Welcome to MS Capital Advisors LTD

MSCA provides investment banking and corporate financial advisory services to lower middle market entrepreneurial companies


Advisory Services

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 small and middle market companies.  Although Mr. Stafford has worked on both large and small transactions during his investment banking years at Bankers Trust, The Bank of New York and Fieldstone Private Capital Group, he has enjoyed and had more of an overall impact working with smaller businesses.  

Mr. Stafford is a specialist in executing complex transactions, deals we affectionately refer to as "Story Paper".  Story Paper deals are complicated corporate financing problems which typically require more attention, time, creativity and perseverance to solve; they also demand a unique ability to articulate the "story" and extensive relationships with investors and lenders.  

Every transaction has unique opportunities and obstacles to manage through: whether it's an industry trend, a capital structure constraint and/or a performance issue, MSCA has the perspective, creativity and patience to structure, articulate and close these more challenging deals. 

Services Provided

  • Capital Structuring – the full spectrum of debt and equity securities
  • M&A Advisory – both buy and sell-side
  • Capital Markets Advisory
  • Corporate Finance Strategy


30 Years + of Investment Banking & Private Equity Experience

  • At both large, international investment banks and boutique investment advisory firms
  • Including Bankers Trust, Fieldstone Private Capital Group, The Bank of New York and now MS Capital Advisors

Exclusive Lower Middle Market Focus

  • Emerging growth companies
  • $15 million or less in EBITDA
  • At least minimally break-even with a clear path to profitability 
  • "Story Paper" Specialist -  ability to manage, structure, articulate and market complex transactions 
  • Executed more than 50 complex transactions

Senior Level Attention

  • At all times, for all services
  • No bait and switch behavior
  • Straight talk
  • Transparent process
  • No investment banking babble
  • Preference to manage client engagements serially, one or two projects at any given time 

Qualifications (cont.)

Broad Industry Experience

  • Financial services 
  • Specialty finance lenders
  • Mortgage banking
  • Transaction processing
  • Media
  • Information technologies and software services
  • Logistics
  • Light industrial manufacturing
  • Energy / independent power 

Extensive Closed Transactions with Private Equity Investors

  • LLR
  • Greenhill Capital Partners
  • Wicks Group
  • McCarthy Capital
  • BV Investment Partners
  • Bexil Corporation
  • Venturain Capital
  • Seacoast Capital
  • Alta Communications
  • Bear Stearns Merchant Banking
  • MCG Capital
  • Cortec Group
  • RFE Partners
  • Kier Group
  • Allied Capital
  • IBJ Whitehall
  • PineBridge Investments (former AIG)
  • Edison Ventures
  • Safeguard International
  • Bechtel Investment
  • Green Mountain Partners
  • Forrest Binkley & Brown
  • McCown De Leeuw
  • Banc One Capital
  • Bank of Montreal
  • Morgan Stanley Capital Partners
  • SG Capital Partners
  • Kenner & Company
  • Amato Family
  • Angelo Gordon
  • Panorama Point Partners
  • Orix 


Mark Stafford

In 2006. Mr. Stafford founded his own firm, MS Capital Advisors Ltd., a boutique investment advisory firm that has specialized in the mortgage banking & specialty finance industries.  Throughout his 30 year career, Mr. Stafford has provided a broad range of advisory services to privately-held, management-owned, emerging growth companies and often to the Private Equity Sponsor firms that own these companies.  Prior to founding MSCA, Mr. Stafford spent approximately 20 years at The Bank of New York (BNY Capital Markets, Inc.), Fieldstone Private Capital Group and Bankers Trust Company (BT Securities Corp.) originating, structuring and executing complex, corporate financial transactions.  

Most recently at The Bank of New York, Mr. Stafford was Managing Director and Head of Private Placements at BNY Capital Markets specializing in M&A engagements and raising private equity and junior debt securities for buyout and growth capital transactions.  

Mr. Stafford has executed more than 50 middle and lower middle market transactions in a variety of industries  across a broad range of transactions including buy and sell-side M&A, debt and equity private placements, fairness opinions and capital markets advisory engagements.

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

Mr. Stafford is also an avid, single-digit handicap golfer and spends most of his free time beating balls at the range, in quest of the perfect golf swing.

Transaction Experience

MS Capital Advisors Transactions Since 2006

Panorama Point Partners.  Acting as consultant to this Omaha, Nebraska - based private equity fund, serving as a member of the investment committe and board member of one of their portfolio companies, Alterra Home Loans

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

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

Mortgage Banking Buy Side Advisor.  Acting as buy-side advisor to Guild Mortgage Company, a privately-held, independent mortgage banking firm, that is actively looking to acquire smaller mortgage banking originators.  Since 2014, MSCA has sourced and advised Guild in the acquisition of Comstock Mortgage, Ameripro Home Loans and Cornerstone Mortgage (pending)

The Revival Group.  Advised a seasoned group of mortgage banking executives led by John Robbins and based in San Diego, in (i) pursuing buy-side advisory efforts in acquiring two privately-held mortgage banking targets and (ii) consulting in the raise of start-up capital for a new mortgage banking firm, Bexil American Mortgage

INTTRA.  Advised management of INTTRA, a Parsippany, New Jersey based e-commerce platform for the ocean freight industry, and orchestrated the selection process of hiring an international investment banking firm to raise approximately $50 million in growth capital and to provide liquidity to shareholders.  MSCA conducted a limited auction process of identifying, interviewing, selecting and negotiating terms with a small group of qualified international investment banks

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

FMS Services Inc.  Advised management and private equity 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 nine months structuring and marketing the growth financing which was ultimately pulled from the market due to unexpected company operating performance and senior management turnover

Transaction Experience (cont.)

Selected Transactions Prior to MS Capital Advisors

Heartland Payment Systems, a Princeton, New Jersey-based credit card transaction processing company, in a recapitalization and issue of $40 million of Series A convertible preferred securities to LLR and Greenhill Capital Partners

Jobson Publishing, a New York City-based medical publishing and marketing services company, in the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, NurseWeek, to Gannet Company

Jobson Publishing, in the sale of the company to The Wicks Group

International Fiber, a Buffalo-based manufacturer of cellulose fiber products, in its leveraged buyout to Safeguard International - $80 million of senior bank, mezzanine and common equity securities

Cybershift, a Parsippany, New Jersey-based time and attendance/workforce management software solutions company, in its $6 million recapitalization and issue of Series C preferred securities to LLR Partners

Dick Clark Productions, a Beverly Hills-based producer of TV awards shows, in a going-private management buy-out and issue of $40 million in senior and subordinated securities

Access Med Holdings, a Kansas City-based drug reimbursement and product launch strategy services company, in the sale of the company to US Oncology, an integrated oncology company

House of Lloyds, a Kansas City based party plan distributor of Christmas and novelty gift items, in the $60 million sale to the Kier Group and issue of senior bank debt and equity securities

Dr. Leonards, a New Jersey-based direct mail marketer of affordable health and personal care products, in the Cortec-sponsored buyout of the company and issue of $10 million in equity securities

Inner City Media Corporation, a New York City-based radio station owner and operator, in the recapitalization of the company and issue of $238.5 million of senior secured financing and participating preferred stock and warrant securities

Stonepath Group, a Philadelphia-based public financial holding company, in its acquisition of Air Plus Limited, a non-asset-based, third party, logistics services company (time definite, rail and ground transportation and distribution solutions)

Epylon Corporation, a San Francisco-based education and government e-procurement software services company in the issue of $50 million Series B preferred stock

SunSurgery Corporation, a Connecticut-based owner and operator of free-standing ambulatory surgery centers, in the $33.5 million sale of the company to McCown De Leeuw & Co. and issue of $20 million in equity securities

Stonepath Group in its issue of $50 million Series C convertible securities

Ganis Credit Corporation, an independent, Orange County, California-based originator of RV and marine loans, in its $30 million recapitalization of the company (senior debt and mezzanine securities)

Crossman Corporation, the world’s leading manufacturer of recreational air guns and accessories based in Bloomfield New York, in the issue of $12 million subordinated debt and preferred stock securities and the sale of the company to Forest Binkley & Brown

Microcom Technologies, a New York City based independent distributor of electronic components, in the issue of growth mezzanine securities to Seacoast Capital

HS Processing, a Pittsburg-based independent intermediate processor of hot-rolled steel coils in the US in the issue of $60.0 million in senior secured bank financing

Crown Pacific, Ltd., a Portland Oregon-based timber owner and manager in the pacific Northwest, in (i) the reorganization and recapitalization of the company and issue of $57.5 million senior secured debt financing, and (ii) the issue of $75.0 million of senior secured acquisition financing in its acquisition of the Gilchrist Timber Company

American Tractebel, the US subsidiary of the Belgium-based industrial company Tractebel S.A. (a large Belgium industrial company) engaged in the development of independent power projects in North America, in its buy-side efforts to acquire independent power developers in the US and overseas

American Tractebel, in the issue of $15.0 million, non-recourse senior bank financing

Contact Us

Contact Us - although, please no employment or internship inquiries

MS Capital Advisors LTD

17 West 70th Street, New York, New York, New York 10023, United States

(212) 496-2624