vcardDerek Avdul

Managing Partner
4551 Glencoe Avenue
Suite 100
Marina del Rey CA 90292

Derek grew up in a small town in Northeast Ohio. His exposure to small businesses started early. Derek’s parents were entrepreneurs, and he watched them build a company from scratch out of the back of a station wagon into a successful company of 35 employees with a reputation as the best in their industry. After finishing college, he began his career in Chicago, where his passion for finance and M&A was fostered. He earned his MBA in Finance at DePaul University while also working full-time, and then his M&A career took him from Chicago to New York and Los Angeles. He has led many successful M&A and corporate development teams on the buy- and sell-sides at both large and small organizations. With 20 years in the business, today, Derek is responsible for building, developing, and ultimately leading Benchmark’s team in our newest location in Los Angeles, overseeing our M&A deals throughout all of California.


School: DePaul University – Kellstadt Graduate School of Business

Major: MBA - Finance

School: Miami University (OH)

Major: BS in Business Administration




Derek’s entire career has been spent in M&A and Corporate Development working within organizations such as EY, Sony, EMI Music, and PSI Services. He has also worked as a sell-side investment banker, an independent M&A advisor, a solo-practitioner, and as the leader of deal teams on both the buy and sell-sides, giving him an understanding of both perspectives in a transaction. He enjoys helping companies navigate the M&A process and he has always had a focus on middle-market and lower middle-market sized companies. Derek has the ability to see the big picture while also not being afraid to roll up his sleeves and do whatever it takes. He is a strong negotiator and always works to achieve a win-win scenario for clients.


Derek’s extensive M&A experience enabled him to help his parents exit their own business, maximize their return, and keep the company successful after selling to a strategic player in their industry to keep their company and legacy in the right hands. Being able to do that for them was extremely rewarding, and a key reason why he understands the circumstances of our clients on a personal level, wanting to help guide them in the same way. He finds it to be very fulfilling, both professionally and personally, to learn about new companies and industries and work with entrepreneurs who built something special and are astute enough to realize they need help with the M&A process. 

Getting to know you

Derek loves traveling with his wife and son, and enjoys tennis, skiing, reading, and studying stocks and investments.