Here is a list of mid-market investment banks that provide investment banking/corporate finance advisory services to medium capitalization (pertaining to enterprise value) companies. Although there are no hard and fast rules for what is defined as middle market, these companies will generally be too small to be banked by the Bulge Brackets.
Occasionally, you will see a larger investment banking platform pitch for a smaller client – especially when they feel the growth story will mean that the client will get to the appropriate enterprise value in time (and be in a position to lead the IPO). Conversely, you may also see a traditional mid-market shop continue to provide investment banking services for a larger client because of the historical relationship.
Also, established Bulge Bracket investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan will have middle market platforms as well which may or may not be fully integrated with the broader investment banking group.
Mid market banks may be universal banks (offering commercial banking services, such as Suntrust), but most operate under a boutique model that only provide advisory services with limited capital markets capabilities (less room to play in investment grade debt capital markets, sales and trading products, term loans) as they do not have the balance sheet to support the business.
As such, sometimes the line between a mid-market boutique and an elite boutique such as Lazard or Rothschild is unclear and subjective.
Middle Market Investment Banks
- Historically middle market investment bank but can now be classified as an elite boutique owing to highest compensation across investment banks, large deal flow and robust leveraged finance capabilities (that goes hand in hand with mid market presence)
- Piper Jaffray
- Simmons is Piper’s energy focused investment bank subsidiary
- Harris Williams
- Houlihan Lokey
- Suntrust (as Suntrust Robinson Humphrey)
- Merged with BB&T Bank
- Evercore Mid-Market
- Cowen & Company
- Industrials coverage for transportation is prominent (airlines, railroads)
- Big capital markets player in cannabis
- HSBC Global Banking and Markets
- Bulge bracket capabilities in other product groups such as Debt Capital Markets and Interest Rate Derivatives
- Lincoln International
- BMO Capital Markets
- A strong mid-market presence in the US, especially in the Midwest
- Essentially a bulge bracket in home market of Canada
- RBC Capital Markets
- Considered to be Bulge Bracket now in some circles
- Market leader in domestic market
- Market leader in domestic market
- Tudor, Pickering & Holt
- Energy only – can be classified as elite boutique
- Subsidiary of Perella Weinberg Partners/PWP, an elite boutique
- Raymond James
- Thomas Weisel
- KeyBanc Capital Markets
- Janney Montgomery Scott
- Oppenheimer & Co.
- Was owned by CIBC World Markets/Wood Gundy, then spun off again
- Cantor Fitzgerald
- Coker & Palmer
- Johnson Rice
- MKM Partners
- Roth Capital
- Morgan Keegan
- Keefe Bruyette & Woods (KBW)
- Part of Stifel now
- JMP Group
- Strong coverage for shipping and maritime industries
- Arma Partners
- Greentech Capital Advisors
- CIBC Capital Markets
- Recently merged with GMP Securities
- Imperial Capital
- Northland Securities
- DA Davidson
- Duff & Phelps
- Also known in valuation
Mid Market Investment Banking Services
Usually, mid market investment banks will provide equity research coverage. Analysts at mid-markets are often considered objective and regularly win Institutional Investor awards for quality research. Of course, any investment banker knows that equity research is never actually objective.
Big 4 professional service firms such as Deloitte, Ernst & Young and PwC regularly market their own investment banking services as mid-market, but this may be confusing because the deals done are predominantly private and below what constitutes mid-market thresholds (above $300 million). Also, the services provided may be more around financial due diligence than traditional advisory services.
Duff and Phelps and Houlihan Lokey also have strong valuation practices (including fairness opinions) that will compete with the Big 4 firms – with the level of detail being much more advanced. Duff and Phelps publishes a cost of capital document every year that is widely used across Wall Street for equity risk premiums.
Large banks with investment banking platforms may still bank middle market platforms through their commercial banking divisions. They do not need to support their commercial banking revenues with investment banking fees because returns on lending are far higher for smaller companies who offer security and usually draw on their credit.
Many mid-market banks are strongly regional – for example Midwest United States.