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D CEO Award Programs

Winners Announced: D CEO’s Mergers & Acquisitions Awards 2024

From multi-billion dollar deals to some of the busiest dealmakers in the region, we celebrate the transactions that help make North Texas the business hub it is today.

D CEO held its 11th annual Mergers & Acquisitions Awards event on May 2 at On the Levee. Presented in partnership with the Association for Corporate Growth-DFW, the program recognized the most impactful acquisitions, mergers, and other financial transactions in North Texas last year—and the dealmakers who made them happen.

This year, the first M&A Legacy Award was presented to Tony Banks of RSM US. Prior to recently becoming a director, national sales leader, and corporate M&A advisor at RSM, he served as a director with Grant Thornton’s Dallas office since 2017. The 25-year veteran in private equity and M&A specializes in deals in manufacturing, energy, technology, and healthcare. He has been a past president of the DFW chapter of ACG and also was elected to the global board of ACG. 

Joining D CEO editors as judges this year were Brooke Ansel of Prudential Private Capital, Daniel Boarder of Whitley Penn, Jay Desai of Kainos Capital Partners, Gary Golden of Media Culture, Rob Kibby of Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr, Courtney Lewis of Cadence Bank, and Lindsey Wendler of 414 Capital.

Read on to learn more about the finalists and winners, and be watching for a photo recap and a feature story on how generative AI will impact the M&A landscape.



Winner: Tony Banks, RSM US


Winner: Robert Little, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Abby Branigan, Vinson & Elkins
Jon Finger, McGuire Woods
Richard Frye, Weil, Gotshal & Manges
William Howell, Sidley Austin

Debt Provider

Winner: Courtney Lewis, Cadence Bank

Rob Swift, Woodforest National Bank
Chase Wildes, Sunflower Bank

Due Diligence

Winner: Duke Deen, Whitley Penn

Dane Harris, Bennett Thrasher
Brad Porter, Moss Adams
Mary Cathryn Rau, IMA Financial Group
Eric Young, Grant Thronton

Investment Banker

Winner: Jon Mueller, Exit Partners

Jared Behnke, Transitus Capital
Simon Martin, Hext Capital Partners
Robert Rough, Telos Capital Advisors
Daniel Vermeire, Corporate Finance Associates

Emerging Leader

Winner: Emily Ackerman, Bennett Thrasher

Gage Dutkin, TKV-6 Strategies
Logan Fahey, Graze Robotics
Luke Lechler, Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr
Wes Romanowski, Pinecrest Capital Partners

Private Equity (Family Office + Independent Sponsor)

Winner: Patrick Hamner, Clavis Capital Partners

Tanvir Arfi, Banyan Technologies Group
Tom Beauchamp, Surge Private Equity
Shaun Gordon, Astria Group
Joseph D. O’Brien III, AG Hill Partners
Teddy Saltzstein, Six Pillars Partners

Private Equity (Managed Fund)

Winner: Robert Covington, Braemont Capital

Michael Bertrand, Crossplane Capital
Kelly Ann Winget, Alternative Wealth Partners


$1 Billion +

Winner: Avantax’s take-private sale to Cetera

Aligned Data Centers acquires ODATA
Bain Capital acquires Fogo de Chão
Gigapower joint venture between AT&T and BlackRock

$250–$999 Million

Winner: Park Cities Asset Management acquires Elevate Credit

Giampaolo Group and Rio Tinto’s joint venture between Matalco and affiliates
Kainos Capital acquires Evriholder Products

$50–$249 Million

Winner: GXO Logistics acquires PFSweb

Braemont Capital invests in Incline P&C Group
IKS Health acquires AQuity Solutions
Medical City Healthcare acquires Wise Health System
Transition Capital Partners acquires Texwin Metal Buildings

Under $50 Million

Winner: MB2 Dental’s national network expansion

Azalea Capital acquires Brittle-Brittle
Banyan acquires Competition Specialties
Fieldware acquires Uptrust and Orion Communications
Marco 4M Auto Parts acquires Texas assets from IEH Auto Parts Holding
Pattison Sign Group acquires Chandler Signs
Surge Amuze Holdings acquires Pipeline Games