Our mission.
Our philosophy.
Our partners.

A win for everyone

Whether buying or selling, we only play favourites with our clients. Success is all that matters and it’s our pledge to get you there. So much so that we work on a fee model that only sees us benefit when businesses are bought or sold.

A personal touch

We aren’t a group of stuffed shirts. And you aren’t just a prospect. We’re a team of M&A experts and we’re all looking for the best possible outcomes. We guarantee that the personal nature of buying and selling is never forgotten. Rather, it’s front and centre in everything we do.

A network of experts

We are proud to work with many financial institutions, accounting firms and business advocates to stay current on industry trends and standards, and identify opportunities for our clients and theirs.

We’re always open to making new connections and finding new ways to work with old friends. If you’re looking to build your network or need advice, just reach out.

Our Team

JIM FRIESEN

FOUNDER/PARTNER – MBA, CPA, CM&AA

As a founding partner of Portage and a business owner himself, Jim is passionate about entrepreneurship and guiding owners through the sale and purchase of businesses. He has an extensive background with large national and global companies working on all things M&A. Learn more about Jim’s professional background here.opportunities. Learn more about Jim’s professional background here.

RYAN BUIST

PARTNER – MBA, CBV

With more than 19 years of professional finance experience, Ryan helps business sellers create value for future sales and guide them through exit strategies. For buyers, he identifies, evaluates and negotiates prospective acquisitions. Do your own due diligence on Ryan here.

THOMAS BEVILACQUA

VP – CM&AA

Thomas has more than seven years of professional service experience working with large corporations and SMEs. He has advised on several M&A transactions across diversified industries and has worked closely with business owners on a variety of transactions. Get some stats on Thomas here.

LARYSSA ROLLO

SENIOR MANAGER – CBV, CPA, CA

Laryssa is passionate about enhancing the value of companies. She brings years of experience from her time on audit, forensic and buy- and sell-side mandates at accounting firms, including navigating corporate reorganizations, litigations and future sales. Learn more about Laryssa here.

VIVIANA SERGIO

OFFICE MANAGER

A natural organizer, Viviana is Portage’s Director of First Impressions — the first point of contact when clients reach out — and manages our internal operations, including marketing, events, finance, accounting and more. She also co-produces Bar Talk and Cocktails, a long-running YouTube show.

CHRISTIAN PIZZUTI

ASSOCIATE

Christian has worked on M&A transactions and financings across a broad range of industries. He leverages that experience across transaction lifecycles to support clients on buy-side and sell-side engagements. You can find more about Christian and his full bio here.

SOHAM BANERJEE

ASSOCIATE

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 uses his experience across the transaction lifecycle to support clients on sell-side engagements. More about Soham here.

MATTHEW STACEY

FINANCIAL ANALYST

Matthew is studying for his Honours Bachelor of Business Administration concentrating in finance. With experience in financial modeling and analysis, he also plans to pursue his CFA designation. Learn more about Matthew here.

EME UKPONG

FINANCIAL ANALYST – CO-OP

Eme brings experience from her time as a legal associate working on M&A transactions in various industries. She is passionate about creating value for companies and is currently pursuing an MBA at the DeGroote School of Business.  More on Eme here. 

SANJEEV MAKKAR

FINANCIAL ANALYST – CO-OP

Sanjeev recently graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration concentrating in accounting and is currently studying a Master of Business Administration with a focus in Finance. He has previous experience in management accounting, audit/assurance, and is also a member of the Dalhousie Investment Society. His full profile is here.