Cascadia Capital, a Seattle-based middle-market investment bank, is boosting its cash balance through a unique deal with a private equity firm.
Cascadia landed more than $50 million from Atlas Merchant Capital, a New York and London-based firm founded by former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond.
Founded in 2000, Cascadia Capital helps healthcare, retail, technology and other companies find buyers.
The deal announced Wednesday is rare, given that an investor such as Atlas is making a substantial minority equity investment into an independent advisory banking firm. “They are few and far between,” Cascadia co-founder and CEO Michael Butler told GeekWire.
Butler said the deal will help Cascadia “close the gap” with its competitors, and also give more ownership of the firm to managing directors.
“Across the broader investment banking landscape, large Wall Street banks have become less entrepreneurial, less versatile, and more like utilities,” Diamond said in a statement. “This shift — coupled with the recent wave of consolidation — underscores the critical need for what Cascadia brings to the market as an innovative and flexible independent firm.”
Butler previously worked with Diamond at Morgan Stanley. He described Diamond and Tom King, another Atlas partner, as “luminaries.”
“We believe we have an opportunity to do something really special with the help of Atlas,” Butler said.
In addition to team expansion, Cascadia plans to grow its consulting services in capital raising and valuation practices, among others.
Butler co-founded Cascadia in 2000 with Kevin Cable, who currently works as a managing director at the firm. Last year, it raised $150 million for a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, called Cascadia Acquisition Corp. that is targeting a company in the robotics and AI space. The firm has yet to name a company that it plans to acquire through the SPAC vehicle.
Cascadia also makes direct investments in companies via Cascadia Private Capital, its merchant banking arm. In 2018, Cascadia said it would invest up to $500 million in Pacific Northwest companies with the creation of its “Investment Club,” made up of Cascadia Private Capital and other backers interested in long-term deals.