Cascadia Capital LLC

THE SCOOP

The new A team
Current Cascadia Capital CEO Michael Butler and executive vice president Kevin Cable founded the company in 1999, in the waning days of the late-1990s mergers and acquisitions boom.  The fledgling boutique survived the early aughts and remained independently held; revenue in 2001 was just $5 million, but five years later, earnings had tripled.


Butler, a Seattle native, had put 15 years on Wall Street with Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers.  His decision to move back to the Pacific Northwest was in part a desire to get homeâ€"and in part a desire to build a top-shelf investment bank that catered to small and emerging companies.  “Small business is paying for the A team and getting the B team from the big banks on Wall Street,†Butler told Fortune Small Business in 2006.  “Those bankers won’t get out of bed for less than $2 million or $3 million in fees.† By offering lower fees, but the same caliber of service as the bulge bracket, Butler’s strategy has paid off.  Over the years, Cascadia has had a hand in notable deals involving clients like QPass, Nighthawk Radiology Services, Dotster and Lenel International.
In an August 2008 interview with Xconomy Seattle, Butler revealed that Cascadia’s biggest challenge is one of geography.  “Out here you have to educate people about what an investment bank does,†he explained.  “Back east, everyone knows.  We’re a facilitator of taking capital and getting it to companies.† The perks of a Seattle HQ?  Some critical distance from what Butler calls “the group-think†and “day-to-day noise†of Wall Street.

Still, recruiting top talent from the hordes of MBAs headed for New York is another concern.  Cascadia’s executives keep tabs on rising bankers in San Francisco and New York, watching for any who have roots or family connections in the Pacific Northwest and launching recruiting efforts accordingly.  In Butler’s words, “It’s all about the people.â€

Going green?
Cascadia’s investment banking services come in three flavors: corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic advisory services, all of which cater to mid-market and emerging grow companies in North America.  Its industry focus is on the middle market, technology (including Internet and new media and information technology) and sustainable industriesâ€"think alternative energy and green technology.

Chairman and CEO Michael Butler heads up the firm’s sustainable industries practice, while ex-Pagemill Partner Michael Orbach leads the information technology group.  The middle markets practice, which covers everything from retail to health care to consumer services, is helmed by managing director Christian Schiller and and senior vice president Bryan Jaffe.

Spotlight on clean technology
Underscoring Michael Butler's environmental commitment, he joined Marc Cummings of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and David Benson of law firm Stoel Rives in January 2009 to assemble a private-sector task force, appointed by Washington Governor Chris Gregoire, to analyze the state’s preparedness for clean technology development and growth.  One major issue on the table: U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus spending on renewable resources and clean tech projects.  According to Butler, Washington’s biofuel, smart grid, solar and energy efficiency sectors stand to gain the most from state stimulus allowances.

Butlerâ€"who’s fast becoming one of Washington State’s biggest clean tech championsâ€"has also analyzed the state’s regulations, tax policies and infrastructure with an eye toward making clean tech-friendly improvements that would boost business in the sector.  As part of his task force work, he has reached out to local companies like Boeing, Puget Sound Energy and Powerit, as well as trade organizations like the Washington Technology Industry, and urging their executives to provide insight that will help the state government organize its priorities.

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Cascadia Capital LLC


Columbia Center
701 Fifth Avenue Suite 2600
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 436-2500
Fax: (206) 436-2501
www.cascadiacapital.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Private
  • Chairman & CEO: Michael Butler
  • 2010 Employees: 20

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY
  • Seattle, WA

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