Ashton Stewart & Co, Inc. is a premier independent middle-market investment bank. Our primary focus is on providing financial advice for private equity and debt placements, securitization of assets, including digital assets, and mergers and acquisition.
We are committed to the pursuit of excellence, and for this reason we concentrate on sectors and markets in which we can excel. Our influence and reputation flow from the quality of our people and our track record of high performance execution and achieving superior results for our clients. This, combined with a culture that values pragmatic innovation, integrity and intellectual rigor above all else, has resulted in a reputation for ground breaking ideas that are practical as well as imaginative.
From our headquarters in New York, we serve a wide range of clients looking for independent advice, free from conflicts of interest, and assistance on their most important strategic issues.
Ashton Stewart was founded with the goal of providing high quality, creative, client-centric advisory services to individuals, executive management, and corporate boards seeking advice and capital for growth, expansion, and acquisitions. We take a long-term approach to developing and maintaining client relationships, often working to meet our clients’ multiple transaction, financing and strategic needs. We combine extensive Wall Street, operating, and private equity investment experience with a dedication to personal service, providing our clients with a multi-discipline perspective to deliver high quality investment banking and advisory services.
Our private firm is focused on remaining independent and international in our reach. We are devoted to our clients and it is this strong commitment that allows us to continue to exceed expectations. Our broad experience, integrity, rigorous and creative custom approach enables our firm to deliver objective and insightful service to each client.
Ashton Stewart, Inc. is a registered broker/dealer member FINRA and SIPC. Offers of securities or investment advisory services may be made only pursuant to appropriate offering or other disclosure documents, and only after prospective investors have had the opportunity to discuss all matters concerning the prospective investment or engagement with their adviser, the issuers of the securities or Ashton Stewart. Non-securities services may be offered through affiliated, non-regulated entities.
Our Investment Banking practice is integrated into the firm’s expanding institutional and individual advisory foundation, creating a comprehensive platform that delivers superior transaction execution, sustained follow through and long-term client support. We work with clients on a highly-personalized basis, providing exceptional service, commitment and senior level attention.
We offer corporate financial advisory, mergers and acquisitions and capital-formation services to middle-market corporations, partnerships, family offices and institutions around the world. Although we have a strong understanding of the needs and challenges facing middle-market companies and their shareholders, we always start by understanding the unique objectives and circumstances for each engagement, to ensure results are aligned with our clients’ goals. In the areas of private equity and debt placements, the investment banking practice is supported by the distribution capabilities of our Asset Management and Capital Markets division.
Leveraging decades of experience, our Capital Markets team links the firm’s Investment Banking clients with institutional investors, thus providing issuers a successful capital formation solution. Our professionals underwrite and place new issues of securities while providing market insight during the structuring phase and timely execution in the book building and issuance phase of each transaction.
We have the capability to structure a transaction creatively while building capital structures that are appropriate for our clients and the markets. Among other considerations, we evaluate potential transactions based on our clients’ sensitivity to dilution, risk, timing, and external or competitive issues.
Our members have an extensive experience in structuring and securitizing cashflow based assets. These include mortgages, car loans and leases, credit cards, equipment leases, and other receivables both in public and private markets. Together with our partners, we create innovative solutions for our clients, providing substantial savings over traditional funding instruments.
We bring innovation to commodity markets and mortgage finance that had followed traditional debt issuance for the past 50 years.
In certain situations, non-investment grade companies or the smaller middle-market companies can monetize a particular asset on their balance sheet. Assets such as account receivables, contracts, lease receivables, and other financial assets can be utilized to raise funds at very attractive rates.
Typically, these structures involve the sale of a specific pool of non-cash financial assets to a bankruptcy-remote entity established as a special purpose corporation (“SPC”). The SPC funds the purchase of the assets by issuing debt, which is priced based on the value of the pool of assets. Asset securitizations have the added benefit of being non-recourse to the company. Our Capital Markets and Investment Banking professionals have extensive experience in constructing such financing and accessing certain capital not always available to middle-market clients.
Senior debt is typically the first choice for most companies since it is the least expensive capital. Sometimes situations occur when a company cannot borrow the amount it needs to grow or when a decrease in valuation may cause a company to be overleveraged. We work with our client’s current senior lender, find alternate financing sources, or create syndicates to provide senior finance.
Our Capital Markets professionals are in continual contact with debt providers who contribute intelligence on each lending institution’s portfolio make-up, risk profile, lending criteria, and requirements. Senior debt can come in various forms including secured and unsecured bank loans, long-term fixed coupon notes, securitized debt obligations, and other structured vehicles.
These bonds provide investors and issuers alternative security structures that derive investor returns from issuer top-line revenues. They are revenue participation securities that could substitute mezzanine debt or equity issuances, and provide current income and liquidity for the investor.
The non-dilutive characteristics of the security structures are appealing to companies that wish to retain ownership control. These features, coupled with a variable cost of capital and the absence or mitigation of governance controls, make these bonds a win/win for companies who don’t want the pressure of a forced exit; while presenting a way to attract investors who want to avoid liquidity events and seek current income.
The universe of mezzanine and subordinated debt (high-yield debt) providers is populated with institutions that are highly specialized with each having very specific lending criteria.
Navigating this world can be frustrating for middle-market companies who do not maintain constant contact with this array of funding sources. Our Capital Markets maintains a regular dialog with these lenders, and our professionals are experienced in structuring mezzanine debt, which may include warrants as well as other forms of equity kickers. Each debt instrument is tailored to meet our clients’ financial requirements while creating the most flexible terms possible at the lowest cost of capital.
Our Capital Markets professionals serve the needs of the Investment Banking clients by originating, structuring and placing equity securities with private investor groups. These professionals work in conjunction with the industry bankers to address each issuer’s needs on a case by case basis.
We are committed to placing the right type of institutional investor and appropriate security with each of our clients. We maintain a large network of relationships with institutional investors including public money managers, private equity, venture capital, family offices, insurers, hedge funds, specialized PIPE funds, venture capital, private equity, sovereign wealth funds, mezzanine, and strategic investors. These relationships enable us to match our clients with the appropriate sources of capital.
At Ashton Stewart – Private Funds Group, our professionals deliver an integrated service to clients, and have built a broad network of successful relationships across the globe, raising capital from investors based in North America, Europe and the Middle East. We have advised funds executing a wide variety of strategies, including European and US mid-market buyouts, emerging markets, infrastructure, mezzanine, distressed assets, and venture capital.
Our General Partner Clients appreciate our added-value approach, as they seek to manage their own portfolios while addressing the requirements of their investors. Our Limited Partner Clients recognize that our service provides them with an important filter in identifying leading private equity teams and strategies.
Examples of the value add that our team contributes during the fundraising process include: