Success Matters

About Water Street Advisors

Water Street Advisors is a Wisconsin-based consulting firm providing Mergers and Acquisitions services. These M&A services include buy-side, sell-side, and consulting engagements to privately held businesses and their owners across the Midwest. Companies served range in size from $1 million to $30 million in annual revenue and include a broad spectrum of industries. In addition to transactional services, Water Street Advisors assists companies in preparing for the completion of successful transitions.

Get to Know The Team

John Kielich, CPA as owner and principal consultant of Water Street Advisors brings over 30 years of experience assisting businesses to strategically develop and successfully implement corporate growth and succession initiatives. He is an expert in all aspects of the M&A process and has participated in the evaluation of over 300 acquisition candidates and the completion of more than 50 transactions. Prior to founding Water Street Advisors, John held senior level corporate development and operation roles with two large publicly held companies in different industries. Additionally, he has been responsible for strategic planning and led the implementation of a significant restructuring project. John began his career with a Big 4 public accounting firm and was a senior manager in their New York and Milwaukee offices. Additionally, in 2007, John started and successfully ran an M&A advisory division for a regional CPA firm. John is a frequent speaker at seminars and has authored several articles. John currently serves as President of the Wisconsin Chapter of MBBI.

John can be reached at

LeAnne Foster, CPA,  brings experience in mergers & acquisition, finance, and tax.  She has worked with privately held businesses through the transaction process-developing marketing materials, advising during negotiations and closing, and consulting on countless other details that go into conducting a successful and lucrative transaction. LeAnne has conducted acquisition target searches, drafted confidential offering memorandums and other seller materials, and developed and reviewed projections.  Her creative and innovative approaches allow for the best possible results for each client. Industry experience includes companies in investment services, medical, transportation, technology, biotech, manufacturing and distribution industries.  Having tax preparation and financial planning experience give LeAnne insight and guidance for deal structure and solutions.

Contact LeAnne at

Gary Les is a global senior executive with over 25 years of experience in leading, managing, and growing small and middle market companies. His specialties include: international revenue development, P&L responsibility, strategic planning, manufacturing, worldwide supply chain management, technology solutions, licensing, and legal affairs. Gary currently serves on boards of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. Gary is part of the CEO consulting team for Water Street Advisors.

Contact Gary at

At Your Service

Buy-side Services

Acquisition readiness
Confidential targeted searches
Transaction management

Sell-side Services

Seller preparedness
Sales process
Execution and closing


We will help your business with bank financings or securing more permanent capital


Our Business Process solution includes Strategic,Tactical and Exit planning and the development of the specific tasks that need to get done


Our consultants bring significant experience in assisting companies with strategic and tactical initiatives to improve performance.

Current Opportunities

$13M Distribution Company
Provider of Specialized Products and Custom Software to Financial, Gaming, and Public & Private Enterprises. Growing e-commerce business and proprietary products. They have licensing and exclusivity in several Midwest states and territories.

$4M Niche contractor specializing in custom made windows for commercial buildings
Longstanding, highly regarded specialty contractors providing quality products and service at a competitive price. Highly regarded by business owners, architects and general contractors and primarily serves the Wisconsin marketplace.

$3.2M Specialty Contractor
Has a long history and outstanding reputation throughout Wisconsin for quality and service. Continued industry growth is expected and there is substantial backlog for this company.

$3M Specialty Industrial Chemical Company
World-wide distribution as well as domestic and international manufacturing capabilities with proprietary products. Specializes in Hazardous Waste clean-up and exceeds OSHA and EPA standards for wastewater.

Highly Profitable $3.7M Premier specialty retailer with 4 strategic locations in growing economic market
Project Crystal Summary
Maintains a strong web presence and stellar reputation in the marketplace. Has buying power over competition and great management at each location.


“You kept the process on track and moving forward after bringing strategic buyers to the table and negotiated terms that were in my best interest long-term.”
 Dan, President, Injection Molding Company

“When we first began discussions, we realized that our best approach to changing our ownership structure was to first bring on board a new partner, grow the business then have a future sale. This plan has been very successful due to the way John and LeAnne structured the transaction”
 Wade, Owner, Technology Company


Let's Connect


John Kielich (414) 899-0565

LeAnne Foster (262) 210-6637