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Horizon Partners Co-founder Mike Firmage Named Boutique Investment Banker of the Year at 13th Annual M&A Atlas Awards

New York City – January 29, 2022 – Global M&A Network recently honored the winners of the prestigious 13th Annual M&A Atlas Awards (USA) during a gala held in their honor. The independently governed awards recognize M&A excellence in numerous categories spanning value-creating transactions, outstanding firms, top professionals, and legendary leaders in mergers and acquisitions. 

At the awards, Mike Firmage, Managing Director and Co-founder at Horizon Partners, was named Boutique Investment Banker of the Year for innovation in boutique M&A firm design, process delivery, and transaction structuring. The significant recognition comes following prior receipt of numerous industry honors for excellence in deal making and client advisory. These include several “transaction of the year” awards as well as multiple distinctions as Boutique Investment Banker (M&A Atlas Awards) and Investment Banker (M&A Advisor) of the year during previous awards seasons.

“Each leadership and professional award recipient is among the most influential in the industry, with a distinguished record of the highest performance and integrity, vision in shaping their organizations and industry, as well as a matchless combination of execution excellence, support for the community, and commitment to innovation.  It is a testament to Mike’s unrelenting drive and constant pursuit of the perfect transaction that we are presenting him with this honor for the 2nd time in only three years” said Shanta Kumari, CEO of Global M&A Network. 

At the gala, Mike and his Horizon Partners team were also honored with the Middle Market Growth Equity Deal of Year for their work on TA Associates’ recapitalization of In the transaction, Mike architected a year long process that including the hiring of a new CEO, President and CRO, and CFO, as well as the transition of leadership from PDQ’s founders to its newly recruited and hired professional management team.  In the months following the initial deal, PDQ and TA completed the acquisition of SimpleMDM as well as SmartDeploy, positioning the combined business as an efficient, cross platform systems administration solution and the ideal acquisition partner for other companies in the sector.

Regarding the PDQ transaction, PDQ Co-founders Shawn Anderson and Shane Corellian said:

“After working with Mike and the Horizon team to close a large transaction with our ideal partner, we are pleased to say that they delivered 100%. Not only did they exceed our lofty expectations in terms of professionalism, work-ethic, efficiency, and the ultimate transaction valuation, but they did so while being heavily involved operationally and strategically. As one of our investors put it, “Mike flat understood the intricacies of the PDQ business — from the numbers to the product and strategy — in a way that private equity firms rarely see from advisors …and we would add that he (and the entire Horizon team) did so while showing a level of respect, grace in difficult circumstances, and foresight that made our entire executive team miss them after the deal closed and they were off to the next transaction.”

Since co-founding Horizon in 2010, Mike has led Horizon’s completion of all of the firm’s M&A transactions — well into the billions of dollars of value — for founder-owned and operated middle market technology companies. Horizon specializes in sell-side M&A, predominantly for bootstrapped product-led growth and other software companies.  In many of the firm’s engagements, Mike and other Horizon professionals have served in a mix of strategic advisory and interim CFO roles before engaging M&A markets on their clients’ behalf, representative of the unique “artisanal M&A” approach that they have pioneered.

Mike developed his orientation to operations-focused, long-term, and hands-on financial advisory while at Hillhouse Capital Advisors, a boutique financial services firm that he founded prior to Horizon. There, he served in deep operational roles – often living on-site for months at a time – at client companies during the financial crisis of 2008-2009.  During this time, he closed multiple industry-changing transactions at a time when few deals were getting done.  He attributes much of this success to the unique level of knowledge, strategic insight, and foresight only gained through feet-on-the-ground operational execution merged with the M&A process.  He credits similar philosophies for helping his team deliver a level of work output and quality that have led to top-of-market transaction multiples in many of his firm’s recent engagements.

Mike holds an MBA from the Yale School of Management, graduating with Distinction in Finance & the Law. He received a B.A. in Finance from the University of Utah where he graduated with highest honors.

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