Mike Friar is a Principal at Eaton Square San Francisco. He is also Ascend’s Managing Member.
Mike began his venture into the M&A arena where he worked for KPMG managing client acquisitions and due diligence processes for some of the largest clients in the world. Mike founded FHA CPA’s, Ascend’s predecessor in 1990, which by 2005 had 50 people and was one of the top accounting and M&A firms in the San Francisco Bay Area. Based on his M&A experience, Mike identified an opportunity to establish a company with a sales process focused on optimizing valuations by understanding and leveraging each client’s unique and specific attributes and in 2006 founded Ascend Strategic Partners.
Mike has been involved in over $2 billion in M&A transactions and has over 35 years of investment banker/business brokerage and professional CPA experience. Mike has also sourced over $500 million in debt and has been involved in over 100 Business Broker type transactions in addition to consulting in hundreds of additional M&A and Financial Advisory engagements. His strategic business management experience along with his reputation for getting deals done and facilitating win-win scenarios is the cornerstone of his practice.
Mike earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from California State University East Bay. He has also taken various specialty courses covering negotiations, business strategies, business valuations, financing M&A transactions and exit strategies from Kellogg, Stanford and Harvard school of business instructors. He was a certified business valuation specialist, had a CPA license for 30+ years passed his series 79 and 63 Investment Banking licenses (these are currently non-active).