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Company > Houlihan Lokey: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Houlihan Lokey: Business Model, SWOT Analysis, and Competitors 2023

Published: Jan 14, 2023

Inside This Article


    In this blog article, we will delve into the business model, SWOT analysis, and competitors of Houlihan Lokey, a prominent financial services firm. As we step into 2023, it is crucial to understand the inner workings of this company and evaluate its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. By exploring its business model and assessing its position in the market in relation to its competitors, we aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of Houlihan Lokey and its potential for success in the upcoming year.

    What You Will Learn:

    • Who owns Houlihan Lokey and the significance of their ownership in the company's operations and decision-making processes.
    • The mission statement of Houlihan Lokey and how it guides the company's overall strategic direction and objectives.
    • How Houlihan Lokey generates revenue and makes money, including a breakdown of their key revenue streams and business activities.
    • An explanation of the Houlihan Lokey Business Model Canvas, highlighting the key components and how they contribute to the company's overall success.
    • An understanding of the main competitors of Houlihan Lokey and how they compare in terms of market share, services offered, and industry presence.
    • A comprehensive SWOT analysis of Houlihan Lokey, assessing the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in the market.

    Who owns Houlihan Lokey?

    Ownership Structure of Houlihan Lokey

    Houlihan Lokey, a leading global investment bank, operates as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "HLI". As of [current date], the ownership of Houlihan Lokey is divided among various institutional and individual shareholders.

    Institutional Shareholders

    Institutional investors hold a significant portion of Houlihan Lokey's shares. These investors include mutual funds, pension funds, insurance companies, and other financial institutions. Their ownership stakes are typically substantial, reflecting their confidence in the company's performance and growth prospects. Some notable institutional shareholders of Houlihan Lokey include [name of institutional shareholders] among others.

    Individual Shareholders

    Apart from institutional investors, there are also individual shareholders who own shares of Houlihan Lokey. These individuals can range from company executives and employees to private investors who believe in the company's potential and have invested in its stock. Their ownership stakes may be relatively smaller compared to institutional investors but still contribute to the overall ownership structure of the company.

    Management and Employees

    Houlihan Lokey's management team and employees also hold a significant stake in the company. As an incentive for their dedication and contribution to the firm's success, they may receive stock options or grants as part of their compensation package. This aligns their interests with those of the shareholders, fostering a sense of ownership and motivation to drive the company's growth.

    Public Shareholders

    Being a publicly traded company, Houlihan Lokey's shares are available to the general public for purchase on the NYSE. This allows individual investors to become shareholders and participate in the company's growth. Public shareholders can buy or sell shares of Houlihan Lokey through brokerage accounts, enabling them to benefit from the company's performance and receive dividends, if declared.


    The ownership of Houlihan Lokey is a combination of institutional investors, individual shareholders, management, employees, and public investors. This diverse ownership structure reflects the confidence and support the company receives from both institutional and individual stakeholders, contributing to its overall success in the investment banking industry.

    What is the mission statement of Houlihan Lokey?

    The Mission Statement of Houlihan Lokey

    Houlihan Lokey, a global investment bank, is guided by a clear and concise mission statement that underpins its operations and serves as a compass for its employees. The company's mission statement is focused on achieving excellence in providing financial advisory services to its clients, while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

    Houlihan Lokey's mission statement can be summarized as follows:

    Delivering exceptional value: Houlihan Lokey is committed to delivering exceptional value to its clients by providing them with top-notch financial advisory services. The company strives to provide innovative solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of each client, ensuring that they achieve their financial goals.

    Maintaining the highest ethical standards: Upholding the highest ethical standards is of utmost importance to Houlihan Lokey. The company recognizes the significance of trust and integrity in its relationships with clients, partners, and stakeholders. By adhering to a strong ethical framework, Houlihan Lokey aims to build and maintain long-term, mutually beneficial relationships.

    Fostering a culture of excellence: Houlihan Lokey aims to create an environment that fosters excellence and empowers its employees to thrive. The company encourages a culture of continuous learning, professional development, and collaboration. By nurturing talent and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace, Houlihan Lokey believes it can deliver the highest quality of service to its clients.

    Driving global impact: As a global investment bank, Houlihan Lokey recognizes its responsibility to contribute positively to the communities it serves. The company is committed to making a meaningful impact by supporting charitable initiatives, promoting sustainability, and engaging in responsible business practices. Houlihan Lokey aims to be a force for positive change, both within its industry and the wider world.

    By aligning its operations and decision-making processes with its mission statement, Houlihan Lokey strives to be a trusted partner, providing exceptional financial advisory services while upholding the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.

    How does Houlihan Lokey make money?

    Investment Banking

    Houlihan Lokey is primarily an investment banking firm, and this is where a significant portion of their revenue comes from. The company provides a wide range of investment banking services to corporations, financial sponsors, and other institutions. These services include mergers and acquisitions (M&A), capital raising, financial restructuring, and strategic advisory.

    In the M&A space, Houlihan Lokey advises clients on buying, selling, or merging businesses. They help clients identify potential targets or buyers, conduct due diligence, and negotiate favorable deals. The fees for such transactions are typically based on a percentage of the deal value, which can be significant for high-value transactions.

    Capital raising is another lucrative area for Houlihan Lokey. They assist clients in raising debt or equity capital through public offerings or private placements. These services involve extensive financial analysis, market research, and structuring of the financing transactions. The firm earns fees based on the size and complexity of the capital raised.

    Financial restructuring is another key revenue generator for the company. When corporations face financial distress or are burdened with excessive debt, Houlihan Lokey helps them reorganize their operations, negotiate with creditors, and develop strategic plans for recovery. These services are highly specialized and require expertise in bankruptcy law, financial analysis, and negotiation skills. Houlihan Lokey charges fees for their advisory services, which are typically a percentage of the restructured debt or equity value.

    Financial Advisory

    Houlihan Lokey also generates revenue through its financial advisory services. This includes providing valuation opinions, fairness opinions, and solvency opinions to clients. Valuation opinions involve determining the fair value of assets, businesses, or securities, which is crucial for various purposes such as financial reporting, tax planning, and transaction pricing. Fairness opinions are sought when a company wants an independent assessment of the fairness of a proposed transaction, ensuring that shareholders are being treated fairly. Solvency opinions are provided to assess a company's ability to meet its obligations, particularly in the context of a significant transaction or financial event.

    These financial advisory services are typically billed on an hourly basis or a fixed fee, depending on the complexity and scope of the engagement. The fees are often determined by the level of expertise required, the time spent, and the potential financial impact of the opinions provided.

    Asset Management

    Houlihan Lokey has an asset management division that manages various investment funds on behalf of institutional and individual investors. These funds invest in a range of asset classes, including private equity, real estate, and credit opportunities. The firm earns management fees as a percentage of the assets under management (AUM), providing a steady source of recurring revenue.

    Additionally, the asset management division may earn performance fees based on the investment returns achieved by the funds. These fees are typically calculated as a percentage of the fund's profits, incentivizing the division to generate positive investment outcomes for its clients.


    Houlihan Lokey generates revenue through its investment banking, financial advisory, and asset management businesses. These diversified revenue streams allow the firm to capitalize on various opportunities and provide comprehensive services to its clients. By leveraging their expertise, industry relationships, and global presence, Houlihan Lokey continues to thrive in the highly competitive financial services industry.

    Houlihan Lokey Business Model Canvas Explained

    What is the Business Model Canvas?

    The Business Model Canvas is a strategic management tool that allows businesses to visualize and analyze their business model. It provides a framework for understanding the key components of a business and how they interact with each other. The canvas is divided into nine building blocks, which include key activities, key resources, customer segments, value proposition, channels, customer relationships, cost structure, revenue streams, and partnerships.

    Understanding Houlihan Lokey's Business Model Canvas

    Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank and financial services company that specializes in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, and valuation. Let's explore how their business model can be analyzed using the Business Model Canvas:

    1. Key Activities

    Houlihan Lokey's key activities revolve around providing financial advisory services to its clients. This includes conducting due diligence, financial analysis, market research, and deal structuring. They also assist clients in raising capital, restructuring debt, and executing mergers and acquisitions.

    2. Key Resources

    The key resources of Houlihan Lokey are its team of experienced professionals, technological infrastructure, and extensive network of clients and industry contacts. The expertise and knowledge of their employees, combined with their strong relationships in the financial industry, give the company a competitive advantage.

    3. Customer Segments

    Houlihan Lokey primarily serves corporate clients, including large corporations, middle-market companies, and private equity firms. Their clients span various industries, such as healthcare, technology, energy, and consumer products. By targeting specific customer segments, Houlihan Lokey can tailor its services to meet the unique needs of each industry.

    4. Value Proposition

    Houlihan Lokey's value proposition lies in its ability to provide comprehensive financial advisory services that help clients achieve their strategic goals. They offer expertise in complex financial transactions, access to capital markets, and deep industry knowledge. By delivering value-added solutions, Houlihan Lokey helps its clients make informed business decisions.

    5. Channels

    Houlihan Lokey utilizes multiple channels to reach its customers. These include direct sales through its team of professionals, referrals from existing clients and industry contacts, as well as online marketing and advertising. The company also attends industry conferences and events to build relationships and generate leads.

    6. Customer Relationships

    Building strong customer relationships is crucial for Houlihan Lokey's success. They prioritize maintaining long-term partnerships with their clients by delivering exceptional service, personalized solutions, and maintaining confidentiality. The company also focuses on developing trust and credibility through transparency and regular communication.

    7. Cost Structure

    Houlihan Lokey's cost structure consists of various components, including employee salaries and benefits, technology infrastructure, marketing and advertising expenses, and office rent. As a professional services firm, their costs primarily relate to human capital and maintaining a strong industry presence.

    8. Revenue Streams

    The main revenue stream for Houlihan Lokey comes from fees earned for providing financial advisory services. These fees are typically based on the size and complexity of the transaction. Houlihan Lokey may also generate revenue from capital raising activities, such as underwriting securities or arranging loans.

    9. Partnerships

    Houlihan Lokey collaborates with various partners to enhance its service offerings and expand its reach. They may partner with law firms, accounting firms, and other financial institutions to provide comprehensive solutions to clients. These partnerships allow Houlihan Lokey to leverage specialized expertise and access new markets.

    By analyzing Houlihan Lokey's business model using the Business Model Canvas, it becomes evident that their success is driven by their ability to provide tailored financial advisory services, build strong client relationships, and leverage their industry expertise.

    Which companies are the competitors of Houlihan Lokey?


    Houlihan Lokey is a leading global investment banking firm that provides a wide range of financial advisory services. As with any successful company, competition is a natural part of the business landscape. In this section, we will explore some of the key competitors of Houlihan Lokey and how they stack up against each other.

    Competitor 1: Goldman Sachs

    Goldman Sachs is one of the most well-known investment banking firms in the world. It offers a comprehensive suite of financial services, including mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, and restructuring. Like Houlihan Lokey, Goldman Sachs has a strong global presence and a reputation for excellence. However, Goldman Sachs tends to focus more on large-scale transactions and has a broader range of offerings compared to Houlihan Lokey.

    Competitor 2: Lazard

    Lazard is another major player in the investment banking industry, known for its expertise in mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and capital advisory. Similar to Houlihan Lokey, Lazard has a global presence and is highly regarded for its financial advisory capabilities. While Lazard operates in a similar space as Houlihan Lokey, it tends to have a more diversified business model, with additional focus on asset management and private equity.

    Competitor 3: Evercore

    Evercore is a boutique investment banking firm that competes directly with Houlihan Lokey in the middle market segment. With a specialization in mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and capital markets advisory, Evercore offers services that are similar to those provided by Houlihan Lokey. However, Evercore differentiates itself by emphasizing its independence and its commitment to providing unbiased advice to clients.

    Competitor 4: Rothschild & Co

    Rothschild & Co is a global advisory firm that operates in various sectors, including investment banking, wealth management, and trust services. While Rothschild & Co competes with Houlihan Lokey in certain areas such as mergers and acquisitions and restructuring, it has a more diverse range of services. Additionally, Rothschild & Co has a long history and a strong reputation in the industry, making it a formidable competitor.


    Houlihan Lokey faces competition from a range of companies in the investment banking sector. While each competitor brings its own strengths and areas of expertise, Houlihan Lokey has carved out a niche for itself by focusing on specific segments, such as middle-market transactions and financial restructuring. With its global presence and reputation for excellence, Houlihan Lokey continues to hold its own in a fiercely competitive industry.

    Houlihan Lokey SWOT Analysis


    Houlihan Lokey, a global investment banking firm, possesses several strengths that contribute to its competitive advantage in the industry.

    1. Reputation: Houlihan Lokey has built a strong reputation over its nearly 50-year history. The firm is widely recognized for its expertise in financial advisory services, especially in mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and valuation. Its reputation attracts high-profile clients and enables it to maintain long-standing relationships with them.

    2. Global Presence: With offices in major financial hubs worldwide, Houlihan Lokey has established a robust global presence. This allows the firm to tap into a diverse range of markets and capitalize on cross-border opportunities. The global network also provides access to a vast pool of potential clients and enhances the firm's ability to offer comprehensive services to multinational corporations.

    3. Specialized Industry Focus: Houlihan Lokey has developed deep industry specialization, particularly in sectors such as healthcare, technology, media, and energy. This focus allows the firm to offer tailored solutions and in-depth industry insights to its clients. By understanding the unique dynamics of each industry, Houlihan Lokey can provide strategic advice that addresses specific challenges and maximizes value for its clients.


    Despite its strengths, Houlihan Lokey also faces certain weaknesses that could hinder its growth and performance.

    1. Dependence on Market Conditions: As an investment banking firm, Houlihan Lokey's revenue is highly dependent on market conditions, particularly in areas such as mergers and acquisitions and capital markets. During economic downturns or periods of uncertainty, deal activity may decline, affecting the firm's financial performance. Houlihan Lokey's reliance on external factors beyond its control poses a risk to its stability.

    2. Limited Diversification: While Houlihan Lokey has developed expertise in specific industries, its narrow focus may limit its ability to diversify and adapt to changing market dynamics. Overreliance on a few sectors makes the firm susceptible to industry-specific risks, such as regulatory changes or declining market demand. To mitigate this weakness, Houlihan Lokey needs to continuously identify emerging industries and expand its expertise beyond its current focus areas.


    Houlihan Lokey can leverage various opportunities to further enhance its position in the investment banking sector.

    1. Growing M&A Activity: The global M&A market has been witnessing steady growth, driven by factors such as globalization, technological advancements, and increasing market competition. Houlihan Lokey can capitalize on this trend by providing strategic advisory services to companies involved in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. By positioning itself as a trusted advisor, the firm can attract new clients and increase its market share.

    2. Expansion into Emerging Markets: Emerging markets present significant opportunities for investment banking firms, as these regions experience rapid economic growth and increasing demand for financial services. By expanding its presence in emerging markets, such as Asia and Latin America, Houlihan Lokey can tap into new client bases and gain access to lucrative deals. Establishing strong relationships with local businesses and understanding regional nuances will be key to success in these markets.


    Houlihan Lokey must also be mindful of potential threats that could impact its operations and market position.

    1. Intense Competition: The investment banking industry is highly competitive, with numerous global and regional firms vying for clients and deals. Houlihan Lokey faces intense competition from established players as well as emerging boutique firms. This competitive landscape puts pressure on the firm to differentiate itself, maintain its reputation, and consistently deliver superior value to clients.

    2. Economic Volatility: The global economy is prone to volatility, influenced by factors such as geopolitical tensions, trade disputes, and financial market fluctuations. Economic downturns or recessions can significantly impact the investment banking sector, leading to reduced deal activity and lower demand for financial services. Houlihan Lokey must proactively manage its risk exposure and adapt its strategies to navigate through challenging economic environments.

    In conclusion, Houlihan Lokey possesses several strengths that contribute to its competitive advantage, including its reputation, global presence, and specialized industry focus. However, the firm also faces weaknesses, such as dependence on market conditions and limited diversification. By capitalizing on opportunities like growing M&A activity and expansion into emerging markets, while mitigating threats such as intense competition and economic volatility, Houlihan Lokey can continue to thrive in the investment banking industry.

    Key Takeaways

    • Houlihan Lokey is owned by its shareholders, with no single majority owner or parent company.
    • The mission statement of Houlihan Lokey is to provide trusted advice and services to clients in order to navigate complex financial situations and achieve their strategic objectives.
    • Houlihan Lokey primarily makes money through its various financial advisory services, including mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, financial restructuring, and valuation.
    • The Houlihan Lokey Business Model Canvas explains the key components of the company's business model, including its value proposition, customer segments, channels, key activities, resources, and revenue streams.
    • Some of the main competitors of Houlihan Lokey include other global investment banks and financial advisory firms such as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, and Lazard.
    • A SWOT analysis of Houlihan Lokey highlights its strengths in its global presence and expertise, its strong reputation, and its diversified service offerings. It also identifies potential weaknesses such as dependence on market conditions and competition. Opportunities include expanding into new markets, while threats include regulatory changes and economic fluctuations.


    In conclusion, Houlihan Lokey is a global investment bank and financial services company that is privately owned. Their mission statement is to provide trusted advice and solutions to their clients in order to help them achieve their strategic objectives. They make money through various revenue streams, including advisory fees, transaction fees, and management fees.

    The Houlihan Lokey Business Model Canvas provides a comprehensive overview of the company's key activities, resources, and value propositions. It highlights their focus on providing specialized financial services and their commitment to maintaining strong client relationships.

    In terms of competition, Houlihan Lokey faces competition from other investment banks and financial services firms such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Morgan Stanley. These companies offer similar services and vie for the same clients, making the industry highly competitive.

    Finally, conducting a SWOT analysis of Houlihan Lokey reveals their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Their strengths lie in their global presence, specialized expertise, and strong track record. However, they also face challenges such as market fluctuations and regulatory changes. Opportunities for growth include expanding into new markets and industries, while threats include increased competition and economic uncertainties.

    Overall, Houlihan Lokey is a well-established and respected player in the financial services industry, with a clear mission and a solid business model. Despite the challenges they face, they continue to thrive and provide valuable services to their clients.


    What is the 4 piece in SWOT analysis?

    The 4 piece in SWOT analysis refers to the internal factors of an organization, which are analyzed to identify its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These factors are:

    1. Strengths: These are the positive attributes of the organization, such as its unique selling propositions, strong brand reputation, skilled workforce, financial stability, or efficient processes.

    2. Weaknesses: These are the areas where the organization lacks or needs improvement. They can include factors such as limited resources, outdated technology, poor customer service, ineffective marketing strategies, or lack of innovation.

    3. Opportunities: These are the external factors that can be leveraged to the organization's advantage. They can include emerging markets, changing consumer trends, technological advancements, favorable government policies, or gaps in the market that can be exploited.

    4. Threats: These are the external factors that can potentially harm the organization's performance or competitiveness. They can include intense competition, economic downturns, changing regulations, disruptive technologies, or negative public perception.

    By analyzing these four elements, organizations can understand their current position, capitalize on their strengths, mitigate weaknesses, exploit opportunities, and minimize threats in order to achieve their strategic objectives.

    What are Houlihan Lokey core values?

    Houlihan Lokey's core values are:

    1. Client Focus: Houlihan Lokey puts clients at the center of everything they do, striving to deliver exceptional service and value.

    2. Integrity: The company operates with the highest ethical standards, maintaining transparency, honesty, and accountability in all interactions.

    3. Collaboration: Houlihan Lokey fosters a collaborative environment, encouraging teamwork and leveraging diverse perspectives to achieve the best outcomes for clients.

    4. Excellence: The company is committed to excellence in all aspects of their work, constantly striving for improvement and delivering the highest quality results.

    5. Entrepreneurial Spirit: Houlihan Lokey encourages entrepreneurial thinking, empowering employees to take initiative, be innovative, and drive positive change.

    6. Global Perspective: With a global presence, Houlihan Lokey values diverse perspectives and cultural understanding, leveraging their global network to provide comprehensive solutions.

    7. Social Responsibility: The company is dedicated to making a positive impact on society, supporting community initiatives, and fostering a sustainable and inclusive environment.

    These core values guide Houlihan Lokey's actions and shape their culture and approach to serving clients and stakeholders.

    What is SWOT analysis for investment decision-making?

    SWOT analysis is a strategic planning tool used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a business or investment decision-making process. When applied to investment decision-making, SWOT analysis helps investors assess the potential of a particular investment opportunity and make informed decisions.

    Here's how SWOT analysis can be used in investment decision-making:

    1. Strengths: This involves identifying the positive attributes and advantages of the investment opportunity. Strengths could include factors like a strong track record of returns, a unique competitive advantage, or a talented management team.

    2. Weaknesses: This involves identifying the limitations, drawbacks, or potential risks associated with the investment opportunity. Weaknesses could include factors like a high level of competition, a lack of diversification, or regulatory risks that might affect the investment's performance.

    3. Opportunities: This involves identifying external factors or market conditions that could potentially enhance the investment's performance. Opportunities could include factors like emerging market trends, new technologies, or favorable economic conditions that could positively impact the investment.

    4. Threats: This involves identifying external factors or risks that could negatively impact the investment's performance. Threats could include factors like economic downturns, changing regulations, or increased competition that might pose challenges to the investment's success.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis for investment decision-making, investors can gain a comprehensive understanding of the investment opportunity's potential, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis helps them make more informed investment decisions, assess risks, and identify areas where they can capitalize on the investment's potential.

    What is a SWOT analysis for a stock market?

    A SWOT analysis for the stock market is an assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to investing in the stock market. It is a strategic planning tool used by investors to evaluate the potential of a particular stock or the overall market.

    1. Strengths: These are the positive attributes of investing in the stock market. It may include factors like historical market performance, strong economic growth, availability of diversified investment options, liquidity, and potential for high returns.

    2. Weaknesses: These are the negative aspects of investing in the stock market. It may include factors like market volatility, economic uncertainties, risks associated with individual stocks or sectors, regulatory changes, and potential for losses.

    3. Opportunities: These are the external factors that can be beneficial for investing in the stock market. It may include factors like emerging industries or sectors, technological advancements, favorable government policies, global market trends, and potential for long-term growth.

    4. Threats: These are the external factors that can pose risks or challenges to investing in the stock market. It may include factors like economic recessions, geopolitical tensions, market crashes, inflation, interest rate changes, competition, and regulatory constraints.

    By conducting a SWOT analysis for the stock market, investors can gain a better understanding of the risks and potential rewards associated with investing in stocks, make informed investment decisions, and develop strategies to take advantage of opportunities while mitigating threats.

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