Houlihan Lokey

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Houlihan Lokey, Inc.
Traded as NYSEHLI
Industry Investment banking
Founded 1972; 45 years ago (1972)
Headquarters Constellation Place
Los Angeles, California, United States
Key people
Irwin Gold (Executive Chairman)
Scott Beiser (CEO)
Scott Adelson (Co-President)
David Preiser (Co-President)
Products Financial Services
Investment Banking
Number of employees
1,161 (Feb. 2017)
Website www.hl.com
Constellation Place, the global headquarters of the firm

Houlihan Lokey, Inc., is an independent, advisory-focused, global investment bank. Houlihan Lokey was founded in 1972 and is headquartered at Constellation Place in Century City, Los Angeles, California.[1] The firm advises large public and closely held companies as well as institutions and governments.[2] Its main service lines include mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, restructuring and distressed M&A, fairness opinions, valuations, and strategic consulting. As of early 2017, Houlihan Lokey employed more than 1,161 employees worldwide.[3]

In 2016, Houlihan Lokey was named the No. 1 M&A Advisor for All U.S. Transactions, the No. 1 Global Investment Banking Restructuring Advisor, and a Top 10 Most Active Global M&A Advisor by Thomson Reuters.[3] In 2015, Houlihan Lokey was named the No. 1 M&A Advisor for all U.S. transactions, the No. 1 Global M&A Fairness Opinion Advisor, and the No. 1 Global Investment Banking Restructuring Advisor by Thomson Reuters.[3] The firm was also named the Best Bank to Work For the last four years by Vault.com, obtaining first place in over half of the categories including Employee Satisfaction, Compensation and Selectivity.[4]



Houlihan Lokey was founded in Los Angeles in 1972 as a provider of general business advisory services to privately held companies. The 1974 passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act launched the firm’s valuation business by creating demand for independent valuations of private businesses, particularly those that had formed employee stock ownership programs.


In 1986, Kenneth T. Friedman founded and became President of Houlihan Lokey's investment banking broker-dealer to provide corporate finance services, including M&A advisory services and procuring debt and equity financing. Friedman formed the investment bank to provide Wall Street-level expertise to the expanding investment banking demands of the middle market. By 1987, many of the highly leveraged transactions completed earlier in the decade were starting to exhibit signs of financial distress. Accordingly, a market was developing for financial restructuring advisory services. To position itself to serve this burgeoning market, the investment banking broker-dealer purchased Cheviot Capital Corporation in 1987 and, led by Jeff Werbalowsky and Irwin Gold, began assembling what would become an active, dominant, worldwide financial restructuring group.

With the surge of mergers, acquisitions, and leveraged buyouts, Wall Street’s large investment banking firms began calling on Houlihan Lokey for independent valuation expertise in fairness, solvency, and employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) opinions. The firm advised on transactions valued at more than $100 billion during this period. The firm also started to offer estate planning valuation services. In addition, the firm opened several offices in the 1980s in New York City, San Francisco, and Chicago.


Houlihan Lokey opened eight offices across the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s as it expanded. In 1995, to grow its information services division, Houlihan Lokey acquired Mergerstat, a publishing company with a 30-year history in analytical M&A research, from Merrill Lynch.


In 2001, Houlihan Lokey launched its first non-U.S. office by expanding into London. It also expanded its industry group platform and private equity coverage program in keeping with investment banking trends.

In 2002, Houlihan Lokey advised the official creditors committees in three large bankruptcies: WorldCom, Enron, and Conseco.

In 2005, the firm opened a Paris office.

In 2006, the firm opened a Frankfurt office. Also in 2006, Houlihan Lokey agreed to merge with ORIX USA, the U.S. corporate lending operations of ORIX Corp. of Japan, to address the growing international demand for middle-market investment banking services.

In 2007, Houlihan Lokey expanded into Asia, opening offices in Hong Kong and Tokyo. Within the next three years, the firm also opened an office in Beijing.

In 2008, Houlihan Lokey advised the creditors of Lehman Brothers.[5]


In 2010, Houlihan Lokey bought a sizable minority stake in Avista Advisory Group, a then decade-old advisory group. This gave the firm offices in both Mumbai and Singapore.[6]

In 2013, Houlihan Lokey expanded its Financial Institutions Group through the acquisition of Milestone Advisors.[7] The firm also launched the Illiquid Financial Assets Practice to advise on the sales of assets such as stakes in loan pools, life settlements, minority positions, pharmaceutical royalties, and operating leases.[8]

In 2014, Houlihan Lokey strengthened its capabilities and coverage for clients across the technology sector with the acquisition of ArchPoint Partners.[9]

In 2015, Houlihan Lokey acquired management consulting firm Bridge Strategy Group,[10] digital media and entertainment focused investment bank MESA Securities,[11] London-based consumer-focused firm McQueen Ltd.,[12] and operations of the Continental European investment bank Leonardo & Co.[13] Also in 2015, Houlihan Lokey acquired the investment banking operations of Leonardo & Co. NV in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, and became a minority partner in a joint venture with the management team of Leonardo in respect to Leonardo’s investment banking operations in Italy. This gave the firm offices in both Rome and Milan.[14] On August 13, 2015, Houlihan Lokey completed its initial public offering, beginning trading as HLI on the NYSE.[15]

In January 2017, Houlihan Lokey acquired Black Stone IP, a leader in Tech+IP advisory work.[16]


Financial restructuring[edit]

The financial restructuring team has nearly 180 professionals worldwide and every assignment is staffed with professionals who facilitate the completion of due diligence and analysis. In the past years, Houlihan Lokey has advised several extremely complicated deals. During this period the firm advised on almost 1000 restructuring transactions (including 12 of the 15 largest bankruptcy cases), special situations or distressed M&A, with aggregate debt claims in excess of $1.5 trillion, including cases such as Lehman Brothers, WorldCom, Enron, General Motors and CIT Group.

Corporate finance[edit]

Corporate finance is best known for offering mergers & acquisitions and capital markets advisory services. The firm has advised public and private institutions on buy-side and sell-side transactions as well as leveraged loans, private mezzanine debt, and high-yield debt, IPOs, follow-ons, convertibles, PIPEs, private equity, and liability management transactions. The company has also developed an expertise in advising financial sponsors on all types of transactions, effectively creating one of the largest financial sponsors groups on Wall Street.

Financial advisory services[edit]

This division offers opinion services, transaction & valuation reporting services, real estate valuation & advisory, portfolio valuation and financial consulting to company owners, managers and special committees in their interactions with auditors and regulators.

Strategic consulting[edit]

This division helps clients learn their options for delivering greater shareholder value, identify and capitalize on opportunities outside of traditional business models, find operating efficiencies and accelerate profitable growth, and uncover possible strategic alliances that enhance go-to-market strategies.


Houlihan Lokey has won the Best Investment Banking Firm Award several times over the past few years. The firm has led Mergers & Acquisitions Journal’s annual M&A fairness opinion advisory rankings for the past seven years. It was named International Financing Review's European Restructuring House.[17]

Here is a brief list of the 2013 awards and recognitions won by Houlihan Lokey:[18]

• No. 1 Global Restructuring Advisor — Thomson Reuters

• No. 1 U.S. M&A Fairness Opinion Advisor Over the Past 10 Years — Thomson Reuters

• No. 1 M&A Advisor for U.S. Transactions Under $3 Billion — Thomson Reuters

• Restructuring Advisor of the Year — International Financing Review (IFR)

• Best Loan Restructuring House — EuroWeek

• European Restructuring House of the Year — Financial News

• Dealmaker of the Year: BTA Bank $11.1 Billion Restructuring — Finance Monthly

• Cross-Border Dealmaker of the Year for Eurodrip — Acquisition International's 2013 M&A Awards

• Restructuring Winner Europe for eircomThe Banker's Deals of the Year 2013

• Restructuring Winner Africa for AfrisamThe Banker's Deals of the Year 2013

• Restructuring Winner Americas for Kerzner InternationalThe Banker's Deals of the Year 2013

In 2011, Vault.com named Houlihan Lokey the Best Bank to work for in 2011, being ranked first in Compensation, Selectivity, Diversity, Hours, Training, Employee Satisfaction, Business Outlook and Culture.


Houlihan Lokey bankers focus on industries that include:

Aerospace, Building Products, Business Services, Chemicals, Consumer Products, Defense and Government Services, Energy, Financial Institutions, Healthcare, Industrial & Environmental Technologies, Industrials Automotive, Infrastructure Services & Construction, Lodging & Leisure, Materials Engineering, Media, Metals, Plastics & Packaging, Real Estate, Retail & Food, Sports & Entertainment, Technology, Telecommunications and Transportation & Logistics

Office locations[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Vincent, Roger. "Energy cells help power Century City skyscraper." Los Angeles Times. February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "[1]." Houlihan Lokey. Retrieved December 19, 2011. "Registered Office : 1930 Century Park West Los Angeles, CA 90067-6802, United States"
  3. ^ a b "Houlihan Lokey About Us". Retrieved June 14, 2016. 
  4. ^ http://www.hl.com/email/pdf/factsfigures/Houlihan_Lokey_FactsFigures.pdf
  5. ^ http://www.reuters.com/article/lehman-fees-idUSL1E8ME02A20121114
  6. ^ "Houlihan Unveils Indian Partnership". www.hl.com. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  8. ^ Willmer, Sabrina. "Houlihan Lokey to Double Team Focused on Illiquid Sales". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  9. ^ Demos, Telis (2014-03-11). "Houlihan Lokey to Acquire ArchPoint Partners". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  10. ^ Demos, Telis. "Houlihan Lokey Opens A New Front For Boutiques: Consulting". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  11. ^ Lang, Brent (2015-06-22). "Houlihan Lokey Acquires Mesa Securities". Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  13. ^ "Houlihan Lokey expands operations in continental Europe". Private Equity Wire. 2015-11-18. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  14. ^ "Leonardo | Houlihan Lokey". www.hl.com. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  15. ^ Times, Los Angeles. "Houlihan Lokey shares rise in trading debut". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-09-06. 
  16. ^ "Black Stone IP | Houlihan Lokey". www.hl.com. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  17. ^ "[2]." Lehman Fees Could Reach $1.4 Billion, Besting Enron (Update1). Retrieved December 19, 2011.
  18. ^ http://www.hl.com/us/achievements.aspx

External links[edit]