Investment Banking and Corporate Financial Advisory Services

Focusing on Small and Medium-Sized Businesses

Investment Bankers to Lower & Middle Market Companies

MS Capital Advisors Ltd. is a private investment banking and corporate financial advisory firm committed to providing discreet, trusted advice and transactional services across a broad range of industries and situations.

Mark Stafford founded MSCA in 2006, intending to impart high quality, “Big Firm” execution and services to the small and middle market universe of companies.

Services

We offer the following services for small to mid-sized companies:

  • Capital Structuring (Full Spectrum of Debt and Equity Securities)

  • Merger and Acquisition Advisory (Buy and Sell)

  • Capital Markets Advisory

  • Corporate Finance Strategy

Qualifications 35 Years of Investment Banking and Private Equity Experience

Our founder, Mark Stafford, has worked in large, international investment banks and boutique investment advisory firms prior to the establishment of the firm, including:

  • Bankers Trust

  • Fieldstone Private Capital Group, Inc.

  • The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

Exclusive Focus on Lower - Middle Market Companies

Typically, we work with emerging growth companies with $15 million or less in EBITDA. We do not specialize in venture transactions - companies must be operating at break even or have a clear path to profitability. As a “Story Paper” specialist, we have a unique ability to manage, structure, articulate and market complex transactions (where industry, company and/or capital structure issues requires thoughtful, creative communication) and have successfully executed more than 50 of these transactions.

Senior Level Attention

Mark Stafford performs 100% of his time and effort for each engagement. There is no bait & switch behavior. We run a transparent process, provide honest feedback and try to avoid investment banking babble. We prefer to work on assignments serially which is unique to and generally unheard of in the investment banking community.

Diverse Industries We Serve

  • Financial Services

  • Specialty Finance or Non-Bank Lending

  • Mortgage Banking

  • Transaction Processing

  • Media

  • Information Technology and Software Services

  • Logistics

  • Light Industrial Manufacturing

  • Energy and Independent Power

Private Equity Investors With Extensive Transactions We’ve Handled

  • LLR Partners Inc.

  • Greenhill Capital Partners, LLC

  • The Wicks Group of Companies, LLC

  • McCarthy Capital

  • BV Investment Partners

  • Bexil Corporation

  • Venturain Capital

  • Seacoast Capital

  • Alta Communications

  • Irving Place Capital

  • MCG Capital Corporation

  • Cortec Group

  • RFE Investment Partners

  • Kier Group

  • Allied Capital

  • IBJ Whitehall Bank & Trust Company

  • PineBridge Investments

  • Edison Ventures Management, LLC

  • Safeguard Global

  • Bechtel Enterprises

  • Green Mountain Partners for Health

  • Forrest Binkley & Brown

  • McCown De Leeuw & Co.

  • Banc One Capital

  • Bank of Montreal

  • Morgan Stanley Capital Partners

  • SG Capital Partners

  • Kenner & Company

  • Amato Family

  • Angelo Gordon

  • Panorama Point Partners

  • ORIX

About the Founder

MS Capital Advisors was founded by Mark Stafford, who today spends most of his time specializing in financial services / mortgage banking industries. He provides high-quality, “Big-Firm” execution to small and middle-market companies. He has worked on a wide range of transactions during his 20 years at Bankers Trust, The Bank of New York, and Fieldstone Private Capital Group, however, Mr. Stafford has enjoyed and had more impact working with small to medium-sized businesses.

He is a specialist in executing complex deals, which he affectionately refers to as “Story Paper” transactions: deals that may have complicated corporate financing issues, that require more attention, time, creativity, and perseverance to solve. It also demands a unique ability to articulate the “story” to a broad range of lenders and/or equity capital providers.

Education

Mr. Stafford graduated from Philips Exeter Academy. He holds a B.A. from Denison University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.

Experience

Throughout his 35 year investment banking career, Mr. Stafford has provided a broad range of advisory services to emerging growth, privately held, management-owned companies and the Private Equity Sponsor firms that own these businesses.

Mr. Stafford’s last "institutional" job was at The Bank of New York. He was a managing director and head of private placements of BNY Capital Markets, Inc.where he specialized in merger and acquisition engagements and raising private equity and junior debt securities for buyouts and growth capital transactions.

Throughout his career, he has executed more than 50 lower to middle-market transactions in a variety of industries. Transactions included buy and sell-side M&A, debt and equity private placements, fairness opinions, and capital markets advisory engagements.

Golf Obsession

Mr. Stafford is fortunate enough to be an avid, single-digit handicap golfer who spends most of his free time beating balls at the range, in quest of achieving the perfect golf swing.

Sample Transactions Prior to MS Capital Advisors LTD

Heartland Payment Systems

This credit card transaction processing company in Princeton, NJ was assisted by Mark Stafford in their recapitalization and issues of $40 million worth of a series of convertible preferred stocks to LLR Partners Inc. and Greenhill Capital Partners, LLC.

Jobson Publishing

Mr. Stafford also assisted a medical publishing and marketing company in New York City to sell its wholly owned subsidiary, NurseWeek, to Gannet Company. Aside from that, he also helped them in selling their business entity to The Wicks Group of Companies, LLC.

International Fiber Systems Corporation

To have a successful leveraged buyout to Safeguard International, this Buffalo-based manufacturer of cellulose fiber products reached out to Mr. Stafford. He has helped them in managing their $80 million worth of senior, mezzanine, and common equity securities.

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MS Capital Advisors LTD’s Transaction Experiences

Panorama Point Partners

Mr. Stafford has had unique relationship with this Omaha based private equity fund. He has worked with the founder, Stephen George, since their days as colleagues at Bankers Trust. Mr. Stafford has served as a consultant, deal advisor and/or Board member to several Panorama portfolio companies including Alterra Home Loans, Vantage Point Title, and Panorama Insurance Group.

Midwest Medical Transport

Our firm advised Panorama Point Partners in the buyout of Midwest Medical Transport Co., the largest private air and ground transportation company in Nebraska.

Merchants Capital Access

We advised the Board of Merchants Capital Access, a privately held merchant cash advance provider in the exclusive sale of this New York-based company to Angelo Gordon.

Guild Mortgage Company

Our firm advised the owner and management of this San Diego-based, privately held independent mortgage banking firm and loan servicer in its sale to a Midwest private equity sponsor, McCarthy Capital. We conducted a limited and controlled auction during the 2007 home mortgage crisis and sold this business for a significant premium to its net book value.

Mr. Stafford also acted as a buy-side advisor to Guild in their quest to acquire smaller mortgage banking originators. Since 2014, we sourced and advised Guild in the acquisition of several independent mortgage companies including Comstock Mortgage, AmeriPro Home Loans, and Cornerstone Mortgage Inc.

Revival was a seasoned group of mortgage banking executives led by John Robbins. We advised the team in acquiring two privately-owned mortgage banking firms that did not close. We also consulted in the search of start-up capital for their new mortgage banking firm, Bexil American Mortgage Inc.

We advised the management of INTTRA—an e-commerce platform in Parsippany, NJ serving the ocean freight industry. We orchestrated the selection process of identifying, interviewing, selecting, negotiating terms and eventually hiring of an international investment banking firm to raise approximately $50 million in capital growth and provide some liquidity to their shareholders.

We advised management and shareholders of FMS Services, Inc., a Schaumburg, Illinois based student loan debt collection services company, in raising approximately $6 million in junior growth capital. FMS was awarded a 10 year contract with the U.S. Department of Education which tripled their collection volume. MSCA spent 9 months structuring and marketing the growth financing which was ultimately unsuccessful due to poor company operating performance and senior management turnover.

Contact Us

For more additional about our financial advisory services, reach out to us today. Please note that we will not accommodate requests or inquiries regarding employment opportunities or internship programs.