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, Ill.
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 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, mergers and acquisitions (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, 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 on board. 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. Among the firm’s clientele include Creative Concepts, CAL-AIR Inc., Valtec International Inc., Omnii Products Inc., Baird & Warner Real Estate Inc., Caldwell Group Inc. and Buca.
Oakbrook Terrace Tower
One Tower Lane, Suite 3010
Oakbrook Terrace, , IL 60181
Phone: (630) 443-9933
Employer Type: Private
Founder and Senior Managing Director: Kenneth E. Serwinski