PE-backed Ankura acquires Water Street

Ankura Consulting, which is backed by Madison Dearborn Partners, has acquired Washington, D.C.-based Water Street Partners LLC, a joint venture and alliance advisory firm.

Ankura Consulting, which is backed by Madison Dearborn Partners, has acquired Washington, D.C.-based Water Street Partners LLC, a joint venture and alliance advisory firm. No financial terms were disclosed. Equiteq served as financial advisor to Water Street on the deal while Cooley LLP provided legal counsel. And, Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to Ankura.


Ankura, a global business advisory and expert services firm, today announced the acquisition of Water Street Partners, LLC (“Water Street”), the world’s premiere joint venture and alliance advisory firm, based in Washington, D.C. The addition of Water Street’s professionals, transaction advisory capabilities and multi-national client base continues Ankura’s ongoing expansion of its global platform and provides complementary services to the firm’s existing client offering.

“We continue to grow our business by attracting top talent in defined and attractive market segments and fostering a collaborative environment that encourages these leaders to leverage one another’s insights and expertise to deliver high-quality, customized solutions to our clients,” said Kevin Lavin, Chief Executive Officer of Ankura. “Water Street is a proven leader in the joint venture and alliance advisory sector. This combination extends our delivery of expert advice to an expanding global client base facing complex and challenging situations.”

Founded in 2008, Water Street provides leading companies with transaction, governance and portfolio advisory services centered on joint ventures and alliances. With the addition of Water Street, Ankura augments its client offering with a new depth of expertise from globally-recognized transaction advisory professionals that have worked across a multitude of industries, including energy, financial services, healthcare, technology, and aerospace. Water Street’s entire group will join Ankura. The leadership – James Bamford, Gerard Baynham, Peter Daniel, David Ernst and Geoff Walker – will join Ankura as Senior Managing Directors.

“We are excited to join the Ankura team, and we share a commitment to serving clients and a common culture focused on collaboration and respect,” said James Bamford, a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Water Street. David Ernst, also a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Water Street, added, “We look forward to working together with our new colleagues and helping them grow our combined businesses through a continued commitment to exceeding our clients’ expectations.”

“We welcome the entire Water Street team to Ankura with open arms. This combination is a significant development that will benefit our firm, our professionals and our clients worldwide. We will continue to execute our growth strategy delivering customized services to our clients during these extraordinary times and into the future,” said Philip Daddona, President of Ankura.

Equiteq served as a financial advisor to Water Street and Cooley LLP acted as legal counsel. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP served as legal counsel to Ankura. Funds affiliated with private equity investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners remain significant shareholders in Ankura.

About Ankura
Ankura is a global business advisory and expert services firm defined by HOW we solve challenges. Whether a client is facing an immediate business challenge, trying to increase the value of their company or protect against future risks, Ankura designs, develops, and executes tailored solutions by assembling the right combination of expertise. We help clients navigate a wide range of corporate performance and risk management challenges, including those pertaining to compliance, investigations, forensics, technology, turnaround and restructuring, and corporate strategy. We build on this experience with every case, client, and situation, collaborating to create innovative, customized solutions, and strategies designed for today’s ever-changing business environment. This gives our clients unparalleled insight and experience across a wide range of economic, governance, and regulatory challenges. At Ankura, we know that collaboration drives results. For more information, please visit:

About Water Street Partners
Water Street Partners, which will operate under the Ankura brand name, is the world’s leading advisory firm on joint venture transactions and governance. Water Street’s transaction work specializes in joint ventures and other non-M&A partnerships, both in new deal formation and restructuring. On governance, Water Street advises clients on corporate and joint venture governance, working with boards, management teams, and individual shareholders.

Water Street is built around giving its clients access to the most experienced advisors, the most comprehensive database of practices and benchmarks, the best proprietary tools, and the widest network of practitioners in the world. Based in Washington, D.C., Water Street’s work spans industries and geographies. Water Street has negotiated, restructured, or advised many of the largest and most complicated partnerships in the world. Since its founding in 2008, Water Street has advised on 250+ JV transactions valued at $750 billion, and supported the shareholders, boards, or management teams in more than 450 existing joint ventures. Prior to Water Street, its founders were global co-leads of the joint venture and alliance practice of McKinsey & Co.