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About Us

Kirchner Group was founded in 1985 on two fundamental premises: every business can be improved and every business should improve the world.

Our proprietary platform is built on the premise that pairing deep domain (industry) expertise with process (operational understanding) experts provides superior results. Founded in 1985 Kirchner Group has developed into one of North America’s leading boutique merchant banks. In our capacity as advisors, partners, principals and agents, we work in conjunction with management and their investors. Today Kirchner Group operates various subsidiaries, providing advisory services (M&A, assessments, diligence) and operational support (interim management, workouts, turnarounds) as well as asset management (dedicated, underperforming funds) – all leveraging a proprietary approach that dovetails domain and process expertise.

Our value proposition centers around a pragmatic approach to serving the needs of the private capital world. We have a strong client focus delivering genuine value in times of economic contraction and distress as well as periods of growth.

Kirchner Group is a unique values-based corporate ecosystem maximizing individual and social benefit through our unwavering commitment to the thoughtful integration of ‘earning and returning’. Generating genuine value for our clients. To learn more about Kirchner Group’s returning activities click here.

Proprietary domain and process approach

Kirchner Group has been providing traditional merchant banking services to some of the most promising entrepreneurs, fortune 500 companies and their investors. In addition, we manage assets for some of the largest insurance companies, commercial banks and institutional investors in the world. Everything we do and how we do it stems from an entrepreneurial culture built from real world experience.

Traditional merchant bank

Literally, merchant bankers are businessmen who become bankers. Historically, they were successful businessmen offering operational and transactional expertise, together with a deep knowledge of capital markets, to other business owners.

We believe that the foundation of merchant banking is a focus on relationships. The nature of the work and the key to success is the ability to function as a trusted, independent advisor, agent, partner, or principal. We believe and our success confirms that today, the early and mid-market businesses want what the 18th-century merchant bank pioneered.

A trusted, one-stop source for help in creating value

Kirchner Group’s clients and partners include early stage to mid-market companies, venture capital and private equity firms as well as family offices and some of the world’s largest insurance companies, commercial banks and institutional investors. Let our experience go to work for you.



Founded in 1985 by W.B. Bud Kirchner, Kirchner Group is comprised of successful seasoned entrepreneurs, advisors and executives. We apply our operational, transactional and investment experience to address the unique needs of early and mid-stage companies and their investors. Kirchner Group has more than five centuries of collective experience. In addition to our numerous process experts we are unique in having numerous resident domain experts.

Team Members (alphabetical order):

Pete Ball

Pete Ball
Pete is a turnaround and operations leader with over 40 years of expertise. He has extensive experience as interim CEO/COO, advisor and board member for public and private companies in industries such as manufacturing, energy, chemicals, automotive, aerospace and defense and staffing.
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Patrick Byrne

Patrick Byrne
Patrick has over 25 years of professional business development and M&A transaction experience on the buy-side as well as the sell-side.
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Paul Choy

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 211
Paul has over 15 years of direct private investment and operational experience in both large and small companies in technology and traditional sectors.
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Mike Cooke

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+1 205.313.0784 ext.208
Mike has over 40 years of senior officer and transaction experience in both small and large companies, consistently achieving superior operating results.
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Steve Dauphin

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 216
Steve, a founding member of Kirchner's Impact Portfolio Optimization team, has over 20 years of investment experience working in underserved capital markets domestically and abroad.
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Michael Fisher

Michael Fisher
Mike Fisher is a senior executive business leader, finance expert and deal maker with over 35 years in the financial services, industrial, technology, non-profit and healthcare sectors. He has expertise in private equity, leveraged finance, structured capital and fund management, as well as general management experience in finance, operations, strategy and restructurings. 
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Sandra Fornes

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 212
Sandra has over 20 years experience in operations and transactions, drawn from founding and managing two companies as well as being a senior executive in two international corporations.
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Don Haliburton

Don Haliburton
+1 205.313.0784 ext. 205
Don has over 25 years executive and senior management experience in early and growth stage private and public companies. His experience spans a number of industries including technology, production and distribution as well as a number of years in PriceWaterhouse Coopers’ national and international offices.
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Blair G. Kirchner

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 202
Blair has over 15 years of experience in merchant banking and advisory services, specifically in marketing, back office operations and finance with a particular focus on IT and the agriculture and food sector.
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W.B. ‘Bud’ Kirchner

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 223
Bud is a serial entrepreneur, philanthropist and sponsor of impact activities. He has over 50 years of operational, transactional and asset management experience as well as international recognition for his expertise in multifaceted enterprise solutions. He is the Founder and CEO of Kirchner Group
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Armand Lavoie

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 217
Armand has over 20 years of operational, venture capital, fund management and transactional experience. Armand has managed investments and served on the boards of several agriculture, industrial life sciences, health and wellness, and cleantech companies.
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Tim Lee

Tim Lee
Tim has over 20 years of early-stage and mid-market direct private investment and transactional experience across a variety of industry sectors including technology, cleantech, life sciences and advanced manufacturing.
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Richard (Dick) Marchase, Ph.D.

Richard (Dick) Marchase, Ph.D.
+1 205.313.0784 x210
Richard Marchase, Ph.D., has over 30 years of experience in research and innovation in the health and life sciences sector. He recently retired from his role as Vice President for Research and Economic Development at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
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Mark Maybank

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 219
Mark has 20 years of transactional and operational experience. Recently he was President and COO of Canaccord Genuity Corp and Chief Operating Officer and Director of Canaccord Financial Inc the largest independent investment bank in Canada.
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Dr. Patrick McNees

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 221
Patrick is a serial entrepreneur with over 36 years of experience starting, developing and exiting companies and intellectual property. He was the founding CEO and Chief Scientist at Applied Health Science, Inc. and co-founder and President of North Rim Systems and Computer Associates, a computer software development firm.
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Jeff Norby

Jeff Norby
Jeff has over 35 years of senior operating experience in the manufacturing, finance and IT sectors.Prior to joining Kirchner Group Jeff was President of MPS Chicago (formerly Jet Lithocolor, Inc) a 230+ employee, multi-plant specialty manufacturer.
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James Oborne

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 203
James has over 15 years of capital markets experience primarily within Investment Banking and including time in private equity fund management and law. During this period he has completed transactions worth over $750 million in aggregate value.
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Ross Orrett

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+1 205.313.0784 x 224
Ross has over 20 years of experience building and leading companies that deliver mission critical B2B software solutions. Ross has worked with SME across the full company lifecycle, including developing strategy, sales, operations, acquisitions and strategic exits.
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Rod Parker

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Rod has 35 years of consulting and market research experience in the pesticide, fertilizer and biotechnology industries and has worked in over 30 countries.
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Zack Porter

Zack Porter
Zack has over 10 years of investment and operating experience focused on resource scarcity driven industries. Today, he is focused on agricultural real estate investments as well as early and growth stage operating businesses
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Paul Schmidt

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Paul has over 35 years of operational experience in the agriculture sector with involvement in the seed, crop protection and plant biotechnology industries, working in Canada, Germany and the United States.
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John Stein

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+1 205.313.0784 ext. 218
John has over 20 years of entrepreneurial, private equity and mezzanine, operational, and investment banking experience. He is a founding principal of Fidelis Capital, an SEC registered investment advisor based in Birmingham, Alabama.
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Lew Turnquist

Lew Turnquist
Lew Turnquist has more than 25 years of operational and transactional experience in technology companies: public and private, mature and early-stage, high-growth and turnaround challenges.
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The above does not necessarily reflect individual portfolio managers or our back offices.



Kirchner Group is guided by the following fundamental values.


Giving back is something we feel strongly about. We are proud to support the Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation and the Hidden Angel Companion Pets.


We are driven by the belief that you can do good while doing well and are committed to impact activities such as impact investing through our Impact Foundation.


Relationships are at the very core of our success. We proactively cultivate honest, positive and enduring relationships with our clients and stakeholders.


We are committed to treating everyone fairly and equitably – both our clients and our team.


We feel an obligation to create value and be rewarded accordingly.


We place our clients best interest before our own but will never waver from doing the right thing.


Everything we do is measured against the highest standards and best practices.


We have been in existence for more than 30 years and we value our heritage and success as a traditional merchant bank.


We push ourselves extraordinarily hard to ensure that we fulfill and exceed our commitments.