William Blair expands financial sponsor offering with private capital advisory.

Custar Mike William Blair, Industry Today
Mike Custar

CHICAGO, NEW YORK – William Blair, the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management, today announced the launch of its Private Capital Advisory practice. The practice expands William Blair’s robust financial sponsor advisory platform to provide financial sponsor clients with highly relevant and differentiated strategic advice and offer them fund placement, direct equity capital-raising (directs and co-invests), and secondary solutions on a global basis.

Veteran secondaries adviser Mike Custar joins the firm as a managing director, head of Private Capital Advisory in New York to lead the practice. Custer will be joined by Quinn Kolberg and a team of secondaries experts who will be responsible for GP-led secondaries. The Private Capital Advisory team will work alongside William Blair’s global team of 25 financial sponsor coverage and advisory professionals and more than 550 sector- and product-focused bankers.

“William Blair’s deep sector knowledge, execution excellence, buyer and investor relationships, and extensive global reach delivers a valuable platform to financial sponsors. The addition of Private Capital Advisory enables us to provide financial sponsors with holistic solutions tailored to their unique needs and address all stages of the private equity lifecycle,” said Brandon Lower, head of Financial Sponsors Group at William Blair. “Mike and Quinn share our vision of being the most trusted advisor and partner to private equity firms and the management teams at their portfolio companies. We are excited to have them join our world-class team.”

Custar brings more than 26 years of industry experience to the firm. Most recently, he was a partner at M2O Private Fund Advisors in New York, where he was head of the secondary advisory business and responsible for secondary advisory, primary and secondary origination, and select distribution. Before M2O, he was a managing director in the Private Funds Group at Credit Suisse, where he was the global head of secondary advisory and a senior member of the origination committee and project management and due diligence teams. Before that, Custar was a director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where he assisted private equity GPs in evaluating acquisition targets. Custar received his B.S. from the University of Illinois.

Kolberg joins as a director in New York and brings over seven years of industry experience. He joins the firm from M2O Private Fund Advisors, where he most recently served as a principal focused on executing GP-led secondaries. In 2021, Kolberg was selected as a Next Gen Leader of Secondaries by Private Equity International. Kolberg received his B.A. in economics from Amherst College.

“I’m thrilled to join William Blair,” said Custar. “The opportunity to collaborate on and develop a full suite of private capital advisory solutions with a world-class firm like William Blair is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I look forward to fully integrating into the firm to develop solutions that address our clients’ private capital needs.”

About William Blair Investment Banking
William Blair’s investment banking group enables corporations, financial sponsors, and owner/entrepreneurs around the world to achieve their growth, liquidity, and financing objectives. Drawing on the collective intellectual capital and deep sector expertise of a global team that reaches over 20 cities on four continents, the investment banking group brings a rigorous and innovative approach to corporate board advisory projects, mergers and acquisitions, and equity and debt financing. From 2017 to 2021, the team advised on more than $680 billion in completed transaction volume.

About William Blair
William Blair is the premier global boutique with expertise in investment banking, investment management, and private wealth management. We provide advisory services, strategies, and solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs. As an independent and employee-owned firm, together with our strategic partners, we operate in more than 20 offices worldwide.*

*Includes strategic partnerships with Allier Capital, BDA Partners, and Poalim Capital Markets.

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