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 of M&A – 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.

BRETT NORRIS

VP of M&A – CA, CFA, MBA

Brett brings more than 13 years of experience in corporate finance and accounting, having worked in both advisory and corporate settings. He is passionate about working with mid-market businesses and has developed expertise in advising on transactions, as well as other financial and strategic matters. More on Brett here.

LARYSSA ROLLO

VP OF VALUATIONS – 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

OPERATIONS MANAGER

Viviana epitomizes a “service-first” approach, efficiently managing our internal operations. She handles diverse tasks including marketing, KPIs, events coordination, bookkeeping, and recruitment, ensuring smooth management essential for our organization’s success. She also co-produces Bar Talk and Cocktails, a long-running YouTube show.

GINA VERSACE

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

A natural organizer Gina’s exceptional skills come in to play with senior management to keep all internal administration flow on track and on time on a daily basis. Her previous experience in a business valuation environment, file management, and customer service is a great asset to the firm. Learn more about Gina here.

LIANNA STACK

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT

Lianna’s many years of experience in administration have shaped her to be organized, client focused, and a team player. Lianna takes pride in her work and strives for the success of her team and satisfaction of Portage’s clients.  More on Lianna here. 

CHARLIE IZAGUIRRE

ASSOCIATE – MBA

Charlie leverages his extensive experience in financial analysis and pricing strategies to provide invaluable insights into the firm’s valuation and buy-and-sell side mandates. He earned his Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the Goodman School of Business at Brock University. His full profile is here.

SANJEEV MAKKAR

ASSOCIATE – MBA 

Sanjeev, experienced in a diverse range of valuations and sell-side mandates, offers invaluable insights into complex transactions, leveraging his accounting and financial analysis background. He earned a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Dalhousie University’s Rowe School of Business. His full profile is here.

VANESSA SCANGA

ASSOCIATE – MSC, LLM, PhD

Vanessa has an extensive background in research and stakeholder engagement in health policy, biotechnology, and social pharmaceutical innovation. Vanessa provides invaluable guidance and support in the areas of research and discovery for both valuation and buy-and-sell-side mandates. Her full profile is here.

MATTHEW STACEY

ANALYST

While working on sell-side engagements and valuations, Matt has developed experience in navigating complex financial transactions and providing insightful analyses across a diversified range of industries. Matt thrives on both intellectual challenges and personal growth. Learn more about Matthew here.

CHRISTINA FODTCHOUK

FINANCIAL ANALYST – CO-OP

Motivated by a passion for using technology and innovation to enhance people’s well-being, Christina pursued an Honours Bachelor of Science degree. Now a candidate at the McMaster DeGroote School of Business, she brings leadership, entrepreneurial, research, collaboration, and creative skills to diverse environments. More on Christina here. 

NOAH ABDELMAKSOUD

FINANCIAL ANALYST – CO-OP

Noah, a Mechanical Engineering student at Queen’s University, has delved into engineering economics alongside his core engineering curriculum. With experience in consulting and the public sector, he is keen to expand his proficiency in finance and is thrilled to join the team! More on Noah here. 

COLTON EGGERT

FINANCIAL ANALYST – CO-OP

Colton is going into his fourth year of the Bachelor of Business Administration Co-op program at Brock University. He is passionate about his studies and looks forward to applying his knowledge to a workplace setting. Colton will be joining us as a financial analyst to complete the co-op portion of his degree. More on Colton here.