Houlihan Lokey is a global boutique investment bank that aims to offer independent advice and does not burden clients with the balance sheet conflicts that plague some bulge bracket firms. “We put the client first and use intellectual rather than financial capital,” says Head of Houlihan Lokey’s Hedge Fund Coverage practice, Mark Goldman.
Houlihan Lokey has more than 1,200 people across 24 offices globally and takes pride in being nimble – both in acting for clients and when hiring staff. “Our restructuring group employs world class home-grown talent. We have also bought boutiques that have a complementary cultural fit. As a few examples, we just hired a co-head for our FIG group from Barclays and an oil and gas specialist from Deutsche Bank, and we acquired Black Stone IP to create our Tech+IP franchise,” says Goldman. Most recently, the firm announced that it has agreed to acquire Quayle Munro, an advisory firm which specialises in data and analytics, to establish a Data & Analytics Group in Corporate Finance.
Houlihan Lokey’s hedge fund practice grew from its financial restructuring franchise. It has broadened out into financial advisory (due diligence, fairness opinions, and valuations, where the firm has its roots), corporate finance, M&A, and capital markets. The growing focus spans the full life cycle for hedge fund managers of all sizes, from seeding, to mergers and acquisitions, sourcing deals, advice on quoted vehicles such as business development companies (BDCs) or permanent capital vehicles (PCVs), sourcing and disposing of illiquid securities, and fund liquidations. “We expanded our must-have relationship among creditors to other parts of our firm, growing our firm while continuing to focus on serving our clients,” says Goldman. Houlihan Lokey’s valuation practice – which we devote an extended profile to, see below – is busier than ever.