Don H Bravaldo
Bravaldo Capital Advisors
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Industry: M&A and Corporate Finance Advisory
As a college student, Don Bravaldo knew he wanted a career in business, but he wasn’t sure which path to follow. He settled on accounting after hearing from family friends who considered it the most rigorous business major.
Bravaldo has built a reputation on similar decisions to aim high and embrace a challenge. He is a cum laude graduate of Auburn University and spent seven years in public accounting as an auditor with Arthur Andersen and, later, with Bennett Thrasher in Atlanta. He made a career change and joined Hanger Orthopedic Group, a NYSE publicly traded consolidator of family-run medical businesses, serving as its business development manager. While there, Bravaldo was drawn to mergers and acquisitions and deal-making.
While working on the M&A team, Bravaldo found that many of the family-run businesses his firm was targeting didn’t have professional advisors assisting them. Seeing an opportunity, Bravaldo joined a newly formed southeastern M&A advisory firm, where he built a practice and later led a team, serving lower middle-market businesses that desired a higher level of advisory, typically only available at the regional investment banking level.
Eventually, Bravaldo founded his own firm, Bravaldo Capital Advisors, in 2010 to meet the need for independent investment banking services for lower middle-market companies in the Southeast.
“Ultimately, I decided to take the entrepreneurial plunge,” Bravaldo said. “I was newly married, and my wife and I managed to stay afloat on a teacher’s salary and my savings for a three-year period before I was able to make any meaningful revenue. Three years into establishing my practice, I completed my first M&A advisory transaction and received a contingent success fee. It took several more years before I was able to build a solid pipeline of transactional work.”
Bravaldo Capital Advisors is a boutique mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance advisory services and investment banking firm based in Atlanta. The company’s aim is “to empower every lower middle-market entrepreneur and owner we meet with best-in-class M&A and corporate finance execution and advisory services, rivaling service levels traditionally reserved for Fortune 1000-sized companies,” the company said.
Now in its 12th year, BCA aims to grow from a single partner firm to a multi-partner firm with a staff of 15 to 20 professionals and a footprint that extends into Birmingham, Alabama; Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina; Charlotte and Raleigh, North Carolina; Chattanooga and Nashville, Tennessee; and Jacksonville, Pensacola and Tampa, Florida.
Bravaldo presents regularly to professional associations and gatherings of bankers, accountants, investors and corporate leaders. He is an active member of the Georgia Society of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Vistage International Inc. He is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth and the Private Directors Association.
One fun fact about Don is that he originally decided to double major in accounting and German while at Auburn.