Daily News: January 20, 2015

Houlihan Lokey Acquires Bridge Strategy Group

Houlihan Lokey, the international investment bank, announced it acquired Bridge Strategy Group (Bridge) following a strategic investment announced in August. Bridge is a Chicago-based management consulting firm focused on strategy, operations and performance improvement. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The Bridge team will form Houlihan Lokey’s Strategic Consulting business, led by Bridge CEO Steve Sheridan. As a new business line, Strategic Consulting will sit alongside the firm’s other major businesses which include Corporate Finance, Financial Restructuring and Financial Advisory Services.

“Our expectation from the outset was that the value proposition of the partnership for both firms, and especially for our respective clients, would prove itself quickly, and it has,” said Scott Beiser, CEO of Houlihan Lokey. “The client response has been overwhelmingly positive, and as a global investment bank with a management consulting platform of this size and scale, we are able to offer clients a genuinely unique suite of services that help us address a much broader array of challenges,” he continued.

“The partnership has been fantastic, but clearly the opportunities and depth of client service will grow substantially following the establishment of Strategic Consulting at Houlihan Lokey,” said Mr. Sheridan. “Bridge has always taken an integrated approach to our clients’ challenges, and so does Houlihan Lokey across its businesses in delivering superior client service. We’re excited to be part of that effort and provide our clients with access to the full power of the combined suite of services we can now deliver,” he added.

“My experience with Bridge is that they are nimble, deeply engaged with the client and intensely focused on results — an excellent fit with an independent advisory firm like Houlihan Lokey, which shares a similar client approach,” said Larry Morse, former President and CEO of American Hotel Register Company and a Bridge client. “I have no doubt that Strategic Consulting will be tremendously valuable to Houlihan Lokey’s clients, particularly in the private equity sector where portfolio companies at various stages of growth present unique opportunities and challenges.”