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PLATOW: Carlsquare is becoming a hidden champion

25 May 2023

The following article was written in German by Carolin Kassella, PLATOW Verlag GmbH. The original source can be found here.

ONE OFFICE OPENING AFTER ANOTHER – While many M&A boutiques choose to merge with other consulting firms as a last resort due to increasing cost pressures and sometimes sluggish business, Carlsquare seems to have found a secret recipe for continuous expansion.

The Hamburg-based corporate finance advisory firm, founded just over 20 years ago, has recently completed the acquisition of the tech investment bank Capital Clarity in Silicon Valley and has immediately opened its next international branch in Poland. Jorge Abugaber, formerly of Spanish Santander, will lead the Warsaw office.

Carlsquare has already advised on several German-Polish transactions, and one of the partners lived in Poland for a long time while working in the London office, says founding partner Michael Moritz. Then Abugaber came along. In addition to the personal aspect, Moritz expects new Polish business due to the high capital strength and projected economic growth.

In recent years, Carlsquare has also established itself in the UK and the Nordic countries; London and Stockholm are the largest overseas offices (with 15-20 employees). What is particularly remarkable is not only the rapid geographic expansion but also the simultaneous expansion of consulting activities.

In early 2023, Daniel Gebler, previously employed at competitor DC Advisory, was hired for the newly opened Frankfurt office, which offers debt advisory services. With this move, Carlsquare aims to build a full-service offering in the tradition of classical investment banks. Especially now, when financing conditions are as challenging as they have been in years, it can be doubly beneficial to have clients directly supported in-house with acquisition financing.

Carlsquare also stands out positively in terms of the proportion of women across various seniority levels, particularly at the “Senior Analyst” level. The newly added US partner, Susan Blanco (through Capital Clarity), serves as a fitting role model, says Moritz. He wants to support young employees, regardless of gender, through flexibility. However, like its peers, Carlsquare still needs to prove itself and demonstrate that it can actually retain female employees at the highest level throughout their careers. ck

PLATOW: Carlsquare is becoming a hidden champion