Firm Update: May 2023

Welcome to our May Broker-Dealer Newsletter. 

This month, I will share some current data points on banker transaction fee ranges. Then, Michelle Mueller will provide compliance updates, and Zaya Bold will do so for collaboration.

To all of our success!

Transaction Fee Ranges – May 2023

Based on survey findings from the Firmex / Axial 2023 M&A Fee Guide and from our internal analysis of a cross section of mandates & deals spun up on the GT Securities platform, M&A current fee ranges are as follows:


  • For deal sizes between $5 million – $20 million, a transaction fee range of between 4% and 6% 
  • For deal sizes deal sizes between $20 million – $100 million, 2% – 4% 
  • For deal sizes deal sizes greater than $100 million, 1% – 2% 

Firmex also note a pretty even mix between:

  • “Lehman-type” formulas – where fee percentages decrease as deal value increases
  • Flat percentage (most common)
  • “Acceleration Formulas” – where fee percentages increase as deal value increases

Note well: On the GTS platform, Acceleration Formulas have become more and more popular, with many of the highest producing bankers utilizing them almost exclusively. 


For equity, we continue to see a clustering around a 5% fee benchmark, which begins to compress at deal sizes of  $20 million+ (though, as previously noted, not as often for secondaries versus primaries). 

For debt, still cut the equity percentages in half, with 2 – 3% fee ranges representing the majority of deals.  

Having said this, the current high interest rate environment plus the regional bank crises of the last few months has opened opportunities for higher debt transaction fee ranges. 

First, because many traditional equity investors (private equity, family office, etc.) are now pivoting to doing more debt deals (straight, convertible, preferred, etc.) thus justifying fee structures more commonly seen for equity. 

And, because in this challenging credit environment it is just harder to get deals done and thus costs more to do so. 

Other thoughts:

  • Higher, outlier fee structures (i.e greater than 6%, significant accelerations driven by deal value, etc.) still do occur and in many circumstances are the best win-win structure for both client and banker.
  • Success fees paid all or part in equity are coming back into vogue / more common use
  • As to retainers, for better or for worse, there is a minor but noticeable trend to “no retainer” mandates
  • “Buyside” structured fees remain overlooked by most independent bankers but remain a significant revenue driver for top producers. The view here is for bankers looking to secure new mandates that can close this year – meaning they need to be spun up in the next couple of months –  buy side opportunities are definitely worth exploring / pursuing.  

Net net the mood on the platform is that clients are slightly less fee percentage sensitive than perhaps they were at this time last year.  

So it is back to the future time: clients are deciding on banker relationships based less on fees and more on those evergreen, admirable banker qualities – professionalism, impeccable integrity, and that relentless “never say die” attitude and work ethic to just get deals done

In May, let’s all do just that!

Compliance Updates

Finra Regulatory Element Continuing Education. Beginning this year, Registered Persons must complete their Regulatory Element CE annually by December 31 of each year. 

Registered Persons can do so via logging into their Finpro account. Individuals who do not complete the Regulatory Element CE by December 31 each year will be designated CE inactive by FINRA. 

Michelle Mueller, Chief Compliance Officer

Platform Resources and Deals

Deals Available for Collaboration. GT Securities is now listing all deals available for collaboration through our Axial Collaboration Account. Please email me at [email protected] for account access information.

Referrals. Do you know an investment banker looking for the benefits of independence and professionalism provided on the GT Securities platform? We are always interested in speaking to highly ethical and credentialed banking professionals to join our platform. Please reach out to me at [email protected] to learn more.

 Zaya Bold, Director of Banking Partnerships

Happy May to All!

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