M&A Firms are Looking for People Outside of New York, Especially in the West

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Welcome news for M&A bankers and advisors: The revival of the M&A market is inspiring a wave of new advisory shops concentrating on the middle market, with several newcomers located on the West Coast.

One recent arrival is San Francisco-based MidSpan Partners, run by Patrick Crocker and Craig Larson, formerly of Harris Williams & Co. MidSpan will concentrate on mid-market M&A advisory and is on the lookout for talent, the firm said in its unveiling announcement. "The MidSpan team is actively looking to add talented professionals at all levels, but particularly at the Analyst and Associate levels."

Though MidSpan calls itself a generalist shop, it will also concentrate on a few sectors, such as branded consumer products, government services, industrial, restaurants and retail.

MidSpan is the latest in a crop of new firms vying to get a piece of what could strong M&A activity in 2011. Tthe atmosphere bodes well for 2011, since deal-making is slowly regaining momentum and more would-be buyers want to put their cash to work," says one advisor.

In June, a trio of Street professionals founded Los Angeles-based Intrepid Investment Bankers. Jim Freedman, Mike Rosenberg and Ed Bagdasarian all hailed from Barrington Associates, a middle-market M&A advisor that was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2006.

Intrepid will be expanding in areas like M&A advisory, equity and debt capital raising and investment advisory, focusing on corporate finance needs for entrepreneurial and family-owned businesses, as well as private equity sponsors.

Other newcomers include Chicago-based Metronome Partners, founded in June by Jeff Rosenkranz, the former head of M&A at Piper Jaffray & Co., and Charlotte's BlackArch Partners, whose founders include another Harris Williams veteran, Bram Hall.

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