Spire Capital hires longtime commercial lender, lays out long-term growth plan

Milwaukee-based Spire Capital Advisors LLC, a mergers and acquisitions advisory firm, has hired Kristine Iwinski as vice president with the firm. Iwinski’s first day with the firm was Monday.

Iwinski previously worked in commercial lending with Community Bank & Trust. During her 17-year career in commercial lending, she has built a portfolio of commercial clients in the manufacturing, distribution, professional service, retail, recreation and health care fields.

Most of Iwninski’s clients have been privately held businesses with $2 million to $20 million in annual revenues, said Chris Zuzick, managing partner with Spire, making her an easy fit for the firm.

“Her focus and clients are in the same sweet spot that we play in,” Zuzick said. “And she’s very much a value-added advisor. She understands small- to medium-sized businesses. We felt like her goals and what she likes to do to help clients fit in with what we like to do to help clients.”

Spire Capital routinely works on divestitures, mergers, acquisitions, equity offerings and debt for its clients. Iwinski is familiar with all of those types of transactions, Zuzick said.

“That’s why Kris makes sense,” he said. “She’s well versed in all of those areas but she brings a level of talent to the table with respect to debt. This is opportunistic for us, and it’s good for our clients.”

Spire Capital Advisors opened in February, 2008. Its Milwaukee office is staffed by Zuzick, Iwinski and Todd Manderfield, who was recently named executive vice president of the firm.

Spire also has an office in Wausau, where John Evans, a former Associated Bank executive vice president, works on a contract basis for Spire. Evans began working with Spire last fall.

Spire Capital’s shareholders and partners, Greg Larson and Terry Sivesind, work from the Madison area.

The firm believes that Iwinski can help Spire continue its growth and evolution, Zuzick and Manderfield said.

“She is known in the community and she brings a lot to the table to help our clients continue to grow,” Zuzick said. “

“We’re adding her at a time when we can introduce her to some of our clients,” Manderfield said. “We’ve had some discussions with her and there are two to three potential clients we can plug her into.”

Although it has only been open for business since February 2008, Spire Capital is now working on 10 projects, most of which involve raising capital or restructuring existing debt.

Within one year, Spire will likely need to hire an additional vice president who will interact with clients, as well as an analyst, Zuzick said. The firm will also add new services for clients in the next year by partnering with a national broker/dealer firm.

“(That) will allow us to do more traditional investment banking things,” Zuzick said. “That will allow us to extend our equity offerings and add more value for our small to medium sized business (customers).”

For more information, visit www.spirecapitaladvisors.com.

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