April 16, 2024Blue River Financial Group is thrilled to announce the promotion of Sara Clevenger from Principal to Partner, effective April, 2024. Sara joined Blue River’s buy-side division in May 2012, bringing over 15 years of experience in corporate development, mergers & acquisitions, commercial real estate development, portfolio, and transaction management. As Partner, she will continue to lead and scale the buy-side practice while providing leadership and direction to Blue River’s integrated services model.

Since joining Blue River, Sara has cultivated relationships with some of the most reputable, market-leading private and public acquirers in the middle market, seeking acquisitive growth in industries such as Business Services, Industrials, Automation, Software/IT, and Healthcare. While managing transactions directly, developing client strategy and supervising a team of Advisors and Research Analysts, Sara has consistently elevated the bar. Her systematic, innovation-driven approach routinely produced outstanding outcomes for Blue River’s acquisitive clients. Since Sara’s promotion to Buyside Practice Leader in 2018, Blue River’s Advisory team successfully closed transactions valued over $890MM in total.

Bryan Berent, Managing Partner, stated, “In her 12 years with Blue River, Sara’s commitment and drive never wavered. Blue River would not be where we are today without the relentless focus on growth, quality, and execution that Sara brings to the table every day. She, more than anyone in the organization, epitomizes our core values. While Sara leads the buy-side, she is also a valued member of the leadership committee, where her vision and ideas are felt throughout the organization. She has been instrumental in finding acquisitive clients, closing deals, and putting together a world-class team to achieve Blue River’s long-range goals.”

“Clients tell us Blue River is elite among North American buy-side M&A firms. It is a high compliment given the quality of our competitors”, said William Loftis, Managing Partner. “What sets us apart from others in our field? Is it technology and research? While those certainly help, it is not exclusive to us, as others have access to technological tools and market data. Is it our workflow designs? Ours are highly efficient and effective, but that is not our secret sauce. Our people are our distinction. Sara Clevenger leads them from the front with authentic, unwavering enthusiasm and one single aim – to deliver routinely excellent outcomes aligned with the needs and desires of clients. In the process, she constantly searches for better ways to do things and puts them into practice. Even amid life’s toughest personal and professional challenges, Sara’s optimism never dims. She lifts everyone in her orbit. Pride cannot begin to express how I feel when I call her Partner.”

Prior to joining Blue River, Sara spent ten+ years in Commercial Real Estate, with both The Sember Company located in St. Petersburg, FL, and the Staubach Company, in Southfield, MI. Through her tenure with both Sembler and Staubach, Sara developed diversified transaction experience from the vantage point of both developer-owner and tenant-occupant. Sara attributes her time with these organizations as being instrumental not just in honing transactional skills, but in learning the foundation of impactful leadership.

Sara earned her B.A. upon completing studies at the University of Tampa and the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Alliance of Mergers and Acquisition Advisors (AM&AA) and holds the Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) credential. Sara is active with a number of mergers & acquisitions associations, regularly collaborating on Smart Business Dealmakers Host Committee and as a regular columnist in M&A publications. She is also a dedicated and long-time member of Sweet Adelines, International (SAI), a global nonprofit music education association serving as one of the world’s largest singing organizations for women.

Sara Clevenger, Partner, said, “I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this team. I’m deeply grateful for the faith, support and mentorship that Bill Loftis and Bryan Berent have shown me over the past twelve years and I couldn’t be more excited about where we are and where we’re going.”

Connect with Sara on LinkedIn or reach out @ sclevenger@goblueriver.com. 

About Blue River

Blue River Financial Group is a middle market merger and acquisition advisory firm. We assist corporations, private equity groups and individuals in the sale and acquisition of businesses and have completed assignments in multiple business segments. With over 20 years of experience spanning across 50 global industries, Blue River provides a suite of services to middle market clients including corporate development, private equity support, valuations, and transaction consulting, placing a premium on relationship-centered transaction counsel and client focus.

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