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 on the board of the Wisconsin Chapter of MBBI.

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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.

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John B. Weber brings over 30 years of transaction experience in helping companies obtain debt and acquisition financing. Previously, as a commercial banker for several large regional and multi-national banks, John actively assisted clients on both sides of acquisition transactions with a passion for creating transactions that meet the goals of all parties involved. John has experience in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, wholesale, retail, franchising, distribution, logistics, transportation, healthcare, service, not for profit, and international. Most recently, John was the Executive Director for a public/private partnership that assisted minority owned businesses in obtaining capital for growth. John is and has been active in several finance industry associations, and most recently was an At Large Director for the Chicago Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth.

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Water Street Advisors has launched a sister company in the United Kingdom, Water Street Advisors Ltd. (The future website is Alan Hill is part of this team and has over 20 years of global experience in the automotive aftermarket and tools industries, with core competencies in North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia and experience in manufacturing and engineering in China. Mr. Hill has served as a President/ Director for the past 18 years. His track record is demonstrated by global growth as a mid-level executive with a large public corporation, a mid-size private corporation, and multiple startup businesses on four continents, as well as consulting on successful cross-border acquisitions for private equity-owned companies in the European automotive aftermarket. Mr. Hill currently serves on the board of four private automotive and motorcycle aftermarket tool and technology companies in the USA, the UK, Germany, and Australia, as well as advising on privately-held mergers and acquisitions in the USA and Europe. Mr. Hill is bilingual English/German and functional in several other languages.

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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.

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Gary Steinhart is an accomplished senior executive offering over 20 years of exceeding revenue, profit and business growth objectives within start-up, rapid change and high growth environments within diverse markets. He is accomplished at establishing and driving strategic and tactical initiatives to achieve targeted top and bottom line growth and at maximizing individual and team competencies. He works to extract maximum revenue from existing markets and create growth opportunities within new markets. Gary is part of the CEO consulting team for Water Street Advisors.

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

Current Opportunities

$4M Niche contractor specializing in custom made windows for commercial buildings
Project Stiles Summary
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.

Software Product Development & Healthcare Analytics Solution Provider
This company has established itself as the go to provider of needed solutions. The healthcare industry must deal with legislation that demands information on quality of service and patient satisfaction in order to obtain reimbursement and SAPPHIRE has the team to create the needed systems and solutions.

$1.2M Revenue Digital Marketing, Brand Development and Web Design and Development Company
Project Digital
DIGITAL has distinguished itself by enhancing the value of a client’s brand and producing valuable sales leads. DIGITAL has the in-house capabilities to work with clients on complete branding and web marketing solutions and has an impressive list of clients in many industries, recurring revenue, and has been consistently profitable.

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

John Weber (630) 201-0348