New Private Investment Banking Firm Hennepin Partners to Focus on Lower Middle Market

Quetico Partners and the Craig-Hallum M&A group join forces to serve underserved lower middle market.

MINNEAPOLIS--()--The partners of two Minneapolis investment banking firms, Quetico Partners and the Craig-Hallum M&A group, have formed a new private investment banking firm. The new firm, Hennepin Partners, will focus on offering financial advisory services to companies valued under $250 million, considered the lower middle market.

In forming Hennepin Partners, which will be based in Minneapolis, the founders intend to address what they see as a gap in the marketplace – serving entrepreneurs, business owners and shareholders of small- and mid-sized private and public companies. The firm’s principals believe clients in the lower middle market deserve the same quality of advice and high level of service as clients in the Fortune 500.

The founders of the new firm include:

Partners of Craig-Hallum M&A group

  • Steve Beck
  • Jamie Frommelt
  • Neil Weinstein

Partners of Quetico Partners

  • Jim Clancy
  • R.B. Kiernat
  • Gary O’Brien

Also joining Hennepin Partners are senior bankers Matthew Fitzmaurice, Kevin Janicki, Jared Rance, and Chad Starman and a number of talented junior bankers all previously with the M&A group of Craig-Hallum and Quetico Partners.

Earlier in their careers, the founders of Hennepin Partners worked together as managing directors and group heads in the Minneapolis office of Lazard Middle Market (LMM). LMM operates within Lazard (NYSE:LAZ), the 170-year-old New York-based public investment banking firm.

Over time, as LMM decided to concentrate on larger clients, the Hennepin Partners founders left to form new business platforms to serve the lower end of the middle market, focusing on companies with enterprise values ranging from $15 million to $250 million. One team left in 2009 to form Quetico Partners and the other left in 2012 to establish the Craig-Hallum M&A group.

The formation of Hennepin Partners represents a unique and exciting opportunity for this group to reunite – and work together again to serve a market that they all passionately believe in.

“We have all been very fortunate over our careers,” said the founders, “The opportunity to create Hennepin Partners was one of those rare situations to build on great momentum for all of us – and our desire to work together as a team once again. We’re excited about combining the experience, skills and thinking of two successful groups to offer an unparalleled experience for clients and buyers in the lower middle market.”

The Hennepin Partners bankers have facilitated more than 250 deals between them with clients located worldwide.

The firm’s founding partners and senior bankers have provided financial advisory services to clients in a wide range of industries, including: industrial products and manufacturing, business and industrial services, consumer, food, direct marketing/e-commerce, distribution, energy, financial services, healthcare, retail, SaaS, software, technology and tech-enabled services.

About Hennepin Partners
Hennepin Partners is a Minneapolis-based private investment banking firm that serves the needs of the lower middle market (companies valued under $250 million). Hennepin Partners provides merger and acquisition services, private placements, and strategic advice to entrepreneurs, private equity groups, and corporations. The firm serves clients nationwide in a broad range of industries. The firm is a member of FINRA/SIPC. To learn more, visit


Pocket Hercules
Stephen Dupont, 612-435-8315

Release Summary

Two investment banking firms, Quetico Partners and the Craig-Hallum M&A group, have formed a new private investment banking called Hennepin Partners.


Pocket Hercules
Stephen Dupont, 612-435-8315