Three Los Angeles investment bankers have joined the newly opened Los Angeles office of Minneapolis-based Goldsmith Agio & Helms, a middle-market investment banking firm.
Lars Ekstrom, Lisa G. Goldman and Edward W. Villeneuve all formerly with the L.A.-based investment banking firm of Greif & Co. have signed on as managing directors at Goldsmith Agio’s new L.A. office.
“When we decided to leave Greif & Co., it was simply because we saw an opportunity to be with a national firm that is growing rapidly, entrepreneurial in culture and very committed to servicing the middle market, ” Goldman said. “We felt the opportunity for us, long term, was best here.”
The opening of the new Goldsmith Agio office reflects a growing demand for middle-market (transactions ranging from $15 million to $500 million) merger-and-acquisition advisory services among L.A.-area public and private companies, said Jack Helms, the firm’s managing partner.
“Despite its size, L.A’s economy is really driven by middle-market (entrepreneurial) businesses,” he said. “L.A. has the largest middle market in the world, so every day there are entrepreneurs waking up and saying, ‘It’s time to cash out, time to retire, or time to pass the mantle on.’ So, there’s a constant demand for middle-sized M & A; services, regardless of economic conditions.”
In the six years that Ekstrom, Goldman and Villeneuve were at Greif & Co., they were the primary bankers for approximately 30 transactions, they said, handling transactions with an aggregate value of nearly $2 billion.
Among the local companies involved in those transactions were Bumblebee Seafood, Fred Sands Realtors and Jon Douglas Co.