asia For the latest proof that Baird’s gone global, look no further than Shanghai. In September 2008 the firm announced that it had expanded its international platform to include investment banking capabilities in Asia, thanks to the hire of Anthony Yan- Hong Siu, a veteran Hong Kong investment banker who joined from Standard Chartered Bank. In his new role, Siu will focus on cross-border M&A deals, working in partnership with Baird’s M&A teams in the U.S. and Europe. Siu joined Baird’s 150 investment banking professionals in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany. Steve Booth, the firm’s director of investment banking, said Baird is poised to make more inroads in the international market, a move that may mean more work for its domestic teams. “In the late 1990s, our clients valued us for our deep sector expertise, but we were in danger of becoming less relevant due to our strictly U.S. focus,” he said. “As we expanded into Europe and gave our U.S. clients the access they were interested in, we formed relationships with European clients who were similarly interested in our U.S. connections.” Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking R.W. Baird & Co. Incorporated 80 © 2009, Inc.
  • 86. Customizedfor:Eric( More pros on board In October 2008 Richard P. Conklin joined Baird’s equity capital markets team in the Chicago office. His new assignment: building Baird’s equity capital markets business in the industrial and real estate sectors, and overseeing private placement activity for both public and private companies. The equity capital markets division is clearly on a path of expansion; earlier in 2008 it opened equity sales and trading offices in San Francisco, Boston and Stamford, Conn. Conklin joined Baird from ProLogis, the world’s largest real estate investment trust (REIT). Previously, he held a senior position in William Blair & Co.’s investment banking group. Two more senior investment banking professionals joined the Baird ranks that month, as the firm opened a new office in Charlotte, N.C. Brian McDonagh, former head of the industrial growth M&A group at Wachovia Securities, signed on as managing director and co-head of mergers and acquisitions. Joe Pellegrini, who led the retail and soft goods investment banking group at Wachovia, joined as a managing director. (Pellegrini tackles advisory assignments these days, but before going into banking he spent seven years in the NFL, playing with the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets.) To further flesh out the Charlotte team, managing director Frank Stokes left the Chicago office and headed south. The senior hires kept coming in December 2008 with the addition of Gregory J. Ingram, who was named managing director and co-head of equity capital markets. He joined Baird’s San Francisco office from the equity and capital markets division of Pacific Growth Equities; before that he was co-head of J.P. Morgan’s Americas ECM division. Nice deals For the second year in a row Baird won top honors for its M&A prowess in the Acquisitions Monthly annual roundup of investment banks. Baird was named the 2008 “Manufacturing Sector Adviser of the Year” for its work on deals like the sale of Avery Weigh-Tronix Holdings Ltd. to Illinois Tool Works and the sale of Driessen Aerospace Group to Zodiac S.A. Baird also nabbed the “Consumer and Retail Products Deal of the Year” award from The M&A Advisor for its role in advising Technical Concepts on its $445 million sale to Newell Rubbermaid Inc., one of the largest, middle -market consumer products transactions of 2008. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking R.W. Baird & Co. Incorporated 81 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 87. Customizedfor:Eric( Getting Hired Careers at Baird With more than 100 locations globally, Baird has openings in a wide range of financial fields, according to its website. Go to for more information on opportunities in the U. S. and abroad as well as campus visits and career fairs. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking R.W. Baird & Co. Incorporated 82 © 2009, Inc.
  • 88. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Services and clientele BCC Capital Partners LLC is a boutique investment banking firm offering financial advisory services to middle market companies. The firm provides corporate transitions, merger and acquisitions, corporate finance, negotiation, divestiture, strategic consulting, management buyout and valuation advisory services. Its clientele includes Aerospace Optics, Clark Metals, Inc., Edwards and Kelsey, Inc., Fitness Systems, Inc., Lambco Engineering, Inc., Prime Line Products, Inc., Typecraft, Inc. and United Syatt America. BCC was founded in 1987. Specialties on offer BCC Capital offers a number of specialties for its customers. BCC Partners, LLC is nationally known for properly structuring and implementing the sale of a business owner's stock to employees. BCC Valuation Services, LLC provides a full range of valuation and financial opinion services to private and public companies of all sizes and in virtually all industries. BCC Advisory Services, LLC specializes in advising business owners in sale transactions where the target company is privately owned with $10 million to $200 million in annual revenue. BCC Advisory Services, LLC advises business owners in raising debt and equity capital for growth, recapitalizations, acquisitions and liquidity. BCC CAPITAL PARTNERS 5000 Birch Street, Suite 7500 Newport Beach, CA 92660 Phone: (949) 833-3767 SPECIALTIES Business Valuations Debt & Equity Financings Employee Stock Ownership Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder & Managing Partner: Edward M. Bixler Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 83 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 89. Customizedfor:Eric( ESOP experience BCC is nationally known for properly structuring and implementing the sale of a business owner's stock to its employees using an ESOP, a popular employee plan that encourages employee ownership and allows employees to become actually involved in their company’s success. Founder Edward Bixler speaks nationally at ESOP conferences and sits on National ESOP Association committees including the valuation, finance, and legal and regulatory advisory committee, as well as the board of advisors of ESCA (Employee S-Corporations of America). The companies he looks for are: privately-owned—$ 10 to $150 million in annual revenue—with owners seeking to cash out, either partially or completely, and who desire to reward loyal employees. The company boasts one of the highest transaction completion rates in the industry. Getting Hired Seeking talent According to its website, BCC Partners is continually seeking talented professionals to join its advisory team. To learn more, email Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking BCC Capital Partners 84 © 2009, Inc.
  • 90. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Full service shop Bengur Bryan & Co. is an investment bank focusing on private placements, mergers and acquisitions, and other financial advisory services (fairness opinions, valuations and strategic planning) for middle market companies. The company serves industries that include communications and technology, transportation, financial and business, consumer products and services, manufacturing and distribution, and health care services. Bengur Bryan was founded in 1991 and is based in Baltimore, Maryland. The companies the firm represents typically have enterprise values ranging between $10 and $100 million. Bengur Bryan has completed more than 100 financings and merger and acquisition transactions, which have totaled in excess of $3 billion. Efforts in merchant banking The company also has a merchant banking unit, Patriot Capital. The unit makes subordinated debt and preferred equity investments in acquisitions, management buyouts and recapitalizations that range between $15 and $100 million in enterprise value. The merchant bank focuses its efforts principally in the mid-Atlantic, Midwest and southern United States. BENGUR BRYAN & CO. 509 S. Exeter Street, Suite 210 Baltimore, MD 21202 Phone: (443) 573-3030 SPECIALTIES Fairness Opinions Financial Advisory Services Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements Strategic Planning Valuations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Co-Founder: Charles A. Bryan Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 85 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 91. Customizedfor:Eric( Bryan leads the way Charles A. Bryan, who co-founded the firm, specializes in and manages Bengur Bryan’s investment banking services in mergers and acquisitions and private placements for companies in the consumer, transportation and business services industries, and related e-commerce businesses. Bryan has advised clients ranging from a multibillion-dollar transportation company, Yellow Corporation, to industry consolidators like Railworks, Inc., to early stage e-business services companies. Hands-on David Schwaber, chief executive of Monarch Rubber Company, explained that the sale of his family business was made easier by Bengur Bryan’s hands-on approach. “When we began to consider the sale of our family business, our attorneys suggested that we interview various investment banking firms to represent us,” he said. “When we met with Bengur Bryan we immediately felt as though their firm was the right combination of expertise and personality for our company.” Monarch, a 75 year-old family-owned business, was sold to Germany’s Armacell international. “We are very pleased to welcome Monarch, their employees and their customers into the Armacell family,” said Armacell President Ulrich Weimer after the transaction closed. Getting Hired Point of contact Bengur Bryan’s website doesn’t directly refer to employment opportunities, but does list an email address,, that’s worth trying if you’re interested in learning more about possible opportunities at the firm. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Bengur Bryan & Co. 86 © 2009, Inc.
  • 92. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Almost a century of service Boenning & Scattergood, Inc. is one of the oldest independent securities, asset management and investment banking firms in the region, providing individual, institutional, corporate and municipal clients a full complement of financial services, including equity research, investment banking, public finance and asset management, as well as equity and fixed income, and sales and trading. Today, Boenning & Scattergood upholds over nine decades of tradition that is rarely found among its competitors. History and activity In 1914, Philadelphia financier and banker, Henry Dorr Boenning, established the investment banking firm of Boenning & Company. The Scattergood name was added in 1970; the firm is now led by Harold F. Scattergood. The firm's investment banking practice was further delineated in 2001 when it acquired bankers from the Berwin Group of Philadelphia, and focused primarily in the financial services and middle market sectors. Boenning & Scattergood broadened to include life sciences investment banking in 2004, and offers services for family businesses, public and private companies looking to divest or buy units, private placements and other capital-raising activities. Over the past five years, the investment banking practice of Boenning & Scattergood has closed over 60 transactions with total deal volume of $3 billion, making the practice one of the most active in the mid-Atlantic region. Over the past 20 years, principals of Boenning & Scattergood's investment banking practice have closed transactions with a $6.9 billion total deal volume. Boenning & BOENNING & SCATTERGOOD 4 Tower Bridge West Conshohocken, PA 19428 Phone: (610) 832-1212 SPECIALTIES Derivative Strategy Equity Capital Markets Equity Research Fixed Income Investment Banking Private Client Services Public Finance EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & CEO: Harold F. Scattergood Jr. Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 5 87 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 93. Customizedfor:Eric( Scattergood has advised companies such as Ronco, Yardville National Bank, and Dave and Busters. Scatter the wealth Harold F. Scattergood Jr. says he’s happy keeping the company decidedly middle market. The goal, he said, is to keep things local instead of growing too fast—a sage plan given all the upheaval on Wall Street these days. "My father always told me that you do the things you know best, you stick with them and try to do them well," he said. "It's a philosophy I have grown up with, at the dinner table with him as a boy, and later when I was learning the business under his wing." Getting Hired Contact information If you’re interested in learning more about Boenning & Scattergood, check out its website, which lists a toll-free contact number, 800-883-1212. The site also provides a way to contact the firm electronically by submitting an online request. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Boenning & Scattergood 88 © 2009, Inc.
  • 94. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop An experienced group With over 125 years of cumulative investment banking experience, Breckenridge’s team of professionals has completed over 400 financial advisory assignments, representing over $30 billion in transaction value. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Breckenridge provides a wide range of investment banking services to middle market businesses. The firm focuses on divestitures, and mergers and acquisitions, as well as private placements of debt and equity. Many services for many industries The boutique investment banking firm offers corporate finance advisory services to middle market companies. The firm offers mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, financing, management buyouts, going-private, recapitalizations and private placements advisory services. It caters to the chemicals, distribution, environmental, financial services, food processing and services, health care, information management, manufacturing, printing and packaging, telecommunications and transportation industries. The firm’s clientele includes Hi-Tech Rentals Inc., ReachView Technologies, OnSite E-Discovery Inc., Cypress Communications Inc., and Z-Tel Inc. Williams at the helm Larry C. Williams co-founded The Breckenridge Group, Inc. in 1987 as a boutique investment banking firm focused exclusively on the middle market. Prior to that, BRECKENRIDGE GROUP Resurgens Plaza - Suite 1250 945 East Paces Ferry Road Atlanta, GA 30326 Phone: (404) 965-1600 SPECIALTIES Credit Facilities Leveraged Transactions Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Co-Founder: Larry C. Williams Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 89 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 95. Customizedfor:Eric( Williams was an executive vice president at Stringer, Wyatt & Williams, Inc., an Atlanta-based investment banking firm. Previous experience includes a role as vice president for investment banking with Robinson-Humphrey Company, Inc. and as director of finance and development for the Cecil B. Day Company. Among Breckenridge’s most recent deals, Williams oversaw the sale of ReachView Technologies to Alcatel-Lucent. Getting Hired Point of contact You can email Breckenridge at to find out more. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Breckenridge Group 90 © 2009, Inc.
  • 96. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Looking far and wide Brisbane Capital focuses on managing clients through merger, acquisition and corporate finance transactions, and by providing related financial advisory services. The firm's principals have managed over 100 transactions, creating value for clients in excess of $1 billion. Though based in South Florida, Brisbane has represented clients and projects international in scope. The firm has represented clients in Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, California and Washington state, and buyer transactions have included targets in North America, Europe and Latin America. Firm focus Brisbane Capital focuses on assisting clients with strategic assessments, development of comprehensive business information memorandums, identifying qualified target candidates (either buyers or sellers), developing valuation benchmarks, contacting target candidates, negotiations, deal structure, due diligence and transitions. Acquisition experience (buyer representation) includes transactions generally ranging up to $10 million. Divestiture experience (seller representation) includes deals valued in excess of $150 million, with a focus on transactions in the $10 to $50 million range. Devoted to the middle market Founding member Warren Blanchard has over 30 years of experience serving middle market companies. A certified CPA, in 1993 he formed SunCoast Capital Corp., a BRISBANE CAPITAL 760 U.S. Highway One, Suite 206 North Palm Beach, FL Phone: (561) 630-8400 SPECIALTIES Debt & Equity Capital Exit Strategies Fairness Opinions IPO Advisory Management Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions Restructuring Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Co-Founder & Managing Director: Warren W. Blanchard Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 91 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 97. Customizedfor:Eric( merger and acquisition consulting firm serving the middle market; prior to that he was managing partner of Coopers & Lybrand. Getting Hired Point of contact To learn more about Brisbane Capital, send an email to Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Brisbane Capital 92 © 2009, Inc.
  • 98. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop A range of offerings Brookwood Associates is an investment banking firm that provides financial advisory and consulting services to middle market companies. The firm offers mergers and acquisition, sales advisory, business valuation, negotiation, divesture, institutional private placement of equity, mezzanine debt and senior debt, recapitalization and restructuring consulting services. Additionally, it provides due diligence, private transactions, fairness opinions, bankruptcy and strategic advisory services. The company’s clientele includes Remy International, Inc., Marina Medical Billing Service, Inc., KirTac, Inc., Stag-Parkway, Inc., Thompson Industrial Services, Inc., and Southern Anesthesia & Surgical, Inc. BALLC was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia with an additional office in Charlotte, North Carolina. Transactions aplenty Brookwood’s bankers have in excess of 150 years of experience and have led the successful completion of hundreds of middle market M&A, private finance and advisory engagements that aggregate in total value to significantly more than $10 billion. The firm focuses primarily on companies in consumer products, health care, food and agribusiness, manufacturing, restaurants, specialty retail, technology and telecommunications. It specializes in transactions with enterprise values up to $250 million. The company’s clientele include Remy International, Inc., Marina Medical BROOKWOOD ASSOCIATES 3575 Piedmont Road 15 Piedmont Center, Suite 820 Atlanta, GA 30305 Phone: (404) 874-7433 SPECIALTIES Corporate Finance Divestitures Financial Advisory Services Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placement Restructuring/Bankruptcy Services Sales EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Rob Tyndall Email: Michael Stollmack Email: Founder & Chairman: Robert S. Winborne Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2 93 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 99. Customizedfor:Eric( Billing Service, Inc., KirTac, Inc., Stag-Parkway, Inc., Thompson Industrial Services, Inc. and Southern Anesthesia & Surgical, Inc. Au Bon Deal Brookwood served as exclusive financial advisor to Boston-based Au Bon Pain in the sale of a majority stake of the company to LNK Partners. Founded 30 years ago, Au Bon Pain is one of the most successful fast casual restaurant concepts in the restaurant industry, with 33 consecutive quarters of positive same store sales growth. The company operates over 225 bakery/cafés, including company owned and franchise cafés in the U.S. and internationally. Among the highlights of the deal is that this was the second time Au Bon Pain tapped Brookwood, the first being the 2005 management-led recapitalization of the company. The transaction also allowed management to obtain significant liquidity and retain a minority equity interest. Getting Hired Seeking qualified professionals Brookwood actively seeks those who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to client service. For more info, contact Rob Tyndall or Michael Stollmack at the email addresses above, or see Brookwood’s website. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Brookwood Associates 94 © 2009, Inc.
  • 100. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop What they provide Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. is an investment banking firm that focuses on middle- market companies with enterprise values between $25 million and $500 million. The firm provides mergers and acquisitions, recapitalizations, private placements of equity and debt securities, initial public offerings, valuations and fairness opinions, and financial restructuring advisory services. Additionally, it offers due diligence, transaction negotiation and document preparation services. BGL was founded in 1989 and is based in Cleveland, Ohio, with additional offices in Chicago, Illinois, and Boston, Massachusetts. Sales and mergers Assisting in the sale, merger or other disposition of middle-market companies, from early stage strategic planning to final transaction closing, has been at the core of Brown Gibbons Lang’s advisory services. The firm represents private company owners, private equity investors, and private and public corporations in both sell-side and buy-side M&A engagements. The firm caters to automotive, business services, chemicals, construction materials and building products, consumer products, food and beverage, health care, manufacturing, metals processing, plastics and packaging industries. BGL is also the U.S. partner in Global M&A, a partnership of independent M&A houses focused on cross-border deals. BROWN GIBBONS LANG & CO. 1111 Superior Avenue Suite 900 Cleveland, OH 44114 Phone: (216) 241-2800 SPECIALTIES Debt & Equity Placements Financial Restructuring Global Deals Mergers & Acquisitions EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Erica B. Anthony Email: Senior Managing Director & Principal: Michael E. Gibbons Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2 95 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 101. Customizedfor:Eric( Road warrior In 2007, Brown Gibbons Lang’s Michael Gibbons logged over 300,000 airline miles, regularly traveling between the U.S. to countries such as Argentina, Holland, Japan, Poland and Chile. Such is the life of a co-founder and chairman determined to build his investment bank into a global franchise that's as well known in Latin America or Europe as it is in its hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Though the entire investment banking industry is suffering due to the credit crisis, Gibbons says the long travel and hard work pays off. “Seller price expectations are slowly adjusting to the new market climate. However, there is still plenty of money for, and interest in, good businesses in the middle market. The dry powder in the hands of private equity ensures at least a reasonable level of activity in this difficult market.” Getting Hired A traditional hierarchy Professional positions at BGL include investment banker, associates and analyst. The firm’s website includes instructions on how to submit a resume online, and you can also contact Erica B. Anthony at for more information. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. 96 © 2009, Inc.
  • 102. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Handling a crisis Founded in 1983, C.V. Lemmon & Co. devotes itself to providing the highest caliber of advisory services to closely held corporations. The firm's activities span many industries, with experience in a wide cross section of manufacturing, distribution, finance and service industries. The company first became known in the financial community through arranging non-bank loans so clients could leave the banks during the Southwestern banking crisis, which occurred in the mid and late 1980s. C.V. Lemmon has grown since then, and is now an active member of the International Network of M&A Partners (IMAP), which provides clients with international exposure to identify global strategic partners. It’s in the database C.V. Lemmon maintains an extensive database on thousands of public and private companies, buying groups, lenders, mezzanine equity sources, attorneys, accountants, appraisers and other professionals associated with successful dealmaking. This proprietary, automated database includes complete data on preferences, transaction histories and financial abilities. Most recently, the firm served as financial advisor to Precise Machine Co. in its sale to LMI Aerospace Inc. Lemmon squeezes more profit Charlie Lemmon is not only helping sell companies, but is taking equity stakes along with it. As the founder of his own boutique investment bank, Lemmon told the Dallas C. V. LEMMON & CO. 6060 N. Central Expressway Suite 260 Dallas, TX 75206 Phone: (214) 692-7248 SPECIALTIES Corporate Finance Mergers & Acquisitions Strategic Alliances Valuations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder & Chairman: Charles V. Lemmon Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 97 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 103. Customizedfor:Eric( Business Journal that he’s seeing a steady stream of profitable, well-managed and growing companies looking for capital investments. "The No. 1 asset on their balance sheet is the company; they're looking to take some cash out," Lemmon said. In the three recapitalizations C.V. Lemmon completed in 2007, banks and private equity investors were interested in deals with quality small companies. The next year's deals were bigger, and C.V. Lemmon took an equity stake in some of them. “2008 could be better than the last two years,” predicted Lemmon. Getting Hired Point of contact If you’re interested in working at C. V. Lemmon, send an email to to find out more. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking C.V. Lemmon & Co. 98 © 2009, Inc.
  • 104. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Formerly Harpeth Caymus Partners LLC is an investment banking firm that offers financial advisory services to middle market companies. The firm provides mergers and acquisitions advisory services including sell-side, buy-side and leveraged buyout transactions; private placements of equity, debt and hybrid securities; and strategic advisory engagements including fairness opinions, valuations and takeover defense strategies. The firm, formerly known as Harpeth Capital Atlanta, LLC, was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Atlanta with an additional office in New York. Across all sectors Caymus Partners caters to business and business-related services, communication and technology, consumer and retail, health care; and manufacturing and distribution sectors. Its clientele includes Coast Dental Services, HSS Group, Northern Safety, Professional Healthcare at Home, ReachOut Healthcare America and SunLink Health Systems. Caymus Partners professionals have a combined 65 years of experience and have collectively closed more than 250 transactions across multiple industries and transaction types. Getting to know you Caymus Partners’ Geoff Faux said the way the middle market firm does business is to learn as much as it can about its clients. This helps give a better sense of projections for the company, and allows it to hunt for money. "We get our clients to CAYMUS PARTNERS One Live Oak Center 3475 Lenox Road Suite 650 Atlanta, GA 30326 SPECIALTIES Financial Advisory Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Partner: Geoffrey L. Faux Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2 99 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 105. Customizedfor:Eric( focus on what their growth initiatives are," said Faux told the Atlanta Business Journal. "Can they grow it internally, or would you have to grow through acquisition? If they raise capital, how would they deploy that capital to grow their business? We want to make sure they have a set of projections that convey to people, the potential investor, what the growth opportunities are.” Getting Hired Point of contact Caymus Partners doesn’t provide career information on its website, or a contact email. However, the site does invite readers to add themselves to its mailing list. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Caymus Partners 100 © 2009, Inc.
  • 106. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Transaction and corporate finance advisory Founded in 1994, Curtis provides a broad range of transaction and corporate finance advisory services. The firm specializes in providing transaction advisory services for company sales, mergers, acquisitions and capital raising situations. The corporate finance advisory services the firm offers complement transaction advisory capabilities and include fairness opinions, strategic alternatives analyses, corporate valuations and intangible asset valuations. An industry leader Curtis Financial has a reputation as a leader in middle market investment banking with offices in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The firm has completed 40 transactions in the financial services, life sciences, manufacturing, telecommunications, consumer products, information technology and manufacturing sectors during the past four years. Overall, Curtis has completed mergers and acquisitions with over $1.6 billion in transaction value, financing transactions totaling over $1 billion, over 150 fairness opinions and 1,500 valuation assignments. Targeting funding and deals Some of Curtis’ recent deals have been to obtain funding for clients, not an easy task given lenders’ reluctance to make deals. Curtis arranged $35 million in capital to Vangard Wireless LP in September 2008, which leases antenna platforms to wireless communications providers. It also arranged the sale of Susquehanna Bancshares insurance subsidiary to Gunn-Mowery LLC that same month. CURTIS FINANCIAL GROUP One Liberty Place Suite 4400 1650 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19103 Phone: (215) 972-2375 SPECIALTIES Acquisitions Capital Raising Distressed Companies Management Buyouts Sales, Divestitures, Mergers EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Kevin J. Rudd Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2 101 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 107. Customizedfor:Eric( Getting Hired Point of contact Curtis Financial does not provide career information on its website, but you can email or call its Philadelphia or Pittsburgh offices to find out more. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Curtis Financial Group 102 © 2009, Inc.
  • 108. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Helping clients achieve goals Dominion Partners is an investment banking firm focused on the middle market, dedicated to working with senior management and business owners in achieving their strategic and financial goals. The firm was founded in 1996, and has worked for clients across a number of industries. The firm's principals together have over 50 years of experience and have raised in excess of $3 billion in capital for corporate clients. Noteworthy deals Dominion Partners focuses on deals worth between $5 million to $50 million. Previous deals have included representing Auto Electric Parts Co. in its sale to Parts Depot Inc., and American Exposition Center’s sale to RTM Capital. Banking on experience Charles Moncure founded the company after a pretty long career in the banking industry. He was formerly with BB&T Capital Markets in Richmond before launching his own middle market practice. He also spent a decade with Bank of America Securities in a variety of senior roles. His partner, Frederick T. Naschold, worked with Moncure at BB&T. DOMINION PARTNERS Liberty Plaza, Suite 104 4801 Cox Road Glen Allen, VA 23060 Phone: (804) 418-6270 SPECIALTIES Capital Raising Divestitures Mergers & Acquisitions EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Charles Moncure Rick Naschold Jonathan Meredith Co-Founder: Charles Moncuire Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1 103 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 109. Customizedfor:Eric( Getting Hired Team Dominion Dominion Partners’ website lists email addresses for Moncure, Naschold and Jonathan Meredith on its “contact us” page. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Dominion Partners 104 © 2009, Inc.
  • 110. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop A subsidiary of CIT Edgeview Partners is an investment banking firm serving middle market companies, financial sponsors, and multinational corporations. It focuses primarily on companies with enterprise values ranging from $15 million to $300 million. The firm’s services include mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, strategic advisory, corporate finance, representation of sellers, and private placement of debt and equity. The company is a subsidiary of CIT Group Inc., a Fortune 500 company and member of the S&P 500 Index that provides clients with financing and leasing products and advisory services. Serving the top tier The firm caters to the aerospace, automotive, consumer products, distribution, energy, food, manufacturing, media, textiles, technology and telecommunication industries. The M&A Advisor awarded Edgeview its 2006 Manufacturing-Consumer Deal of the Year award for its simultaneous sale of Vi-Jon Laboratories Inc. and Cumberland Swan Holdings Inc. –two privately owned, century-old businesses that were leaders in the manufacture of private-label health and beauty care products – to Berkshire Partners and John G. Brunner. Over the past six years, Edgeview has closed 95 percent of transaction assignments. The firm does extensive work for many top-tier middle market private equity groups, including Citicorp Venture Capital, The Carlyle Group, and Banc of America Capital Investors. About 60 percent of engagements are on behalf of private equity groups selling portfolio companies. A little more than a third of engagements involve the sale of closely held businesses. EDGEVIEW PARTNERS 201 South College Street Suite 2000 Charlotte, NC 28244 Phone: (704) 602-3900 SPECIALTIES Advisory Services Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President & Partner: Matthew Salisbury Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2 105 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 111. Customizedfor:Eric( From big to small and back again In 2001, three First Union Corp. bankers left to start their own Charlotte investment bank. They had once worked for storied boutique Bowles Hollowell Conner & Co. and wanted to return to their entrepreneurial roots. Six years later, Edgeview Partners, which provides merger advice to midsized clients, was acquired by consumer and commercial finance company CIT Group Inc. for an undisclosed sum. Among Edgeview’s founders is Matthew Salisbury, whose impressive track record included a role as lead partner on the simultaneous sale of Vi-Jon Laboratories Inc. and Cumberland Swan Holdings Inc. to Berkshire Partners, a deal that was recognized as the Manufacturing-Consumer Deal of the Year for 2006 by The M&A Advisor. Getting Hired Unique opportunities Edgeview Partners actively seeks candidates, and its middle-market focus and entrepreneurial atmosphere offer opportunities for junior-level professionals seeking a solid foundation in investment banking. Email for more information on its associate program. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Edgeview Partners 106 © 2009, Inc.
  • 112. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Investment management: where it’s at Investment banking boutique Evercore Partners devoted a fair amount of activity in 2008 to pumping up its investment management business, making strategic deals in Brazil, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S. In so doing, it’s likely that in this shaky economy, Evercore – whose other business consists of advisory services – made a wise move., “Because of the fees investment management companies collect,” The New York Times reported, “the business is considered a steadier source of income than the more volatile deal advisory sector.” Public debut Founded in 1996 by Blackstone veterans Roger Altman and Austin Beutner, Evercore went public in August 2006 with an $82.9 million initial public offering. The debut was astonishing: Revenue increased 47 percent in 2006, to $216.4 million from $146.3 million in 2005. Net income rose 80 percent, from $22.4 million in 2005 to $40.5 million in 2006. In 2007, given a vesting event related to the firm’s secondary offering, the firm booked a net loss $34.5 million despite record annual revenue of $340 million. Adjusting for the accounting loss resulting from the vesting event, though, net income totaled $51.4 million for the year. Evercore operates from offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, London, Mexico City and Monterrey. It also has alliances in Japan, Brazil and France. EVERCORE PARTNERS 55 East 52nd Street 43rd Floor New York, NY 10055 Phone: (212) 857-3100 Fax: (212) 857-3101 SPECIALTIES Advisory Services Investment Management EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: Roger C. Altman Firm Type: Public Company No. of Offices: 6 107 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 113. Customizedfor:Eric( Two core businesses Evercore’s advisory services include corporate advisory and restructuring advisory. The former serves public and private companies, with emphasis on large multinationals. Corporate advisory services include mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and sale transactions, special committee and fairness opinion assignments, and corporate finance advisor. The restructuring advisory business works with debtors and creditors both in and out of court; its services include restructuring, raising and structuring DIP (debtor-in-possession) and exit financing, M&A advice, raising debt and equity financing, expert testimony and fairness opinions, and general financial analysis. Evercore’s investing business manages over $1.2 billion funded by U.S. and international investors, including corporate and public pension funds, foundations, trusts, banks, endowments, insurance companies and families. This business is divided between two private equity funds (Evercore Capital Partners I and Evercore Partners II), the Evercore Ventures venture capital fund, Evercore Asset Management and Protego Asesores, a Mexican private equity joint venture with Discovery Capital Partners. Cornerstones of Evercore’s private equity portfolios include American Media, Inc. (publisher of Shape, Fitness, and the National Enquirer), Balkrishna Industries (a Mumbai-based tire manufacturer) and Sedgwick CMS, a Tennessee claims management outsourcer. Investment management expansion aplenty In April 2008, Evercore announced that the Mizuho Corporate Bank in Japan would invest $120 million in debts and warrants, earning Mizuho the right to add a director to the Evercore board – and raising funds for Evercore’s investment management business. Three months later, in July 2008, the company made its first incursion into the realm of European investment-management, acquiring a 50 percent stake in London-based Pan-Asset Capital Management Limited. Pan-Asset, established in 2008 by former Tory minister John Redwood, relied heavily on using low-cost, exchange-traded funds; it is now known as Evercore Pan-Asset Capital Management Limited. In June 2008, the asset manager had about $150 million in assets under management. Later that summer, in August 2008, Evercore announced an agreement with G5 Advisors, a São Paulo-based investment banking boutique and investment management firm, to jointly advise on cross-border transactions involving Brazilian companies. Together, Evercore and G5 will focus on M&A transactions between Brazilian companies and ones located outside South America. The partnership should increase Evercore’s M&A standing in Brazil; in 2008, Thomson Reuters included it, for the first time, on its list of Any Brazilian Involvement Completed M&A—ranking it No. 22, just behind Barclays. In September 2008, the company pledged $150 million to help launch HighView Investment Group, headed by BlackRock’s co-founder and former president Ralph Schlosstein. He and Stone Point Capital, among others, pledged funds totaling Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Evercore Partners 108 © 2009, Inc.
  • 114. Customizedfor:Eric( another $450 million. Asset manager HighView will seek to acquire minority interests in independent alternative asset managers with more than $2 billion in assets under management, including hedge funds, private equity, distressed debt, real estate, high-performance equity and fund-of-funds. As part of the deal, Evercore CEO Altman was named to the HighView board. Finally, November 2008 saw the launch of Evercore Wealth Management, headed by Jeff Maurer, former chairman and CEO of U.S. Trust Corporation. Fred Taylor, former vice chairman and CIO of U.S. Trust, was named EWM senior advisor. The business will concentrate on high-net-worth clients with more than $5 million in assets. A few curated hires Evercore did not rout the rosters of ailing banks as roundly as its competitors, Jefferies & Co. and Perella Weinberg. But it did hire 25-year Lehman veteran Les Fabuss as senior managing director for its advisory business. Fabuss was previously vice chairman of global investment banking. In June 2008, the firm hired former head of Bear Stearns’ restructuring unit Daniel A. Celentano as senior managing director. At Bear, Celentano worked on restructuring projects for General Motors, Time Warner, Zale Corporation and Andersen Worldwide. Evercore also added Admiral Sir James Burnell-Nugent to its advisory business; the admiral was made a strategic advisor in the Evercore London office. Sir James was previously commander-in-chief fleet of the Royal Navy. Austin M. Beutner, Evercore president and co-CEO, resigned in May 2008 as a result of medical procedures related to a bicycle accident. In response, Evercore named Altman sole CEO, but made no other managerial changes. The bad, the not-so-great, and the ugly In the first quarter of 2008, Evercore reported its first quarterly loss since its 2006 IPO. Both its financial advisory and investment management businesses declined. “With the credit crisis turning deal flow from a rushing stream to a trickle, Evercore was widely expected to bring in less money,” said The New York Times. “But it reported earnings—or the lack thereof—that were far worse than many analysts had anticipated.” Adjusted pro forma net income was $4.5 million, compared to $16.0 million for the first quarter of 2007. Adjusted pro forma net revenue was $44.5 million—down from $89.5 million a year earlier. Those numbers, urged the Times, best be viewed in context: “Being such a small company means that Evercore derives a major portion of its income from just a few deals. If one does not close by the time the quarter is over, all those fees associated with the deal are put on hold and reported in the next quarter,” it said. “Even though the fees didn’t roll in, Evercore still needs to pay its bankers bulge-bracket-level salaries, which quickly dissolves any meager profit it was able to generate. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Evercore Partners 109 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 115. Customizedfor:Eric( Furthermore, unlike its larger cousins, Evercore has no intention of laying off staff, and is actually growing,” the paper pointed out. In the second quarter of 2008, Evercore’s adjusted pro forma net revenue was $60.1 million and $104.6 million, compared with $65.9 million and $155.4 million for the second quarter of 2007. But perhaps its ugliest numbers were in the third quarter of 2008: adjusted pro forma net revenue was $56.8 million and $161.4 million, compared to $72.4 million and $227.8 million during the same period a year before. Big-ticket deals Among its major deals of 2008, Evercore advised Time Warner Cable on its separation from Time Warner and Rockefeller Financial Services on the sale of a 37 percent stake to Société Générale's private banking group. And along with Barclays Capital, Evercore guided Centennial Communications through its $944 million acquisition by AT&T in April 2008. Thomson Reuters ranked Evercore No. 24 in worldwide announced M&A (down three spots from 2007), just behind rival Greenhill & Co and No. 17 for any Americas involvement announced, beating Greenhill. In U.S. target completed, Evercore ranked No. 22, down a disappointing 10 spots from 2007 and far outstripped by competitors Greenhill and Lazard. A bright spot was U.S. target announced M&A, for which it ranked No. 16, with 22 deals—beating Greenhill, Perella Weinberg and Jefferies & Co. Advising General Motors At the end of 2008, Evercore’s William Repko – an analyst previously named to the Turnaround Management Association’s Restructuring Hall of Fame – was advising General Motors on its bankruptcy talks. Repko isn’t the first Evercore employee to take on such a role; his boss, Evercore CEO Altman, contributed to the bailout plan of Chrysler when he was assistant Treasury Secretary in 1979. UBS’s loss is Evercore’s gain In January 2009, Evercore Partners hired former UBS Vice Chairman Robert Gillespie as senior managing director of the company’s London division. During his 27-year tenure at UBS, Gillespie advised clients including Prudential and Vodafone, and assisted in merging banking groups the company had acquired. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Evercore Partners 110 © 2009, Inc.
  • 116. Customizedfor:Eric( Getting Hired Check out the site Evercore says it is constantly seeking talented and team-oriented colleagues to join the firm. Would-be analysts are encouraged to submit a resume and cover letter to, whereas more experienced candidates should contact Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Evercore Partners 111 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 117. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop Middle market managers FOCUS is a national investment bank that was established in 1982 serves middle management businesses with revenue between $5 million and $300 million. The firm is based in Washington, D.C., and has additional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. FOCUS cites its “systematic, open and proven transaction process” as the distinguishing factor that makes it unique in the clustered investment banking field. With longevity comes knowledge, and FOCUS’s 27 years in business proves that it has enough experience to weather any market. FOCUS’s catch-phrase, which is service marked and appears virtually everywhere on its homepage, is “Seasoned, Systematic, Successful.” The firm backs up the latter part of that promise by only taking transactions in which it feels has at least a 75 percent change of success. FOCUS’s services include mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory, corporate finance including debt and equity financing, strategic partnering and alliances, corporate development consulting, wealth transition advisory, and structured and project finance. The company works with buy- and sell-side corporate clients, private equity groups, holding companies and early-stage venture capital firms in a wide range of financial sectors, encompassing everything from aerospace technology to systems integration. FOCUS ENTERPRISES 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 515 Washington, DC 20036 Phone: (202) 785-9404 Fax: (202) 785-9413 SPECIALTIES Corporate Development Consulting Corporate Finance Mergers & Acquisitions Strategic Advisory Services Strategic Partnering & Alliances Structured & Project Finance Wealth Transition Advisory Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder & Chairman: Marshall Graham CEO: Doug Rogers Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 5 112 © 2009, Inc.
  • 118. Customizedfor:Eric( Experience is key As for the “seasoned” portion of the FOCUS’s catchphrase, there is evidence that demonstrates that the company can back that up with fact. FOCUS wants to position itself as the number company for middle market deals and have recruited veterans of the business to back up its claims. The firm boasts that all of its partners have “significant C-level experience,” and that even its staff is full of former CEOs, COOs and CFOs. The partners at FOCUS are known to be more hands-on, meaning that they will assist with M&A deals. Into the atmosphere FOCUS started off 2009 by focusing extended efforts into one of its most active sectors – government, aerospace and defense. On January 5th, the firm announced that it would be starting a formal government, aerospace, and defense group, which would put additional resources into the sector. The group will be led by Manan Shah and based out of the mid-Atlantic region. FOCUS’s new division is a “natural outgrowth” of an already successful business in this sector, which has included merger and acquisition services as well as capital formation services. The firm will also beef up its research and marketing efforts directed toward government, aerospace, and defense, as a result of the new group. The formation of the new government, aerospace and defense group was the second industry-focused team the company formed in the past year. In July 2008, the company announced it would be focusing a team of specialized investment bankers in a division devoted to software, IT services and transaction processing companies. Before his appointment as leader of the government, aerospace, and defense group, Manan Shah served as a member of the IT services group. First deals of the year The aerospace sector was central in of one of FOCUS’s first completed deals of the year – the sale of Aerospace Products, S.E. (APSE) to Acorn Growth Companies and Cherokee National Businesses in February 2009. FOCUS represented APSE in the transaction. APSE is a parts supplier which services aerospace companies in coordination with U.S. government maintenance requirements. Acorn CEO John Davis credited FOCUS with helping the deal go through, “John Slater of FOCUS was instrumental in helping the parties work through a number of difficult issues, while preserving the positive personal relationships with the management team, which were critical to the company’s ongoing success post closing.” Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking FOCUS Enterprises 113 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 119. Customizedfor:Eric( FOCUS also completed another government, aerospace, and defense deal in Febraury 2009 when it advised Newtek International on its merger with Zantech IT Services. Newtek is a IT services firm, which provides software engineering services to federal defense and civilian customers. It was acquired by Zantech IT services, a newly formed information technology services firm which is looking to expand its customer base through acquisition. International CFO In April 2008, FOCUS got a new addition to its top brass when it appointed Frank Slacik to the position of chief financial officer. Before becoming FOCUS’s CFO, Slacik served as the CFO of JMP Securities, a $100 million institution broker-dealer and institutional broker-dealer and hedge fund management firm. Slacik also brings international experience to the position, due to his previous services as financial controller of Citibank in Prague. “FOCUS is extraordinary because its investment bankers have all held C-level positions in the industry,” said Slacik. “Clients hire FOCUS to buy, sell and finance their companies because we’ve walked in their shoes and we speak their language.” Still growing There were additions and promotions made throughout FOCUS’s five national offices in 2008, demonstrating a stable amount of growth even in a troubled economy. In March, the company beefed up its Chicago office with seven new senior advisors. Also in March, industry veterans W. Robert Gold and Walter Nielson were tapped to lead the growing Chicago office as co-managers. The firm also made selected new hires in the firm’s Atlanta, Los Angeles, and San Francisco offices. Keeping busy There was no shortage of activity for FOCUS in 2008, as the firm closed multiple merger and acquisition deals in a variety of sectors. Deals include the sale of Soil Farming to Terra Renewal services, Adayana’s acquisition of VERTEX Solutions, and the acquisition of Avialec International by KAPCO/VALTEC. The company also helped to secure financing in the form of Series A Participating Preferred Stock to the software solutions company Agentek. It completed a successful cross border deal as the representative of India-based Pradot Technologies. Pradot acquired St. Louis- based GroupOne Healthsource in a deal that it says “reinforced the trend of foreign buyers buying U.S. companies through ‘Dual Shore’ strategy.” Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking FOCUS Enterprises 114 © 2009, Inc.
  • 120. Customizedfor:Eric( Getting Hired Worth a try If you want to join the FOCUS team, keep in mind there’s no clear path to employment with the firm via job listings on its website. However, within the firm’s “contact us” section on its site, you can either try charming the firm by emailing it directly at—or you can try pasting in your resume and cover letter within its online contact form (hey, you never know). Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking FOCUS Enterprises 115 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 121. Customizedfor:Eric( 116 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Big names, big deals Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller (FPKCCW) had a banner year in 2008. From acting as co-manager for VISA’s $19.7 billion IPO to advising Bank of America on its historic acquisition of Merrill Lynch, the company went very quickly from being a virtual unknown to becoming an integral part of some of the biggest deals of the decade. Fox-Pitt runs a well-informed ship, with over 60 analysts tracking over 200 bank stocks in the United States, Europe and Asia. The firm also houses a team of 10 emerging capital professionals who deal in all aspects of ECM, including executing IPOS, rights issues, secondaries, block trades, buy backs, and dribble programs. On the advisory side of things, FPKCCW offers traditional M&A, derivative structures, fairness opinions, financing and strategy. The firm also has an independent private equity vehicle called FPK Capital, which was launched in fall 2006. More than a mouthful Fox-Pitt has been a European institution on the financial scene since its inception in 1971, when Oliver Fox-Pitt and Robin Kelton launched the firm from London. The company gradually added services and expanded in key North American locations, including Hartford, Conn., and New York, N.Y. In 1999, the firm was big enough to catch the attention of Switzerland’s reinsurance giant Swiss Re. Under the guidance of Swiss Re, Fox-Pitt opened offices in Boston and Hong Kong, and sold its investment management arm, Eldon, to Hiscox Investment Management. In 2006, FOX-PITT KELTON COCHRAN CARONIA WALLER 420 Fifth Avenue, 5th Floor New York, NY 10018 Phone: (212) 687-1105 Fax: (212) 599-2723 SPECIALTIES Advisory Equity Capital Markets Investment Banking Private Equity Research Sales Sales Trading & Market Making EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: Giles Fitzpatrick Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 7
  • 122. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller 117 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Fox-Pitt Kelton’s management team and financier J.C. Flowers & Company bought the firm back from Swiss Re. On September 4, 2007, the newly independent Fox-Pitt Kelton completed its merger with its Chicago-based rival Cochran Caronia Waller, which was also a boutique investment bank focused on the property-casualty, life and health industries. The firm’s higher-ups now share power in the combined entity, with former CCW executives George Cochran and Len Caronia acting as co-chairman, and Fox-Pitt Kelton CEO Giles Fitzpatrick staying on as chief executive of the new company. Strategic hires Fox-Pitt brought on a few new employees in 2008 to help boost up its services in its strategic advisory and capital raising departments. The first was the additional of Isolde O’Hanlon in June 2008. O’Hanlon was appointed as managing director of the firm’s U.S. advisory group. She comes to the firm with more than 20 years of experience at companies such as JP Morgan Securities. In July, the firm hired Jon Roddy to head up its North American depository institutions advisory business. Roddy, who is now based out of the firm’s New York office, was also given the title of managing director. His experience comes from over 10 years at many of the marquee-name investment banks, such as Lehman Brothers and Citigroup. Roddy became a powerful asset for the firm, when he served as an active member of the team overseeing the historic deal between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. Bargaining for the big boys Fox-Pitt gained world wide recognition in 2008 by advising on what was easily one of the biggest deals of all time—Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Along with J.C. Flowers and Bank of America Securities, Fox-Pitt served as co-advisor to Bank of America on the more than $50 billion all-stock transaction. The combination of the two banks created a powerhouse that ranked as the largest brokerage in the world with more than $2.5 trillion in assets. The Bank of America deal was headed up by John Roddy, the recently hired head of the firm’s North American depository institutions advisory business, and John Waller, the firm’s president. Waller told The Deal about the in-house dynamics going on at the time of the deal. “You had the sense that this was historic, but you needed to stay focused,” he said. “None of us knew where it would end up. We just knew we would be in a dramatically different place.” Charge it Business was booming for Fox-Pitt’s capital raising team in 2008. The firm was involved in some of the biggest deals of the year, including acting as co-manager on VISA’s mega-IPO in March, which raised $19.7 billion on its offering of 406 million shares. The firm also worked as underwriter, advisor or manager on the following
  • 123. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller 118 © 2009, Inc. deals—Natixis’ €3.7 billion rights issues in September; the $810 billion follow-on offering of MSCI in July; the ₤12.2 billion rights issue of the Royal Bank of Scotland; a $7.5 billion follow-on offering for a pre-bailed-out AIG; and a €5.5 billion rights issue for Société Générale. Like a rocket As a result of the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch deal, Fox-Pitt rocketed up the Thomson Reuters league tables for 2008. The bank logged an amazing gain in its activity in category of announced M&A financial advisory deals in the Americas, shooting it up from 157th place in 2007 to 19th place in 2008. The firm’s total deal value for the category was $53.5 billion and 3.5 percent of the total market share for its nine deals. The rise represents an astounding 5,410 percent increase in deal value from the firm’s $972 million the previous year. The firm also saw a meteoric rise up the Japanese M&A financial advisory charts as a result of its advisory on the acquisition of U.S. property and casualty insurer Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corporation by Japanese insurer Tokio Marine Holdings. Though it was Fox-Pitt’s only deal in the region, its value of $4.6 billion vaulted the firm to 20th place on the charts for announced Japanese M&A advisory deals. In 2007, Fox-Pitt’s total business in Japan was valued at just $883.6 million, and the firm was ranked 30th in Japan. Getting Hired Yep, it’s a mouthful Despite the fact that the firm seems to be attempting a world record for the longest company name in history, its website address is blessedly shorter: There, under the careers section, interested applicants can find job information divided into U.S., U.K. and Asia sectors. But job hopefuls beware—there aren’t any actual listings on the site. Instead, recent graduates are instructed to send a resume and cover letter to More experienced hires can send their information to
  • 124. Customizedfor:Eric( 119 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop A bit of background Gemini Partners Inc. is an investment banking firm that provides financial advisory services. The firm offers private placements, mergers and acquisitions advisory, restructuring, divestitures, fairness opinions, and transfer pricing analysis services. It has strategic alliances with MediaWin & Partners in Geneva, Switzerland. Gemini Partners also manages a private equity fund and operates its GP Group broker-dealer. Finding financing Beyond M&A advisory, Gemini has played a big role in helping companies find financing. In 2008, the firm was retained as an advisor to Voyant International Corp., a digital media company, in raising money through bridge financing. Gemini also completed a $13 million equity financing for AuraSound, which develops audio technology; and $11 million of senior debt financings for Telscape Communications Inc. In addition to its investment banking services, Gemini also selectively invests in its client companies. Team Johnson The firm was founded by the brothers Johnson, Matthew and Nathan. Both have a long track record in the banking world. Matthew served as a vice president for Credit Suisse First Boston and Prudential Securities, and later was the chief financial officer at a Los Angeles-based software startup. Nathan worked with JPMorgan Chase Capital Partners restructuring a number of portfolio companies where he served as a CEO or CFO. He also worked at Ford Motor Co. in their treasury office. The brothers GEMINI PARTNERS 10900 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 300 Los Angeles, CA 90024 SPECIALTIES Corporate Finance M&A Advisory Private Equity Valuation Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Principal: Matthew Johnson Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3
  • 125. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Gemini Partners 120 © 2009, Inc. have used their combined experience to buy, sell and run the companies in which they invest. Getting Hired Point of contact There’s no clear route to employment via the firm’s website, but you can email for more information. The firm’s site also lists contact information for its management team.
  • 126. Customizedfor:Eric( 121 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Private capital and corporate finance Growth Capital Partners is an investment bank that offers financial advisory and merchant banking services to private and public middle market companies. The firm provides mergers and acquisitions, pre-IPO advisory, private placement, strategic advisory, management-led buyouts, recapitalization, restructuring and strategic advisory services. All of GCP's activities revolve around the private capital marketplace and corporate finance activities. Since the firm's inception in 1992, GCP has completed in excess of 250 transactions, raised more than $1 billion of institutional capital (through private placements of equity, subordinated and senior debt), and completed M&A transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $3 billion. The trusted advisor The firm caters to energy, consumer and retail, business services, technology and software, health care, and manufacturing and distribution industries. Clients include Roofing Supply Group, Silver Eagle Distributors, The SCOOTER Store, Critieria Labs, Ambion, Rennhack Marketing Services, American Central Gas Technologies, and Standard Fruit and Vegetable Co. "Our goal is to become the trusted advisor to entrepreneurs, business owners, and private equity groups, and to provide ongoing market and execution experience that will enable businesses and shareholders to meet their growth and liquidity objectives," says founder and chairman John McNabb. GROWTH CAPITAL PARTNERS 363 North Sam Houston Parkway East Suite 550 Houston, TX 77060 Phone: (281) 445-6611 SPECIALTIES Company Sales Management-Led Buyouts Private Equity Recapitalization Restructuring Senior Debt Subordinated Debt EMPLOYMENT CONTACT www.growth- Founder & Chairman: John T. McNabb Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 4
  • 127. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Growth Capital Partners 122 © 2009, Inc. Team McNabb John T. McNabb, founder and chairman of Growth Capital Partners since 1992, said his mission is to “continue building a premier, client-focused investment and merchant bank serving both private and public middle market companies.” And McNabb knows something about running a company: He serves on a total of six public companies listed on the NYSE and Nasdaq. As for hiring, he said the company is committed to valuing “talented, dedicated employees and providing an exceptional environment that encourages teamwork and professional growth.” Getting Hired Check the site If you’re interested in working for Growth Capital Partners, your best bet is to check the “employment opportunities” page of the firm’s website for any current openings.
  • 128. Customizedfor:Eric( 123 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Over 400 transactions GulfStar Group is a boutique investment and merchant banking firm that offers financial advisory services to middle market companies. GulfStar Group was founded in 1990 and is based in Houston. The firm operates as a subsidiary of International Bancshares Corp., an $11 billion bank holding company. The firm provides merger and acquisitions, institutional private placements, restructuring and corporate advisory services. Since its founding, GulfStar has logged 400 completed transactions involving buyers and sellers from 28 states and six foreign countries. GulfStar Merchant Banking Ltd. makes direct equity and subordinated debt investments in private companies. Areas of focus The firm has extensive transaction experience across a wide variety of industry lines and market sector, specializing in companies with revenue or enterprise values typically between $25 million and $350 million. It mainly caters to aviation, health care, financial institutions, logistics, pharmaceutical, restaurants, telecommunications, software and construction industries. Its clientele includes OMNI Laboratories, Trajen, South Waste Services, The Linc Group, Commercial America Insurance Co., Warren Alloy and Travis Enterprises Inc. GULFSTAR GROUP 700 Louisiana Street Suite 3800 Houston, TX 77002 Phone: (713) 300-2020 SPECIALTIES Financial Advisory Services Investment Banking Merchant Banking EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Director: G. Kent Kahle Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 129. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Gulfstar Group 124 © 2009, Inc. Weathering the crisis Despite the financial crisis, GulfStar has remained quite busy through 2008. The company acquired Alpha Circuits Inc., sold Polyfoam Products Inc. to 3M Corp., and recapitalized B27 LLC. There were also deals with Southline Metal Products, Trinity Steel Fabricators, Strike Construction LLC and P.C. Image Systems. Colt Luedde, a managing director at GulfStar, said the company is used to operating in both good times and bad. When is the ideal time to sell a company? “While some tout selling at the top, I believe that selling while there is growth potential is more likely to increase a prospective buyer’s willingness to pay a premium price,” he said. Getting Hired Three decades of growth To find out more about professional opportunities at GulfStar, email
  • 130. Customizedfor:Eric( 125 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Industries and specialties GW Equity is an investment banking firm that provides financial advisory services to construction, manufacturing and wholesale industries. Founded in 1987, the firm offers sales and divestitures, valuations, management buyouts, mergers and acquisitions advisory, private placements and restructuring services. Dedicated to the middle market The firm remains dedicated to the middle-market business sector, concentrating on those companies with enterprise values up to $250 million. GW Equity has more than 300 professional advisors and affiliates nationwide. It also runs seminars for business owners looking to cash out, and has affiliates located globally. Ranking high The Dallas-based firm announced this year that it was the third-ranked financial advisor for U.S. target-announced deals based on number of transactions for undisclosed values and values up to $50 million, and fifth-ranked for transactions up to $100 million, according to Thomson Reuters Financial. And that came despite the overall slowdown in M&A. "We are proud of GW Equity's continued success and leadership in middlemarket M&A," said Ryan Binkley, president of GW Equity. "These rankings are reflections of the valuable advice and service we provide to our clients, ranging from evaluating their business to securing offers and closing deals." GW EQUITY 514241 Dallas Parkway Suite 600 Dallas, TX 75254 Phone: (877)-1792 SPECIALTIES Cross-Border Transactions Exit Strategy Fairness Opinions Management Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions Valuations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Ryan Binkley Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 5
  • 131. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking GW Equity 126 © 2009, Inc. Getting Hired Point of contact GW Equity doesn’t have a dedicated careers page on its website, so your best bet is to send an email to or to one of the firm’s affiliate offices; emails for those are found at
  • 132. Customizedfor:Eric( 127 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Firm focus Harpeth Capital is an investment bank that focuses on middle-market companies with revenue of $5 million to $250 million. The firm provides mergers and acquisition, private placement of equity and debt, recapitalization, due diligence, divestitures and management buyouts advisory services. Additionally, it offers business plan evaluation, valuations, fairness opinions and restructuring services. The firm focuses on health care, technology, business services and manufacturing sectors. Harpeth Capital was founded in 1999 and is based in Nashville, Tennessee. Pooling 100 years of experience The firm focuses on health care, technology, business services and manufacturing sectors. Harpeth's bankers have 100 collective years of experience, and have executed hundreds of middle market transactions totaling more than $4 billion. The firm has served as an advisor in deals for companies such as Metal Systems Inc., SmartDisk Corp., Health Risk Management Inc., and Wish Holdings LLC. Bigger is better The firm has benefited from a merger of two Nashville-based investment banks, Harpeth and West End Capital Partners. The combination in 2005 helped boost its focus on asset management, merchant banking and strategic consulting services. "Harpeth Capital provides a tremendous platform for us to continue the vision we had HARPETH CAPITAL 424 Church Street Financial Center Suite 2900 Nashville, TN 37219 Phone: (615) 296-9840 SPECIALTIES Buyouts Corporate Finance Divestitures Financial Restructuring Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Recapitalization EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Charles W. Byrge Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 133. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Harpeth Capital 128 © 2009, Inc. for West End Capital, providing sophisticated advisory and capital raising services to middle market public and private companies," said President Charles Byrge. Getting Hired Point of contact Harpeth doesn’t provide employment information on its website, but it does list contact information for Byrge ( as well as director Adam Landa ( and executive assistant Donna Alzubi (
  • 134. Customizedfor:Eric( 129 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop History and today Harris Williams is an investment banking firm that provides financial advisory services to a variety of industries. The firm, headquatered in Richmond, Va., was founded in 1991 and, in 2005, became a subsidiary of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. The firm offers mergers and acquisitions advisory, management buyouts and fairness opinions services, and focuses on the middle market, handling merger and acquisition transactions between $50 million and $1 billion. Awards Harris Williams was named Middle Market Investment Bank of the Year in 2007 by IDD Magazine after logging nearly $9 billion in aggregate transaction volume. The firm also operates lower middle market specialty group Cobblestone Advisors, which has advised on M&A transactions representing more than $1 billion in aggregate value since its founding in 1998. Across all sectors Harris Williams focuses on a number of industries, including aerospace; automotive and heavy duty truck; building products and materials, chemicals, commercial and industrial equipment, consumer or business services, consumer products, marketing, energy and power, food and beverage, forest and paper products, furniture, health care and life sciences, media and entertainment, metal fabrication, mining, business outsourcing, packaging; retai,; technology, telecommunications, HARRIS WILLIAMS & CO. 1001 Haxall Point 9th Floor Richmond, VA 23219 Phone: (804) 648-0072 SPECIALTIES Alliances Buyouts Corporate Finance Cross-Border Transactions Divestitures Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Sales EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Stevie McFadden Founder & Managing Director: Christopher H. Williams Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 5
  • 135. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Harris Williams & Co. 130 © 2009, Inc. textiles, and transportation and logistics sectors. Its clientele includes American Tower Corporation, Procter & Gamble, Schering-Plough, Oglebay Norton, Linesoft Corporation, Snyder Industries, Pioneer International, Banc One Capital Partners, Cedar Creek Partners and Allied Capital. Getting Hired Explore positions The Harris Williams website lists current positions for analysts, associates and seasoned professionals. See
  • 136. Customizedfor:Eric( 131 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Partnering with clients Headwaters is an investment banking firm that offers financial advisory and merchant banking services to middle market companies. The firm provides mergers and acquisition, capital-raising, debt financing, restructuring, valuation and strategic advisory services. And the “MB” in Headwaters MB stands for merchant banking. The firm says it won’t take a company on as a capital formation client unless it’s also willing to put its own money into the transaction. It operates the Rio Grande Investment Partners fund, which has developed a track record investing solely in Headwaters’ investment banking client companies. Headwaters says it has completed $4 billion in transactions in just the past three years. Cross-border transactions Founded in 2001, Headwaters MB focuses on a number of industries. Those include health care, industrials, consumer products, media, energy, business services, technology and communications. Clientele includes Freewave Technologies Inc., Ariat International, and X Rite, OverniteExpress and TeleTech. The company has also completed $722 million of cross-border transactions, and was awarded the 2006 International/Cross-Border Deal of the year by The M&A Advisor. The company's board of directors includes retired U.S. Air Force Lt. General Richard Scofield. HEADWATERS MB 5200 17th Street One Tabor Center Suite 900 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: (303) 572-6000 SPECIALTIES Corporate Finance Divestitures Fairness Opinions Global Deals Joint Ventures Leveraged Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions Restructuring Analysis Valuation Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT ct.php Founder & Chairman: Dave Maney Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3
  • 137. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Headwaters MB 132 © 2009, Inc. Maney in the media Founder and Chairman Dave Maney is no stranger to publicizing his firm. He’s been a regular on Fox Business, especially Studio B with Shepard Smith. He’s appeared on Larry Kudlow’s CNBC program, and there’s no shortage of YouTube videos. He’s also handy with a guitar. The banker has penned songs about deals for the middle market bank’s annual Christmas e-card since 2002, including hits like “The Sarbanes-Oxley Blues.” Getting Hired Tell them why you’d fit in If you’re interested in a career at Headwaters MB, go to the recruiting section of the firm’s website and submit your information; according to the site, the firm is always looking for great people.
  • 138. Customizedfor:Eric( 133 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Championing the middle market Founded in 1977, Heritage Capital Group is an investment banking firm that provides financial advisory services. The firm offers mergers and acquisitions, sales and divestitures, capital placement, business valuation, management buyout, finance and strategy planning, and joint venture advisory services. The company is also a founding member of M&A International, one of the world's biggest alliances of firms focused on middle market transactions. Heritage Capital represents both buyers and sellers and is typically engaged by the owners, chief executive officer, or chief financial officer of client companies. Clients operate in a wide variety of industries and generally have revenue of $5 million to $300 million. Expertise and clientele The principals at Heritage have expertise in investment banking, business operations, deal structuring, and corporate finance. The firm’s clientele includes Almanac Publishing, Envirotech, HP Reid, Superstocks, Inc., Ramworks and PetLovers. Recent deals In May of 2008, Heritage announced that it had successfully completed the sale of ITEL, a leading independent testing laboratory servicing the property insurance industry nationwide, to The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm. In 2007, Heritage successfully completed a transaction for an investment in Administar HERITAGE CAPITAL 225 Water Street Suite 1250 Jacksonville, FL 32202 Phone: (904) 354-9600 SPECIALTIES Business Valuations Global Deals Joint Ventures Management Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placement Sales & Divestitures Value Enhancement EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President & Principal: C. Donald Wiggins Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 139. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Heritage Capital 134 © 2009, Inc. Services Group, LLC, by Prairie Capital, LLC. Heritage served as intermediary and financial advisor to Administar on the transaction. Getting Hired Point of contact If you’re interested in working for Heritage, send an email to
  • 140. Customizedfor:Eric( 135 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Background and offerings Herrera Partners is an investment banking firm that offers financial advisory services. The firm offers merger and acquisition, private placement, capital restructuring and reorganizing advisory services. Additionally, it provides corporate valuation, regulatory compliance, fairness opinions and legal consulting services. Herrera Partners is the successor to G.A. Herrera & Co., LLC, which was originally established in 1992. It also focuses on litigation and consulting, particularly with regard to SEC compliance and valuations. A targeted emphasis Herrera Partners specializes in distributors and contractors in the energy, telecommunications, food products and health care markets. This focus has enabled the firm to attract clients and recruit professionals seeking a firm with a similar emphasis. The firm has represented companies like Dos Gringos Inc., Goode Co., Horizon Merchants Inc. and Trilogy Systems Corp. Herrera Partners also provides a range of analytical and advisory services to publicly traded and privately held corporations, partnerships, financial institutions, law firms, accounting firms and high-net-worth individuals involved in complex transactions, operational matters, agreements and contract disputes. HERRERA PARTNERS 600 Jefferson Suite 1080 Houston, TX 77002 Phone: (713) 978-6590 SPECIALTIES Compliance Debt & Equity Placements Mergers & Acquisitions Restructuring/Turnarounds Valuations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder & Chairman: Gilbert A. Herrera Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 141. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Herrera Partners 136 © 2009, Inc. Leadership Gilbert Herrera, founder of Herrera Partners, was previously the director of Coopers & Lybrand’s Southwest region corporate finance group. He also held various investment and commercial banking positions with organizations that are now part of Chase Bank. Getting Hired Point of contact Herrera doesn’t advertise employment opportunities on its website, but its contact page includes an inquiry form you can fill out and submit—the directions promise that your inquiry will be directed to the appropriate contact.
  • 142. Customizedfor:Eric( 137 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Focused on the southeast Hyde Park Capital Advisors is an investment banking firm that offers corporate finance advisory services in Florida and the southeastern part of the United States. The firm provides mergers and acquisitions, raising capital, private placements, recapitalization, fairness opinions and mezzanine financing advisory services. Founded in 2000, the company's bankers have advised on more than 300 corporate investment banking transactions totaling more than $10 billion in value. Industries and clients The firm serves a variety of industries, including health care; technology, communications and media; financial services; business services; industrial, manufacturing and distribution; consumer and retail. Hyde Park has advised companies including Coleman Technologies, Inc., Isolux America Corp., Genetic ID, Riviera Jet Airways and MM Venture Partners. Hill takes on Florida, casts wide net John Hill, Hyde Park’s senior managing director, said the company focuses on getting investors around the country, not just in Florida. “In Florida, there's very little early stage money, so I see that emerging company category as being very, very challenged. That's why we spend a lot of time talking to venture capital firms in Boston and New York, but it's very hard to get them to travel,” he said in a recent interview. HYDE PARK CAPITAL ADVISORS 701 North Franklin Street Tampa, FL 33602 Phone: (813) 383-0202 SPECIALTIES Fairness Opinions Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Senior Managing Director: John H. Hill Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 143. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Hyde Park Capital Advisors 138 © 2009, Inc. Getting Hired Point of contact Hyde Park doesn’t have a dedicated careers page on its website, but you can submit an electronic form via its “contact us” page to reach someone at the firm.
  • 144. Customizedfor:Eric( 139 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop An iron force on the East Coast Over the years, Ironwood Capital Ltd. has honed its specialty in the realm of middle market deals. Under parent Ironwood Capital Ltd. and established in 1991, Ironwood Capital exists as the investment unit of the firm. And through Ironwood Equity Fund and Ironwood Mezzanine Fund, Ironwood Capital works on buyouts and recapitalizations in addition to acquisitions. Ironwood’s investment capital comes from a variety of sources, including insurance companies, banks and parent Ironwood Capital Ltd. The firm boasts serving as principal in more than 40 transactions since 2002, and prior to that, the firm worked on more than 100 deals that raised more than $5 billion in capital. As of 2008, Ironwood had about $300 million of capital under management. The firm’s headquarters is located in Avon, Conn., and it has an additional office in Boston. Up to par? For Ironwood to want to invest in a company, the business first has to meet a few criteria. Geographically, Ironwood seeks out firms that are located in the east (preferably “east of the Mississippi River,” according to Ironwood). Secondly, the firm should have total revenue anywhere from $10 million to $200 million. Finally, Ironwood looks for a company that appreciates diversity, preferring to invest in businesses owned by women and/or minorities. Its ultimate goal is to achieve growth for a company over the course of three to five years, at which point Ironwood will usually sell off its investment. IRONWOOD CAPITAL 55 Nod Road Avon, CT 06001 Phone: (860) 409-2100 Fax: (860) 409-2120 SPECIALTIES Business Services Consumer Products Education Environmental Services Healthcare Manufacturing & Distribution EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Marc A. Reich Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 145. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Ironwood Capital 140 © 2009, Inc. A few wild cards Keeping with its diversity theme, the firm practices what it preaches, currently holding an assortment of businesses in its portfolio. The companies in Ironwood’s collection truly run the gamut, ranging from environmental services to consumer products sectors. The specific businesses Ironwood holds are pretty colorful as well, ranging from fountain drink manufacturer Al’s Holding to Micro Precision, which makes locomotive air horns. Getting Hired Breaking in Snagging a job at Ironwood Capital Ltd. may take a little bit of ingenuity. The firm’s website doesn’t have a specific section for wannabe job seekers. But candidates who aspire to work at Ironwood (or those who have a detailed business plan they’d like Ironwood to consider) may have luck emailing a cover letter and a resume to
  • 146. Customizedfor:Eric( 141 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Fly away with JCP Janes Capital Partners has focused on acquiring companies with values ranging from $20 million to $250 million since its inception in 1997, specializing in U.S. Reverse Merger Transactions (RTOs) in the aerospace and defense sector. (When a reverse merger takes place, shareholders of a private company buy control of a public business and merge it with theirs. Afterward, shareholders of a private company get a majority of public company shares. Such a deal is appealing for both sides in that it can be closed quickly, sometimes within weeks.) Janes prides itself on creating customized plans for each business, especially ones hoping to “cash out” on their company. JCP calls Irvine, Calif., home, and has a satellite office in Los Angeles as well. The firm’s clients range from Fortune 500 companies to small business owners. Recent deals the firm has been involved with include advising Frontier Systems on its acquisition by the Boeing Company, United Aircarft Products’ acquisition by Triumph Group and Able Corporation’s acquisition by Smiths Aerospace. The big bosses Chairman and CEO David A. Janes formed Janes Capital Partners in 1997, after serving as CEO of California Manufacturing Enterprises since 1977. Janes’ right-hand man is co-founder Stephen R. Perry, also a managing director of JCP who concentrates on M&As, recapitalizations, ESOPs in addition to bankruptcies and insolvencies. In addition to its two fearless leaders, the firm has a team of dealmakers to assist companies with transactions. JCP also emphasizes its domestic and JANES CAPITAL PARTNERS 19200 Von Karman Avenue Suite 600 Irvine, CA 92612 Phone: (949) 477-8060 Fax: (949) 477-8061 SPECIALTIES ESOPs Management Buyouts Mergers & Acquisitions Recapitalizations Special Situations/Distressed M&A EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & CEO: David A. Janes Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 147. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Janes Capital Partners 142 © 2009, Inc. international relationships with firms across the globe in order to give its clients choices when it comes to selloffs. Getting Hired Foot in the door Your best bet to get hired on with Janes Capital Partners is to first check out, where the firm lists full-time job openings as well as internships (just make sure you study hard beforehand—the firm notes that it only considers intern candidates in the top 10 percent of their class). Either way, if you think you have what it takes, send an email with your materials to
  • 148. Customizedfor:Eric( 143 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Keeping his eye on a better tomorrow Richard B. Handler, chairman and CEO of Jefferies Group, called 2008 “the most challenging year of our lifetimes.” Among those challenges: a full year of losses, $60.5 million in the first quarter alone; layoffs that decreased headcount from 2,508 at the beginning of 2008 to 2,150 at the end of the year; and closures of offices in Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo. But Handler tempered the bitterness with optimism, emphasizing that Jefferies will begin 2009 with its “strongest opening balance sheet ever:” zero in bank borrowings, more than $1.2 billion in cash, and an average maturity date of 14 years for long-term debt. From the Pacific coast to the world Boyd Jefferies’ eponymous firm was established in 1962 with a $30,000 business loan and one employee—a floor runner. The two began conducting business on the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange floor. Along the way, Jefferies recognized that institutional investors often wanted to trade large blocks of stock without making an impact on the market (or tipping their hand to other traders) but had no mechanism for doing so. He began catering to these investors, discreetly matching large institutional buyers and sellers off the exchange. So-called third-market trading is standard practice today, but in the 1960s, it was a novel idea. Jefferies prospered, becoming a respected equity trading firm and launching an IPO in 1983. Expansion followed in the 1990s, as Jefferies began offering investment banking, asset management and research services. The firm also opened offices throughout North America, Europe and Asia; today it maintains a JEFFERIES & COMPANY 520 Madison Avenue., 12th Floor. New York, NY 10022 Phone: (212) 284-2300 SPECIALTIES Asset Management Investment Banking Private Client Services Research Sales & Trading EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & CEO: Richard B. Handler Firm Type: Public Company No. of Offices: 23
  • 149. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Jefferies & Company 144 © 2009, Inc. presence in 16 offices in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, India, China and Switzerland. Jefferies offers investment banking, sales and trading, research and asset management services to mid-sized companies in several industry sectors, including aerospace and defense, energy, financial and business services, gaming and leisure, health care, industrials, maritime and oil services, media and communications, retail and consumer products and technology. There’s also a dedicated private equity coverage group that links industry and product groups, and maintains relationships with mid-sized American private equity funds and hedge funds. Jefferies partners up In April 2008, holding company Leucadia National Corporation purchased a 13.7 percent interest in Jefferies. The stats: Jefferies handed over 26.6 million shares and $100 million in cash in return for 10 million shares of Leucadia. As part of the deal, Ian M. Cumming, chairman of Leucadia, and company President Joseph S. Steinberg were appointed to the Jefferies Board. The terms of the deal stipulate that Jefferies can sell Leucadia stock, which it will do to raise some much-needed cash for investments. The two companies had done business before: in 2007, both had agreed to invest up to $600 million apiece in a new high-yield trading operation. Growth amid decreasing numbers Although Jefferies laid off some 300 workers in December 2008, it devoted much of the rest of the year to beefing up groups devoted to fixed income, restructuring and commodities. The firm also benefitted big -time from the demise of Bear Stearns, hiring 25 executives for its equities division. Among those hires was Robert L. Harteveldt, who joined as chairman of fixed income and who was also named to Jefferies’ executive committee. At Bear, Harteveldt was head of high-yield, distressed and loan sales. In April 2008, the company lost its co-heads of restructuring, managing directors William Derrough and Thane Carlston, to Los Angeles-based boutique investment bank Moelis. Another restructuring team member, Tim O’Connor, joined broker- dealer Broadpoint Capital. In response to these defections, Jefferies appointed Michael J. Henkin and Steven R. Strom, both managing directors, to lead its restructuring group. The two oversee a team of 40 devoted to advising firms in financial distress, as well as creditors, stakeholders, and potential purchasers. In July 2008, Jefferies added Frank A. Merola to its recapitalization and restructuring efforts. Merola was previously an attorney with Los Angeles-based Stutman, Treister & Glatt, P.C, where he specialized in business reorganization and bankruptcy. Restructuring is big business at Jefferies; as of April 2008, the firm was advising on more than 20 restructuring deals worth an aggregate of $25 billion.
  • 150. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Jefferies & Company 145 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Also in April, the firm announced the expansion of its fixed income division. It hired Thomas Thees from AXA Capital Management, where he was COO. And it aggressively expanded its mortgage-backed securities group, intended to focus on trading, origination and sales of mortgage-backed securities. Those appointments included William H. Jennings II and Johan Eveland, who both joined from RBS Greenwich Capital and were named co-heads of Jefferies’ mortgage trading group. Jennings was a managing director in the mortgage sales division; Eveland, co-head of agency and non-agency mortgage backed securities trading. The firm also added four managing directors focused on mortgage sales and four others who specialize in non-agency adjustable rate mortgage, credit, derivatives and non-fixed rate lending. And in October, it hired Chander Gupta as head of European asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities trading from Royal Bank of Scotland, and Thomas Dolan as head of whole loan trading and sales from ABN Amro. Those hires brought the Jefferies’ fixed income team to more than 150. Though risky, according to Market Watch Jefferies decided to stare down the barrel of the mortgage-backed securities gun in order to take advantage of a glut of newly available talent. Finally, the firm expanded its commodities department with senior-level hires: 20-year Goldman veteran James P. Crimmins, a lead architect of the Goldman Sachs Commodity Index, was made managing director of Jefferies Asset Mangement Commodity programs division; and Thomas H. Dering, previously a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley, was named senior vice president of Jefferies Financial Products, the department devoted to commodities sales and trading. It also added two female commodities professionals, Kathy Kriskey and Nina Long, who were made senior vice president and vice president, respectively, of Jefferies Financial Products. Both joined from UBS, where Kriskey had been an executive director of the U.S. commodity investor index, and Long, a commodity trader. Quarterly bitter pills Results from the first quarter of 2008 were painful. Net revenue was down 52 percent, to $201.2 million, from $418.8 million in the first quarter of 2007. Jefferies High Yield Trading lost $51 million; Jefferies Asset Management, $34 million; and investment banking revenue came to only $99 million. Net loss was $60.5 million, compared with net earnings of $62.3 million for the first quarter of 2007. The second quarter wasn’t nearly as painful, with a net revenue of $392 million and a net loss of $4.4 million – after $15 million in severance costs. But third quarter results disappointed; the firm closed out with a net loss of $31.8 million, $11 million of which was owed Jefferies by Lehman. M&A still going strong Among its deals in 2008 was the underwriting of the IPO of Greek shipping company Safe Bulkers, which Jefferies completed in May 2008, along with Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse. In July 2008, Jefferies backed a deal brought by Sir Ronald Cohen,
  • 151. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Jefferies & Company 146 © 2009, Inc. co-founder of Apax Partners, who sought a management buyout of International Asset Management, the former hedge fund arm of ABN Amro Fortis. Fortis had purchased International Asset Management in 2006, when ABN broke up. The Financial Times estimated the deal in the low hundreds of millions. “Amid a wave of consolidation in the fund of hedge funds sector, which has seen banks expanding in the high margin, but increasingly competitive, business,” the buyout, it said, was “unusual.” In spite of its losses in 2008, Jefferies still ranked well according to the Thomson Reuters league tables. It was No. 9 in worldwide announced M&A, based on imputed fees, in deals with values up to both $50 million and $200 million; No. 7 for deals up to $100 million; and No. 11 for deals up to $500 million. For U.S. targeted deals based upon number of transactions, it came in at No. 6 for deals up to $200 million and $500 million – behind rival Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin in both categories. But it made a good showing in each division, with $2,094 million and $5,599 million in deals, respectively. Ready to rumble? In a year-end statement, Jefferies CEO Richard B. Handler Jefferies said the company is poised to restore profitability in 2009. It will have to, if it’s to maintain its place as a boutique bank seeking to put the M&A squeeze on such large competitors as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Getting Hired Opportunities await Jefferies says it’s hiring for positions in several of its U. S. offices as well as in Europe and Asia. Applicants to its analyst or associate programs in investment banking can apply to be part of the generalist, aerospace & defense, energy or technology groups. While Jefferies recruiting efforts focus primarily on analyst and associate levels, the firm welcomes resumes from undergraduates and experienced professionals. See the Jefferies website for more information and to fill out the firm’s online application.
  • 152. Customizedfor:Eric( 147 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop JMP Securities prides itself on its research, which it calls the backbone of its company. To that end it holds an annual research conference, and its analysts regularly turn up on industry best-of lists. In 2008 that honor went to William Marks, a JMP researcher who focuses on real estate and leisure services, and whom Forbes named No. 6 among its top brokerage analysts. Parent goes public JMP Securities is one of two subsidiaries operated by JMP Group Inc. (the other is JMP Asset Management). Founded in 1999, San Francisco-based JMP Group spent many years insisting it wouldn’t follow other boutiques down the IPO road, but in February 2007, it filed to go public. Its own JMP Securities, as well as Merrill Lynch and Keefe Bruyette & Woods, were signed on as joint book runners, and in May 2007 eight million shares were priced at $11 each. Although many boutique banks met with resistance when their IPOs launched, analysts had a rosier outlook for JMP, citing its diverse lines of business and strong earnings potential. Business at JMP Securities is divided between investment banking, equity research, and institutional equity sales and trading. Its industry focus falls on six sectors: business services, consumer, financial services, health care, real estate and technology. Clients include public and private companies. The firm’s headquarters are in San Francisco, with branch offices in New York, Chicago and Boston. JMP SECURITIES 600 Montgomery Street Suite 1100 San Francisco, CA 94111 Phone: (415) 835-8900 Fax: (415) 835-8910 SPECIALTIES Investment Banking Research Sales & Trading EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See “careers” under “about JMP Securities” at Chairman & CEO, JMP Group: Joseph A. Jolson Firm Type: Subsidiary of JMP Group No. of Offices: 4
  • 153. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking JMP Securities 148 © 2009, Inc. Belief in boutiques Joseph A. Jolson, Carter D. Mack and Gerald L. Tuttle Jr. founded JMP Group in 1999 and opened JMP Securities at the start of 2000. The trio had previously worked together at Montgomery Securities, which was purchased in 1997 by NationsBank Corp. and now operates as part of Bank of America. Following the sale of Montgomery, Jolson, Mack and Tuttle decided to jump ship and create their own investment bank. They didn’t like watching top-quality independent research boutiques get swallowed up by big commercial banks and figured that the best solution was to create their own firm. Instead of trying to compete for business with bulge bracket banks focused on large corporate clients, the trio pledged to serve small and mid-sized companies, which were becoming increasingly ignored by Wall Street conglomerates. To get the firm off the ground, CEO Jolson employed some unusual business practices. In the early years, he capped all base salaries—including his own—at $100,000. He also encouraged multitasking: He personally covered several specialty finance companies for JMP Securities’ research arm, while simultaneously getting JMP Asset Management running. In 2002, he attracted former Montgomery Securities partner Craig R. Johnson to help build the firm’s equities business. And, indeed, JMP grew by leaps and bounds, nearly tripling headcount to more than 200 in the ensuing six years. JMP also made an early decision to avoid focusing solely on emerging growth opportunities. In contrast to many of its competitors, the firm organized its research department to cover “old economy” sectors like financial services, as well as more cutting-edge industries like high technology. Today, Jolson remains CEO of JMP Group and Johnson serves as its president; both men attend to the operation of JMP Asset Management and its asset-gathering strategy. Co-founder Mack and Mark L. Lehmann serve as co-presidents of JMP Securities; Mack directs investment banking, and Lehmann oversees equities. You can sell them short In November 2008, following the ban on short-selling put in place by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), JMP Securities requested to be removed from the list of firms illegal to short. A few key hires In April 2008, the firm added four people to its institutional sales division, who will focus on institutional and ultra high-net-worth clients investing in life sciences. Three hires came from ThinkPanmure: Pascal Besman, a managing director; Alexander MacCormick, a director; and Joshua Levin, a sales assistant. Leah Batkiewicz, an associate, joined the firm after earning her PhD from Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, where she studied stem cells, hematopoiesis and acute myeloid leukemia.
  • 154. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking JMP Securities 149 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. In January 2009, JMP hired Alex Gauna, Peter Martin and Allan Rimland as managing directors. Gauna focuses on the semiconductor industry; he joined JMP from UBS. Martin joins from Matthes Capital, a hedge fund; he focuses on the health care services and health care real estate industries. Rimland joined from Wachovia Capital Markets and was named JMP’s co-head of health care services investment banking practice. Finally, in May 2008, JMP announced the appointment of Harris Barton and Kenneth Karmin as independent directors, bringing JMP Group's total number of board members to nine. Barton is managing partner of HRJ Capital, a manager of private equity and hedge funds of funds; he is a former footballer for the San Francisco 49ers. Karmin is a principal of High Street Holdings, a diversified investment company, and is CEO of Ortho Mattress. Plenty of deals JMP acted as a co-manager for follow-on offerings of a number of firms in 2008, among them: SuccessFactor ($104.2 million); MFA (for $319.7 million in May and $265.9 million in January); KKR Financial ($408.8 million); Capstead ($133.3 million); Chimera Investment Corp ($247.5 million); CapitalSource ($379.5 million) and Anworth Mortgate Asset Corporation ($143.9 million). The firm also served as co-manager for the IPOs of American Capital Agency ($200 million); Hatteras Financial ($276 million); Rackspace Hosting ($187.5 million); and the $500 million IPO of MagnaChip, which is still pending. Also in 2008, JMP was the sole placement agent for private placements of Americrest Homes ($56.6 million) and Celleration ($30 million), and acted as sole placement agent for New York Mortgage Trust’s $60 million PIPE. Finally, it advised BasePoint on its August 2008 sale to Actimize; Mirius on its $129 million September sale to Roche; and 90Degree Software on its March sale to Microsoft; and Hands on VRS on its $138 million sale to GoAmerica. Also in 2008, The New York Times reported that Artes Medicala a medical technology company that produces ArteFill, an FDA-approved injectable for erasing so-called smile lines, had retained JMP Securities as an advisor as it explores “financing opportunities and strategic opportunities.”
  • 155. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking JMP Securities 150 © 2009, Inc. Getting Hired Meet the challenge At under the “careers” link, prospective job candidates can read about JMP’s mission. JMP says it’s looking for extremely motivated people who can thrive in the firm’s “challenging, dynamic environment” and who will mesh with its senior executives. The California-based JMP does some regional recruiting; those who can’t find a JMP recruiter on their campus are advised to submit a cover letter and resume directly to the firm (
  • 156. Customizedfor:Eric( 151 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Straight outta Dayton JPS Capital Corporation, headquartered in Dayton, Ohio, is a boutique investment banking company that hones in on cornering transactions in the middle market. The firm considers its industry expertise to be fairly broad-based, encompassing everything from technology and financial and business services to biotechnology and health care. When it comes to selloffs, the firm markets itself as “primarily performance-based,” but does still charge fees and retainers (although JPS notes that its fees are typically “substantially below Wall Street firms”). The firm works on deals in its growth capital, mergers and acquisitions and strategic alliances/collaboration departments. JPS also concentrates its efforts on middle market private companies with revenue between $10 million and $500 million. Through the years JPS Capital established its investment banking services in 1994 and, to this day, still represents hundreds of public and private companies. Its fundamental objectives, it says, are to “professionally represent business owners in maximizing the value of the companies they have worked so hard to build,” and to “provide an unparalleled acquisition search program to large public or private companies completing strategic acquisitions.” JPS CAPITAL CORPORATION 5335 Far Hills Avenue Suite 224 Dayton, OH 45429 Phone: (888) 275-8044 Fax: (937) 435-9850 SPECIALTIES Growth Capital Mergers & Acquisitions Strategic Alliances/Collaboration EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Joe Siggins Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 157. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking JPS Capital Corporation 152 © 2009, Inc. The big three Within its mergers and acquisitions department, the firm works on deals that encompass company sales and acquisition programs. The firm also has an international division within its mergers and acquisitions unit that focuses on global companies who are looking to enter the U.S. market through either acquisition or partnerships. The firm’s growth capital department has subdivisions focusing on private equity capital for private companies as well as venture capital. Under the venture capital division, new businesses are advised by JPS regarding ways they can raise capital in order to meet their initial startup goals. JPS Capital’s strategic alliances/collaboration branch encompasses its biotechnology investment services and health care investment services sectors, which both seek out to take advantage of industry trends through mergers, acquisitions, strategic partnerships and procuring capital. Getting Hired Give it a shot JPS Capital doesn’t seek out new job candidates on its web site, but those who are interested in pursuing a career with the firm can still try using their powers of persuasion. Hopeful JPS Capital workers can try emailing a cover letter and resume to
  • 158. Customizedfor:Eric( 153 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Capital raising in its future Keefe, Bruyette & Woods blew through the first three quarters of 2008 posting mounting losses. As a result, in September it filed a universal shelf statement, which permits it to raise capital through a secondary offering of shares. Three-leafed clover KBW, Inc. is the parent firm of three subsidiaries: Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, its American investment banking business; Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Limited, its international operation; and KBW Asset Management. All three parts of the firm focus on the financial services and institutions sector. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc. serves banking and insurance companies, broker/dealers, mortgage banks, asset management companies, REITs, specialty finance firms and securities exchanges. Its services include mergers and acquisitions advisory, general financial advisory, equity capital markets, fixed income markets, mutual thrift and insurance company conversions and structured finance. Overcoming all obstacles Formerly headquartered in the World Trade Center, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods lost 67 employees in the September 11 attacks. The firm fought hard to rebuild, and in 2003 it opened a new, permanent New York office in midtown Manhattan. (Group CEO John Duffy’s book Triumph Over Tragedy details the firm’s rebuilding process.) KEEFE, BRUYETTE & WOODS The Equitable Building 787 Seventh Ave., 4th Floor New York, NY 10019 Phone: (212) 887-7777 Fax: (212) 541-6668 SPECIALTIES Equity Capital Markets Fixed Income Capital Markets General Advisory M&A Advisory Mutual Thrift & Insurance Company Conversions Structured Finance EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: John Duffy Firm Type: Subsidiary of a Public Company No. of Offices: 10
  • 159. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Keefe, Bruyette & Woods 154 © 2009, Inc. In November 2006, KBW, Inc. completed the final phase of its post-September 11 recovery by launching an IPO of 6.8 million shares. Priced at $21 a share, the offering was also an opportunity for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. to work with Merrill Lynch as joint bookrunners. Within days the firm sold the full slate of shares at the top end of its expected price range, reaping nearly $143 million. Analysts were impressed—KBW wasn’t the only boutique bank to go public, but it was one of the few whose offering was so successful. Capital raising on the shelf In the wake of disappointing returns, KBW filed a universal shelf registration statement in September 2008 that enables the firm to sell, in one or more public offerings, common or preferred stock, debt and other securities. In a statement, the company said that it “has no current plan to raise capital.” But the registration allows KBW access to public markets “in order to facilitate and expedite opportunities for growth,” said chairman and CEO John Duffy. He added that since KBW’s 2006 IPO, “a significant portion of our outstanding common stock, owned by employees, has been subject to restrictions on transfer and sale. Those restrictions are scheduled to begin to expire shortly.” The shelf, he concluded, allows employees to effect a secondary offering on the shares they own. New hires for a new group In February 2008, the firm hired Frederick Kannon as associate director of research and chief equity strategist, a new position. Cannon joined from Golden State Bancorp, where he was executive vice president, director of investor relations and a member of the operating committee. Cannon’s hire will help KBW to boost its research capabilities, for which it has been historically lauded by the industry. In May 2008, the company hired three bankers from Wachovia Securities to staff its newly formed real estate investment banking group. They are Michael Hawkins, Robert Woomer and Christopher Haney. Hawkins and Woomer joined as principals; Haney as an associate. The group also includes John Dalena, and focuses on public and private real estate companies and their capital needs. Earnings In the first quarter of 2008, the firm announced an operating net loss of $6 million, compared with net income of $9.5 million for the first quarter of 2007. In the second quarter of 2008, KBW posted an operating net loss of $7.8 million, compared with a net income of $12 million in the second quarter of 2007. Things only got worse in the third quarter of 2008, when the firm announced a non- GAAP operating net loss of $21.3 million. According to CEO Duffy, investment banking and merger and acquisition activities suffered. But, he said, the firm’s cash
  • 160. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Keefe, Bruyette & Woods 155 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. equity business performed well, having “benefitted from the extreme market volatility related volumes and demand for our services.” Duffy’s words are borne out by the Thomson Reuters’ 2008 league tables for midmarket M&A. For deals based on value, KBW ranked No. 5 for U.S. announced M&A deals valued up to $50 million; No. 11 for U.S. announced deals up to $100 million; No. 17 for U.S. target deals up to $200 million; and No. 17 for deals valued up to $500 million. Word on the Street KBW was repeatedly honored for its research in 2008. David Konrad was named by The Wall Street Journal as the top banking industry analyst in the United States, according to its the “Best on the Street” survey. Konrad beat 102 other analysts for the title. The newspaper also honored Jeffrey Schuman as the second-best analyst in the life insurance category, and also recognized Dean Evans in the non-life insurance category and Bose George in the real estate category. In memoriam Keefe, Bruyette & Woods was among the companies that donated $5 million to the construction of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the Wold Trade Center in New York City, which reached its $350 million fund-raising goal in April 2008. The firm also maintains its independent September 11 family fund to support relatives of the 67 KBW employees who died on that day. Getting Hired Point of contact To submit your resume for future job openings, the firm’s website encourages sending an email to with your resume attached in MS Word or PDF format.
  • 161. Customizedfor:Eric( 156 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Not just audit KPMG Corporate Finance is a subsidiary of KPMG LLP, one of the world’s largest professional services firms, with over 136,500 employees working in 140 countries. One of the Big Four auditors, KPMG is a structured as a Swiss Verein, with each member firm acting as an independent legal entity. Its three lines of service – audit, advisory and tax – brought in $22.7 billion in global revenue in 2008. As you might expect, the KPMG Corporate Finance subsidiary is part of KPMG’s advisory division, which includes eight other business lines: accounting advisory; internal audit, risk and compliance services; forensics; transaction services; restructuring; IT advisory; business performance services; financial risk management services; and restructuring. KPMG Corporate Finance comprises approximately 2,200 professionals in 62 countries worldwide and provides a full range of middle- market services, including investment banking, private equity services, advisory and financial opinions, global infrastructure and projects services, and special situations (i.e., financial distress and bankruptcy management). As of October 2007 KPMG Corporate Finance has included the realty advisory practice of Long Island-based Keen Consultants; the business now operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of KPMG Corporate Finance. One of Keen’s most notable assignments in 2008 was assisting video rental giant Movie Gallery with the disposition of several Movie Gallery and Hollywood Video store locations. KPMG CORPORATE FINANCE 120 Broadway, 23rd Floor New York, NY 10271 Phone: (888) 957-5764 SPECIALTIES Advisory Services & Financial Opinions Global Infrastructure & Projects Investment Banking Private Equity Special Situations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See or e-mail your resume to Managing Director, Head of Investment Banking: Cherie Smith Homa Firm Type: Subsidiary of KPMG LLP No. of Offices: 150
  • 162. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking KPMG Corporate Finance 157 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Declaration of independence A unique feature of KPMG Corporate Finance’s operations is that the firm is completely independent of financing sources – it does not underwrite, make loans to or invest in any of its clients, nor is there an in-house research division. According to the firm, “Our independence helps insure that our interests are aligned with those of our clients.” Speaking of clients, at KPMG Corporate Finance they fall into 10 categories: insurance, business services, real estate, media and marketing services, energy and natural resources, financial services, health care and pharmaceuticals, consumer markets, industrial markets and technology and communications. The firm’s U.S. offices are located in Manhattan, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, Costa Mesa, Calif., Melville, N.Y., Austin, Baltimore and Atlanta. Real estate expands Real estate is shaping up to be a strong sector for KPMG Corporate Finance in the near future. In November 2008 the firm hired Frank J. Diliberto, former president and CEO of Inland Real Estate Auctions, as managing director of real estate services and head of the real estate auction platform. Based in Chicago, Diliberto is busy expanding KPMG Corporate Finance’s national real estate services team, including transaction advisory and execution. A 19-year veteran of the real estate advisory and auction worlds, Diliberto has been involved in crafting strategies for major corporations like Intel, Allstate Insurance and Harris Bank/Bank of Montreal. Top ’o’ the charts During the course of 2008 KPMG Corporate Finance advised on 390 mergers and acquisitions, and it ranked No. 1 in Mergermarket’s global middle -market rankings with 265 deals worth a total of $73.5 billion. The firm beat out fellow Big Four subsidiaries Deloitte Corporate Finance and PricewaterhouseCoopers Corporate Finance to take the top spot, and KPMG completed more deals in the Asia-Pacific region than its competitors. A 2009 Financial Week review of the past year in middle-market M&A activity noted that the Big Four, while primarily known for their audit prowess, had certain advantages over pure investment banks: like a well-coordinated network of professionals around the world. “We’re able to identify counterparties, be they acquirers of businesses or capital sources, across the globe and not just in one market or another,” explained Stephen Gaines, the head of KPMG’s corporate finance division in the U.S. The larger KPMG network “just gives us access to on-the-ground intelligence and cultural sensitivities that competitors can’t match.”
  • 163. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking KPMG Corporate Finance 158 © 2009, Inc. Nice! The kudos kept coming, as The M&A Advisor handed KPMG Corporate Finance its 2008 Energy Deal of the Year award for its role as advisor to Concept Mining in conjunction with its sale to ArcelorMittal. Other key assignments for the year included advising Cash Management Solutions on its $36 million sale to River Associates Investments; helping Unilever Canada divest assets to Margarine Golden Gate-Micha; working with the trustees of Food Management Group LLC on the disposition of 27 Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in New York; advising Vivitar Corporation on the sale of its brand and intellectual property to Sakar International; and advising Frontline Direct on its $20 million sale to Adconion Media Group. KPMG Corporate Finance experts also provided a valuation opinion to Pacific Crossing LLC in conjunction with its Chapter 11 filing; and offered fairness opinions to the boards of Pacific Internet and Precision Dynamics Corporation. Recovery’s on the horizon With all eyes on the global economic meltdown in early 2009, many wondered what the new year had in store for M&A deals. Enter KPMG Corporate Finance’s annual publication, the Global M&A Predictor, a forward-looking survey of 1,000 leading companies that analyzes prospective price to earnings ratios and balance sheet capacity. Unsurprisingly, the January 2009 edition of the report forecast “a very subdued year for M&A activity,” as Stephen Gaines, head of KPMG Corporate Finance U.S., put it. The silver lining: according to KPMG, deal volume is nearly at the trough – which means it’s all up from here. “While this M&A downturn is different from previous ones in character, I think we can draw some parallels between the current situation in the deals market and how we emerged from one of the last big deals recession in the early 1990s,” Gaines said. “I am feeling very optimistic that we will see a similar pattern emerge this year and next, and that by the close of 2010 the M&A downturn will be behind us, with a sustained recovery in transactional activity.”
  • 164. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking KPMG Corporate Finance 159 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired Fitting the ideal The career section of the firm’s website ( gives information on available opportunities within its U. S. offices. KPMG is always looking for new analysts, associates and managing directors within its investment banking division; if you are interested, send your resume to
  • 165. Customizedfor:Eric( 160 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop From both sides of the pond Ladenburg Thalmann first entered the merchant banking scene in 1876, when U.S. investment banker Ernst Thalmann and German banker Adolph Ladenburg joined forces. Three years later, the firm hit the New York Stock Exchange, and became known as a trusted banking liaison between the U.S. and Europe. (Even the Queen of England relied on the firm, presenting its management with a sterling silver cigar box after the firm served the British Secret Service in World War II, purchasing Deutschmarks for the U.K. government.) Connections with royalty aside, the firm has continually changed and developed over the course of more than a century. Today, the firm is an investment banking and brokerage company that caters to investments for clients in corporate and institutional sectors as well as individual investors. It’s divided into four departments: corporate and institutional, independent brokerage and advisory services, individual investors and investment banking. Traditional investment banking Ladenburg’s investment banking unit provides an array of traditional services—such as capital-raising, special purpose acquisition company offerings, mergers and acquisitions, fairness and solvency opinions and valuation services, restructuring and financial advisory services. Within this unit, in 2008, Ladenburg worked on deals for the Hard Rock Café, Hollywood Media Corp. and Harvard Drug Group. LADENBURG THALMANN & CO. INC. 4400 Biscayne Boulevard 12th Floor Miami, FL 33137 Phone: (305) 572-4100 Fax: (305) 572-4199 SPECIALTIES Corporate & Institutional Independent Brokerage & Advisory Services Individual Investors Investment Banking EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: Richard J. Lampen Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 11
  • 166. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. 161 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. It’s an alternative Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management provides a number of services. In addition to providing investment advice to corporate and individual clients, the business also works on alternative investments—LTAM gives alternative investment advice to the firm’s high-net-worth clients and investors in private equity and hedge funds. Within this sector, LTAM works in investor relations, risk management, due diligence, asset allocation and negotiations for third parties. You feeling lucky, Punk? Boutique investment bank Punk Ziegel & Company, a firm that financially advises corporations, was acquired by Ladenburg in May 2008 for an undisclosed amount. Under the terms of the deal, Punk was merged into the Ladenburg subsidiary Thalmann & Co. Punk’s specialty arenas are health care-related technology, software and wireless services. Punk Ziegel, in business since 1990, has established itself as a firm that stays one step ahead of the trends. In July 2007, Punk analyst Richard Bove downgraded Goldman Sachs, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley shortly after Bear’s bad mortgages came to light. Bove was ahead of the curve in his prediction, saying in the report entitled “Who is Next?” that he didn’t see the issue “as a Bear Stearns problem, but a systemic one,” adding that “this could force a wide variety of other holders of subprime mortgage securities and CDOs to meaningfully revalue their holdings.” Though Bove’s report was a hugely popular one, some companies were not amused. In July 2008, BankAtlantic filed a lawsuit against Bove and Ladenburg seeking defamation and negligence-related damages from the report, which predicted that BankAtlantic might be one of the next banks to fail. BankAtlantic denied it was in trouble, calling Bove’s prediction “nonsensical.” In turn, Ladenburg called the lawsuit a “meritless” one. Stepping it up In July 2008, the firm acquired broker-dealer and investment advisor Triad Advisors in a transaction worth up to $37 million. The addition of Triad brought the number of Ladenburg advisors up to 900 and the amount of client assets to $17 billion. Despite the acquisition, Triad will continue to operate as a stand-alone business from its headquarters in Georgia. More deals could be on the horizon, as BusinessWeek reported in August 2008 that Ladenburg is continuing to seek out additional acquisitions. Shortly following the Triad acquisition, sources reported that Investacorp Inc., a Ladenburg subsidiary, was reaching out to other broker-dealers in the weeks and months following the deal with gross annual revenue between $60 million and $130 million. The acquisition of
  • 167. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. 162 © 2009, Inc. Investacorp in October 2007 was a feather in the cap of Ladenburg. The broker- dealer has about 500 representatives in the U.S. and $8.5 billion in client assets. Members only Ladenburg is a member of M&A International, an alliance of corporate advisors that collectively concentrate on middle market deals. Ladenburg contributes its expertise as a member and receives advice from internationally located firms in turn. (Clients, meanwhile, benefit from conducting business with just one company.) Companies belonging to the alliance complete an average of about 200 deals worth more than $7 billion a year. Mixed bag For the second quarter of 2008, Ladenburg reported $25.23 million in revenue, up 36.2 percent from the same period in 2007. The firm reported a net loss of $5.23 million for the quarter, however, compared with $17,000 in net income in the second quarter of 2007. The firm brought in $15.91 million in revenue, thanks to its acquisition of broker-dealer Investacorp, but its net loss was pushed down further by a compensation expense of $1.50 million. Getting Hired Try your luck While the firm’s careers site section’s actual job openings appear to be few and far between, the firm does keep a list of any positions it has available at any given time on Potential candidates can submit their materials through the online system.
  • 168. Customizedfor:Eric( 163 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop A new platform Lazard Middle Market was formed after Lazard acquired Goldsmith Agio Helms in 2007 to serve as its middle market financial advisory platform. Founded more than 25 years ago, Goldsmith Agio Helms pioneered the delivery of premium investment banking services to midsized companies, and became one of the largest and most successful investment banks serving the middle market in the United States. Prior to the acquisition by Lazard, the principals of the Goldsmith Agio Helms had successfully completed more than 600 financial advisory assignments spanning virtually every industry sector. Lazard Middle Market has approximately 100 bankers who operate through offices in Minneapolis, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Charlotte. Lazard, one of the world's biggest financial advisory and asset management firms, operates from 39 cities across 22 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Key sectors and services Beyond the global reach of the parent company, Lazard has built up a reputation through the years focusing on a number of key sectors – business services, consumer, energy, food and agriculture, health care, media and communications, plastics and chemicals, and technology. The firm also offers a full range of financial restructuring services to assist companies in financial distress including precrisis situations, out-of-court workouts and Chapter 11 reorganizations. It also focuses on capital-raising to middle market companies through private placement of equity and debt, ranging in size from $5 million to $500 million. LAZARD MIDDLE MARKET (GOLDSMITH AGIO HELMS) 225 South 6th Street Suite 4600 46th Floor Minneapolis, MN 55402 SPECIALTIES Alliances Buyouts Corporate Finance Cross-Border Transactions Divestitures Joint Ventures Mergers & Acquisitions Sales EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman: Jack P. Helms Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 5
  • 169. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Lazard Middle Market (Goldsmith Agio Helms) 164 © 2009, Inc. Expanding geographically Lazard Middle Market boosted its financial advisory efforts in the U.S. by recently opening up a Charlotte office. The firm is run by a number of top bankers from around the country who joined from rivals such as Piper Jaffray, Bear Stearns and Wachovia Securities. "We have enjoyed great success for our clients since the formation of Lazard Middle Market last year," said Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO of Lazard North America. "By adding senior talent to our existing teams in M&A, restructuring and private placement, and establishing a base in the southeastern region, we will be able to continue to extend our reach in this vibrant market." Getting Hired Numerous opportunities The Lazard Middle Market website has information on a number of opportunities for candidates. Those interested can submit resumes online through its site for associate positions, the firm’s two-year analyst program and summer internships, as well as more experienced positions. Go to
  • 170. Customizedfor:Eric( 165 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Healthy business Beantown’s Leerink Swann is a specialist boutique that focuses exclusively on the health care industry. The firm was founded by now-CEO Jeff Leerink in 1995; by 1999 it had landed a spot on Inc. magazine’s “America’s 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies” list. Today Leerink has offices in Boston, New York and San Francisco, and its service lines include equity research, private and corporate client services, institutional sales and trading, strategic advisory and investment banking. Leerink’s i-banking professionals offer services related to mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, private placements and private investments in public equity (PIPE) offerings. Backing the firm’s health care expertise is its MEDACorp network, a brain trust of more than 25,000 physicians, researchers and other health care experts in North America, Europe and Asia. Leerink professionals work closely with MEDACorp members – who are paid consulting fees for their services – to advise the firm’s clients. The network is pitched as an opportunity for members to network with clients’ senior executives and health care industry insiders who have the capability to support clinical trials and other research efforts. To crack down on conflicts of interest – and to maintain its standards for consulting – Leerink regularly audits network members, and denies membership to employees of publicly traded companies and government employees. LEERINK SWANN LLC 1 Federal Street, 37th Floor Boston, MA 02110 Phone: (617) 248-1601; (800) 808-7525 Fax: (617) 918-4900 SPECIALTIES Equity Research Institutional Sales & Trading Investment Banking Private & Corporate Client Services Strategic Advisory Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: Jeffrey A. (Jeff) Leerink Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3
  • 171. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Leerink Swann LLC 166 © 2009, Inc. A single stake Leerink has been privately held since its inception, but in 2007 it sold a $35 million minority stake to Los Angeles-based private equity firm Lovell Minnick and fellow i- banking boutique March Group. Representatives from both investing firms now sit on Leerink’s board of directors. CEO Jeff Leerink said at the time that the capital would fund expansion efforts, though as of early 2009 the firm has yet to open any additional offices. Strategy shapes up In October 2008 Michael Jenkins, formerly a partner with New York advisory firm Trinsum, was appointed senior managing director and head of Leerink Swann Strategic Advisors. At Trinsum (which was formed by the merger of management consultancy Marakon and financial advisory firm Integrated Finance Limited), Jenkins spent 15 years advising clients in the health care and financial services sectors on issues like strategy development and execution, organizational effectiveness, acquisition evaluation and integration. CEO Jeff Leerink said Jenkins would be integral to plans for building out the strategic advisory practice; his new career came just in time, as Trinsum went belly-up in January 2009. Leerink Swann Strategic Advisors provides a range of advisory services, working in close collaboration with the firm’s investment banking group; these services include portfolio management and product search processes, like identifying licensing opportunities; corporate strategy development; product and therapeutic area strategy for clinical development, marketing and positioning; and M&A-driven growth and transaction strategies. Deals galore A number of assignments kept Leerink Swann’s teams busy in the second half of 2008. In September the firm served as exclusive financial advisor to Cellzome Inc. on its deal to license kinase technology to pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline; that month Leerink also advised VisiGen on its $75 million sale to Invitrogen Corp. In December United Therapeutics turned to Leerink for advisory services in conjunction with its $150 million licensing of Tadalafil (better known as Cialis) to Lilly. In the final weeks of the year Leerink took a role as sole placement agent for Momenta Pharmaceuticals $25 million registered direct offering, and served as sole agent for Helicos BioSciences’ $19 million private investment in public equity (PIPE) offering. Tops, again In 2008, for the second year in a row, Leerink took the No. 1 spot in Institutional Investor’s All-America Institutional Sales Team Healthcare Survey of chief investment officers, portfolio managers, buy-side analysts, research directors and other investment professionals. Leerink’s sales team also came in No. 2 in the
  • 172. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Leerink Swann LLC 167 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. biotechnology survey category, and the firm’s no stranger to Institutional Investor kudos – for the past seven years it’s been dubbed “Best of the Boutiques” in multiple health care categories. Morgan Stanley’s loss There’s a new executive in the investment banking group at Leerink: William Reiland joined as managing director in January 2009. In this role he will be responsible for overseeing originating, structuring, and marketing royalty monetizations; mezzanine financings and private equity transactions. Reiland, a 15-year veteran of Morgan Stanley, had most recently worked as managing director of Morgan Stanley’s $3 billion internal private equity investment group. Over the course of his career he’s advised on approximately 70 health care financing transactions worth a collective $25 billion. Reiland reports to David Ogens, senior managing director and head of the investment banking division. Ogens joined in 2005 after a lengthy career at Goldman Sachs. Offerings and advice So what’s in the pipeline for 2009? In February Leerink was retained by Princeton, N.J., pharmaceutical development company Pharmasset Inc. to serve as sole placement agent for a $455 million registered direct offering of 4.678 million shares. Since July 2008 Leerink has been advising Seattle’s Northstar Neuroscience, a medical device company that develops therapeutic treatments for neurological injuries and diseases. That month Northstar received an unsolicited takeover bid from San Diego-based Tang Capital; Leerink was called upon to advise on a defense, and to help Northstar evaluate strategic alternatives. In early 2009 the alternative was announced: Northstar’s board decided to dissolve the company and liquidate its assets. Getting Hired Passionate about health care? At, applicants can search listings that span a number of divisions. If you don’t think the firm is currently listing your perfect job, Leerink still encourages those who are “passionate about the health care industry” to contact them anyway at
  • 173. Customizedfor:Eric( 168 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Working both angles Founded and owned by investment banker and CPA Rick Kates, Lighthouse Capital Advisors concentrates on counseling midsized business owners regarding the sale of their firms in addition to assisting those interested in obtaining a middle market firm. But why does Lighthouse focus on the middle market? Lighthouse says it believes those companies have unique requirements that need to be met accordingly. The firm emphasizes confidentiality and stresses maximizing the proceeds of the sale of a business for its owner. Lighting the way Lighthouse caters to clients who’ve never engaged in the sale of a business, including those who are selling off their sole business for the first time. Because the firm works closely with these sorts of business owners—and because Lighthouse itself is smaller than many of its larger investment bank counterparts—it’s also pretty choosy, only taking on a certain amount of clients at a time. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, Lighthouse also works on advising companies on their sales and purchases. The firm has been involved in advising, initiating and negotiating on a number of transactions, including serving as lead investment banker for firms such as Blue Chip Engineered Products, Current Electrical & Lighting Supply and J&B Systems Company, among others. LIGHTHOUSE CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC 8080 Beckett Center Dr., Suite 213 West Chester, OH 45069 Phone: (513) 942-4142 Fax: (513) 942-4419 SPECIALTIES Marketing Purchasing Sales EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Founder: Rick D. Kates Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 174. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Lighthouse Capital Advisors, LLC 169 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired Not too formal To be sure, Lighthouse is a fairly close-knit group and doesn’t do much outward recruiting. But if you think that you have a skill set the firm would find impressive, you can try emailing your cover letter and resume to founder Rick Kates at
  • 175. Customizedfor:Eric( 170 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Lincoln’s origins Established in 1996 by Jim Lawson and Rob Barr as Lincoln Partners, Lincoln International took on its current moniker when it merged with strategy and development firm Peters Associates in 2006. The firm has clients ranging from large public businesses to private companies, and focuses its expertise on private placements, M&A, valuations, corporate finance and restructurings. While Lincoln lives up to its international name, with offices in Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria and Japan, its headquarters are situated in the U.S.—deep in the heart of Chicago, to be exact. Lawson and Barr still are hands-on in Lincoln’s day-to-day operations, serving as co- chairman and president, respectively. Both men also act as managing directors for the firm, and, between the two of them, have backgrounds in accounting, mathematics, statistics and economics. But the duo doesn’t claim to make financial magic happen on their own—they employ an investment banking team with experience at major investment banks and advisory companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Representin’ The firm has a steady stream of companies it represents in some big-name transactions. In 2008 alone, the firm worked on deals ranging from the sale of a portfolio company of Bank of America to a selloff of Ann’s House of Nuts. With its positioning as a global firm, Lincoln is also consistently involved in deals all over the world. LINCOLN INTERNATIONAL 500 W. Madison Street, No. 3900 Chicago, IL 60661 Phone: (312) 580-8339 Fax: (312) 580-8317 SPECIALTIES Fairness Opinions & Valuations Financial Restructuring Mergers & Acquisitions Private Placements EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See “career” link at Managing Director: L. James Lawson Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 9
  • 176. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Lincoln International 171 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired Go to Lincoln Under the “career” link at, candidates can peruse internship openings as well as full-time listings grouped together by country. The firm regularly recruits for analysts, associates and investment bankers at all levels. Interested candidates can apply with directly online with their materials.
  • 177. Customizedfor:Eric( 172 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop An array of industries Providing investment banking services to middle market businesses since 2001, McColl Partners concentrates its expertise over several industries, including aerospace and defense, building products and packaging, business services, consumer products and retailing, diversified manufacturing, financial institutions, health care, and technology and media. Founded by former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl in 2001, McColl Partners focuses on management and owners of middle market businesses. The firm also stays busy advising firms on a number of sales. In 2008, among its deals, the firm advised defense training company OMEGA Training Group on its sale to Cubic Corporation, Burke Industries on its sale to Mannington Mills, and Gator Leasing on the sale of its assets to Ryder Truck Rental. Its newest addition In March 2008, McColl created a new private equity coverage group, which will focus exclusively on advising and helping to carry out private equity deals. The group, led by Jamie Lewin and Brian Davis, will also be based out of Charlotte. The move seems to be a potentially profitable one for the firm—since its establishment in 2001, most of McColl’s business has come out of private middle market companies. McCOLL PARTNERS LLC 100 N. Tryon Street, 54th Floor Charlotte, NC 28202 Phone: (704) 333-0525 Fax: (704) 333-0118 SPECIALTIES Mergers & Acquisitions Private Capital Raises Strategic Advisory & Valuation Assignments EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See the “careers opportunities” link at Chairman: Hugh L. McColl Jr. Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3
  • 178. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking McColl Partners LLC 173 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Airing his views In October 2008, Hugh McColl published an editorial in The Charlotte Observer newspaper publicly supporting the Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, for president. The editorial was a first for McColl, who had never before supported a political candidate on such a public level (and neither had the firm). McColl’s concern for what he termed to be the “economic disarray” of the country and apprehension in finding domestic alternative energy sources led him to his public backing of Obama. Getting Hired Welcome, analysts and associates Under the “career opportunities” link at, McColl lists opportunities under its associate and analyst programs. For its associate program, McColl handpicks candidates from advanced degree programs (like those getting MBAs) in addition to professionals who are in the workforce. Associates work on the structuring and negotiation behind different transactions. Analysts come on with the firm as part of a two-year program—usually after completing an undergraduate degree—and work with senior bankers to do analysis on transactions. Interested candidates for either program should follow instructions to submit their materials to the appropriate person listed on the website.
  • 179. Customizedfor:Eric( 174 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop By any other name RSM EquiCo officially became McGladrey Capital Markets on September 29, 2008. The investment bank’s name change was the culmination of a four-year transformation period in which president Hector J. Cuellar worked to develop RSM EquiCo into an internationally recognized force in the world of investment banking. Cuellar said that the bank also “recognized the need to develop industry specialization, expand beyond our exclusive focus on sell-side mergers and acquisitions,” and that the changes have been successful beyond expectations. “The evolution of our business has been so impactful, we felt a name change was in order,” Cuellar concluded. The name change also represents a closer relationship with the bank’'s parent company RSM McGladrey, Inc., which is a member firm of RSM International and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of tax giant H&R Block. McGladrey Capital Markets is headquartered in Costa Mesa, Calif., with additional offices in Chicago, Dallas, New York, Boston and London. Sectors and deals McGladrey Capital Markets caters to privately-owned mid-market businesses and mid-cap public companies, offering services like M&A and divestiture advisory, capital raising, fairness opinions, recapitalizations and restructurings. The firm is a registered broker-dealer and provides global investment banking services with an emphasis on the North American middle market. McGLADREY CAPITAL MARKETS 575 Anton Boulevard, 11th Floor Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Phone: (714) 327-8800 Fax: (714) 327-8850 SPECIALTIES Capital Raising Divestitures Fairness Opinions Mergers & Acquisitions Recapitalizations Restructurings EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Hector J. Cuellar Firm Type: Subsidiary of a Public Company No. of Offices: 6
  • 180. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking McGladrey Capital Markets 175 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Business at McGladrey Capital Markets covers a number of industries, including aerospace and defense, basic industries, business services, chemical, energy services, engineering, construction and building materials, food and beverage, global financial services, government services, health care, recreation and leisure, rubber and plastics, technology and media, entertainment and gaming. Aviation actions McGladrey Capital Markets stepped into government affairs to address problems in the aerospace and airline industry. Hector Cuellar, president of McGladrey, spoke publicly about the problems in the airline industry for the first time at the Farnborough International Airshow in England in July 2008. Cuellar called U.S. officials, saying “Government action is long overdue. Congress must act promptly to prevent further industry deterioration and the corresponding deleterious effects on the nation.” Cuellar has good reason to be interested in the affairs of the airline industry. The sector provides significant income for the company, and Cuellar himself has been involved in several aviation reorganizations. He also has been an expert witness in the bankruptcy proceedings of marquis names such as MarkAir and United Airlines. He suggested a government intervention which would re-write regulation laws regarding pricing structure, labor policies and bankruptcy laws in order to save the failing industry. Restructuring business In May 2008, McGladrey expanded its business by adding a restructuring division to its investment banking team. The bank seeks to take advantage of a struggling economy by offering expert advice to middle-market firms that have underperforming assets or are in financial straits. McGladrey’s new team promised to “work with both debtors and creditors to develop tailored solutions suitable for virtually any financial or operating situation.” The new practice will be managed by Jay Sherwood. Sherwood said that restructuring is a perfect offering for the company at this time as “capital market shifts and economic turbulence can challenge even the best run companies.” Keeping on chart for success McGladrey continued its ascent up the league tables in 2008, despite market circumstances that caused a significant decline overall in worldwide M&A advisory for the year. The firm was ranked 14th in the United States for overall M&A deal volume on FactSet Mergerstat’s charts and finished second for deals under $250 million. Consumer products, chemicals, and plastics and advanced materials all performed especially well, ranking first in each of their categories for deals under $250 million. Overall, the firm completed 45 deals worth a total of $1.51 billion.
  • 181. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking McGladrey Capital Markets 176 © 2009, Inc. The firm also snagged itself a spot on the prestigious Thomson Financial league tables, coming in 20th in the world for M&A advisory deals of up to $100 million. The firm completed 28 deals throughout the year in this category, with a total value of $18.9 million. Latino leadership Hector Cuellar earned accolades from Latino Leaders magazine in 2008 when he was named one of the “Top 25 Latinos in Finance.” The list tracks the accomplishments of Latinos the business world and includes top executives at businesses such as Bank of America and CalPERS. Cuellar’s leadership has been impressive over his four years as president of McGladrey Capital Markets. During his tenure, the company has completed more than 150 M&A transactions, tripled its average deal size, and nearly doubled its number of cross-border transactions. Boost in private equity Nearly 46 percent of McGladrey’s deals involve private equity firms. That’s why the company has a devoted private equity focus team, which deals exclusively with the firm’s PE clients. The attention to the industry paid off in 2008. In its year-end report, McGladrey stated that it had increased its private equity group clients fourfold. Key negotiations The deals that kept the firm going in 2008 came from a wide variety of sectors. McGladrey kicked off 2009 with a deal in the aerospace and aviation sectors when it led negotiations and acted as financial advisor to Helicomb, a military aircraft manufacturer that was acquired by Synchronous Aerospace. In December 2008, the firm cooked up a deal between its client Tom Cat Bakery, a New York City bread maker that was acquired by Ancor Capital Partners and Merit Capital Partners. McGladrey proved its international clout in late 2008 when it acted as exclusive financial advisor to the Japanese company Saiden Chemical Industry, which was acquired by the Canadian firm Halltech Inc. Earlier in the year, McGladrey advised Numet Engineering on its sale to ODIM Inc., a transaction valued at approximately $21 million. In June, the company led the negotiations and acted as advisor to DesignPac on its sale to 1-800-FLOWERS.COM for $38.25 million. Also within 2008, McGladrey initiated a $150 million purchase of oil pump manufacturer Concentric to Haldex AB. In addition to leading the negotiations, the firm also acted as Haldex’s advisor.
  • 182. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking McGladrey Capital Markets 177 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired Careers at McGladrey McGladrey is particularly interested in “people who combine noteworthy skills and a hunger for excellence with a genuine enjoyment of their work.” Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Scott Ryder at
  • 183. Customizedfor:Eric( 178 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop The other Morgan Morgan Joseph zeroes in on offering financial advisory and capital raising services for its clients domestically and internationally. Unlike some of its bigger counterparts, the firm has actually continued to grow, adding new divisions even into 2008—a pretty troubled year for most of the financial industry, still reeling from the collapse of credit and mortgage markets. Its investment banking unit, which employs about 85 investment bankers, uses its equity sales and trading divisions to help its client trade a variety of securities. The firm’s advisory services group gives transaction advice to corporate clients and institutional investors—its subdivisions include M&A, restructuring and advisory for financial and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Morgan Joseph’s capital markets group provides services to those who issue debt, equity and convertible securities. Capital markets’ subdivisions—which include equity capital markets, high-yield capital markets, private placements and SPAC underwriting—are involved in a variety of different transactions. Within its equity capital markets unit, the firm manages initial public offerings, while the high-yield capital markets unit takes care of managing secured and subordinated notes. The private placement subdivision, meanwhile, takes care of placing preferred stock, debt and warrants. Finally, Morgan Joseph’s SPAC underwriting subdivision is somewhat of its crown jewel—it had more than $2.3 billion in 20 transactions from underwriting SPACs (overall, the industry has raised $14.8 billion via SPACs). MORGAN JOSEPH & CO. 600 Fifth Avenue 19th Floor New York, NY 10020 Phone: (212) 218-3700 Fax: (212) 218-3719 SPECIALTIES Advisory Services Capital Markets Industries International Practice Investment Banking SPAC Underwriting & Advisory Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: John F. Sorte Chairman: John A. Morgan Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 11
  • 184. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Morgan Joseph & Co. 179 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Big deals The firm stays busy advising on a number of transactions. It advised Kohlberg & Company on its on a $270 million acquisition of PPG Industries’ auto glass and service unit in September 2008 and Angelica Corporation on its $300 million sale to Lehman Brothers Merchant Banking in August 2008. It also recently provided a fairness opinion to Icahn Enterprises on its $863 million purchase of the majority of Federal-Mogul Corporation. Structure and restructure Morgan Joseph formed several new units in 2008, first launching its analytics and trading group in June 2008. At the outset, the firm plans to trade structured products like residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), commercial mortgage backed securities (CMBS), structured credit securities (CLOS) and asset backed securities (ABS). In September 2008, Morgan Joseph announced that it would be adding a division focused on restructuring transactions to its corporate finance department. The unit, which gives advice to distressed firms, is headed up by James Decker and comprises seven bankers. It’s dually headquartered in New York City and Atlanta. Moving up Morgan Joseph also stayed busy with a number of executive appointments in 2008. In August 2008, Morgan Joseph appointed Z. James Chen to senior vice president in equity research. Chen came to Morgan Joseph from BB&T Capital Markets and has more than eight years of international industry experience, including five years on Wall Street. In September 2008, the firm also appointed Michael Ice and Peeyush Varshney to its new structured products group as managing director and senior vice president, respectively. Getting Hired Climb that ladder Under the “careers” link at, Morgan Joseph doesn’t list any specific open positions, but job seekers can find the right contacts to whom they can send their resumes. Candidates interested in investment banking opportunities should send their resumes to, and any other career inquiries can be passed on to The firm does note, however, that it receives a high volume of resumes and will only contact those applicants who are selected for interviews.
  • 185. Customizedfor:Eric( 180 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Two for the price of one Mosaic Capital LLC, which advises middle market companies (in Mosaic’s case, companies having anywhere from $10 million to $500 million in annual sales) is split into two units: Mosaic Capital Securities LLC and Mosaic Capital, Inc. The former assists companies with privately placing debt and equity securities, and the latter works on the firm’s real estate transactions. In total, the firm has worked on more than $3 billion in transactions. Its acceptance into International Network of Merger and Acquisition Partners (IMAP) in 2003 helped enlarge the firm’s international footprint to include 20 countries. Membership in the group gives Mosaic access to buyers who are potential merger candidates. To this day, Mosaic works to expand its knowledge of different industries around the world through the group, which is a truly global one—in 2007, IMAP was ranked No. 4 in worldwide middle market deals, working 254 deals worth a total of $9.8 billion, according to Thomson Reuters. What they offer Under Mosaic’s mergers and acquisitions department, the firm works to cultivate ideas for both sides of the coin—companies that wish to grow and those who are looking to sell off their business. To this end, Mosaic finds targets and works with businesses throughout the duration of the transaction. Specifically, Mosaic’s mergers and acquisitions group works on sell-side representation, partner buyouts, succession planning and corporate partnering. MOSAIC CAPITAL LLC 2049 Century Park East, Suite 350 Los Angeles, CA 90067 Phone: (310) 432-6777 Fax: (310) 432-6779 SPECIALTIES Financial Advisory Services Financing Mergers & Acquisitions Valuation Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & Managing Director: Gordon Gregory Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 186. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Mosaic Capital LLC 181 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The firm’s valuation services group appraises businesses in addition to valuing assets (such as for estate planning purposes). Through the department, Mosaic also offers fairness opinions and assistance in litigation-related issues. Mosaic’s financial advisory services division is perhaps the firm’s most expansive unit. It helps implement business strategy, negotiates sales, evaluates profitability and assists businesses in finding financing sources if necessary. Under this unit, Mosaic also assists clients in exit planning and financial restructuring. Finally, the firm’s financing group helps with private placements of equity, mezzanine and debt capital to fund deals and development. Under this unit, real estate financing is also supplied for companies’ purchasing and overall expansion. Variety is the spice of advising The firm is continually involved with advising transactions within a variety of sectors. Mosaic touts its past deals in areas such as media and entertainment, technology, manufacturing, distribution and retail, business and consumer services, medical technology and health care. Though it doesn’t typically release figures of deals on which it has worked, the firm has advised on transactions for businesses ranging from theme parks and movie studios to manufacturers of fine jewelry—and even poultry companies. Getting Hired Point of contact Mosaic doesn’t offer up job listings or information on recruiting on its website, so if you’re interested in working for the firm, your best bet is probably to email them directly with questions regarding employment (or with a resume, if you’re feeling bold). Send all inquiries to
  • 187. Customizedfor:Eric( 182 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Newbury’s not new to the scene Newbury, Piret & Company is a Boston-based firm that prides itself on being an advisor for middle market companies throughout New England. Since 1981, the firm has offered M&A, recapitalization, divestiture and financing advice for businesses in industries such as health care, manufacturing and technology. Newbury serves corporate executives, family business owners and private equity investors. The company’s functions are divided into three sections: mergers and acquisitions, public and private financings, and financial advisory. The firm’s mergers and acquisitions department gives firms and investors access to a number of services, including acquisition financing, buy-side advisory, sell-side advisory and corporate divestitures, buyouts and acquisition searches. Newbury’s public and private financing department focuses on coordinating debt and equity financing with firms, private equity funds, banks, lenders and even federal programs. The group’s subdivisions include arranging common and preferred equity, majority and minority investments, recapitalizations, mezzanine and subordinated debt, funding of management-led buyouts, senior debt, PIPES and venture capital. Finally, under the firm’s financial advisory department, Newbury provides advice regarding company valuations. This unit’s services include transaction support, tax and estate, regulatory, litigation support, strategy support and intangible asset analyses. NEWBURY, PIRET & COMPANY, INC. 200 State Street 12th Floor Boston, MA 02109 Phone: (617) 367-7300 Fax: (617) 367-7301 SPECIALTIES Financial Advisory Mergers & Acquisitions Public & Private Financings EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President and CEO: Marguerite A. Piret Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 188. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Newbury, Piret & Company, Inc. 183 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Master of M&As Outsiders seem to agree that the firm is near the top of its class when it comes to M&As. As of late 2007, the firm has been nominated as a top advisor finalist eight years in a row by M&A Advisor (the firm was ranked No.1 in 2004). The firm has worked on deals for numerous institutions, including Boston University, Odyssey Optical Systems, Federal Distillers Inc., Semi-Alloys, Inc. and Advanced Instruments, Inc. Getting Hired Keep checking If you’re interested in a career at Newbury, surf on over to the “careers” link at, where potential applicants are encouraged to send the firm a resume and cover letter. (Interested candidates are also advised to check the site for new opportunities.) You can send in your materials to or call (617) 367-7300 with any questions.
  • 189. Customizedfor:Eric( 184 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Under parental guidance P&M Corporate Finance the investment banking subsidiary of financial firm Plante & Moran. Since its creation in 1995, the firm has completed more than 300 merger and acquisition and financial advisory transactions. While PMCF concentrates on middle market businesses, it also hones in to focus on certain industries. Specifically, the firm focuses on building products, business services, industrials, life sciences, and plastics and packaging. To those industries, the firm offers services that can be broken down into five groups: acquisition advisory, sale advisory, capital-raising, strategic investments and affiliated services. The benefits of boutiques Under the acquisition advisory unit, the firm helps clients find possible target firms, connects with those targets and assists in creating and negotiating a deal to benefit both parties. The sale advisory side of PMCF helps act as a liaison for buyers and sellers. To this end, the firm has helped clients looking for liquidity, firms wanting to divest their non-core holdings and private equity groups looking to unload portfolio investments. Meanwhile, PMCF’s capital raising group is involved in institutional private placements, leveraged finance, debt issuances and private equity market access. The group also provides services to finance the growth of corporations, fund acquisitions, finalize management buyouts and refinance lending terms or debt. P&M CORPORATE FINANCE, LLC 27400 Northwestern Highway Southfield, MI 48034 Phone: (248) 223-3300 Fax: (248) 223-0292 SPECIALTIES Acquisition Advisory Affiliated Services Sale Advisory Strategic Assessments EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President and Managing Director: Philip C. Gilbert Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 3
  • 190. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking P&M Corporate Finance, LLC 185 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Within the company’s strategic assessment services unit, the firm uses a formal probe—PMCF’s own Value Optimization Assessment—in order to help companies figure out their own financial strategy. Through the assessment, companies get to get a valuation and create a long-term plan that takes into account fluctuations in the market. PMCF’s affiliated services group is perhaps the biggest grab bag of the bunch, working on everything from businesses’ transition plans and due diligence issues to tax services and restructuring. Additionally, this unit works on global business initiatives in 90 countries (under the name Plante & Moran). New onboard In March 2008, PMCF hired Scott George as a managing director. In this role, George will head up the firm’s Illinois operations and be based out of Chicago. George has worked in investment banking since 1979 for an assortment of banks, including Morgan Joseph, Morgan Stanley, Ernst & Young and Salomon Brothers. Getting Hired Jerks, take a hike Under, the firm actually promotes itself to college grads as having a “jerk-free” environment—surely a pleasant credo for those worried about being just an errand-runner. Those interested in pursuing a career with the firm can browse job descriptions on the site (along with internships). More experienced candidates have their own section on the firm as well, and can also read extensively about the firm’s culture on the site. Most important, applicants can also search job listings in every category (or if nothing suits your fancy, you can also submit your resume for future consideration).
  • 191. Customizedfor:Eric( 186 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Tapered focus Investment bankers Penn Capital Group specializes in middle market firms with values ranging from $1 million to $15 million. Based in Pennsylvania and focusing mostly on serving Mid-Atlantic states, the firm also works on a select number of national engagements. In existence since the mid-1970s, Penn’s staff is made up of workers from varied backgrounds, including former CEOs and CFOs. When finding a purchaser for a business wanting to sell itself off, Penn goes through several steps. In performing a valuation for a business, Penn determines a price range for the company based on factors such as history and past performance. Penn then finds potential buyers through its referral network, makes sure the prospective buyers qualify financially and, once an agreed upon match is made with the seller, closes the deal. Mum’s the word Many firms don’t release the amounts for deals on which they’re advising, but Penn goes one step further—it doesn’t list the names of the companies it's advising, either. Nevertheless, the firm does mention the deals it’s involved with on the site, albeit in a rather enigmatic way: “62-year-old industrial power washing company” and a business specializing in “custom interior design … particularly for supermarkets, convenience stores and other food service operations.” PENN CAPITAL GROUP LLC 8 Sturgis Lane Lititz, PA 17543 Phone: (717) 626-1127 Fax: (717) 625-4888 SPECIALTIES Divestitures Mergers & Acquisitions EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Partner: R. Dennis Hollinger Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 192. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Penn Capital Group LLC 187 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired Get creative Landing a gig Penn Capital could be a tall order. The firm doesn’t have a career section on its website, and it doesn’t list an address—physical or email—to which applicants can send in their materials. Candidates’ best bet might be to email their materials (or plead their case) to Dennis Hollinger, who lists his email address on the firm's website as
  • 193. Customizedfor:Eric( 188 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Piper plus Jaffray (minus Hopwood) In 1913 H.C. Piper Sr. and C.P. Jaffray opened a commercial paper brokerage in Minneapolis, where grain elevators and milling businesses had created a serious demand for promissory notes. Four years later, Piper and Jaffray merged with local rival George Lane, who had established his brokerage firm in 1895. In 1929 a nearby investment firm, Hopwood & Company, was decimated by the stock market crash – so Piper Jaffray was able to acquire it on the cheap. As Piper Jaffray Hopwood the firm set its sights beyond Minneapolis, picking up a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and opening offices across the country. Its shares debuted on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol PIPR in 1986; in 1992 the firm name was trimmed to Piper Jaffray Inc. A $730 million acquisition by U.S. Bancorp in 1997 marked the end of Piper Jaffray’s independence, but the tie-up was short-lived: in 2003 Piper Jaffray was spun off, becoming an independent public company (PJC on the New York Stock Exchange). A final restructuring came in 2006 when Piper Jaffray sold its private client business to UBS Financial Services for $510 million. Today Piper Jaffray & Co.—the operating subsidiary of holding company Piper Jaffray Companies—focuses on investment banking, institutional investing and research and asset management. PIPER JAFFRAY COMPANIES 800 Nicollet Mall Suite 800 Minneapolis, MN 55402-7020 Phone: (612) 303-6000 Fax: (612) 303-8199 SPECIALTIES Asset Management Institutional Investing and Research Investment Banking EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See “career opportunities” under “our company” section of Chairman and CEO: Andrew S. Duff Firm Type: Public Company No. of Offices: 31
  • 194. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Piper Jaffray Companies 189 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Sweet home Minneapolis Still headquartered in its historic home of Minneapolis, Piper Jaffray serves middle- market corporations, private equity firms, public companies, nonprofits and institutional investors. With nearly 1,200 employees in 31 offices worldwide, it provides advisory services, equity and debt capital markets products, public finance services, institutional equity and fixed income sales and trading, research and high- yield and structured products. Piper Jaffray specializes in over a dozen industry sectors, including education; media, entertainment and telecommunications; technology; aircraft finance; clean technology; financial institutions; state and local governments; real estate, housing and senior living; hospitality; consumer; business services; cultural and social services; health care; and industrial growth. Its proprietary research covers more than 400 companies; at the 2008 FT/StarMine Global Analyst Awards, senior research analysts from Piper Jaffray received a whopping nine awards for their stock picking prowess. New faces at the table Senior management got a shake-up in May 2008, as chief financial officer and vice chairman Thomas Schnettler was named president and chief operating officer. Schnettler, a 22-year veteran of the firm, was replaced in the CFO spot by Debbra Schoneman. She had previously served as treasurer and managing director. As COO, Schnettler will oversee growth in the core investment banking and institutional securities business; this will allow CEO Andrew Duff to focus on the firm’s asset management business, corporate development and other key strategy. Meanwhile, the heads of Piper Jaffray’s overseas operations received new responsibilities. David Wilson, CEO of London-based Piper Jaffray Ltd., and Alex Ko, CEO of Piper Jaffray Asia, were tapped to join the firm’s management committee. East Coast grows In September 2008 Piper Jaffray built up its public finance banking operations, hiring former Wachovia director Mark Piscatelli as a senior public finance banker. A UConn grad who specializes in municipal financings, Piscatelli is based in one of Piper’s newest offices, in Hartford, Conn. From there he will work with Piper’s existing public finance teams in Boston to develop a wide-ranging business in Connecticut and throughout New England.
  • 195. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Piper Jaffray Companies 190 © 2009, Inc. Good advice Even though the firm struggled through the second half of 2008, its advisory teams managed to stay afloat. Piper Jaffray advised electronics giant Sharp Corporation on its $99 million sale to United Drug in July 2008; over the summer the firm also served as exclusive financial advisor to Lone Star Funds in its acquisition of the Home Lending portfolio and other servicing operations of CIT Group Inc. That deal involved $1.5 billion in cash and the assumption of $4.4 billion in debt. In fall 2008, Piper advised Ohio-based DNA Diagnostics Center, one of the world’s largest DNA testing laboratories, on its sale to MTS Health Investors LLC, a health care private equity firm. Carpe diem A newly-opened office in Marina Del Ray, Calif., became home to an expanded fixed income group in September 2008. Piper added five sales and trading professionals to form a structured mortgage products group, with a focus on asset-backed securities and mortgage markets. The same asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities that contributed to the global credit crisis? Absolutely. “There are great opportunities in the distressed market that a highly skilled team can leverage,” explained fixed income head Ben May. “And this is a market we will now serve with an industry-leading and experienced team.” The new Marina Del Ray team operates under the supervision of managing director Cliff Corrall, a former executive vice president at Countrywide Securities. Rising in the rankings In November 2008 Institutional Investor magazine’s annual ranking of the country’s best equity sales teams placed Piper Jaffray at No. 3, a five-spot leap from its 2007 rank at No. 8. The rankings were determined by surveys of analysts, portfolio managers, research directors, CIOs and other investment professionals at over 500 firms; a total of 28 finalists were ranked based on their small- and mid-cap equity sales teams. Piper’s No. 3 spot brought it right behind runner-up William Blair & Co. and overall winner Robert W. Baird. And according to the 2008 Thomson Reuters banking league tables, Piper ranked No. 2 in mid-market advisory for deals valued up to $50 million (based on deal value), working on 17 transactions worth $287 million. For deals valued up to $100 million the firm ranked No. 3, after Goldman Sachs and Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin. On larger transactions – those valued at up to $200 million and up to $500 million – Piper came in at No. 14 and No. 20, respectively.
  • 196. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Piper Jaffray Companies 191 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Building up restructuring An addition to Piper’s New York City office expanded the firm’s financial restructuring team. Victor Caruso, who has provided financial restructuring advisory services for over 25 years, left Morgan Joseph & Company to join Piper as a managing director. Previously he’d been a partner at Gordian Group, a managing director at Bear Stearns and a co-founder of Lehman Brothers’ restructuring division. Murray Huneke, co-head of investment banking, said Caruso’s expertise “Will allow us to expand our differentiated and integrated advisory strategy, which combines our strong advisory, restructuring and capital markets platforms to best serve our clients.” Getting Hired Look down the road In the “careers” secton of, candidates can view current opportunities, apply online and build a profile to be considered for future openings. Job postings are sorted by and include a brief list of essential functions and job requirements. The firm recruits from “approximately 20 undergraduate institutions” and “10 business schools.” But you can also check out online postings. The “career opportunities” page has links for three different job functions: investment bankers, financial advisors and research analysts.
  • 197. Customizedfor:Eric( 192 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop A passion for the middle market Prairie Capital Advisors has been a big player on the middle market scene since 1996, when the firm was created by Kenneth E. Serwinski and Robert J. Gross, two former investment banking advisors for Merrill Lynch. Looking to establish a presence that focused exclusively on middle market banks, the pair left Merrill to strike out and establish Prairie Capital Advisors in Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois. Within the middle market, the firm works with a range of industries, including architecture, service, manufacturing and construction. The firm defines middle market firms as any company with a revenue between $2 million and $600 million. What they do The firm contains six departments: valuation, ownership transition, internal sales, external sales, executive retentions and financial opinions. Within its valuation department, Prairie Capital Advisors offers business valuations for estate planning, stock ownership, succession alternatives, buy-sell agreements, M&As and other purposes. Its ownership transition department, meanwhile, concentrates on how companies can pass their business on to family or sell it to another firm; the unit also helps firms come up with alternative plans, if necessary. Its internal sales unit comprises three subdivisions: employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), management buyouts and recapitalization. With ESOPs, Prairie provides debt advising and independent financial advisory services. Management buyouts help business owners who want to sell off a certain amount of the company. Finally, PRAIRIE CAPITAL ADVISORS Oakbrook Terrace Tower One Tower Lane, Suite 3010 Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181 Phone: (630) 443-9933 Fax: (630) 443-9977 SPECIALTIES Executive Retention External Sales Financial Opinions Internal SalesOwnership Transition Valuation EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Directors: Kenneth E. Serwinski & Robert J. Gross Firm Type: Private Company
  • 198. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Prairie Capital Advisors 193 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. its recapitalization unit helps find new sources of capital in events such as transitions or buyouts. Meanwhile, the external sales department focuses on company sales that involve third parties, while the executive retention unit helps companies use equity incentives to help keep executives onboard. The financial opinions department is perhaps Prairie’s most extensive unit, supplying clients with advice on M&As, spinoffs, buybacks and every shade of financial advice in between. The firm also divides its advice into different opinions: fairness, solvency and capital adequacy. Getting Hired Sell yourself The firm doesn’t list any recruiting information on its web site, so if you’re interested in the possibility of working for Prairie, first cross your fingers. Though there are no directives from the company on how to prove you’re the best candidate for the job, you can still try sending in your materials. Shoot off a cover letter and your resume to
  • 199. Customizedfor:Eric( 194 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop The two Roberts Provident Healthcare Partners was founded by Robert Ciardi and Robert Khederian and specializes in investing in the health care industry. Based in Boston, the firm focuses on serving public and private middle market firms, and is divided into three units: capital-raising, financial advisory, and mergers and acquisitions. The company is a division of Provident Corporate Finance LLC (along with Provident Capital Partners, a boutique investment firm). Within the health care industry, the firm works in a variety of areas, including medical devices, laboratories, disease management, patient monitoring—even animal health. While Provident focuses mostly on investing in the health care industry, the firm also provides generalized investment banking services, such as venture capital, private equity, research coverage and financing. Breaking it down Under the mergers and acquisitions unit, Provident offers more than the obvious M&A song and dance. The firm also offers divestitures, joint ventures, leveraged buyouts, privatizations and spinoffs. Provident’s capital raising department offers a variety of services, including private placements of debt and equity, venture capital, trust preferred securities offering, shareholder rights offering, public offering advisory, mutual to stock conversions and recapitalizations. Finally, the financial advisory division offers fairness opinions, valuations, strategic assessments, corporate restructurings, due diligence and value consulting. PROVIDENT HEALTHCARE PARTNERS 183 State Street Boston, Massachusetts 02109 Phone: (877) 742-9800 Fax: (877) 742-9810 SPECIALTIES Capital Raising Financial Advisory Mergers & Acquisitions EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & Co-Founder: Robert P. Khederian Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 200. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Provident Healthcare Partners 195 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Doling out advice The firm keeps busy advising and negotiating on a number of transactions. In June 2008, Provident advised Iowa Hospice on its merger with Voyager HospiceCare, a portfolio company of Apax Partners (terms of the deal were not disclosed). In July 2008, the firm advised pharmaceutical services company Advanced Care Scripts on its sale to Omnicare, a firm that provides pharmaceutical care for the elderly. In addition to its role as advisor, Provident also initiated and structured the deal. While terms of the deal were not disclosed, Advanced Care Scripts’ revenue runs more than $212 million annually, and Omnicare expects the deal to be positive for its balance sheet in 2008. Getting Hired Give ‘em what they ask for The firm lists descriptions of open positions at, along with detailed instructions on how to apply (candidates must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample and letters of reference to be considered). If you think you have what it takes, submit your application to Wannabe interns can also potentially get in on the action at Provident Healthcare Partners. The intern program is designed for undergraduates who have completed at least their second year of college. Those interested in applying can send on a cover letter and resume to
  • 201. Customizedfor:Eric( 196 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Get onboard The folks serving middle market companies over at Robertson & Foley call themselves "financial engineers" that work with clients through the different steps of their transactions up to completion. The firm’s clients are typically privately held, and have annual sales of between $10 and $200 million. Robertson & Foley is the Carolinas member of the International Network of M&A Partners, which has 60 member companies around the world, giving R&F international access for potential clients. Menu of services The firm divides its work into four departments: business transfers, business valuations, capital raises and management buyouts. Within its business transfers department, R&F offers seven “transfer channels,” or methods of transferring their business, that owners can select. Those channels are employees, charitable trusts, family, co-owners, outside-retire (where an owner can pass his business on to an outsider and then retire), outside-continue and going public. The company’s business valuation unit can be used by owners who wish to determine their business’ market value, economic value, fair market value, fair value or collateral value for secured lending, legal and tax purposes. Meanwhile, Robertson’s capital raises department helps creates capital for companies (say that 10 times fast) for a range of scenarios and situations—secured lending, mezzanine capital, private equity and other private capital types. ROBERTSON & FOLEY 6201 Fairview Road, Suite 200 Charlotte, NC 28210 Phone: (704) 523-7888 Fax: (800) 898-9064 SPECIALTIES Business Transfers Business Valuations Capital Raises Management Buyouts EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Robert Slee Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 202. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Robertson & Foley 197 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The firm’s management buyout department manages both leveraged and equity sponsored buyouts for its clients. For leveraged buyout deals, R&F uses the equity and debt from the management of a firm to pay for the buyout. In an equity sponsored buyout—a transaction that ultimately gives less ownership to managers— more conservative forms of obtaining capital are typically used. Getting Hired Make an appeal If you’re interested in becoming part of the team at Robertson & Foley as a full-time worker (or even an intern), don’t expect to go peruse a section of job listings on the site; there aren’t any. Instead, you can try pleading your employment case by sending your resume (and, of course, a cover letter) to
  • 203. Customizedfor:Eric( 198 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop A plan for the Shore Shoreline Partners was opened in 1992 when friends Phil Currie and Mike Brustkern decided to create a firm designed specifically to serve middle market companies. Today, the firm focuses on representing companies that bring in revenue of $10 million to $200 million. Shoreline also employs an experienced team of investment bankers, many of which have been business owners in the past. The firm opened its initial office in Seattle but since has expanded with a San Diego office, where it is now headquartered. In addition to serving the Washington and Southern California areas, Shoreline is also active in surrounding areas such as Arizona and Nevada. They’re here to serve The firm’s acquisition department includes a bevy of subservices: research of potential target companies, database searches and attention to what clients can gain from acquisitions. Additionally, the unit takes into account a number of different factors before undertaking a transaction, such as financial and strategic compatibility, geography, corporate culture and management. Shoreline also works to help companies build exit value by creating a plan to make its client company as attractive as possible as a target. The plan includes finding and building upon companies' competencies, and making sure firms have a clear exit strategy. On its site, Shoreline also provides an interactive “value calculator” that companies can use to see if they are a good candidate for selling off their business. SHORELINE PARTNERS LLC 4275 Executive Square, Suite 1000 La Jolla, CA 92037 Phone: (858) 587-9800 Fax: (858) 587-9820 SPECIALTIES Acquisition Building Exit Value Sale & Divestiture Transaction Financing EMPLOYMENT CONTACT partners.aspx Managing Partner: Phillip L. Currie Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 204. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Shoreline Partners LLC 199 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Once a company’s candidacy has been established, Shoreline’s sales and divestiture department comes into play. This area approaches prospective buyers with the right background and qualifications to be a buyer, helping target companies to obtain their highest value. Additionally, this unit helps to work out the fine details of tax matters, consulting agreements, payment structure, leases and future operational issues. Last but not least, Shoreline’s transaction financing unit helps its clients find financing solutions for acquisitions, expansion, refinancing and for a range of corporate-related issues. To do this, Shoreline evaluates a business’ financial state and helps to negotiates collateral, repayment plans and other terms for the firm. Keeping busy The firm has served as advisor for a spate of notable privately held companies, including advising WD-40 on its sale of some of its manufacturing operations to VML LLC and advising Borrego Springs Bank on the sale of its majority ownership to the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians. Although it mostly serves privately held companies on the smaller end, Shoreline works with acquirers of all sizes. Getting Hired Toe the line The firm doesn’t provide clues on its site regarding ways to get hired, but job candidates can query the company directly regarding the possibility of opportunities. You can send questions using the contact form on its web site, or even post a cover letter in the comments area if you’re feeling bold.
  • 205. Customizedfor:Eric( 200 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop It came from the 1980s Created in 1989 to provide private capital deals, SPP Capital Partners has emerged as a solid name serving the middle market scene, with about 370 financings in total worth $16 billion. The team of analysts and associates behind SPP Capital Partners comes from commercial and investment banking backgrounds, and the firm’s top management tier has a number of ties with large financial institutions and portfolio holders. In addition to finding financing solutions for its clients, the firm works on a number of other financing issues out of its New York headquarters, including negotiating creditor issues, payment flexibility and covenant structure. The top brass The team at SPP Capital consists of just a handful of managing partners, vice presidents, associates and analysts. But the small group forms a tight-knit unit. Led by Robin Ellis Busch, who serves as managing partner for the firm (and has worked as a co-head of distribution since 1993), the team collectively boasts financial experience in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing and corporate finance— and even real estate and aviation. Busch supervises the team with a variety of deals, including selling, negotiating and structuring debt and equity securities, financing deals both domestically and abroad. She was a co-founder of SPP Hambro, the predecessor to SPP Capital, and previously worked in the capital markets group of Bankers Trust Company. SPP CAPITAL PARTNERS 330 Madison Avenue 28th Floor New York, NY 10017 Phone: (212) 455-4500 Fax: (212) 455-4545 SPECIALTIES Mezzanine Debt Private Equity Senior Debt EMPLOYMENT CONTACT See for a list of employees to contact. Managing Partner & Co-Head Distribution: Robin Ellis Busch Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 206. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking SPP Capital Partners 201 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Breaking it down By and large, SPP Capital Partners works in three major areas: mezzanine debt, private equity and senior debt. In its senior debt department, SPP Capital helps structure senior debt for its clients by using asset-based credit facilities, cash flow- based credit facilities, lease-backed notes and structured or securitized debt facilities (among others). Within the department, the firm has worked on a number of senior bank and senior institutional debt transactions, such as deals for Simons Broadcasting, guitar manufacturer Gibson and environmental services firm SWS— transactions ranging from $10 million to $225 million in value. Notably, SPP Capital advised on a $576 million transaction for carpet manufacturer Beaulieu of America, a $215 million deal for catalog retailer Cabela’s, a $200 million transaction for packaging company DS Smith plc, a $155 million deal for the Detroit Lions football team, a $169.5 deal for Wabash Valley Power and a $150 million transaction for guitar manufacturer Gibson. Within its private equity unit, the firm works on coordinating private equity for clients to help them grow, facilitate a recapitalization to give them liquidity, or assist them in financing an acquisition or buyout. The department makes sure it takes a number of factors under consideration, including corporate culture and future goals. Keeping this in mind, SPP helps its clients place various kind of private equity capital: redeemable preferred stock, convertible preferred stock, participating preferred stock, private investment in public equity (PIPE) and common stock. Tickets to the mezzanine SPP Capital’s private mezzanine fund, SPP Mezzanine Partners, LLC, is an affiliate of the firm. The fund supplies mezzanine capital for a variety of purposes: refinancing, growth capital, acquisitions, leveraged recapitalizations, leveraged buyouts and management buyouts. In addition, the fund seeks out financing deals for established companies. The fund also works closely with SPP Capital itself to offer financing in the form of senior and mezzanine capital. Through SPP Mezzanine Partners, the firm has worked on a number of investments, including B&M, Angelle, SelectQuote, JetDirect Aviation and SafetySystemsHawaii. It’s all strategy In addition to its established presence in the banking industry, SPP Capital also boasts a number of strategic partners with financial institutions. These companies— some are also investors in the firm—have chosen SPP Capital as their sole form of access to the private capital markets. The partners include Comerica, HSBC, US Bank, Regions, BB&T Capital Markets, Sovereign Bank, CoBank, National Bank Financial, NCB, DZ Bank and Brown Brothers Harriman.
  • 207. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking SPP Capital Partners 202 © 2009, Inc. Getting Hired Best foot forward Snagging a gig at SPP Capital may take a fair amount of inventiveness. While the firm does a little bit of recruiting directly with colleges and universities, its website is devoid of job listings or internship information. Candidates who have their heart set on working at the firm may have luck emailing questions to an employee listed on the “contact us” section of the site, located at
  • 208. Customizedfor:Eric( 203 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The Scoop Meet St. Charles Originating in 2005, St. Charles Capital LLC was formed in Denver by former bankers from merger and acquisition firm The Wallach Company. St. Charles Capital set out to focus on assisting publicly or privately held middle market companies in the surrounding Rocky Mountain region and the rest of the U.S. with an array of investment banking services. Those services include recapitalizations, M&A, debt and equity private placements, fairness opinions and financial advisory services. In particular, the firm focuses on four industries to serve its clients: diversified industries, financial services, health care and technology. In those industries, St. Charles Capital has completed approximately 150 merger and acquisition deals worth a total of more than $5 billion (in addition to completing 125 strategic financial advisory transactions). What they provide The firm provides its services through three different departments: financial advisory services, mergers and acquisitions, and private capital-raising. Through the financial advisory services unit, St. Charles offers clients the opportunity to get advice and assistance on a number of projects, including project evaluation, fairness opinions, acquisition review, strategic planning and capital restructuring. The firm’s mergers and acquisition group takes on a detailed transaction process for each client. The first step involves planning and review. During this step, St. Charles helps a company define its goals and work out what financial issues it needs to tackle ST. CHARLES CAPITAL LLC 1400 Sixteenth Street, Suite 300 Denver, CO 80202 Phone: (303) 339-9099 Fax: (303) 339-9085 SPECIALTIES Financial Advisory Services Mergers & Acquisitions Private Capital Raising EMPLOYMENT CONTACT php Managing Director: Wesley A. Brown Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 209. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking St. Charles Capital LLC 204 © 2009, Inc. (such as liquidity, capital, income and personal concerns). From there, the firm performs a review of its client by speaking extensively with management, visiting sites and analyzing the business’ finances. The next step in the process involves valuation, which establishes a price that a business is worth. St. Charles works with its clients on this through analyzing a business’ history, performance and competitors, taking the current business climate into consideration. The firm also works to do a thorough buyer analysis, marketing of its client, and finally, management of due diligence, negotiations and closing of the deal. St. Charles’ private capital raising department also involves a thorough methodology. Through its relationships with investors, the firm ascertains who may be good matches as buyers for a client. After determining a good fit, St. Charles makes sure the placement process is executed smoothly. This involves developing a marketing strategy for the client and negotiating the final terms of the transaction. They’re dealmakers St. Charles has also been involved in a number of recent high-profile transactions. In October 2008, the firm served as the financial advisor for PRN Medical in its sale to private investment firm Mantucket Capital. In September 2008, St. Charles advised IT company Accuvant on a recapitalization with capital provided by private equity firm Sverica and debt capital supplied by PNC Bank. Also in September 2008, St. Charles represented software company Jabber, Inc. in its sale to networking giant Cisco. Taking a stand In response to U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s simplified bank-bailout plan announced in October 2008, St. Charles managing director Wesley Brown had a few thoughts of his own. The plan, Brown opined in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, “will significantly crowd out the private equity gang in the short run.” Because of this, he believes that “the majority of potential issuers will stop their discussions with private equity investors, and see if they will qualify for government funding and how much they will get. The private equity investors still have a big role to play, but it will be delayed and somewhat reduced.”
  • 210. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking St. Charles Capital LLC 205 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Getting Hired On board with St. Charles At, employment candidates can learn about becoming an associate at St. Charles, along with the firm’s analyst program and internship program. Those who wish to become an associate at St. Charles should have several years of experience in investment banking (“or a related field,” the firm notes) under their belts. Candidates who have completed finance- and accounting- related graduated work can also be accepted into the program. The analyst program, meanwhile, lets candidates work with senior members while polishing their finance and investment banking skills. St. Charles’ internship program, however, may be the toughest nut to crack. The firm usually only accepts one intern (yes, you read that correctly) for an internship that generally lasts 10 to 12 weeks. Interns usually work on live transactions and are undergraduate students in their last year of school. Recruiting for the summer position begins in late autumn of the previous year. Though candidates aren’t always being accepted for the programs, applicants can email their resume to and the firm will keep it on file should an opportunity open up.
  • 211. Customizedfor:Eric( 206 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop It came from the 1980s DAK Group began in 1984 when it was created by its now-president Alan Scharfstein, who sought to create a firm that placed a strategic focus on serving middle market companies. Specifically, the firm is fueled by the work of 11 senior employees whose past professional backgrounds include work in banking, foreign purchases, consulting, real estate, marketing, telecommunication and even entertainment. The firm offers the following services: business sales and divestitures, business valuations, mergers and acquisitions, strategic advisory services and strategic partnerships. Its business sales and divestitures group offers help to those business owners deciding to sell their company. The unit works on all aspects of such deals, including valuation, qualification, marketing, presentation, structure, due diligence and closing, helping owners to get the best price for their business. In its business valuation division, the firm works on valuing companies for estate and gift tax planning, buy/sell agreements, mergers and employee stock ownership plans. DAK Group’s mergers and acquisitions group keeps busy working on a number of transactions. It recently advised Amesil on its sale to W.L. Gore & Associates, initiated the sale of Green Uniform Company to Flynn & O’Hara Uniforms and advised 3M on its acquisition of General Industrial Diamond Company. Through its strategic advisory services unit, the firm works on providing companies with consultative services like acquiring expansion capital, making companies private, restructurings, refinancing and corporate advisory activities. And finally, DAK Group’s strategic partnerships group helps client companies realize joint ventures and strategic alliances. THE DAK GROUP, LTD. 195 State Route 17 Rochelle Park, NJ 07662 SPECIALTIES Business Sales & Divestitures Business Valuations Mergers & Acquisitions Strategic Advisory Services Strategic Partnerships EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President: Alan J. Scharfstein Firm Type: Private Company
  • 212. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking The Dak Group, Ltd. 207 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Would you like to take a survey? Every year, The Dak Group and Columbia Business School sponsor a survey of owners of middle market firms and CEOs. The survey seeks to get perspectives regarding the current economic and political landscape. Some ongoing concerns for companies since the survey’s inception include obstacles for business growth, how to compete in an aggressive market domestically and abroad, and the declining value of the dollar. Getting Hired Get it started Under the “careers” link on the firm’s web site, you will find a simple directive: the firm is looking for “talented professionals who want to contribute to a proven winner.” If you think you have what it takes, submit your cover letter and resume directly to
  • 213. Customizedfor:Eric( 208 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Parent and children Created in 1981 by CEO Ron Ainsworth, Trenwith Group is split into two divisions: Trenwith Securities, the arm that manages its middle market investments, and Trenwith Valuation, which offers assistance in performing corporate valuations. On the investment banking side, Trenwith Securities is responsible for four main functions: corporate restructuring, global banking, mergers and acquisitions, and private capital. The mergers and acquisitions subdivision of TS includes both sell- and buy-side services, such as divestitures, recapitalizations, joint ventures, and leveraged and management buyouts. Trenwith Securities also encompasses the firm’s cross border structure finance group, established in 2006, which provides financing and structuring advice for overseas companies involved in U.S.-based M&A or divestiture deals. In addition, the group works with borrowers based in the U.S. to implement plans to find lower financing costs for its clients. A new appointment In September 2007, Gregory Mark Hill took over as managing director for Trenwith Securities. Hill is based in New York City but also manages the firm’s commitments in China and India, and is pushing Trenwith’s operations further into Asia. Previously, Hill worked at Tsinghua Venture Capital Management, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston. TRENWITH SECURITIES, LLC 3200 Bristol Street Fourth Floor Costa Mesa, CA 92626 Phone: (714) 668-7333 Fax: (714) 668-7377 SPECIALTIES Corporate Restructuring Global Banking Mergers & Acquisitions Private Capital EMPLOYMENT CONTACT CEO: Ron Ainsworth Chairman & President: Frank J. Drazka Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 12
  • 214. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Trenwith Securities, LLC 209 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Receiving recognition Trenwith Chairman Frank Drazka was featured in Investment Dealers’ Digest's 40 Under 40 issue in January 2008 as a top dealmaker. The list celebrates those under the age of 40 who have engaged in a number of high-profile deals. Trenwith Securities Vice President Kevin Sendlenski was recognized in the previous year’s ranking. Big in China In October 2008, Trenwith established the Trenwith Investment Advisory LLC, a unit based in Beijing, China. The department, to be known as “Trenwith Asia,” is headed up by Ron Ainsworth and Gregory Hill, and has access to about 2,000 advisors through network offices in locations from Hong Kong and Beijing to Shanghai and Shenzhen. Trenwith has been conducting dealings in the region since 1981, but the establishment of Trenwith Asia marks the first time the firm’s permanent presence in the area. Getting Hired Be direct If you’re interested in joining the team at Trenwith, surf on over to the “careers” link at, where you can sort current openings by title or location. If nothing strikes your fancy, don’t fret—the firm also encourages wannabe workers to tout their winning qualities by sending in a cover letter and resume directly to
  • 215. Customizedfor:Eric( 210 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Leave it to TCap Founded in 2002 and headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., Triangle Capital Corporation works for middle market firms, investing anywhere from $5 million to $15 million for leverage buyouts, management buyouts, recapitalizations, growth financings, ESOPs and acquisition financings. In addition, the firm (also known as Tcap) has an array of portfolio companies in a variety of industries, including lawn care, home furnishing, wind energy, and even 3-D eyeglasses. Off to a good start TCap first went public in February 2007 and posted positive results for its first quarter as a publicly traded company, bringing in $804,730 in investment income, compared with $505,638 for the first quarter of the previous year. The encouraging results continued a year and a half later in spite of poor market conditions plaguing the industry. In November 2008, Triangle Capital reported an upbeat third quarter, bringing in $5.9 million in investment income compared with $3.6 million for the third quarter 2007. The increase was largely due to $73.6 million in new portfolio investments the company made over the course of 2008. The investments gave Triangle a $2.7 million increase in loan interest, dividend and paid- in-kind income. TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORP. 3700 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 530 Raleigh, NC 27612 (919) 719-4770 SPECIALTIES Acquisition Financings ESOPs Growth Financings Leveraged Buyouts Management Buyouts Recapitalizations EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Chairman & CEO: Garland S. Tucker III Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 1
  • 216. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Triangle Capital Corp. 211 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Keeping busy Perhaps TCap’s encouraging results have something to do with it keeping busy with a variety of transactions across fields. Triangle invested in buyout financing of $8 million in subordinated debt and warrants in Inland Pipeline Rehabilitation in June 2008. In the same month, Triangle invested in buyout financing for Wholesale Floors, buying $3.5 million in subordinated debt and warrants. In September 2008, TCap invested $12.2 million in landfill operator Emerald Waste Services. And in November 2008, the firm closed a $7.8 million debt-and-equity investment in manufacturer Novolyte Technologies. Shoring up capital In September 2008, TCap finished talks with the Securities and Exchange Commission to put a shelf offering into effect. The offering will let the firm vend up to $300 million in additional shares in order to raise capital. The SEC arrangement gives the firm up to three years to make the offering, although no sales are currently imminent. The firm’s chief financial officer said that the offering will largely hinge on market conditions. Getting Hired Get imaginative There isn’t a career section or job listings on Triangle Capital’s website, so if you want to become part of its team, you might have to employ some imaginative tactics. Firstly, check out the “team” page for contact information of workers. Second, check out the contact page—in this digital day and age, it still never hurts to do things the old fashioned way by putting your cover letter and resume into an envelope and mailing them on.
  • 217. Customizedfor:Eric( 212 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop A broad range Vercor is a middle market investment bank that works with companies having a revenue from $10 million to $100 million. The firm, established in 2000, is headquartered in Atlanta, but boasts 17 total offices domestically and internationally, including in New York, Chicago, Nashville, Phoenix, Kansas City, Houston, Sacramento and Cleveland stateside, and in Toronto, the Netherlands and Switzerland worldwide. The company serves its clients through five main departments: business sale, investment banking, management buyout, mergers and acquisitions, and private equity recapitalization. In its business sale unit, Vercor uses its consultants to find a potential buyer for firms both inside and outside their industry. In its investment banking division, the firm provides services such as debt and equity financing, capital formation, business valuation and fairness opinions. Vercor’s management buyout unit helps management teams looking to acquire all or part of companies. Meanwhile, its mergers and acquisitions unit helps clients create a plan for their transaction. Finally, in its private equity recapitalization department, Vercor works with owners of businesses who are looking to sell part of their company but retain some ownership. Although the firm doesn’t typically release the dollar amounts of deals on which it works, it has advised on a number of high-profile transactions, including acquisitions by Riverside Partners, PeopleLink Staffing, eAttorney, Sports and Entertainment Direct, and Loctronics, Inc. VERCOR LLC 5590 Bunky Way Atlanta, GA 30338 Phone: (770) 522-0300 Fax: (770) 206-2247 SPECIALTIES Business Sale Investment Banking Management Buyout Mergers & Acquisitions Private Equity Recapitalization EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Managing Director: Vijay Madyastha Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 17
  • 218. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Vercor LLC 213 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. A new boss in town In March 2008, Vercor appointed Vijay Madyastha as managing director of its headquarters in Atlanta. Madyastha began his career at accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and has provided management consulting to academic medical centers, physician groups, hospitals and health plans. In his new role, Madyastha works closely with a number of clients on M&A deals. He’s outta there In October 2007, co-founder David Perkins decided to sell off his interest in the firm and relaunched Acquisition Advisors, his previous advisory firm. Perkins, who sold off his interest in Vercor for an undisclosed amount, said that Acquisition Advisors will “go after larger companies, [offering] more of a platinum service level, a higher price point from Vercor.” In the year before his departure, Perkins closed approximately $150 million in M&A deals for Vercor. Getting Hired Get specific There aren’t any job listings on Vercor’s website, but there is specific contact information included for each office. So if you have a particular location you’d like to work for, try sending your cover letter and resume to the corresponding address. Try directing any queries you may have in the meantime to
  • 219. Customizedfor:Eric( 214 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop See what crops up Verdant Partners is a middle market firm with a somewhat unusual focus: the crops genetics industry (although the company also focuses on all forms of agribusiness). The firm works on transactions for large companies as well as privately held firms, and has worked on transactions worth more than $1 billion in total since its creation in 1998. Verdant is based out of Champaign, Ill., and has an additional office located in Capitola, Calif. The firm’s past and present clients include multinational companies such as Bayer AG, Japan Tobacco and The Advanta Group to independent agriculture companies such as Heartland Hybrids, AgReliant Genetics and Floranova. Verdant offers its clients investment banking services as well as consulting services. Under the investment banking umbrella, Verdant provides assistance with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, and helps clients raise capital. The consulting services the firm offers include strategic planning, technology alliances, market analysis, operational excellence, plan implementation, trait licensing and business evaluation. Some of Verdant’s past consulting assignments have including developing clients crop genetics plans, finding opportunities for its customers within nutrition and industrial markets, and helping merge small seed companies into a large seed business. VERDANT PARTNERS 501 W University Avenue Champaign, IL 61820-8806 Phone: (217) 359-8470 Fax: (217) 359-8870 SPECIALTIES Business Evaluation Joint Ventures Market Analysis Mergers & Acquisitions Operational Excellence Plan Implementation Raising Capital Strategic Planning Strategic Alliances Technology Alliances Trait Licensing EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Partners: Dean V. Cavey & Roderick N. Stacey Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 220. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Verdant Partners 215 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. Planting the seed Within the agriculture industry, Verdant is a significant player, keeping busy advising its clients on a number of crop- and seed-related transactions. In August 2008, the firm advised Dairyland Seed Co. on the sale of its equity to Dow Agrosciences (whose parent company is Dow Chemical). In the same month, Verdant advised Bio-Plant Research on the sale of its equity, also to Dow Agrosciences. And in June 2008, the firm advised Soygenetics on the sale of its seed treatment business to Winfield Solutions. Verdant does not disclose terms of the transactions. Getting Hired Send it off If you’d like to join the Verdant team, try sending off your cover letter and resume to the address and email information listed for each of the firm’s respective offices (located under the “contact us” link on the firm’s website). Though the firm doesn’t keep job listings on its site, emailing the company your pertinent experience—along with the reasons why they should take you on, of course—should help your chances.
  • 221. Customizedfor:Eric( 216 © 2009, Inc. The Scoop Leaving their mark Created to assist privately owned companies, Watermark Advisors LLC, brainchild of Hagen Rogers, has been open for business since 2002. The firm has two offices, both located near the waterfront of the East Coast. Its headquarters are situated in Greenville, S.C., while its second office in New York City opened in September 2008. Since 2004, the firm has also been a member of the 5,000-strong Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which is the biggest regulator for securities firms in the U.S. What they provide The firm offers a traditional menu of financial advisory services. Within its valuation services unit, Watermark helps assess companies’ worth and provides fairness opinions for companies going through transactions. In its strategic and financial modeling department, firms can partner with Watermark to create a “CFO decision support model,” which helps companies plan their future growth and financing structure. Watermark’s industry research and analysis division, meanwhile, helps business owners find detailed information regarding their industry, competition, market size, trends and opportunities. Merger and acquisition services—a large part of Watermark’s business—offers traditional buy- and sell-side services, along with minority investments advisory services for business owners who may be interested in selling only part of their stake in the company. WATERMARK ADVISORS, LLC 531 South Main Street ML-9 Greenville, SC 29601 Phone: (864) 527-5960 Fax: (864) 527-5961 SPECIALTIES Industry Research & Analysis Merger & Acquisition Advisory Services Private Debt & Equity Financings Strategic & Financial Modeling Valuation Services EMPLOYMENT CONTACT Greenville office: 531 South Main Street, ML-9 Greenville, SC 29601 New York office: 535 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10022 Managing Director: Hagen Rogers Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 2
  • 222. Customizedfor:Eric( Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Watermark Advisors, LLC 217 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more. The firm’s private debt and equity financing sector helps companies raise capital through privately placing equity, subordinated debt and senior debt. Watermark helps companies find the necessary capital through private equity groups, venture capital firms, corporations, banks, mezzanine funds, specialty finance companies and equity funds. Getting Hired Pick your favorite office There aren’t any particular steps one can take in order to become an employee of Watermark Advisors. If you’re interested in joining its ranks, however, consider snail- mailing your cover letter and resume to either of the company’s offices, in New York City or Greenville, S.C.
  • 223. Customizedfor:Eric( The Scoop 'Exceptional financial position' One week after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the sale of Merrill Lynch, and the $85 billion federal bailout of AIG, the senior leaders of boutique investment bank William Blair & Company sent out a press release assuring nervous investors that the firm was in an “exceptional financial position.” The firm wasn't just blowing smoke – unlike many of its competitors, William Blair could honestly state that it had “no external debt,” “no direct exposure to Lehman” and had “virtually no risk of write- downs.” At the end of the fiscal year, the firm backed up its assertion that business was still going well by ranking high on Thomson Financial's M&A tables. The company placed 22nd overall for advisory deals involving the Americas with 45 transactions valued at $35 billion. The proceeds from these deals boosted the firm's rank in the tables more than twenty places and showed a 238.7 percent growth from the previous year. Overall, the firm's M&A team completed 60 deals worth $40.5 billion during 2008. Chicago pride In addition to investment banking, William Blair & Company provides a range of services that include asset management, equity research, wealth management, institutional and private brokerage, and private capital services. William Blair has 11 offices around the world, but 95 percent of its employees remain based in the Chicago office. The firm says this unusual structure means a high degree of internal communication between employees, and the ability for different groups to share knowledge and expertise. Heavily employee-owned, William Blair has 1,000 WILLIAM BLAIR & COMPANY 222 West Adams Street Chicago, IL 60606 Phone: (312) 236-1600 Fax: (312) 368-9418 SPECIALTIES Asset Management Equity Research Institutional & Private Brokerage Investment Banking Private Capital EMPLOYMENT CONTACT President & CEO: John R. Ettelson Firm Type: Private Company No. of Offices: 11 218 © 2009, Inc.
  • 224. Customizedfor:Eric( employees (of whom about 175 are principals) and more than $182 million of equity capital. The firm’s additional offices are in Boston, Dallas, Hartford, Indianapolis, New York, San Francisco, London, Shanghai, Tokyo, and Zurich. The firm’s roots go back to 1935 when Chicagoan William McCormick Blair opened a firm with his partner Francis Bonner; from the start, Blair Bonner & Company’s mission was to finance the expansion of local Chicago companies during that city’s boom. In 1941, Bonner decided to relocate to Washington, but Blair, a loyal Midwesterner, had no intention of leaving his home. Blair renamed the firm after himself and soon became a leader in local business finance and investment advice for many of Chicago’s wealthiest families. Chicago profited from William Blair & Company’s services, and as the city’s local businesses grew into major companies, the firm profited from them. Investment banking with William Blair William Blair’s investment banking division is broken into two groups: corporate finance and debt capital markets. Corporate finance, which operates from the Chicago, Dallas, Hartford, San Francisco and London offices and a representative office in Shanghai, serves industries such as business services, commercial and industrial, consumer and retail, financial services, health care and technology. The debt capital markets department provides investment banking and advisory services to both public finance issuers and public and private corporations. The corporate debt team works on debt restructurings, recapitalizations, and other debt products; the public finance team offers tax-exempt financing services. Wizard of M&A In January 2009, William Blair's head of M&A, Mark Brady, was named Investment Dealer's Digest “Mid-Market Banker of the Year” for his work with the firm in 2008. Brady was recognized by IDD for his work in expanding William Blair's business into Asia, where the firm completed eight M&A deals in 2008. His contributions include serving on the Chicago-China Development Corporation for three years, and making repeated trips to the Guangdong Province in China. Brady was also the head of a team that performed surprisingly well even in the midst of one of the worst economies in recent memory. William Blair's M&A department completed 60 transactions worth $40.5 billion, including 21 cross-border transactions in 2008. Brady told the publication that his success has been a long time coming, saying, “It took me 17 years to do my first $20 billion of M&A deals in aggregate, and a month to do my second.” Sweet deals The massive jump in business William Blair's M&A team experienced in 2008 was mostly due to its role in the completion of the third largest deal of the year – the Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking William Blair & Company 219 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 225. Customizedfor:Eric( acquisition of Wrigley Jr. Co. by Mars and Berkshire Hathaway. The candy makers and Warren Buffett teamed up to buy Wrigley for $23 billion. Buffett contributed about $6.5 billion into the deal and told a CNBC anchor that he was on board because “I've been conducting a 70-year taste test....since I was about seven years old, on the products. I've done the same thing with Mars products. And they met the 70-year taste test.” William Blair acted as co-advisor on the team. The firm's other big deal of the year involved another household name found in many American kitchens. William Blair served as the placement agent on $400 million of senior unsecured notes issued by J.M. Smucker & Company. The funds from the transaction helped Smucker finance its $3.3 billion merger with Folgers Coffee. In November 2008, J.M. Smucker acquired Folgers from Procter & Gamble in an all- stock reverse transaction that included the assumption of $350 million of Folgers debt. Tops in wealth management William Blair recently ranked 34th in the country in Barron's “2008 Top Wealth Managers.” The rankings were done by private banking assets under management and were part of a special report on private banking. William Blair also appeared on Barron's list of “Top 40 Private Banks.” The firm came in 25th in all banks with assets of $10 million plus. As of September 30, 2008, William Blair had more than $42 billion in assets under management. Getting Hired Point of contact If you’re interested in working for William Blair, visit its website. There, you’ll find information on college recruiting, including the firm’s corporate finance analyst and associate programs, an overview of other professional opportunities, and a link to apply to any available positions. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking William Blair & Company 220 © 2009, Inc.
  • 226. Customizedfor:Eric( Glossary APPENDIXVault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking
  • 227. Customizedfor:Eric( 222 © 2009, Inc.
  • 228. Customizedfor:Eric( Glossary Annual report: A combination of financial statements, management discussion and analysis, and graphs and charts provided annually to investors; they’re required for companies traded publicly in the U.S. Asset management: Also known as investment management. Money managers at investment management firms and investment banks take money given to them by pension funds and individual investors and invest it. For wealthy individuals (private clients), the investment bank will set up an individual account and manage the account; for the less well-endowed, the bank will offer mutual funds. Asset managers are compensated primarily by taking a percentage each year from the total assets managed. (They may also charge an upfront load, or commission, of a few percent of the initial money invested.) Audit: An examination of transactions and financial statements made in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. Auditor: A person who examines the information used by managers to prepare the financial statements and attests to the credibility of those statements. Bond spreads: The difference between the yield of a corporate bond and a U.S. Treasury security of similar time to maturity. Bulge bracket: The largest and most prestigious firms on Wall Street (including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and Credit Suisse First Boston). Buy-side: The clients of investment banks (mutual funds, pension funds) who buy the stocks, bonds and securities sold by the banks. (The investment banks that sell these products to investors are known as the sell-side.) Certified public accountant (CPA): In the United States, a person earns this designation through a combination of education, qualifying experience and by passing a national written examination. Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA): A designation given to professionals who complete a multi-part exam designed to test accounting and investment knowledge and professional ethics. Commercial bank: A bank that lends, rather than raises, money. For example, if a company wants $30 million to open a new production plant, it can approach a commercial bank for a loan. Commercial paper: Short-term corporate debt, typically maturing in nine months or less. Commitment letter: A document that outlines the terms of a loan a commercial bank gives a client. 223 Appendix
  • 229. Customizedfor:Eric( Commodities: Assets (usually agricultural products or metals) that are generally interchangeable with one another and therefore share a common price. For example, corn, wheat and rubber generally trade at one price on commodity markets worldwide. Common stock: Also called common equity, common stock represents an ownership interest in a company. (As opposed to preferred stock, see below.) The vast majority of stock traded in the markets today is common, as common stock enables investors to vote on company matters. An individual who owns at least 51 percent of a company’s shares controls the company’s decisions and can appoint anyone he/she wishes to the board of directors or to the management team. Comparable company analysis (Comps): The primary tool of the corporate finance analyst. Comps include a list of financial data, valuation data and ratio data on a set of companies in an industry. Comps are used to value private companies or better understand a how the market values an industry or particular player in the industry. Consumer Price Index (CPI): The CPI measures the percentage increase in a standard basket of goods and services. The CPI is a measure of inflation for consumers. Convertible bonds: Bonds that can be converted into a specified number of shares of stock. Derivatives: An asset whose value is derived from the price of another asset. Examples include call options, put options, futures and interest-rate swaps. Discount rate: A widely followed short-term interest rate set by the Federal Reserve to cause market interest rates to rise or fall, thereby spurring the U.S. economy to grow more quickly or less quickly. More specifically, the discount rate is the rate at which federal banks lend money to each other on overnight loans. Today, the discount rate can be directly moved by the Fed, but largely maintains a symbolic role. Dividend: A payment by a company to shareholders of its stock, usually as a way to distribute profits. Equity: In short, stock. Equity means ownership in a company that is usually represented by stock. ERISA: Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The federal law that sets most pension plan requirements. The Fed: The Federal Reserve, which gently (or sometimes roughly), manages the country’s economy by setting interest rates. Federal funds rate: The rate domestic banks charge one another on overnight loans to meet Federal Reserve requirements. This rate tracks very closely to the discount rate, but is usually slightly higher. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 224 © 2009, Inc.
  • 230. Customizedfor:Eric( Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB): A private-sector body that determines generally accepted accounting principles in the United States. Financial accounting: The field of accounting that serves external decision makers, such as stockholders, suppliers, banks and government agencies. Fixed income: Bonds and other securities that earn a fixed rate of return. Bonds are typically issued by governments, corporations and municipalities. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP): The broad concepts or guidelines and detailed practices in accounting, including all conventions, rules and procedures that make up accepted accounting practices. Glass-Steagall Act: Part of the legislation passed in 1933 during the Great Depression designed to help prevent future bank failure – the establishment of the F.D.I.C. was also part of this movement. The Glass-Steagall Act split America’s investment- banking (issuing and trading securities) operations from commercial banking (lending). For example, J.P. Morgan was forced to spin off its securities unit as Morgan Stanley. The act was gradually weakened throughout the 1990s. In 1999 Glass-Steagall was effectively repealed by the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act. Graham-Leach-Bliley Act: Also known as the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. Essentially repealed many of the restrictions of the Glass-Steagall Act and made possible the current trend of consolidation in the financial services industry. Allows commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies to affiliate under a holding company structure. Growth stock: Industry leaders that investors and analysts believe will continue to prosper and exceed expectations. These companies have above average revenue and earnings growth and their stocks trade at high price-to-earnings and price-to- book ratios. Technology and telecommunications companies such as Microsoft and Cisco are good examples of traditional growth stocks. Hedge: To balance a position in the market in order to reduce risk. Hedges work like insurance: a small position pays off large amounts with a slight move in the market. Hedge fund: An investment partnership, similar to a mutual fund, made up of wealthy investors. In comparison to most investment vehicles, hedge funds are loosely regulated, allowing them to take more risks with their investments. High-grade corporate bond: A corporate bond with a rating above BB. Also called investment grade debt. High-yield debt (a.k.a. Junk bonds): Corporate bonds that pay high interest rates (to compensate investors for high risk of default). Credit rating agencies such as Standard & Poor’s rate a company’s (or a municipality’s) bonds based on default risk. Junk bonds rate below BB. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 225 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 231. Customizedfor:Eric( Initial public offering (IPO): The dream of every entrepreneur, the IPO marks the first time a company issues stock to the public. Going public means more than raising money for the company: By agreeing to take on public shareholders, a company enters a whole world of required SEC filings and quarterly revenue and earnings reports, not to mention possible shareholder lawsuits. Institutional clients or investors: Large investors, such as pension funds or municipalities (as opposed to retail investors or individual investors). Lead manager: The primary investment bank managing a securities offering. (An investment bank may share this responsibility with one or more co-managers.) League tables: Tables that rank investment banks based on underwriting volume in numerous categories, such as stocks, bonds, high yield debt, convertible debt, etc. High rankings in league tables are key selling points used by investment banks when trying to land a client. Leveraged buyout (LBO): The buyout of a company with borrowed money, often using that company’s own assets as collateral. LBOs were the order of the day in the heady 1980s, when successful LBO firms such as Kohlberg Kravis Roberts made a practice of buying up companies, restructuring them and then reselling them or taking them public at a significant profit. The Long Bond: The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond. Treasury bonds are used as the starting point for pricing many other bonds, because Treasury bonds are assumed to have zero credit risk taking into account factors such as inflation. For example, a company will issue a bond that trades “40 over Treasuries.” The “40” refers to 40 basis points (100 basis points = 1 percentage point). Making markets: A function performed by investment banks to provide liquidity for their clients in a particular security, often for a security that the investment bank has underwritten. (In others words, the investment bank stands willing to buy the security, if necessary, when the investor later decides to sell it.) Market capitalization (market cap): The total value of a company in the stock market (total shares outstanding multiplied by price per share). Merchant banking: The department within an investment bank that invests the firm’s own money in other companies. Analogous to a venture capital arm. Money market securities: This term is generally used to represent the market for securities maturing within one year. These include short-term CDs, repurchase agreements and commercial paper (low-risk corporate issues), among others. These are low risk, short-term securities that have yields similar to Treasuries. Mortgage-backed bonds: Bonds collateralized by a pool of mortgages. Interest and principal payments are based on the individual homeowners making their mortgage payments. The more diverse the pool of mortgages backing the bond, the less risky they are. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 226 © 2009, Inc.
  • 232. Customizedfor:Eric( Municipal bonds (Munis): Bonds issued by local and state governments, a.k.a. municipalities. Municipal bonds are structured as tax-free for the investor, which means investors in munis earn interest payments without having to pay federal taxes. Sometimes investors are exempt from state and local taxes, too. Consequently, municipalities can pay lower interest rates on muni bonds than other bonds of similar risk. Mutual fund: An investment vehicle that collects funds from investors (both individual and institutional) and invests in a variety of securities, including stocks and bonds. Mutual funds make money by charging a percentage of assets in the fund. P/E ratio: The price-to-earnings ratio. This is the ratio of a company’s stock price to its earnings-per-share. The higher the P/E ratio, the more expensive a stock is (and the faster investors believe the company will grow). Stocks in fast-growing industries tend to have higher P/E ratios. Passive investor: Relies on diversification to match the performance of a stock market index (e.g., the S&P 500 Index or the the Wilshire 4500 Completion Index). Because a passive portfolio strategy involves matching an index, this strategy is commonly referred to as indexing. Pit traders: Traders who are positioned on the floor of stock and commodity exchanges (as opposed to floor traders, situated in investment bank offices). Pitchbook: The book of exhibits, graphs and initial recommendations presented by bankers to prospective clients when trying to land an engagement. Prime rate: The base rate U.S. banks use to price loans for their best customers. Private accountants: Accountants who work for businesses, as well as government agencies, and other non-profit organizations. Producer Price Index: The PPI measures the percentage increase in a standard basket of goods and services. PPI is a measure of inflation for producers and manufacturers. Proprietary trading: Trading of the firm’s own assets (as opposed to trading client assets). Prospectus: A report issued by a company (filed with and approved by the SEC) that wishes to sell securities to investors. Distributed to prospective investors, the prospectus discloses the company’s financial position, business description and risk factors. Public accountants: Accountants who offer services to the general public on a fee basis including auditing, tax work and management consulting. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 227 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.
  • 233. Customizedfor:Eric( Request for proposal (RFP): Statement issued by institutions (i.e., pension funds or corporate retirement plans) when they are looking to hire a new investment manager. They typical detail the style of money management required and the types of credentials needed. Retail clients: Individual investors (as opposed to institutional clients). Return on equity: The ratio of a firm’s profits to the value of its equity. Return on equity, or ROE, is a commonly used measure of how well an investment bank is doing, because it measures how efficiently and profitably the firm is using its capital. Roadshow: The series of presentations to investors that a company undergoing an IPO usually gives in the weeks preceding the offering. Here’s how it works: The company and its investment bank will travel to major cities throughout the country. In each city, the company’s top executives make a presentation to analysts, mutual fund managers and other attendees and also answer questions. S-1: A type of legal document filed with the SEC for a private company aiming to go public. The S-1 is almost identical to the prospectus sent to potential investors. The SEC must approve the S-1 before the stock can be sold to investors. S-2: A type of legal document filed with the SEC for a public company looking to sell additional shares in the market. The S-2 is almost identical to the prospectus sent to potential investors. The SEC must approve the S-2 before the stock is sold. Sales memo: Short reports written by the corporate finance bankers and distributed to the bank’s salespeople. The sales memo provides salespeople with points to emphasize when hawking the stocks and bonds the firm is underwriting. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): A federal agency that, like the Glass- Steagall Act, was established as a result of the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing depression. The SEC monitors disclosure of financial information to stockholders and protects against fraud. Publicly traded securities must be approved by the SEC prior to trading. Short-term debt: A bond that matures in nine months or less. Also called commercial paper. Specialty firm: An investment management firm that focus on one type of style, product or client type. Syndicate: A group of investment banks that together will underwrite a particular stock or debt offering. Usually the lead manager will underwrite the bulk of a deal, while other members of the syndicate will each underwrite a small portion. T-Bill Yields: The yield or internal rate of return an investor would receive at any given moment on a 90-120 government treasury bill. Tax-exempt bonds: Municipal bonds (also known as munis). Munis are free from federal taxes and, sometimes, state and local taxes. Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 228 © 2009, Inc.
  • 234. Customizedfor:Eric( 10K: An annual report filed by a publicly traded company with the SEC. Includes financial information, company information, risk factors, etc. 10Q: Similar to a 10K, but filed quarterly. Treasury securities: Securities issued by the U.S. government. These are divided into Treasury Bills (maturity of up to two years), Treasury Notes (from two years to 10 years maturity), and Treasury Bonds (10 years to 30 years). As they are government guaranteed, treasuries are often considered risk-free. In fact, while U.S. Treasuries have no default risk, they do have interest rate risk; if rates increase, then the price of U.S. Treasuries will decrease. Underwrite: The function performed by investment banks when they help companies issue securities to investors. Technically, the investment bank buys the securities from the company and immediately resells the securities to investors for a slightly higher price, making money on the spread. Value stock: Well-established, high dividend paying companies with low price to earnings and price to book ratios. Essentially, they are “diamonds in the rough” that typically have undervalued assets and earnings potential. Classic value stocks include oil companies like ExxonMobil and banks such as BankAmerica or J.P. Morgan Chase. Yield: The annual return on investment. A high yield bond, for example, pays a high rate of interest Vault Career Guide to Middle Market Investment Banking Glossary 229 Visit Vault at for insider company profiles, expert advice, career message boards, expert resume reviews, the Vault Job Board and more.