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The Top M&A Consulting Firms in the US

Business
TOP M&A FIRMS IN THE US

The following report rank-orders the top M&A consulting firms in the US based on data collected by our research team between August 2022 and August 2023. For this report, we focused on firms that offer M&A services to small to mid-sized private businesses, ranging from $5M – $200M in revenue.

Our criteria for the rankings were as follows:

  • Total Annual Deals (50%): The number of M&A deals the firm closed between Q3 2022 – Q3 2023 as the named advisor, based on listed transaction histories on their websites or industry databases. 
  • Principal Experience Score (30%): A multivariate evaluation of the firm’s principals, including years of experience; prior experience at larger firms; and how many deals they personally touch.
  • Notable Rankings & Awards (20%): Accolades or recognition given to the firm by industry organizations.

The firms were given raw scores in each of these categories and subsequently our team normalized the dataset. 

In the table below, we include each firm’s EBITDA range for the clients they represent as well as their specialty. 

The Top M&A Consulting Firms in the US – 2023

# M&A Consulting Firm Total Annual Deals (Estimated)  Principal Experience Scores Notable Rankings & Awards EBITDA Range Specialty
1 Sica | Fletcher 40-70 5.0 #1 S&P Global Market Intelligence League Tables $1-30M Sell-side advisory for mid-market companies in finance, tech, and healthcare
2 PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) 300-400 5.0 Best M&A Management by China Merge and Acquisition Association $50M+ M&A advisory for large public & private companies
3 Intrepid 15-25  4.5 #9 in Asia Pacific M&A Advisory League Tables $5-50M Sell-side advisory for consumer goods and beauty products
4 Houlihan Lokey 500-600 4.5 Boutique M&A Financial Advisor of the Year, Mergermarket Japan M&A Awards $30-50M Buy/sell–side advisory for Japanese M&A and upper mid-market companies
5 BMI 5-10 4.0 #17 in Canada’s Top Investment Banks $10-100M Sell-side advisory construction specialists 
6 Clairfield 100+ 4.0 #1 in M&A Mexico Transaction Volume (2020) $5-30M Cross-border advisory for Mexican M&A
7 Maine Pointe 25-50 3.5 #1 in “Top Supply Chain Consulting Firms in the US” by consulting.us $10-40M Strategic growth advisory for supply chain and logistics
8 Troutman Pepper 150-200 3.5 Outstanding M&A Advisory Firm from M&A Atlas Awards $1-15M Buy/sell-side advisory for corporate governance and securities firms

The Top M&A Consulting Firms in the US, Summarized 

In the following analysis, we present an overview of each M&A consulting firm above, based on our research.

Sica | Fletcher

Sica | Fletcher has historically specialized on finance and insurance companies, however in the last 5 years, they began taking on clients in tech, healthcare, manufacturing. Their team mainly provides sell-side M&A advisory services to lower middle-market companies, including PE roll ups, carve outs, and buy-and-builds. They also offer growth advisory services for companies seeking to grow their company prior to a sale. 

Sica | Fletcher is a boutique firm, but their transaction history shows an average of 45-60 deals every year. By comparison, firms of a similar scale often do 1/10th of that number. 

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 40-70
  • Principal Experience Scores: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: #1 S&P Global Market Intelligence League Tables
  • EBITDA Range: $1-30M
  • Specialty: Sell-side advisory for mid-market companies in finance, tech, and healthcare

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

PWC’s M&A division utilizes the size and scope of PWC in order to provide “tailored deals” directed towards the client. Their teams provide advisory services for every stage of the M&A deal process (e.g. strategy, due diligence, valuation, financing) They primarily focus on cross-border services for companies conducting international transactions. 

PWC’s teams are trained to handle deals involving extensive legal obstacles, making them a good fit for companies going public for the first time needing to manage SEC regulations. 

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 300-400
  • Principal Experience Scores: 5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: Best M&A Management by China Merge and Acquisition Association
  • EBITDA Range: $50M+
  • Specialty: M&A advisory for large private enterprises and public companies, including international

Intrepid

Intrepid specializes in various consumer goods (e.g. toys, food, healthcare products) for which they conduct deal types like tender offers, consolidations, and stock purchases. Recent transaction data from the last several years suggests a special interest in companies in the Asia Pacific beauty market; a sector in which they have made several notable deals resulting in institutional recognition. 

Intrepid’s early involvement in this now-booming sector suggests a research team capable of intensive valuation practices, identifying areas of opportunity in industries and prospective clients early on in the deal process.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 15-25 
  • Principal Experience Scores: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: #9 in Asia Pacific M&A Advisory League Tables
  • EBITDA Range: $5-50M
  • Specialty: Sell-side advisory for beauty and personal care companies

Houlihan Lokey

One of the larger firms on this list, Houlihan Lokey utilizes a large team of professionals to represent companies of varying sizes across diverse industries and subsectors. In addition to M&A consulting services, the firm also provides funding and growth strategies for clients seeking to maximize their earnout over a longer deal period. This is exemplified by the complex deal types listed among their online transaction histories, including board advisory and capital raising. 

Historically, Houlihan Lokey specializes in the consumer industry, however, their recent deal history suggests a special interest in Japanese M&A, prioritizing companies within this sphere.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 500-600
  • Principal Experience Scores: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: Boutique M&A Financial Advisor of the Year, Mergermarket Japan M&A Awards
  • EBITDA Range: $30-50M
  • Specialty: Buy-side and sell–side advisory for Japanese M&A

BMI

Providing M&A consulting services as an addition to a larger fundraising catalog, the investment banking services provided by BMI make them a good fit for clients requiring growth prior to a sale. The scope of services offered also makes them ideal for companies navigating SEC regulations while going public. Because of these specialties, BMI’s transaction history is filled with deals managed on behalf of larger companies with a greater number of assets and considerations. 

According to their website, BMI specializes in companies within construction, particularly interior design and architecture firms.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 5-10
  • Principal Experience Scores: 4.0
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: #17 in Canada’s Top Investment Banks
  • EBITDA Range: $10-100M
  • Specialty: Sell-side advisory for architecture and interior design firms

Clairfield

Clairfield works primarily on cross-border M&A. In recent years, their transaction history (as well as their awards) indicate a preference for working with Mexican companies as they navigate complex LBO and MBO deals, including client valuations and joint ventures. While many M&A consulting firms specialize in only sell-side activity, the teams at Clairfield also work with clients in buy-side M&A. 

Although Clairfield tends to work with companies squarely in the middle market, the lower ends of their transaction history would suggest a lesser emphasis on smaller, likely family-owned companies.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 100+
  • Principal Experience Scores: 4.0
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: #1 in M&A Mexico Transaction Volume (2020)
    • EBITDA Range: $5-30M
  • Specialty: Cross-border advisory for Mexican M&A

Maine Pointe

Maine Pointe specializes in global supply chain M&A, working with companies in mining and raw materials as well as transportation and logistics. Primarily working with a close network of private equity firms as their main buyers, the teams at Maine Pointe prioritize a longer deal duration with growth advisory strategies for owners to grow their business prior to an eventual acquisition. 

The M&A teams at Maine Pointe also provide post-transaction services to facilitate management team implementation and personnel transitions.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 25-50
  • Principal Experience Scores: 3.5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: #1 in “Top Supply Chain Consulting Firms in the US” by consulting.us
  • EBITDA Range: $10-40M
  • Specialty: Strategic growth advisory for supply chain and logistics

Troutman Pepper

Working primarily with buyers in the world of corporate governance, Troutman Pepper manages buy-side interactions such as joint ventures, corporate divestitures, and strategic alliances. The firm highlights their  “deal-specific” approach to transactions. Based on their transaction history, these deals include unsolicited acquisition attempts, including hostile takeovers and proxy contests, making them an ideal firm to work with for aggressive buyers looking to expand their presence within their industry.

  • Total Annual Deals (Estimated): 150-200
  • Principal Experience Scores: 3.5
  • Notable Rankings & Awards: Outstanding M&A Advisory Firm from M&A Atlas Awards
  • EBITDA Range: $1-15M
  • Specialty: Buy and sell-side advisory for corporate governance and securities firms
  • Contact: Troutman Pepper Website

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