Founder and President of The Gaffin Group
Mark Gaffin is the Founder and President of The Gaffin Group. Mark brings over 25 years experience to the research, consulting, and development needs of our clients in the middle market. He has been involved in hundreds of middle market and large-cap transactions, including corporate development, debt and equity raises, and transformational M&A. These efforts have included pre-transaction commercial due diligence, credit underwriting, enterprise value analysis, post-merger integration planning, and investment thesis development and execution. A consistent theme across these efforts was the ability to rapidly identify key value drivers and develop robust plans for sustainable, long-term value creation.
Mark brings a unique perspective to the research and consulting clients of The Gaffin Group as he incorporates his career experience across industry and management strategy consulting – in addition to substantive experience in the financial services industry. He has held executive financial positions at sponsored and non-sponsored operating companies, and he has worked with middle market companies as a financing professional and advisor. Moreover, Mark has valuable strategic consulting experience with a top-tier global consulting firm. As a strategy consultant, his client engagements focused on profit improvement, post merger implementation planing, commercial due diligence for private equity clients across three continents, and strategic change management. Mark has provided Board-level support to clients through both direct Board membership as well as value-added contributions through observation rights.
Most recently, Mark developed and led the Equity Sponsor Group within M&T Bank’s Investment Banking Group. During his eight year tenure with M&T, he was instrumental in developing two key bank capabilities from inception to profitable execution: a junior lending capability through creation of a Second Lien Group and a centralized Equity Sponsor Group to significantly enhancing the private-equity-sponsored, leveraged-lending capabilities of the bank. The Second Lien Group provided a signifiant defensive strategy for the bank to protect important clients through tailored, innovative debt capital structures and solutions for both sponsored and non-sponsored operating companies. The Equity Sponsor Group was the result of a team that Mark co-lead to transform an historically ad hoc practice to a systematic, fact-based approach that brought analytical rigor to equity sponsored relationships and opportunities across the deal value chain: from business development, to deal structuring and underwriting, to investment committee approval, to critical post-close account management. Under his leadership, The Equity Sponsor Group produced approximately $700MM in commitments for the bank in 2012, winning over 30 deals during that time period in only its second year of operation. Importantly, the bank’s sponsor relationship increased by three fold as new relationships developed through mutually beneficial approaches to opportunities with private equity, junior capital providers, and senior lenders. Throughout his tenure with M&T, Mark’s consistent focus was on middle market companies ranging in EBITDA size from $2 million to $70 million.
Prior to his work at M&T, Mark was a strategic consultant with Bain & Company, with client engagements in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. His Bain tenure included two years with the firm’s Private Equity Group where Mark provided commercial due diligence of target companies for top-tier private equity sponsors.
Mark Gaffin received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and his Master of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. At Booth, Mark’s concentrations were in analytic finance, econometrics and statistics. Mark is a holder of the right to use the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and a Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Charter Holder. He also holds FINRA Series 79 (Investment Banking Representative), Series 82 (Private Securities Offerings Representatives), and Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam) licenses.
Mark lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and two children. He enjoys sailing, photography, skiing, SCUBA, and travel.
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