Battle of the ‘Bulge’: A Boutique Offensive in M&A Advisory

Julian M. Buckner, Claremont McKenna College

This thesis has been removed per author and CMC Dean of Faculty's request October 13, 2014.


This paper examines 878 mergers and acquisitions between 2003 and 2012 to investigate the impact of advisor choice on transaction performance. Differentiating between bulge bracket, boutique and mixed team advisors, this analysis uses cumulative abnormal announcement returns, purchase premiums, completion ratios, and deal durations as indicators of outcome. Using ordinary least squares and probit regressions an analysis of premium outcomes and target abnormal returns point to there being significant shareholder benefits to using boutique advisors. However, the use of boutiques significantly increases the length of the transaction, and appears to have no impact on the likelihood of a successful completion.