Chicago Financial-industry Veterans Team Up to Launch Verit Advisors
Investment Banking Firm to Specialize in Corporate Finance Solutions for Private Businesses, Including ESOP Transactions, M&A and Debt Capital Markets
Mary Josephs, a nationally-recognized leader in succession and liquidity transactions, today announced the launch of Verit Advisors LLC, an investment banking advisory firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) advisory, strategic alternatives and debt capital markets. Josephs will serve as Executive Managing Director of the new firm, Christopher Pigott will lead the mergers and acquisitions practice, John Solimine will head debt capital markets and Peter Abrahamson will lead the technical execution and valuation team.
Verit Advisors’ officially launched at the ESOP Association’s annual conference and trade show in Las Vegas on November 3 – 5. Josephs spoke at the conference, discussing strategic alternatives for partially-owned ESOPs.
“At Verit Advisors, we know there’s never a single strategy that’s the ideal solution across all middle market businesses,” said Josephs. “We listen carefully to our clients. After we gain a full understanding of their goals and objectives, we work closely with our clients’ accountants, attorneys, lenders, tax experts, wealth planning, asset management, and other professional service providers to develop comprehensive, customized solutions that meet each client’s unique needs and optimize long-term shareholder value.”
Josephs founded Verit Advisors after a distinguished career at LaSalle National Bank, LaSalle corporate Finance and Bank of America-Merrill Lynch. With nearly 30 years of experience in ESOPs, she is considered to be one of the foremost experts in developing specialized, solutions-oriented succession and liquidity transactions for middle market companies. Josephs founded the ESOP group at LaSalle and built a practice that was recognized as one of the best in the United States. Josephs, as ESOP Solutions Executive, led the national ESOP capability for all of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. She has advised, structured and closed more than 200 transactions for middle market businesses, representing more than $7 billion in senior credit and nearly $30 billion in enterprise value.
Pigott’s impressive track record in corporate finance includes more than $10 billion in acquisitions, divestitures, public and private equity and debt issuances over the last fifteen years. He has worked with an array of public and private companies and private equity funds around the world, spanning many industries including business services, education, technology, durable goods, foods, transportation, and specialty chemicals. Prior to Verit, Pigott led the Business Services Group at ThinkEquity, the US subsidiary of Panmure, Gordon & Co., a 130-year old investment bank based in the United Kingdom. Earlier in his career, he served in senior-level investment banking positions at Robert W. Baird & Co. and ABN Amro/LaSalle Bank. “It’s our objective to establish a firm that operates with the utmost integrity and provides the best advisory services for middle market businesses,” said Pigott. “The Verit team consists of accomplished professionals who have extraordinary experience. Together, we bring middle market businesses deep expertise and thoughtful insight to navigate complicated succession and liquidity transactions.”
Solimine brings twelve years of experience in investment banking and debt capital markets, particularly with middle market companies and private equity sponsors in succession and liquidity transactions. Solimine began his career at LaSalle Bank, NA (now Bank of America) structuring debt financing alternatives, gained broad investment banking experience at both Bear Stearns & Co. and Jefferies & Company, Inc. in New York and then worked with leading institutional investors at Equibase Capital Group, LLC in Chicago. Executing a wide array of middle market investment banking transactions across several industry groups and product platforms, Solimine has a wealth of experience in underwriting and structuring senior and junior debt financing alternatives for sponsor-led buyouts and middle market companies on a national basis.
Abrahamson has over fifteen years of valuation and investment banking experience, specializing in the valuation of business enterprises and individual securities, structuring ESOP transactions, and executing public and private market capital raises. Most recently, Abrahamson served in Deloitte’s valuation consulting practice where he was a national ESOP valuation expert and served clients as part of cross functional teams including audit, tax and human capital professionals. Prior to Deloitte, Abrahamson was an investment banker at EVEREN Securities (now part of Wachovia Securities, a Wells Fargo Company) where he helped raise over $1.9 billion in growth capital in over thirty common equity, preferred equity, convertible and fixed income transactions. Combining public capital markets and private market valuation expertise with audit, tax and human capital experience, Abrahamson looks forward to serving Verit’s clients from a thoughtful, well rounded perspective.
About Verit Advisors
Verit Advisors is an independent investment banking advisory firm that facilitates succession and liquidity transactions including mergers and acquisitions, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), strategic alternatives and debt capital markets. Verit Advisors’ philosophy is built on four key components: integrity, execution, innovation and exceptional client service. Mary Josephs founded Verit Advisors in 2009, originally named Evergreen Capital Advisors. With nearly three decades of experience in the world of corporate finance, Josephs is considered to be one of the foremost experts in ESOP transactions and middle market strategic alternatives.