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The Top Boutique M&A Firms – 2024

Business
Boutique M A Firms

Last Updated: February 15, 2024

Our analysts collected data on the top boutique M&A firms operating in 2024 and rank ordered them based on a variety of factors. We define a boutique M&A firm as having a) fewer than 50 employees and/or b) a specialization in a specific industry or niche.   

There were 92 firms that qualified for this list. We assessed them based on three criteria determined by our preliminary research, which we then weighted as shown below, then narrowed down to the 8 that had the highest total score. (
Sources) Our criteria entails:

  • Principal Experience Score (45%): A qualitative measure of the firm’s principals’ experience, including previous tenure at large national firms and length of time at their current firm.
  • Total Annual Deals (35%): Approximated numerical range based on deal data provided through the clients website or third-party databases.
  • Notable Awards & Rankings (20%): Recognized accomplishments of the firm awarded by a reputable organization in the M&A industry.

Top Boutique M&A Firms – 2024

#NameEBITDA RangeTotal Annual DealsPrincipal Experience ScoreNotable Awards & RankingsIndustries & Specialties
1Sica | Fletcher$1-30M60-805.0#1 in S&P Global Market Intelligence League TablesProfessional Services, Technology, and Finance
2Intrepid$5-50M10-204.5#9 in Asia Pacific M&A Advisory League TablesBeauty & Personal Care 
3Perella Weinberg Partners$5-40M45-554.5Top Financial Advisor for Financial Services Deals in Merger Markets Middle Eastern M&A AwardsConsumer & Retail, Energy Technology, and Healthcare
4Loeb & Loeb LLP$10-40M60-804.0#2 in top legal advisors to DeSPAC deals in North AmericaMedia & Entertainment 
5Clairfield$5-30M100+4.0#1 in M&A Mexico transaction volume in 2020International M&A and Buy- and Sell-Side Advisory for Mexican M&A
6Financo$5-20M15-254.5N/ARetail, eCommerce, Consumer Services
7Woodbridge International$1-10M20-354.0Most Active Intermediary Firm of 2007Forestry, Manufacturing, and Transportation
8La Piana$500K – $1M1-53.5N/ANonprofits, Foundations, and Social Enterprises

The following sections outline each of the boutique M&A firms above, including a brief synopsis of the firm, additional services they might offer, as well as an analysis of who might make ideal clients for them.

Sica | Fletcher

Sica | Fletcher has been ranked #1 in lower middle market M&A advisory since their founding in 2014. They have a reputation for working across a variety of industries with a small staff. A smaller firm, in this case, means the owners (Mike Fletcher and Al Sica) are included on each deal that they make, bringing their collective knowledge of and experience with the market. Additionally, the firm closes an average number of deals that dwarf firms twice their size. 

Sica | Fletcher’s areas of specialty, based on the deals they’ve announced, are professional services, technology, and finance.

  • EBITDA Range: $1-30M
  • Total Annual Deals: 60-80
  • Principal Experience Score: 5.0
  • Notable Rankings: #1 in S&P Global Market Intelligence League Tables
  • Specialty: Professional Services, Technology, and Finance
  • Contact: Sica | Fletcher Website

Intrepid

One of the larger companies on this list, Intrepid has made much of its successes by cornering the Asian-Pacific beauty market. Because of the expected growth of this sector (CAGR of 4.64%), Intrepid has strategically positioned themselves to be in a power position within a remarkably profitable industry. Their services target both sell-side and buy-side clients, specializing in liquidy transactions including minority sales, majority recapitalization, and full sale transactions working with PE firms or strategic acquirers.

Although they specialize in beauty and cosmetics, Intrepid also services consumer industries including food, toys, and healthcare. Their specialization with Asian-pacific companies would also correlate clients requiring an advisor with working knowledge of that market. 

  • EBITDA Range: $5-50M
  • Total Annual Deals: 10-20
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings: #9 in Asia Pacific M&A Advisory League Tables
  • Specialty: Beauty & Personal Care
  • Contact: Intrepid Website

Perella Weinberg Partners

Perella Weinberg Partners works primarily within consumer industries such as retail, food, beverage, alcohol, and personal care products. Their services focus primarily on sell-side advisory, assisting clients negotiate the pitfalls of company sales, corporate divestitures, carve-outs, and spin offs. Their experience also stems into the energy sector, where they work with renewable energy companies to oil field services, demonstrating the firm’s ability to master a wide variety of client needs.

Perella Weinberg Partners is an M&A advisory firm that doubles as an investment bank, which makes them ideal partners for larger companies requiring assistance working through SEC regulations as well as public companies having to deal with formal broker-dealer licensing.

  • EBITDA Range: $5-40M
  • Total Annual Deals: 45-55
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings: Top Financial Advisor for Financial Services Deals in Merger Markets Middle Eastern M&A Awards
  • Specialty: Consumer & Retail, Energy Technology, and Healthcare
  • Contact: Perella Weinberg Partners

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Loeb & Loeb LLP provides clients with buy side and sell side services specializing in strategic legal advisory. They utilize this specialty to navigate complex negotiations, including corporate takeovers, roll-ups, and stock purchases. In addition, they offer a variety of related services for clients to take advantage of, including corporate governance, brand protection, and cross-border discovery. 

Loeb & Loeb LLP targets companies in advertising, media, and entertainment.

  • EBITDA Range: $10-40M
  • Total Annual Deals: 60-80
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.0
  • Notable Rankings: #2 in top legal advisors to DeSPAC deals in North America
  • Specialty: Media & Entertainment
  • Contact: Loeb & Loeb LLP Website

Clairfield

Focusing primarily on mid market deals, Clairfield specializes in sell-side advisory, including searching for buyers and sponsors, executing LBO and MBO deals, joint ventures, and client valuations. Since their founding in 2004, they have used this skillset to negotiate deals both domestically and internationally, closing several notable cross-border deals over the last several years. Buy side prospects will also find a capable  partner in Clairfield, including acquisition strategy development and seller valuations.

Clairfield’s specialization in international M&A, particularly their exceptional work in Mexican M&A over 2020, makes them an ideal fit for clients in this market. They also represent family businesses or those in need of debt capital advising.

  • EBITDA Range: $5-30M
  • Total Annual Deals: 100+
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.0
  • Notable Rankings: #1 in M&A Mexico transaction volume in 2020
  • Specialty: International M&A, Buy Side and Sell Side Advisory for Mexican M&A
  • Contact: Clairfield Website

Financo

Financo is a boutique sell-side and buy-side M&A advisor focusing predominantly on the consumer goods sector. Their status as a “boutique” firm is somewhat questionable; they partnered with Raymond James in 2021, which has greatly increased their ability to offer clients access to capital raising and strategic advisory. Despite these resources, however, the firm remains lean; online profile put their total employees at around 20-30 people. 

As such, Financo is a great option for business owners seeking to grow their business for a few years prior to a sale while maintaining contact with a relatively small team.

  • EBITDA Range: $5-20M
  • Total Annual Deals: 15-25
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.5
  • Notable Rankings: N/A
  • Specialty: Retail, eCommerce, Consumer Services
  • Contact: Financo Website

Woodbridge International

Woodbridge International has worked in M&A for three decades, specializing in sell side engagements for various industries pertaining to the outdoors. In addition to direct advisory services, they also offer “management training,” which provides sellers with workshop experience for how to go about selling their companies on their own, should they decide to move forward without the aid of a firm. 

Sellers who work with their specialists, however, will find experienced advisors with experience in restoration, forestry, and waste management.

  • EBITDA Range: $1-10M
  • Total Annual Deals: 20-35
  • Principal Experience Score: 4.0
  • Notable Rankings: Most Active Intermediary Firm of 2007
  • Specialty: Management Training, Forestry, Manufacturing, Transportation
  • Contact: Woodbridge International Website

La Piana

La Piana not only specializes in non-profit M&A; they are the reason it exists at all. By taking the blueprint of the practice (then known as strategic restructuring) La Piana created a framework by which charitable organizations and foundations can buy and sell businesses without losing the often complex nuances of working within the social sector. They assist clients in undertaking strategic alliances, restructuring, and inter-organizational collaborations in order to 

Because this particular niche is especially uncommon, their services are in especially high demand within that sector. Charitable organizations, foundations, or title holding trust corporations are likely to find a great deal of expertise within La Piana’s staff.

  • EBITDA Range: $500K – $1M
  • Total Annual Deals: 1-5
  • Principal Experience Score: 3.5
  • Notable Rankings: N/A
  • Specialty: Nonprofits, Foundations, and Social Enterprises
  • Contact: La Piana Website

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