Middle Market Expertise Across a Wide Spectrum of Industries


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

Oil and gas pricing is very topical these days. The fundamental issue is a supply and demand imbalance for both oil and gas. Demand has come roaring back with COVID shutdowns mostly behind us. Supply is lagging for several reasons: hydrocarbon exploration, capital discipline, issues with leases, permits, and financing, and the war in Ukraine.

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

While grocery benefited the past couple of years from the COVID crisis, it also required new investments in safety, cleaning, and technologies for curbside pickup, delivery and micro fulfillment centers. As the country emerges from the pandemic, the low margin industry is faced with a number of challenges – some old and some new. Inflation, particularly in proteins, is at 40-year highs. Supply chain disruptions are causing stockouts and transportation expenses are rising due to fuel prices being at all-time highs, plus driver shortages. Labor shortages are driving up wages. These pressures on profit and liquidity, combined with increasing competition, need for store reinvestment, and changing consumer shopping habits, will continue to contribute to the mounting pressures on food manufacturers, distribution and grocery stores.

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.


The global COVID-19 health crisis has put an unprecedented strain on healthcare providers, from organizations directly providing acute care to those offering behavioral, at-home, and long-term care. During the pandemic, these businesses have been designated as critical service providers, and received substantial government financial assistance, allowing them to stay afloat while continuing to fulfill their mission. Now, as the initial wave of financial assistance subsides, difficult adjustments may need to be made to preserve revenue and manage costs.

We help healthcare providers navigate through economic cycles, business challenges, and the impact of regulatory and other changes in the marketplace.


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.


Supply chain complications, persistent labor shortages, and the lingering impact of COVID-19 continue to compress margins and challenge the restaurant industry. At the same time, a growing competitive landscape and changing consumer tastes are forcing traditional restaurant operators to evolve and compete with the emergence of off-premises, delivery-oriented, and ghost kitchen models.

In order to stay relevant and competitive, restaurant operators are re-evaluating everything from pricing, staffing models, and vendor relationships to unit layouts, connecting with customers, and longer-term strategic growth plans (or footprint rationalizations).

Carl Marks Advisors is well-qualified to assist companies and their key constituents in developing 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.

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


Carl Marks Advisors has deep experience working in the retail sector, helping companies capitalize on their strengths and execute strategic plans to innovate, adapt, and overcome these challenges. We understand how to create value for companies and their key constituents, and our retail experts bring a wealth of experience working with management teams to improve revenue, reduce costs, enhance cash flows and create effective marketing programs.

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.

Supply Chain, Transportation & Logistics

For logistics and supply chain executives, the driver shortage is worsened by a variety of global supply chain disruptions, most notably the war in Ukraine and shipping concerns. Most feel the expected disruptions will continue until the second half of 2023 or early 2024. Companies are working aggressively to acquire new drivers and retain the incumbent driver pool, many offering higher pay, including signing and annual bonuses.

While a number of changes have been implemented to mitigate the impact of disruptions – including keeping more inventory, diversifying suppliers and using alternate ports – executives have struggled to manage the cost of these new initiatives.

Carl Marks Advisors has deep experience in the supply chain, transportation and logistics sectors. Our client services team leverages this expertise to analyze trends, make recommendations and help stressed companies find the most viable path forward. Our operational, transactional and industry experts work with management to assess operations, improve performance, fill interim management roles, manage restructurings or bankruptcies, provide M&A advisory services, and repair lender relations.

Carl Marks Advisors is experienced in helping companies maximize the efficiency of their supply chain and overcome logistic challenges.

See the results we have achieved for our clients.

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