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30 Innovative Brands of the Year 2023

Gilbert and Pardue Transaction Advisors – An award winning lower & middle-market M&A advisory firm


“M&A representation is our expertise, and staying in our lane has afforded us the bandwidth to deliver world-class results.”

Founded in 2016, Gilbert & Pardue (GaP) is a Houston-based boutique advisory firm serving lower middle and middle market business owners from coast to coast through representation for Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A). GaP works closely with business owners and CEOs to create added value in their businesses and then assists them in converting that value into liquid wealth, primarily through executing a well-designed exit strategy.

Matt Gilbert, Founding partner of Gilbert and Pardue, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review on how his company is revolutionizing the M&A sector.

Interview Highlights

Q. What was the motivation behind starting Gilbert & Pardue Transaction Advisors?

Bret Pardue and I have been business founders and operators throughout our entire careers. Over the span of 30+ years, we created multiple successful organizations that acquired smaller vendors and competitors along the way, matured and eventually were sold to larger buyers. Our first venture together was sold in 1997 to a publicly traded, now Fortune 100 company. After the sale, we separately applied the same found/acquire/build/exit formula to several other businesses, each time with different partners but all achieving the same results of successful exits. Enjoying revenues from $7M in the smallest to over $100M in the largest sale, buyers of these businesses were PE Firms and two large publically traded conglomerates.

Armed with the nagging fact that existing M&A business models weren’t a good fit to serve us, we reunited in 2015 with the goal of forming a transaction advisory firm whose business model was built specifically to serve founder/operators in the important final chapters of their ownership careers—people in situations just like we had been. Having the unique perspective of having been a stakeholder in every seat at the transaction table; this uncommon vantage point provided us the perspective required to see that a new, disruptive business model would better serve the lower and middle market privately held business community in today’s M&A environment. As a result, GaP is staffed differently, employs modified and improved processes, and enjoys industry-leading results – all separating and distinguishing us from peer firms.


Q. Can you explain about your services in brief?

GaP exists to serve business owners and shareholder groups of privately held businesses when they begin to think about the next chapter of their lives. We help business owners plan their exits, evaluate their readiness, prepare them to sell for top dollar before going to market, perform M&A Readiness and Fair Market Value Opinions, eventually walking them through the whole exit process all the way to closing.

Having both sell-side and buy-side advisory teams has elevated the firm to the enviable position of fielding unmatched expertise and experience in-house. To be clear, we are entry/exit specialists. We are remarkably disciplined to not pursue other sources of revenue that may divert attention, talent, or resources away from the mission of buying and selling businesses. M&A representation is our expertise, and staying in our lane has afforded us the bandwidth to deliver world-class results. We are singularly focused, and that has served our clients extremely well.

Q. Mergers and acquisitions work requires lots of rational thinking and research. How do you maintain efficiency in your service?

This is an important question. Our peer group can be split into factions based on observations around efficiency and its impact on results. There is a large group of brokers in our space whose business model is low touch/high volume; their economics are built around the fact that if they spend more than about 80-100 hours with a client, they’re at risk of being unprofitable. Another sizable segment has a rule of thumb that makes 250–300 hours of time in an engagement its threshold of profitability. We don’t think time constraints or focus on the broker’s profitability serve our client’s and their goals well.

One of our firm's founding principles is that our goals must be aligned with our clients' goals, so that we can all succeed by focusing solely on achieving the client’s goals. We have also found that, on average, we’ll have invested over 1400 intercompany hours in a transaction that successfully achieves the seller’s goals. Getting a buyer to write an eight-figure check requires a lot of incredibly detailed effort. It is our philosophy that we will be prepared to defend the valuation and control the process, knowing our client’s business as well as they do in order to maximize our client’s outcome. For us, that means accounting, marketing, analytics, etc. all must be in-house to control the process, leverage the features and benefits, and achieve a successful culmination to the transaction.


Q. There are other major players in the market. How do you diversify yourself?

We haven’t ever concerned ourselves with the other players. Nor do we want to diversify further. Our goal is to continue to nurture our high touch, high performance culture and deliver amazing results to those clients with whom we align well. Staying laser focused on M&A advisory in all its forms has allowed GaP to deliver world class solutions to those clients who understand they need to align with a firm who intimately knows them in order to maximize their one shot at this big moment. We have no intention of diversifying beyond who we currently are and what we currently offer. When we started this firm several accounting and legal professionals told me the clients we serve cannot afford the bespoke service we provide. My answer was that they were focused on the wrong metric. Sellers cannot afford to engage in a process that results in failure to achieve their goals. The mistake is assuming all M&A representation processes lead to the same result; they don’t! An unpublicized metric in our space is that ~80% of business owners who offer their business for sale never close a transaction. Therefore, alignment with the best advisor and correct process should be the focus because that’s where value is found. Focusing on cost is inviting disaster. For comparison, we have closed over 90% of the transactions we’ve been involved in – that high of a closing rate over that many years is unheard of in our industry. We attribute it to our people, our processes, and our discipline to know where we can succeed and where we can’t.

GaP brings entrepreneurial-style disruption to business transaction advisory by utilizing the skills of our amazing team of former business owners, CEOs, CFOs, data analysts, and strategy experts. As a result, the GaP experience, process, and results are unrivalled in lower-middle and middle market representation. Failure is expensive, and our bespoke service has turned out to be a game changer for those who want to go out on top. If you are a business owner or a trusted advisor to business owners, we welcome a conversation about what sets us apart and whether GaP is a strong fit for your situation.

Q. Do you have any new services ready to be launched?

We currently do not as we remain laser-focused on our sell-side and buy-side offerings. Although our processes and programs have been developed over the years, we continually look to refine them in changing times and skittish capital markets. To be direct, all of our resources are pointed at our client’s success, where they should be.

Q. What does the future hold for your company and its customers? Are exciting things on the way?

We are very excited about the way we are scaling our ability to serve a broader segment of the privately held business community. Our geographic reach covers the entire USA, and our team has never been stronger. We continue to win awards for outstanding service, transparency, ethics, deal of the year, most trusted Advisor, value, etc.—our future is bright, and we are thrilled each time we meet a new business owner whose exit goals are achievable through programs and processes we’ve created and honed over the years.

“Our mission is to help business owners of every walk discover the right way to achieve their specific goals and point them in that direction, when authentically applied, this mission coincides beautifully with the results we produce at GaP.”