Two Intrepid Founders Recognized as “Visionaries” by the LA Times

Two Intrepid senior bankers have been recognized as ‘Visionaries’ by the LA Times in the Banking & Finance Magazine issue that highlights the visionaries within the banking and finance community in Los Angeles.

Jim Freedman is the Chairman, Managing Director, and a Founding Principal at Intrepid. He has more than 35 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience, and he is an expert in the financial aspects of corporate strategy. He has advised more than 500 middle-market companies in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate valuation, and strategic decisions. He has acted as the principal financial advisor in hundreds of capital raisings and mergers and acquisitions transactions ranging in value from $20 million to more than $1 billion.

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Freedman with his partners founded Intrepid in 2010.  Intrepid was acquired in January 2019 by MUFG Union Bank, N.A., a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG) is the world’s fifth largest financial institution, to expand the bank’s services to deliver M&A, capital raising, and strategic advisory services to business owners and middle-market companies. Prior to Intrepid, he helped found Barrington Associates in 1982, the predecessor firm to Intrepid, which was subsequently sold to Wells Fargo Securities in 2006.

When asked about the current state of the M&A market, Freedman commented: “Despite COVID, several sectors are seeing greater investor interest. Some companies are experiencing a surge in demand for their products and services, prompting them to accelerate their pursuit of a sale or recapitalization. Some of our clients benefiting from such lift include those in the branded packaged food sector, tech-enabled services for hosting remote meetings, online marketers of essential products, and local delivery and logistics businesses. The Food & Beverage industry especially has experienced a surge of startups establishing their brands and using eCommerce to sell their products directly to consumers.” He went on further to state: “We are advising clients to focus on liquidity, team up with a financial partner to acquire weaker competitors and consolidate and merge to gain scale, efficiency, and market share.”

Ed Bagdasarian is the CEO, Managing Director, and a Founding Principal at Intrepid. During an investment banking career spanning over three decades, he has led transaction teams in a variety of industry sectors, including consumer, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, industrials, and business services. Bagdasarian’s accomplishments include helping to build two preeminent middle-market M&A advisory firms, overseeing their sale to two of the largest financial institutions in the world, and advising some of the leading entrepreneurs and middle-market companies in defining M&A and capital transactions.

He recently remarked: “Our communities and businesses have suffered immeasurable pain and loss during the pandemic. Crises, however, offer opportunities for growth to businesses with superior models that can disrupt conventional approaches to deliver greater value, faster, cheaper. We have seen entrepreneurs who took proactive action and adapted their business models to the digital economy prosper and grow during these trying times. The financial markets are awash with an unprecedented amount of liquidity and are eager to invest it in growing businesses.”

Bagdasarian further commented: “As members of the financial community, we have a responsibility to play an essential role in helping businesses in our communities to access capital to survive and even thrive as they work their way through their individual challenges. With the financial strength and resources of our parent, MUFG Union Bank, which is part of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the world’s fifth largest financial institution, we have dedicated ourselves to supporting our business community.”

During the pandemic, Intrepid is advising clients to adopt best practices that include:

  • Focus on liquidity
  • Access alternative capital solutions in addition to pursuing government relief options
  • Be transparent and overcommunicate with all stakeholders
  • Consider teaming up with a financial partner to acquire weaker competitors
  • Consolidate and merge to gain scale, efficiency, and market share

We believe that notwithstanding the damage wrought by the present crisis, companies with proactive and bold leadership can navigate the current environment to capture unique opportunities for growth.