Lake George slide show photo © 2012 Carl Heilman II
About Hardstone

Hardstone Capital is a corporate finance and M&A advisor to entrepreneurs and investors in early stage and mid-market private companies. Our clients are primarily entrepreneurs who are looking for help in finding and negotiating with their first round of institutional capital. We use a network of relationships built over 35 years of experience on Wall Street to consult with our clients to provide services that include researching potential investors, strategic partners or acquirers; preparing presentation material and information memorandums; providing introductions, arranging and scheduling roadshows; giving sell-side advice and helping to execute strategic business development initiatives to accelerate our client’s penetration into new markets.


We are based in New York so our personal network of institutional investors, alternative lenders, mezzanine and buyout funds, hedge funds, and boutique investment banks is mostly located on the East Coast, but we extend those relationships by using our extensive research database, social networking tools and targeting skills to cover private equity, hedge fund and alternative lenders anywhere in the country.


We tailor our advisory services to meet the needs of our clients and negotiate our fees on a case-by-case basis. Hardstone is a small firm that has built a reputation for providing high-touch, personal service to our clients so we are selective about the assignments we accept so we can work closely with each of our clients to get deals done in the shortest time frame possible.


Thomas F. McKiernan

Managing Partner

I founded Hardstone Capital in 1997 after gaining almost 40 years of experience in the oil industry, as an entrepreneur, and on Wall Street where my career included work in corporate finance, investment banking and commodity trading. Prior to founding Hardstone, I was a managing director at Bengur Bryan & Co, a Baltimore-based investment bank that focused on M&A advisory services and equity capital financings for early stage and middle-market companies. Previously I was managing director of corporate finance at Spencer Trask Securities, an investment banking firm in New York, where I specialized in private equity placements for early-stage companies. Prior to joining Spencer Trask, I was with Alex. Brown & Sons, where I developed private client relationships with high net worth investors during the technology boom of the late 90’s.


Before I transited into the “deal business” in the early 90’s, I was one of the original authors of the energy futures contracts that trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX) and founded the first Institutional Energy Departments at both Merrill Lynch and Drexel Burnham Lambert, where I founded, staffed and supervised institutional energy futures brokering desks in New York, London and Singapore. I served on the NYMEX Board of Governors from 1980 to 1983, was chairman of the exchange's Petroleum Advisory Committee from 1978 to 1985 and I currently serve as a Public Member of the Probable Cause Committee at the NYMEX Division of the CME Group.


In October of 1987, I was recruited to be President and CEO of Intex Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd., and The International Futures Exchange (“INTEX”) a start-up that was recognized for being a pioneering effort to create the industry’s first electronic futures exchange, a company that became a predecessor to many of today's Electronic Communications Networks (ECN's). At Intex I negotiated an exclusive technology sharing and distribution agreement with Dow Jones/Telerate, Inc. (now part of Thompson/Reuters), and competed with the Reuters/CME Globex initiative by creating an order-routing system based on Intex's proprietary technology to facilitate electronic trading between futures exchanges in the US, Europe, and the Far East.


I raised the first venture round and served on the Board of Directors of the Internet Service Provider pioneer, Digital Express, Inc.(“DIGEX”), prior to the company's IPO and served on the Board of Directors of the Game Institute, a publisher of courseware that teaches computer science through video game developing. I’ve also been a Special Advisor to Wall Street Without Walls, a non-profit organization that provides capital market advisory services to community development organizations throughout the U.S. I earned my batchelors degree from Marist College in 1968, and had the privilege of serving as a member of the Marist Board of Trustees from 1981-2006.