About Portage

Our Mission

Portage M&A Advisory consists of an adventurous group of professionals who are passionate about getting people to where they want to go. Our specialty is guiding business owners through the divestiture process, particularly private companies with an enterprise value of $4M to $60M. We work with owners throughout Ontario and focus on multiple industries including manufacturing, construction, and professional service businesses. Our goal is to achieve a win-win outcome with every transaction.

Our Promise

We see this journey as a partnership built on trust.  Our entire team is focused on helping you achieve your goal, and we take pride in doing this in an ethical and confidential manner.  We understand that selling or buying a business is one of the biggest decisions you will make.  This is why you will appreciate the personal approach we deliver along the way.

Get to Know Us


Expertise to Deliver Results

Our team includes experienced professionals who have worked across multiple industries in various M&A roles. We have over 30 years of ‘getting it done’ experience with our clients. We bring a wealth of multi-disciplinary knowledge to ensure you receive sound advice and maximum value for your business. We also make the process inclusive, so whether it’s your accountant, lawyer, or other trusted advisor, we will work with you and the people you’ve had support your business along the way.

Jim Friesen
founder, M&A Advisor – MBA, CMA, CPA, CBI, CM&AA

Jim has extensive experience in finance working with large national and global organizations. During his tenure with a national accounting firm, he led a team of analysts evaluating the company’s financial performance and identifying M&A opportunities. Jim brings considerable knowledge as an accounting and finance professional as well as a co-owner of a company in the wastewater treatment industry.  As a founding partner of Portage M&A Advisory, Jim is passionate about entrepreneurship and guiding owners through the sale of their businesses.

Ryan Buist
partner, MBA, CBV

Ryan brings over nine years of business valuation experience with over 19 years of professional finance experience.  In his previous role, Ryan managed the valuation team at Taylor Leibow, assisting clients through M&A opportunities, company reorganizations, and helping clients prepare for future sales.  In his role at Portage M&A Advisory, Ryan will help sellers of businesses create value for future sales and guide sellers through possible exit strategies. Ryan will help prospective buyers identify, evaluate, negotiate and purchase a business.

Thomas Bevilacqua
VP, Mergers & Acquisitions – CM&AA

Experience gained in business analysis and professional consulting with a multinational professional services firm, a major Canadian bank and a national accounting firm, enables Thomas to bring a disciplined approach to research, valuation and financial modeling in his role at Portage M&A Advisory. He is currently pursuing his CFA designation to complement his Bachelor of Commerce. Thomas is highly client centric, gifted at building lasting relationships through hard work and responsive support.

Laryssa Rollo
senior manager, CBV, CPA, CA

Laryssa brings over 8 years of business valuation experience and 15 years of financial experience from her time assisting on various audit, forensic, valuation, and buy and sell-side mandates at various accounting firms. Laryssa has been involved in various valuation assignments related to corporate reorganizations, litigations, and future sales.  She has also assisted clients with preparation of marketing material to assist clients with the sale of their business.  Laryssa is passionate about helping business owners enhance the value of their company by assisting with pricing, negotiations, and due diligence.

Robert Jones
Consultant, M&A Advisor

Robert has over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and leadership in several industries and fields of expertise.  His most recent position was the President of 2 companies with 143 employees, 5 offices, in 3 Provinces.  He has been involved in start-up, early stage, mature, and turn-around companies as founder, owner, employee, and executive leadership, all in the small to medium size business world. Robert has now turned his focus and energy to using his experience to help business owners build value, understand the options for exiting their business, and ultimately guide them through the process of selling their business.

Viviana Sergio

A natural organizer, Viviana brings a service first attitude and entrepreneurial background as past business owner and producer of a media company. She is the ‘director of first impressions’ when clients reach out to our offices and works to keep all internal administration flow on track and on time. Viviana also manages a suite of digital marketing platforms for Portage M&A Advisory to support our team’s commitment to delivering unparalleled client service.

Associate, M&A and Valuations

Christian possesses experience in investment banking, corporate development, and financial analysis and has worked on M&A transactions and financings across a broad range of industries. Christian aims to leverage his experience across the lifecycle of a transaction to support Portage’s clients on both buy-side and sell-side engagements. Christian also holds a Masters in Financial Analysis from London Business School.

Associate, M&A

Soham is experienced in strategy and operations consulting and has a deep understanding of different business models and value creation across a broad range of industries. He aims to leverage his experience across the lifecycle of a transaction to support Portage’s clients on sell-side engagements. Soham has a Bachelors in electrical engineering (MSRIT) and a Masters in industrial engineering (UH). He has most recently completed an MBA with a specialization in Investment Banking from the Rotman School of Management.

Robert Radovini
Financial Analyst

Robert is currently pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree majoring in Finance and minoring in Innovation at the DeGroote School of Business. During the school year Robert is an active member of the McMaster community, serving as a Portfolio Manager at Lexingworth Capital and the VP of Finance / Ambassador at CamsKids. Robert is excited to join the team at Portage M&A and help the firm fulfill their goal of achieving a win-win outcome with every transaction.

Matthew Stacey
Financial Analyst 

Matthew is currently pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Business Administration Degree concentrating in Finance at the Goodman School of Business. With experience in financial modeling and analysis, Matthew is active in expanding his knowledge as he plans to pursue a CFA designation. Matthew looks forward to learning and contributing his best efforts to the position.

Malek Izouine
Financial Analyst – CO-OP

Malek is currently pursuing an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Statistics & Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He has consistently been an active member of his campus, most notably being an analyst at the G7 Research Group, Rational Capital Investment Fund (RCIF) and, recently appointed to the University of Toronto Investment Banking Club. With experience in buy-side advisory and a PE search fund, Malek brings a buyer’s perspective to looking at deals and is excited to add value to the entrepreneurs exiting their business.