A River City investment-banking firm is heading for the lakeshore.
Matrix Capital Markets Group, headquartered downtown at 11 S. 12th St., is adding a Chicago office. Managing director Michael Morrison said the company made the move to keep up with a merger and acquisition market that is gathering steam.
“There’s a lot of tailwind now for the economy. There are a lot of people who are looking to get out and sell their business,” he said. “Our feeling is that the next five years will be very good for merger and acquisition activity.”
Chicago will be the company’s third location. Matrix also has a Baltimore office, but keeping up with private equity firms and their deals in the Great Lakes region proved difficult from the Atlantic coast.
“You look at the geography of the Midwest – it’s too big, there are too many private equity firms for us to cover from Richmond and Baltimore,” Morrison said.
Matrix specializes in brokering merger and acquisition services and anticipates closing 15 to 25 deals this year, Morrison said. Matrix closed 31 transactions in 2012, a banner year for the firm.
In Chicago, the company lured Andrew Chidester from Amherst Partners. He’ll serve as a managing director in the new office. Morrison said Chidester stood out from about 20 applicants after a nationwide search and was part of the reason the company decided to put the office in Chicago. They had considered other locations, including New York, for a third office.
Matrix Vice President John Underwood, who has been with the company’s Energy and Multi-Site Retail Group for two years, will also work out of the new Midwest office.
Matrix employs about 25 people and hopes to keep branching out.
“In addition to looking at geographies, we’re also looking to add some other skill sets,” Morrison said. “We’d like to add a valuation team if we could, we’re exploring real estate investment banking, so we’re not done.”