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JD Merit

Where your best ideas are rewarded.

At JD Merit, we have cultivated a culture where clients and bankers are valued equally. Our fast-growing Boutique Investment Banking firm is focused on serving entrepreneurial lead middle-market companies. We provide a scalable platform for experienced and exceptional Independent and Bulge Bracket Investment bankers to pursue excellence in an environment that rewards the entrepreneurial spirit.

Since 1996 JD Merit (preprocessor firms Merit Harbor Capital & JD Ford) has created a best in class platform for bankers. We provide big bank tools and boutique collaboration in an effort to serve a singular focus: help our clients win and our bankers close more deals.

JD Merit meeting

Strong Partnership Culture with Experienced Leadership

While we specialize in several verticals, our practice group heads and other bankers bring a depth of experience to a highly collaborative environment, where we believe by working together we can win more for our clients and ourselves. Our vastly experienced JD Merit Management Team leads with a focus on growth and a commitment to the success of every JD Merit team member. 

Diversified and Experienced Management Team

Joseph Durnford - Chairman

Joseph Durnford

Sr. Managing Director
& Shareholder

36 years I-banking experience

J. Craig Dickens - CEO & Founder

J. Craig Dickens

CEO & Shareholder

35 years diversified experience

Joel Price - CCO & COO

Joel Price

CCO, COO & Shareholder

18 years experience

Nick DeVaney - President & Co-Founder

Nick DeVaney

President & Shareholder

18 years experience

Jeff Sasakura

Senior Vice President & Shareholder

14 years experience

Strong Experience and expertise leads to a Collaborative Culture and winning!

JD Merit Recruitment Puzzle Piece graphic

We have what you want in a Platform.

We know that your experience, expertise and relationships have been hard-earned and we’re committed to helping you monetize the “knowledge equity™” you have accumulated.


We understand you bring sophisticated and long standing relationships. Our goal is to support your relationships in ways that keep you top of mind and present in your CEO and Issuer relationships always.

  • Scalable and repeatable marketing and origination tools and resources.
  • Continued investment in brand building.
  • Commitment to personal brand building / “visible expert”.

Robust Client Sheparding and Deal Marketing

From pitch and kick-off to deal-marketing, our integral processes pull together mandates efficiently and effectively, all the while allowing bankers to scale and not get bogged down in minutia.

A “Put-Away” Machine

Our back-office professionals are date driven, milestone accountable, results focused and have a true process for orientation which allows for our bankers to enter and leave the process with trust and confidence that their clients feel cared for a respected. Bankers can focus on creativity and strategy as well as advanced negotiation – In short, the joys of deal making vs. the drudgery of fire fighting and back-office processes. 

Pragmatic Compliance

Our job is to keep you operating at your peak by practicing proactive and pragmatic compliance; Proactive to insure you sleep well at night. Pragmatic in that we are business leaders first and look to your “enablement” every day. Our electronic compliance vault and CRM systems make compliance easier. 

Admin & Resources

Banker enablement and efficiency is our mantra. While our clients always appreciate our dedication to true boutique service, supporting our bankers with “Big Bank” tools and service allows you to do $1,000 an hour work and enrich relationships vs. worrying about administrative functions. 

Collaborative Culture

Our team of over 15 senior deal makers (and growing) is highly collegial and collaborative. Every JD Merit team member possesses unique skills and experience that they are eager to share. We are stronger together. 

Professionals that
exhibit our core values thrive

You either have the below traits, or you don’t. Our reputation is built on winning for our clients. New team members should be aligned and capable of demonstrating these important “I’s”.

If you’re thinking, “that sounds just like me,” then it’s time to take the first step. Browse our available job openings and submit your qualifications for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

We seek entrepreneurial team members who embody the five I’s:


Adherence to our core values, which puts loyalty to clients, our team, and our mission above self-interest.


The ability to understand complex information, grasp nuances hidden in data, evaluate verbal and non-verbal cues, and then devise cogent plans to achieve client objectives.


Synthesize solutions quickly while under pressure as a result of, or by leveraging prior experience.


A natural ability to make decisions to take action with limited information.


An internal drive that pushes beyond what others are willing to do to succeed.

We are seeking candidates who:

  • True “Deal Makers” who are driven to originate & close deals.
  • Are self-motivated and ambitious, and who don’t wait for deals to come to them.
  • Are willing to work to build relationships with future clients and referral partners.
  • Are team players wanting to take advantage of collaboration and firm “network effect.”
  • Exhibit strong leadership and entrepreneurial drive while complying with firm expectations and maintaining high personal accountability.
  • Are personable, connect with people easily, and are able to listen first – solve second.
  • Love to win!
  • Do not apologize for earning large success fees. You understand value creation!

Current Opportunities

Investment Banking Associate

JD Merit is currently hiring investment banking associates who will be an integral part of the investment banking team by managing multiple aspects of the execution of capital offerings and mergers and acquisitions.  Associates are the gatekeepers of process control for deals and will work to train and develop analysts under their charge, as well as check accuracy of financial modeling, selling material preparation, investor list preparation. Associate will be a key contact person for the client in requesting documents, developing diligence questions, and managing the client during preparation of marketing and diligence materials as well as the diligence phase of the transaction.


  • Advise senior bankers on aspects of transaction opportunities;
  • Manage Analysts in creation of selling materials with clear thesis development;
  • Identify financial analyses / models needed, work with Analysts to build and develop;
  • Perform valuation analyses
  • Identify ideal investor types for various transactions and work to gather relevant information ;
  • Ensure that appropriate compliance measures are upheld;
  • Express ideas in an organized, persuasive, and articulate manner and keep team members informed of client discussion and relevant issues;
  • Attend prospect pitches and client meetings
  • Conduct industry and company-specific due diligence related to transactions
  • Assist in the preparation of pitches, management presentations, valuations, and fairness opinions
  • Create prospect facing marketing materials
  • Assist in the development and continued cultivation of prospect and client relationships
  • Develop an understanding of the underlying trends that affect M&A and capital markets
  • Gain an understanding of the interests and investment criteria of a number of middle-market private equity firms and or strategic acquirers.
  • Exercises a continuous process improvement 


  • Degree in finance, accounting, economics or a related field
  • 2-3 years experience in IB or PE
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Leadership / Mentorship
  • Time and task management
  • Comps/Target Lists
  • Valuation
  • Target List creation
  • Pitching

Industry: Investment Banking

Employment Type: Full Time

Job Functions: Financial Analysis,    Research, Support

Investment Banking Analyst

JD Merit is currently hiring investment banking analysts who will support the investment banking team by providing analytical support on capital offerings, mergers and acquisitions and other financial advisory services for our clients in broadly defined industry verticals. Analysts conduct research, assist with company valuations and financial models, assist in the preparation of client presentations, and gain exposure to various transaction related activities.


  • Financial modeling (discounted cash flow, comparable transaction analysis, public company comparables, and other valuation methods);
  • Preparation of Confidential Information Memoranda (and other selling materials) white papers, research reports etc.;
  • Monitoring publicly-traded companies, and on-going industry research;
  • Managing and assisting in the execution of Corporate Finance transactions;
  • Gain experience in M&A, private placements and Debt & Equity offerings;
  • Contribute to team discussions and client meetings;
  • Preparing and delivering client presentations in a clear and compelling manner;
  • Assisting with firm communications and marketing programs as it related to investor outreach;
  • Ensuring all work conforms to regulatory and FINRA compliance.
  • Executing process aspects of sell-side, capital raise, and buy-side deals. 


  • Excellent written and oral  communication
  • Attention to detail
  • Valuation
  • Financial Modeling
  • Sales material creation
  • Comps
  • Research
  • Target List creation

Industry: Investment Banking

Employment Type: Full Time

Job Functions: Financial Analysis,    Research, Support

Managing Director

The Responsibilities

The Managing Director position focuses on  the following:

  • Deal origination
  • Management of all M&A transactions from start to finish
  • Advising the client
  • Being the key contact for the deal team
  • Taking ownership in coordinating information
  • Execution of the deal flow both internally and externally
  • Being a team player/culture carrier

What industries do we operate in?

  • Banking & Financial Services
  • Energy & Applied Technology / Oil & Gas
  • Business Services
  • Food & Agriculture
  • Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals / BioTech
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Real Estate, Gaming & Lodging
  • Consumer & Retail
  • Manufacturing / Distribution
  • Construction / Trades, Building Supply
  • Technology, Media & Communications
  • Industrials

The Ideal Candidate

  • Boutique / Client Focused
  • Hard Working
  • Tenacity
  • Quick Thinking
  • Process Driven
  • Never Complacent
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • Analytical
  • Master’s Degree (Preferred)
  • Current FINRA Licensing
  • 1 – 10+ Years’ Experience
  • Knowledge of the Capital Markets

Industry: Investment Banking

Employment Type: Full Time, Commission

Job Functions: Finance / Sales

Director of Marketing

The Responsibilities

Job Profile

  • Develops and implements firm’s marketing strategy and works with investment banking team to execute that strategy to achieve ROI based results on marketing activities and spend.
  • Continues to research and implement best-in-class professional services firm marketing strategy and methodology.
  • Actively identifies and markets prospective clients, specifiers, centers of influence, and channel partners and collaborators enhancing our position with each.
  • Participates in marketing and sales efforts directed toward sources of investment banking mandates, including developing marketing materials for presentations, Pitches, seminars speaking events and industry functions.
  • Actively pursues speaking engagements on behalf of CEO, Practice Group Heads (PGH), and bankers in key verticals.
  • Conducts in-person and telephonic meetings with deal sources/prospects to generate and identify new deal activity and build relationships among specifiers and collaborators.
  • Works with investment bankers to establish and execute the appropriate activities, tactics and strategies to generate, identify and pursue new opportunities which may include representing the firm at CEO events, trade shows, conferences and meetings.
  • Analyzes and maintains all firm data assets from CRM system and other data resources to manage the firm’s coverage of existing prospects, specifiers, collaborators and deals.
  • Coordinates with the business development function and the firm’s investment bankers to produce best-in-class results relative to brand proliferation and deal flow.
  • Manages all outsourced activities, vendors and tools related to Marketing.
  • Manages and develops all internal communication for the firm and conducts training around firm marketing processes for all team members.
  • Assist and support all recruiting communications and collateral

Core Competencies

Creative and Empathetic – 

  • Assesses and effectively manages perception of the firm’s brand reputation in a way that instills trust and professionalism in all aspects of client and specifier interaction. Creatively place JDM in the client eyes and further develops understanding of clients’ needs and point of view in preparing for and executing a capital transaction.


Customer Focus – 

  • Maintain focus on JDM’s core values, which align customer needs and satisfaction as primary considerations in all business decisions. Possess the ability to leverage our core values and differentiators to highlight and create customized client solutions demonstrating excellence in all firm deliverables to the client.

 Job Specific Competencies

Digital Marketing Management –

  • Plans and executes web, SEO/SEM, database marketing, email, social media, and display advertising campaigns. Designs, builds, and maintains our social media presence.

Cross-Team Integration – 

  • Ability to lead employees from various functions to communicate, coordinate work across the company, and collaborate in solving problems as one team.

Decision Making and Critical Thinking – 

  • Understanding of the issues related to the decision-making process; ability to analyze situations fully and accurately, and reach productive decisions.

Effective Communications – 

  • Understanding of effective communication concepts, tools and techniques; ability to effectively transmit, receive, and accurately interpret ideas, information, and needs through the application of appropriate communication behaviors.

Investment Banking / Professional Services – 

  • Knowledge of the investment banking business and ability to analyze and evaluate client needs, types, market and industry trends, key issues, and regulatory considerations.

Event Planning –

  • Assembles creative and innovative event attractions based on internal capabilities or outsources to qualified vendors.

 Customer Experience Management. – 

  • Implements the strategies and techniques used to ensure that customers have a positive experience with the organization and its products and services at every touch point.

Marketing – 

  • Knowledge of the strategies and operations for promoting the organization products, services and reputation; ability to develop and implement these strategies and operations.

Project Management – 

  • Ability to plan, organize, monitor, and control projects, ensuring efficient utilization of technical and administrative resources, to achieve project objectives.

Business Development – 

  • Knowledge of and the ability to conduct daily and strategic activities in an organization’s business development function.


  • Minimum 7 years marketing, business development, sales experience
  • Strong understanding of Digital / Social marketing, AdWords, retargeting etc. their metrics and emphasis on actionable ROI / RPM of marketing spend.
  • Graphics arts interest, sensitivity and understanding helpful.
  • Experience utilizing Hubspot CRM system, including data analysis and integrated marketing campaigns
  • Understanding of capital markets, M&A; with strong preference towards experience in investment banking, financial services, private equity, alternative lending, accounting, consulting or other professional services.
  • Excellent written and communication skills a must with a premium on content writing, graphics and presentation skills (Digital marketing skills required but must be able to be client facing)

Required Education and Experience

Roles at this level typically require a university / college degree, with 7+ years of industry-relevant experience. In lieu of a degree, a comparable combination of education and experience (including military service) may be considered.




JD Merit is an equal opportunity employer.

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