Lincoln International Celebrates 25 Years of Delivering Outstanding Client Service and Outcomes Resulting in Extraordinary Growth

On April 1, 1996, Lincoln International, then known as Lincoln Partners, was created by four bankers in Chicago, Illinois, with a vision to become the best mid-market investment banking advisory firm in the world. With the dedication and purposefulness of all partners and employees, we are doing just that!

With no brand recognition and a small backlog of deals at the start, our entrepreneurial spirit drove exemplary client service during these past 25 years and accelerated our growth to completing more than 230 transactions with over 625 employees across 22 global offices in 2020.

As we celebrate Lincoln International’s 25th anniversary, we reflect on the firm’s evolution from an idea sparked during lunchtime chatter to the number one advisor on global mid-market PE-exits over the past 10 years because of you, our partners and employees.

Lincoln’s vision of becoming the best mid-market investment banking advisory firm has remained steadfast: deliver the highest-quality client service and outcomes while fostering a rewarding employee experience.

Our unique culture defined by an entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to excellence, collaboration, integrity and integration has moved us ever closer to realizing our vision and achieving several major growth milestones during both robust and challenging economic periods.

1996 - 2005

In the early 2000s we began our search for international partners that would be a strong strategic and cultural match. The recession that followed the Dot-com crash in 2001 created challenges, but by continuously hiring and staying true to our vision we achieved our goal of becoming a global firm. Lincoln International was formed in January 2006 when we joined forces with our German and French colleagues.


Lincoln Partners founded on April 1 in Chicago


Formed partnership with Peters Associates in Frankfurt

Opened New York office


Peters Associates founded in Frankfurt


Added DAG service offering Added first dedicated industry expert

2006 - 2010


Lincoln Partners and Peters Associates became Lincoln International

Opened offices in Paris and Los Angeles


Opened Vienna office

Added VOG service offering


Opened London, Madrid and Tokyo offices


Opened Amsterdam office

In 2008, the Financial Crisis began with the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, leading to a very difficult period for many investment banking firms. We’ve always understood the importance of diversifying our business, but since the Financial Crisis ended in 2009, preparing for the next recession has been our guiding light to ensure clients are supported throughout all stages of their business’s lifecycle. Steps we have taken to expand and grow include:

  • Diversifying our M&A business to include industries less cyclical in downturns, specifically, technology and healthcare.
  • Growing our debt advisory business in Europe and North America.
  • Creating a highly capable restructuring team in the U.S. working collaboratively with our Debt Advisory Group under the Capital Advisory banner.
  • Building our valuations business, much of which is comprised of portfolio valuations producing annuity revenue for Lincoln in good times and bad.
  • Committing substantial time and resources to define, measure, and manage our culture. We want to be the preferred place to work in our industry.

2011 - 2020

Lessons learned from previous downturns and a steadfast commitment to delivering the best advice for our clients positioned Lincoln for continued success. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic ended the longest running bull market and plunged global economies into recession.

Despite this, Lincoln completed a record number of transactions, generating record revenues and achieving growth in key strategic areas. We entered 2021 with strong momentum and record backlog in all service areas.


Opened Bangalore office


Opened Brussels office


Opened Stockholm office


Opened Moscow and Mumbai offices


Opened San Francisco office


Opened Beijing and Sao Paulo offices


Opened Milan office


Opened Zurich office


Opened Munich and Dallas offices

Added JV&P service offering

We are confident in our future and continued growth plans because our history indicates that we have the right playbook and the right people in place. The driving force of our optimism is each member of the Lincoln International team. Our clients engage Lincoln ​ International for our expertise and industry knowledge emanating from you, our partners and employees, who personify our culture and brand promise: Real Connections and True Perspectives.



completed M&A deals in the last 10 years


cross-border transactions in past 10 years


advisor on global mid-market PE-exits over past 10 years


capital advisory assignments in past 10 years


in illiquid securities valued quarterly


10-year revenue CAGR


global employees


consecutive years named a best place to work

Real Connection. True Perspective.