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Financo in Expansion Mode

Company has hired two new vice presidents and has relocated to larger offices at 600 Madison Ave. between 57th and 58th Streets.

NEW YORK — Responding to accelerating merger and acquisition activity, Financo Inc. has hired two new vice presidents and has relocated to larger offices at 600 Madison Ave. between 57th and 58th Streets.

The two new vice presidents, Colin O’Neil and Bret Lowry, will both be involved in M&A work.

“We are very excited about where business stands. We are looking to hire additional people as well,” said Financo chairman Gilbert Harrison. “We think there is a major change in attitude about M&A.”

“There’s a healthy amount of execution and a decent pipeline,” to fuel mergers and acquisitions, added Colin Welch, president and chief executive officer of Financo. “Our move is a demonstration of our confidence that we expect that to continue.”

Financo was last housed at 654 Madison Ave. for a short time and for many years was based at 535 Madison Ave. The firm now occupies 22,000 square feet at 600 Madison Ave., which is more than twice the amount of space the company had at 535 Madison Ave.

O’Neil has 12 years of investment banking expertise specializing in the retail industry. He joins Financo from Raymond James, where he was a vice president for retail coverage. Earlier, O’Neil spent four years with Peter J. Solomon Co. as associate director of mergers and acquisitions for the retail group. He also spent three years in Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division. Previous clients include The Home Depot, Williams-Sonoma, Zale Corp., Charlotte Russe, Tween Brands and Avirex.

Lowry was vice president in the global mergers and acquisitions group at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He was a senior member of the bank’s exclusive sale practice within its M&A group focusing on middle market clients. Lowry spent seven years with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and completed transactions on behalf of Icelandic Group, Otter Tail Corporation, Dutch telecom Royal KPN and Contractors’ Warehouse. Prior to his banking experience, Lowry served as a lieutenant and surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy for five years.

“Colin and Bret bring strong M&A execution and corporate finance skills that complement and enhance our existing expertise,” said Welch.

Financo, founded in 1971, is an independent investment banking boutique providing M&A and other financial advisory services to retailers and branded consumer products firms. Financo’s transactions have been concentrated in apparel, footwear, cosmetics, fragrance, e-commerce and other merchandising-related sectors.