7 Top M&A Consultants for Hire in 2024

During the 20 years of leading my M&A advisory and valuation firm, I’ve seen firsthand the impact an exceptional M&A consultant can make.

They smooth out your transactions, help you make the best financial decisions, and lift a huge burden off your shoulders.

To help you find an exceptional consultant, I’ve put together this list of the top 7 M&A professionals in 2024, including myself.

Each of us specializes in a niche, so whatever your needs, you’ll find someone who can meet them.

→ If you’re looking for top M&A advisory firms, please check out our other guide: 7 Top M&A Advisory Firms in the US in 2024 

What to Look For When You Hire an M&A Consultant 

Here are the key factors to consider to find an exceptional M&A consultant:



Experience & Expertise

Experience and expertise are crucial indicators of a consultant’s ability to navigate the complexities of M&A.

An experienced consultant knows how to manage the complex M&A process and can spot problems before they escalate. 

Always check how many years he has worked in M&A.


A consultant who specializes in your particular industry will be deeply familiar with the unique challenges and opportunities within that field.

They will have a nuanced understanding of the following:

  • Relevant market dynamics
  • Regulatory environments 
  • Competitive landscapes 

These are all key for advising on and managing successful mergers.

Check for past work and clients in your particular sector to gauge their specialization.

Reputation & Credibility

The reputation and credibility of a consultant are key signs of their reliability and the quality of their work.

Check testimonials from past customers or ask for references. 

Customer Service & Support

Excellent customer service and support are critical in an M&A process.

Your consultant should promptly answer all your concerns. 

They should also offer ongoing support after the deal, as issues may arise later. 

Make sure to check if the consultant can defend the M&A valuations in court if needed—this is an important benefit I offer.

In this article, I’ll go into how my team and I at Eton Venture Services excels in these areas.

I’ll also introduce you to six other M&A consultants, each excelling in their specialization areas. 

7 Top M&A Consultants For Hire in 2024

Here are the top 7 top M&A consultants I recommend from my decades of experience in the industry:

  1. Chris Walton (that’s me!) 
  2. Bindi Patel 
  3. Don Keysser
  4. Yasmin Atefi 
  5. Christine Chen 
  6. Jack Simonian
  7. Michael Gravel 

And here’s a summary table at a glance: 


Years of Experience

Company & Title

M&A Specialization

Based in

Chris Walton


President & CEO at Eton Venture Services

Private equity firms, investors, and high-net-worth Individuals  

Austin, TX

Bindi Patel


Senior Associate at Piedmont M&A Advisors

Small to mid-sized businesses 

Atlanta, GA

Don Keysser


Managing Principal at Hannover Ltd

Tech-focused small to medium-sized private companies

Minneapolis, MN

Yasmin Atefi


Vice President at AEC Advisors

Transportation, manufacturing, and professional business services sectors

New York City, NY

Christine Chen


Senior Consultant at La Piana Consulting

Nonprofit sector

New York, NY

Jack Simonian


Managing Principal at Blackcastle Partners

Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Sector 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Michael Gravel


Founder and Managing Partner at iMerge Advisors

Small & Midcap Software & Technology Sector 

Greater Seattle Area

Below, I’ll explain why I recommend them.

1. Chris Walton – Best M&A Consultant for Private Equity Firms, Investors & High-Net-Worth Individuals 

Name: Chris Walton

Company: Eton Venture Services

Title: President & CEO

Years of Experience: 20+

M&A Specialization: Private equity firms, investors, and high-net-worth individuals

Based in: Austin, TX


As a former Gunderson lawyer, I co-founded my M&A advisory and valuation firm, Eton, back in 2010. 

Since then, I’ve helped over 1000+ private equity firms, investors, and high-net-worth individuals with both sales and acquisitions, and all the advisory support and valuations needed in between.

I specifically work with companies with revenues between $5M and $150M.

My philosophy since day 1 is to provide audit-proof, robust, and prompt valuation support, tailored to the complexities of M&A transactions, while eliminating the tedious back-and-forth often encountered with other firms.

When I take on a client, I ensure I fully understand your business, consider all financial data and factors, and provide defensible opinions of value using appropriate valuation methods.

Client service is my creed, and I make sure that every client is thoroughly supported before, during, and after M&A transactions. Anything you need, I’m always one call or email away! 📩

I’m also very proud of the global team we’ve put together at Eton. They’re all Big-4-trained CFAs, who are not just experts in their field but also share our ethos of unparalleled client service.

Here’s what our past clients have to say about us:

→ For more testimonials, you can check out this page. ←

So, how do I stack up against the four key factors I mentioned above? 

Experience & Expertise

I have 20+ years of professional experience and provide high-quality audit-defensible valuations and advisory engagements in a timely manner.


I specialize in valuation services for companies with revenues between $5M and $150M, with a focus on industries like technology, finance, and legal. 

Reputation & Credibility

Some of my past clients include: Dutchie, Cedar, Healthcare Highways, Inc., Spring Health, Joby Aviation, Guru Technologies, Handle Financial, Inxeption, Mudflap, Definitive Intelligence, Vestaboard, The Again Co., Oklo, Substack, Northwoods Capital Management.

Feel free to check out their testimonials here.

Customer Service & Support

I offer ongoing support even after our work is done and can defend M&A valuations in court if necessary. 

This ensures that you get great service throughout and beyond the transaction process.

And here’s how I can help you:

Range of M&A Advisory Services 

Whether you need to value your intangible assets or need advice on deals, I’m here to help. 

Below are the range of services we offer at Eton:

Pre-Deal M&A Valuation Analysis

Assess target companies, divisions, or assets to help determine appropriate bidding prices, negotiation strategies, and optimal structures while identifying potential risks and synergies.

Evaluate the sustainability and quality of a target company’s earnings, providing insights into its financial health and potential for future growth.

Perform fair value assessments of tangible and intangible assets acquired in a business combination, ensuring compliance with financial reporting standards.

Assist clients in conducting annual goodwill impairment tests to determine if any write-downs are required, adhering to relevant accounting standards.

Appraise intellectual property assets, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights, licenses, and customer lists, which are critical components of many M&A transactions.

Provide independent fairness opinions to boards of directors, ensuring that proposed transactions are fair to shareholders from a financial perspective.

Offer guidance and support throughout the M&A process, from due diligence and deal negotiation to closing and post-transaction integration, addressing both financial and strategic aspects.

Provide expert valuation and financial analysis services for M&A-related litigation, including purchase price disputes, earnout disputes, and breach of contract claims.

At Eton, my team and I can deliver M&A valuation reports and advisory within 10 days.

Provided we have all the necessary documents and data, we can even complete it in as short as 1 day (at an extra fee).

Connect with me on LinkedIn here, or reach out to me for your M&A advisory needs. 

🎉 Fun Fact: I spent nearly seven years of my life working in Southern Japan and I can speak Japanese!

2. Bindi Patel – Best M&A Consultant for Small to Mid-sized Firms

Name: Bindi Patel

Company: Piedmont M&A Advisors

Title: Senior Associate

Years of Experience: 20+

M&A Specialization: Small to mid-sized businesses 

Based in: Atlanta, GA


Bindi Patel is a key consultant at Piedmont M&A Advisors, bringing over 20 years of experience from her hometown of Atlanta, GA. 

As a Senior Associate, she advises small to mid-sized firms on purchasing, selling, and financing businesses.

Bindi counsels on both domestic and international transactions, with clients across the public and private sectors including: 

  • Multilateral development banks
  • United Nations
  • World Bank
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • The Coca-Cola Company

Her expertise extends to ESG consulting, covering topics such as:

  • NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act)
  • CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act)
  • Public Health
  • Historic Preservation
  • Economic and Global Development
  • Renewable Energy and Climate Change
  • Social Impact
  • International Development

🎉 Fun Fact: Bindi is an avid traveler and has lived in various cities worldwide. 

3. Don Keysser – Best M&A Consultant for Small-Medium Private Tech Companies

Name: Don Keysser

Company: Hannover Ltd

Title: Managing Principal

Years of Experience: 35+

M&A Specialization: Small-medium size privately held tech companies

Based in: Minneapolis, MN


Don Keysser is the managing principal at Hannover Ltd with over 40 years of experience across:

  • M&A
  • Business finance consulting
  • Investment banking
  • Financial analysis
  • Economic development

Throughout his M&A career, he has managed over 2.5 billion dollars in financing and led project teams for both domestic and international projects. 

He has also secured financing for over 250 projects and is a published author of journal articles. 

Additionally, he teaches MBA-level courses in financial management, capital markets, global finance, and corporate finance.

He is associated with multiple professional associations including:

  • VR Business Brokers
  • Silicon Prairie investment bankers
  • Alliance of Merger & Acquisition Advisors
  • Association for Corporate Growth

🎉 Fun Fact: Don teaches MBA classes at Saint Mary’s University and he’s a Senior Lecturer at Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

4. Yasmin Atefi – Best M&A Consultant for Transportation, Manufacturing, & Professional Business Services Sectors

Name: Yasmin Atefi

Company: AEC Advisors

Title: Vice President

Years of Experience: 10+

M&A Specialization: Transportation, manufacturing, and professional business services sectors

Based in: New York, NY


Yasmin Atefi is the Vice President at AEC Advisors and is based in New York City.

At AEC, Yasmin focuses on mergers & acquisitions, private equity transactions, and corporate finance consulting.

She has an impressive previous experience in investment banking at Goldman Sachs as well as JP Morgan Chase. There, she worked in a variety of verticals including:

  • Transportation
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional business services

She is a mechanical engineer by education and has worked at GE Aviation on the assembly and test of military helicopter engines.

🎉 Fun Fact: Yasmin’s interests include skiing, hiking, and NYC Pizza.

5. Christine Chen – Best M&A Consultant for the Non-Profit Sector

Name: Christine Chen

Company: La Piana Consulting

Title: Senior Consultant

Years of Experience: 20

M&A Specialization: Nonprofit sector

Based in: New York, NY


Christine Chen is a Senior M&A consultant specializing in the nonprofit sector, bringing over 20 years of experience, including 12 in senior leadership roles. 

She has expertly guided nonprofits through major organizational changes and crises, such as leading STREB Inc. through the pandemic and American Repertory Ballet through a major artistic director change and the 2009 recession.

Christine excels in quantitative data analysis, business strategy, and execution, combining these skills with an adaptive and creative approach to tackling seemingly impossible challenges. 

Her commitment to creating positive impact and value is evident in her work with diverse organizations striving for a more just and equitable world.

Christine approaches each project with empathy, humility, and respect, making her an invaluable asset in the nonprofit M&A landscape.

🎉 Fun Fact: Christine enjoys spending time outdoors — hiking, biking, swimming in open waters, or simply chopping and stacking wood.

6. Jack Simonian – Best M&A Consultant in the Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) Sector

Name: Jack Simonian

Company: Blackcastle Partners

Title: Managing Principal

Years of Experience: 13+

M&A Specialization: Revenue between $1Mn and $50Mn in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states

Based in: Las Vegas, Nevada


Jack Simonian specializes in M&A advisory services in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering, and Construction) industry. 

He represents privately-held US and Canadian companies with revenues between $2 million to $100 million.

As the leader of Blackcastle Partners, Jack manages both sell-side and buy-side engagements, providing end-to-end services including sourcing, engaging, developing, and executing M&A opportunities.

Before his M&A career, Jack worked as an architect on large-scale commercial projects for one of the world’s largest retail property developers. 

His deep industry knowledge and diversified skill set form a strong foundation for his current role, allowing him to offer valuable expertise to his clients.

🎉 Fun Fact: Jack is fluent in four languages.

7. Michael Gravel – Best M&A Consultant for the Small & Midcap Software & Technology Sector

Name: Michael Gravel

Company: iMerge Advisors

Title: Founder and Managing Partner

Years of Experience: 30

M&A Specialization: Revenue between $1Mn and $50Mn in the mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states

Based in: Greater Seattle Area


Michael Gravel brings nearly 30 years of senior-level executive operations, fundraising, private equity, venture capital, M&A, and investment banking experience within the technology sector. 

Prior to founding iMerge, Michael held senior executive positions at financial software technology firms where he managed and integrated several acquisitions, such as:

  • Bankers Systems
  • Sungard International
  • PCi Corporation
  • Logica

Over the past 25 years, he has successfully executed more than 125 transactions in the small to mid-size software and technology sector, totaling over $1 billion in value. 

His deep industry knowledge and dedication to his clients have cemented his position as a trusted advisor in the tech M&A landscape.

Beyond his professional achievements, Michael is actively engaged in several charitable organizations.

🎉 Fun Fact: Michael was awarded the biggest honor of the Big Brother/Big Sister program: Big Brother of the Year.

M&A Consultants for Hire – FAQs

Have more questions about M&A consultants? I answered them below:

What does a M&A consultant do?

An M&A consultant provides expert advice and guidance throughout the process of mergers and acquisitions.

Their responsibilities include:

  • conducting thorough market analysis
  • valuating businesses
  • identifying potential targets or buyers
  • developing strategic plans for negotiation

They manage due diligence, ensuring all financial, legal, and operational aspects are meticulously reviewed.

M&A consultants also facilitate communication between parties, mitigate risks, and help structure the deal to achieve the best possible outcome for their clients.

Their goal is to ensure a smooth transaction that aligns with their client’s strategic objectives.

An M&A advisor can provide invaluable expertise, reduce risks, and streamline the complex process of mergers and acquisitions.

Consider the following checklist to decide if you need an advisor:

  • Lack of M&A experience
  • Need for accurate business valuation
  • Complexity of the transaction
  • High stakes and potential risks
  • Requirement for strategic negotiation
  • Need for market analysis and insights
  • Desire to maximize deal value and success

I talked about the four factors you should look for in an exceptional M&A consultant at the beginning of the article.

But here’s a gist of what you should look for:

  • Experience: Look for advisors with a proven track record in your industry and M&A transactions.
  • Expertise: Ensure they have deep knowledge of the market, financial analysis, and strategic planning.
  • Reputation: Check references, reviews, and past client testimonials.
  • Network: Consider their connections and relationships within the industry.
  • Communication: Ensure they communicate clearly and keep you informed throughout the process.
  • Compatibility: Choose someone whose approach aligns with your business goals and values.
  • Due Diligence: Verify their credentials, past successes, and professional background.
get in touch

Let's talk.

Schedule a free consultation meeting to discuss your M&A or valuation needs. 

President & CEO

Chris co-founded Eton Venture Services in 2010 to provide mission-critical valuations to venture-based companies. He works closely with each client’s leadership team, board of directors, internal / external counsel, and independent auditor to develop detailed financial models and create accurate, audit-proof valuations.

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