Middle Market Expertise Across a Wide Spectrum of Industries

Carl Marks Advisors is an investment bank that provides financial and operational advisory services across a wide variety of industries. Middle-market companies engage our firm when they need a collaborative partner to deliver effective and durable solutions in even the most complex situations. Our expertise and proven track record of success, along with the owner-investor mindset we bring to every engagement, ensures that clients get results.

Business Services

Carl Marks Advisors has a unique and proven capability in the business services industry that produces custom solutions for companies that need to grow or improve operations. Our client service teams work to identify and implement strategic improvement programs to drive costs down and revenues up significantly. We have a proven ability to assess the competitive environment and lead strategic growth initiatives that enable business services companies to compete more effectively. For healthy and growing services firms, we offer a full range of transactional services, including mergers & acquisitions advisory, valuations and opinions, strategic alternatives, balance sheet recapitalization and debt and equity capital raising.

Consumer Products

An evolving competitor landscape and changing consumer shopping habits contribute to declining revenue as many consumers, especially the U.S. middle class, are still very wary of spending. Consumer products companies continue to face heightened competition due to the oversaturation of brick and mortar stores and an increasingly globalized online marketplace. In order to compete successfully in this omni-channel environment, companies must be creative in finding ways to blend store-based and online productivity to achieve maximum results.

Carl Marks Advisors’ consumer products experience spans a variety of sectors, including health and beauty, apparel, electronics, home furnishings and housewares. We specialize in solving the toughest challenges for mid-market businesses, creating growth opportunities and maximizing value. We advise companies, as well as their stakeholders, through complex restructuring assignments, strategic acquisitions, buyout opportunities and sell-side processes. Our professionals have the ability to help growing companies and those confronting challenged business models navigate a dynamic and changing industry. We work quickly and efficiently to drive consensus and craft solutions, bringing credibility and objectivity to difficult situations.


Many for-profit and not-for-profit colleges are struggling with lower enrollments and unsustainable operating deficits. For-profit colleges are challenged by low unemployment and increased regulation.  Small not-for-profit colleges face lower enrollments but do not have the endowments to persevere through the cycle. Colleges are increasing discounts to attract more students which exacerbate operating losses. Traditional lenders are looking to exit the sector and non-traditional lenders are slowly entering the sector, bringing a higher cost of capital.

Carl Marks Advisors understands the complex challenges facing post-secondary education providers. Our comprehensive perspective is the product of years of hands-on experience, providing guidance to lenders, investors, administrators and trustees. Our professionals work closely with trustees, administration staff, and school management teams to address strategic positioning, pursue mergers or acquisition opportunities, improve revenues and enrollment, implement programmatic changes, and resolve regulatory and accreditation issues.

Many liberal arts colleges are facing disproportionate financial challenges.

Take a look at the early warnings and see what smaller schools can do before it’s too late.

Energy, Power & Renewables

E&P and oilfield services companies are facing new challenges as the industry continues to recover from a prolonged period of weak commodity prices. Regulatory requirements, price volatility, technological advancement and fluctuating capital market access are altering the complexion of the energy industry and its operations. Companies that remain overleveraged are faced with an immediate need to reduce their operational cost structures and rationalize their asset basses.

Carl Marks Advisors works closely with management and other stakeholders to craft strategic plans and develop bottoms-up capital programs and financial processes that preserve liquidity and optimize value and optionality. We also assist middle market energy companies with capital formation and acquisition and divestiture advisory to support optimization of future growth and sustainability

Our experts understand the entire stream of the oil supply chain, and know how to maximize value for every stakeholder involved, regardless of the industry’s position in the commodity cycle.

Financial Services

As investment bankers and operational advisors, we provide financial services companies with strategic insights and a network of relationships that support growth, even in the most complex situations. Carl Marks Advisors’ integrated client service teams understand the financial and economic challenges faced by companies in this industry and develop and execute solutions for all stakeholders, including M&A advisory, capital raising, balance sheet alternatives and other strategic options.

Grocery & Food Distribution

The last few years have been disruptive for the grocery industry, resulting in a great deal of distress and consolidation. Industry observers expect to see more of the same in the months and years ahead. Product and labor costs, logistics, increasing competition, lack of liquidity needed for store reinvestment, and changing consumer shopping habits sparked by advanced technology have contributed to the mounting pressures on grocery stores and, in some cases, have forced them to consolidate or shutter.

Carl Marks Advisors has deep subject matter expertise and credibility in the grocery industry, gained through multiple engagements with various grocery chains, cooperatives and distribution businesses. Our team understands the changing dynamics and regulatory framework of the industry, and how to swiftly and effectively maximize profitability – whether through improved operating procedures, an acquisition, capital raise or divestiture. We have worked with owners, senior management, lenders and other parties to help identify strategic opportunities to reduce costs and maximize value as well as explore the potential for mergers and acquisitions.


Significant changes to the already troubled healthcare industry are driving strategies to increase scale and lower margins. Evolving regulatory scrutiny, high purchase price/multiples, reimbursement/pricing pressures and the competitive environment can present both challenges and opportunities. Our operating professionals use their direct experience serving as senior executives in leading healthcare organizations to help lenders evaluate a situation, identify key opportunities and risk factors and work with borrowers to improve performance and mitigate risks. Our transactional professionals are adept at assessing and implementing M&A strategies for healthcare companies. Informed by their insights and industry expertise, our integrated teams evaluate the full spectrum of strategic alternatives available to create a blueprint that will maximize recovery.

The growing opioid epidemic has dominated headlines and decimated communities across the country. To meet the challenge, care facilities have proliferated, offering a variety of treatments and therapies. Carl Marks Advisors put together a snapshot of this interesting, growing industry.


Manufacturing in America has declined precipitously over the past decades, due primarily to outsourcing and competition from abroad as well as technological advances in manufacturing and supply chain processes, increasingly complex commodity costs, and tariff revisions.

Carl Marks Advisors’ operations and transactional experts have a long and successful track record helping manufacturers deal with these challenges. We provide our clients a full spectrum of operational and transactional services, including M&A advisory, balance sheet recapitalization, debt and equity capital raising, operational assessment, manufacturing and supply chain process improvement, restructuring and interim management.


A growing competitive landscape, changing consumer tastes, the continued impact of COVID-19, and supply chain / labor challenges are disrupting the restaurant industry. Traditional restaurant operators are evolving to compete with the emergence of off-premises, delivery-oriented, and ghost kitchen models. In order to stay relevant and competitive, restaurant operators are being forced to re-evaluate everything from pricing, staffing models, and vendor relationships to unit layouts, connecting with customers, and longer-term strategic growth plans (or footprint rationalizations) – often times at a cost of substantial capital.

Carl Marks Advisors is well-qualified to assist companies, and their key constituents, in the development of plans that create value in situations that are currently unsustainable. Our wide-ranging experience in the restaurant industry allows us to work with management teams to evaluate unit profitability, improve revenue, reduce costs, and enhance cash flows for reinvestment.

We have a proven track record of working with stakeholders to effectuate balance sheet restructurings, debt conversions and capital raising activity to strengthen the long-term viability of a distressed situation. As well, Carl Marks Advisors is uniquely qualified to run a streamlined M&A processes to maximize value and uncover specialized buyers, producing optimal market prices and terms, and ensuring a successful close.

From national chains to independent operators, we have the experience and team to help restaurant groups navigate their challenges successfully.


A growing competitive landscape and changing consumer shopping habits are disrupting the retail industry. Business models are evolving to align with the industry-wide shift away from bricks and mortar stores toward online storefronts. In order to stay relevant and competitive, retailers are being forced to execute complex omni-channel sales and fulfillment strategies that consume substantial capital.

Carl Marks Advisors is well-qualified to assist companies, and their key constituents, in the development of plans that create value in situations that are currently unsustainable. Our wide-ranging experience in the retail industry allows us to work with management teams to improve revenue, reduce costs, enhance cash flows and create effective marketing programs. We have a proven track record of streamlining M&A processes to maximize value and uncover specialized buyers, producing optimal market prices and terms, and ensuring a successful close.

With proven experience guiding midmarket retail enterprises across the country, Carl Marks Advisors knows how to help retailers weather their most difficult periods, emerge stronger and exceed their goals.

Telecom, Media & Technology

Technology has changed how people communicate, conduct business and navigate everyday interactions. Managing intellectual property and technology assets in an evolving landscape can be challenging. Carl Marks Advisors understands the forces driving change and we know which strategies to implement and technologies to adopt. Our professionals bring the expertise and experience gained from work with global carriers, government organizations, manufacturers, distributors and service providers to manage financial challenges or enhance organizational effectiveness.

We provide strategic, financial and operational advice and support to companies and management teams as well as facilitate capital infusions and M&A transactions. Our roles have included balance sheet restructuring, operational assessment, strategic planning, vendor negotiation and interim management.

Transportation & Logistics

The logistics of moving goods and services remains a challenge in a fragmented and demand-driven transportation industry with its highly complex distribution networks. Many transportation and logistics companies will need to implement significant changes to maximize value and drive profitability. Critical issues driving change include revenue, route engineering and dispatch, driver capacity and availability, increasing labor costs, safety, fleet composition, maintenance, and overhead.

Carl Marks Advisors has deep experience in the transportation and logistics industry. Our client services team leverages this expertise to accurately analyze trends, make recommendations, help stressed companies find the most viable path forward, and identify strategic opportunities for companies focused on growth. Our team of operational, transactional and industry experts work with transportation and logistics company to assess operations, improve performance, solve interim management issues, manage restructurings or bankruptcies, provide M&A advisory services, and repair lender relations.

See the results we have achieved for our clients.