Duff & Phelps Corporation is a global valuation and corporate finance advisor with expertise in complex valuation, dispute and legal management consulting, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and compliance and regulatory consulting. The firm’s more than 2,000 employees serve a diverse range of clients from offices around the world.
The firm has dedicated industry practices focusing on consumer and retail, energy and mining, financial services and asset management, healthcare and life sciences, industrials, media and entertainment, real estate and technology and telecom. Clients include publicly traded and privately held companies, law firms, government entities and investment organizations such as private equity firms and hedge funds.
Duff & Phelps was founded in 1932 to provide investment research. Since that time, the firm expanded into corporate finance and investment management as well as credit rating. In 1979, Duff & Phelps expanded into investment management (creating what would become Duff & Phelps Investment Management Co. (DPIMC), which was spun off into its own company in 2009 and is no longer a part of the Duff & Phelps Corporation).
In 1984, the company was nearly acquired by Security Pacific Corp. in a $35 million transaction. However, the deal was called off in early 1985 Security Pacific Corp. because of restraints put on the deal by the Federal Reserve Board, which would have precluded the company from issuing public credit ratings.
The company was acquired five years later, in 1989, in a $146 million management buyout. The buyout was backed by Freeman, Spogli & Co., a private equity firm, which controlled approximately two-thirds of the company, and management and employees owning the remaining third of the company's equity. The transaction was highly leveraged, financed with 79% bank borrowings and 15% coupon high-yield bonds. The company was taken public for the first time in 1992 through an initial public offering of stock on the New York Stock Exchange.
By the mid-1990s, Duff & Phelps, which was operating as a publicly traded company, began to focus on its core investment management, financial advisory and corporate finance operations. As a result, in October 1994, the Duff & Phelps's credit rating business, Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co., was spun off to its shareholders and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2000, Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. was acquired by Fitch Group, which later eliminated the use of the Duff & Phelps name.
In 2004, Lovell Minnick Partners sponsored a management buyout of the company, the second time the company had undergone a leveraged buyout transaction, acquiring the company from its then owner, Webster Financial Corporation. As part of the transaction, the company was merged with Stone Ridge Partners, a middle-market investment banking firm. In 2005, the company raised equity from Vestar Capital Partners to support the company's acquisition strategy that included the purchase of Standard & Poor's Corporate Value Consulting business as well as Valuemetrics, a financial advisory firm specializing in valuation services founded in 1981.
In 2006, it acquired specialty restructuring firm Chanin Capital Partners, LLC.
In 2007, Duff & Phelps completed its second initial public offering raising $133 million and listing the company's shares on the New York Stock Exchange. The IPO provided a partial exit for its two private equity financial sponsors. Also in 2007, the firm formed a strategic alliance with Tokyo-based Shinsei Bank. The firm has continued its acquisition strategy acquiring Dubinsky & Co., a financial consulting company and Kane Reece Associates. In 2010, the firm acquired the consulting business of Dynamic Credit Partners, bringing specialized talent in complex fixed income securities analysis, valuation and litigation support. 
In 2007, Duff & Phelps acquired Rash & Associates, a nationwide provider of property tax management services, enhancing the firm’s property tax consulting business.
In 2009, Duff & Phelps acquired Lumin Expert Group, a financial consulting firm specializing in intellectual property dispute support and expert testimony.
In June 2010, Duff & Phelps announced it acquired Cole & Partners, a Toronto-based independent financial advisory practice. The acquisition established a Canadian presence for Duff & Phelps and enhanced the firm’s dispute consulting, valuation and corporate finance advisory services. In December, the firm acquired June Consulting Group, a Houston-based advisor to corporate legal departments on technical and operational issues.
In July 2011, Duff & Phelps announced it acquired Growth Capital Partners, a Texas-based investment banking firm focused on transactions in the middle market.
In October 2011, Duff & Phelps acquired MCR, a UK-based corporate restructuring and turnaround firm focused on insolvency administration and independent business reviews. The acquisition expanded Duff & Phelps' presence in Europe and enhanced the firm's Global Restructuring Advisory practice.
In December 2011, Duff & Phelps agreed to acquire Pagemill Partners, a Silicon Valley-based investment banking and valuation services firm. The acquisition enhanced Duff & Phelps’ Mergers and Acquisitions practice and further developed the firm’s technology industry expertise.
Duff & Phelps were appointed Administrators to Rangers F.C., in February 2012, the largest football insolvency in the UK.
Following the negotiation of an agreement with the playing squad to sacrifice salaries to help the club, the Administrators completed a sale of the club to the Sevco Scotland Ltd which later renamed The Rangers Football Club Ltd, headed by Charles Green, on 14 June 2012.
In May 2012, Duff & Phelps acquired Harvester Forensics Limited, a leading investigative and advisory firm based in Toronto.
In October 2012, Duff & Phelps acquired Ceteris, a global economic consulting firm providing transfer pricing expertise along with strategic economic analysis and tax valuation services, and iEnvision Technology, an advisory firm that provides law firms and corporate legal departments with Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) solutions.
On December 30, 2012, Duff & Phelps, announced that it had entered into a definitive merger agreement under which a consortium, comprising controlled affiliates of or funds managed by The Carlyle Group, Stone Point Capital LLC, Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group.
In April 2013, Duff & Phelps began a partnership with the consortium of financial sponsors and transitioned from a public to private entity.
In July 2014, Duff & Phelps acquired the Restructuring and Insolvency Division of RSM Farrell Grant Sparks (“RSM FGS”), one of the largest dedicated restructuring and insolvency teams operating in the Republic of Ireland. The acquisition expanded Duff & Phelps’ Global Restructuring Advisory Practice to include more than 200 professionals across Europe, the U.S. and Canada.
In 2015, Duff & Phelps made two significant acquisitions that significantly expanded the geographic footprint of the firm and broadened its service offering. The first was of Kinetic Partners, a UK-based financial regulatory consulting firm with 200 employees. As a result of this acquisition, Duff & Phelps launched its Financial Regulatory and Compliance practice.
The second acquisition was of American Appraisal, a Milwaukee-based valuation company with nearly 1,000 employees globally. This acquisition broadened the type of valuation work Duff & Phelps did in the U.S., specifically in fixed asset management and insurance solutions (FAMIS). In addition to the new locations in the U.S., the acquisition established new locations for the firm in Europe and Asia. The American Appraisal acquisition also included the Real Estate Advisory Group (REAG) business.
In December 2015, Duff & Phelps announced that the University of California’s Office of the Chief Investment Officer would make a significant minority investment in the firm. As part of the transaction, The Carlyle Group and Duff & Phelps’ senior management group increased its investment. Stonepoint Capital LLC, Edmond de Rothschild Group and Pictet Group sold their equity interest in Duff & Phelps.
In January 2016, Duff & Phelps acquired CounselWorks, LLC, a provider of compliance and regulatory services to clients in the alternative asset management sector. CounselWorks joined the firm’s existing Compliance and Regulatory Consulting practice.
In April 2016, Duff & Phelps acquired Tregin Solutions, Inc, a legal management consulting firm that assists corporate legal departments and law firm with process, technology and strategy solutions. Tregin Solutions joined Duff & Phelps’ existing Legal Management Consulting practice.
In May 2016, Duff & Phelps acquired Corporate Finance Ireland (CFI), a leading corporate finance firm in the Republic of Ireland. The acquisition expanded Duff & Phelps' Irish business to include over 70 professionals specializing in restructuring, insolvency, M&A, compliance and regulatory consulting, fairness opinions, private capital raising and real estate advisory.