Naoto Hall: Hitting the High Notes in M&As and Music

Trailblazing CEO's


There is a profound swing in today’s dynamic and complex business ecosystem. New organizational dynamic forces, including constantly evolving technological settings, new organizational kinetics, and fast-changing business collaborations, frequently lead to companies examining their bottom lines. Often, these factors lead to mergers and acquisitions, the rationale of which is to create synergies in which the combined company is worth more than the two companies individually.

In the scenario of rising private markets, M&A activity, and public IPOs, an M&A advisory firm acts as a consultant, guide, and coach for its clients and provides comprehensive strategic portfolio management for its client’s businesses to ensure profitability, growth, and increased market share.

One of the most respected names in the M&A space is Naoto Hall, who has led over 75 acquisitions within the investment banking, private equity, and VC realms from start to finish. He has conducted buy-side banking acquisition strategies and investment theses for private equity funds, growth capital investors, and acquisitive corporations.

The M&A Trailblazer

Naoto is the MD and Head of Investment Banking in Salt Creek Partners (SCP), a leading middle market M&A advisory firm in North America. He leads a team of company partners in managing complex financial transactions. Under his leadership, SCP provides investment banking services, performs market research and analysis, guides companies from concept through hyper-growth, and builds companies towards an exit.

Naoto’s career has been focused on specializing in the evaluation and execution of growth investments, recapitalization, and acquisition strategies within the technology, environmental, business services, and industrial markets.

Naoto has substantial experience with market research, deal sourcing, financial valuations, modeling, due diligence, negotiation of terms, and post-closing integration processes. He drives SCP’s inspirational services, partnering with growing companies within the middle market in order to guide them to a successful exit and better position their company on a global platform. He has also sat on the board of larger companies and has operated as interim Chief Strategy Officer from time to time.

"SCP aligns our economic interests with our clients. We believe in the alignment of finances, values, and objectives with our clients and share the risks as necessary."

Naoto’s Unique Strategies

Under Naoto’s leadership, SCP has used innovative M&A processes tailored to private equity and corporate buyers’ unique needs. Concentrating on competitive tension through a market-driven process, Naoto adopts flexible and agile methods to restructure the rigorous marketing and due diligence phases without negotiating on quality. SCP can thus cater to the specific requirements of different clients to deliver the best and most profitable results.

Naoto’s unique vision has set Salt Creek Partners on the fast-track trajectory of becoming a first-class service provider competing against the industry’s top banks. Starting with its first client, which originated out of the Southeast U.S., the company’s increased offerings, competencies, and reputation have expanded its services and its geographical footprints serving clients across North America and Asia.

SCP areas of expertise now encompass several realms including environmental products, services, and technologies, infrastructure services; retail products and franchises; industrial products & services; oil & gas; SaaS, software-enabled services, and the internet of things; blockchain, AI, machine learning and robotics; healthcare, pharma, and biotech; hospitality, professional services, and car dealerships; construction and engineering.

Sustainability at Salt Creek Partners

With a razor-sharp focus on scalability with sustainability, SCP declares, “despite the Pandemic, we are currently projecting $100 billion in sustainable advisory and partnership activity by 2030. Naoto says, “Salt Creek Partners is on a new and dynamic path- from the fast-changing environment to helping create sustainability for future generations to a real commitment to expanding our diversity.”

Over the years, to do his bit to make the world a better place, Naoto has reached out to various groups to volunteer and contribute to the community. He has been associated with Make-A-Wish America as a fundraiser. He has also voluntarily been serving as a Referee in the Special Olympics since Oct 2014.

Naoto Hall: Hitting the High Notes in M&As and Music
Naoto Hall

Clients and Teams

Naoto is committed to SCP’s upholding enduring relationships with clients. SCP partners with several CXOs/Owners across Forbes 100 Fastest Growing Companies, Top 40 Private Equity Groups, and Fortune 1000 Industry Leaders, with whom they are in frequent and sustained communication. He echoes SCP’s philosophy that helping an owner find the right long-term partner to continue their company’s legacy, knowing that the owner can achieve a desirable outcome and peace of mind, brings satisfaction day in and day out.

Naoto’s team at SCP is committed to earning and nurturing their clients’ trust at every stage of the partnership. The employees that SCP hires hail from a mix of conventional and non-conventional backgrounds such as private equity, buy-side investment banking, and management consulting, which organically builds a pool of creative and diverse perspectives. Naoto advises the team members to adopt a highly collaborative process both internally in servicing the clients and externally in collaborating with clients. 

The team of employees is thus a healthy mix of generalists and specialists that works across a diverse range of sectors. The team has proven track records in managing complex financial transactions, providing investment banking services, performing market research and analysis, guiding companies from concept through hyper-growth, and building companies towards varying exits. Naoto constantly mentors the team, guiding them to grow into their roles.

SCP recognizes the sensitivity and significance of its deliverables and is committed to earning and keeping clients’ trust at every stage of their partnership. “In addition to the strength and diversity of our team, the innovation and creativity of our processes, and our industry-leading insights, SCP aligns our economic interests with our clients. We believe in the alignment of finances, values, and objectives with our clients and share the risks as necessary.”

Naoto: The Trumpeter

Thoroughly steeped in music, Naoto Hall has been practicing the trumpet since the early age of 7. His chief instructor for most of his life was his father, Timothy Hall, who performs trumpet and owns his own studio in Laguna Niguel.

Naoto has received many awards, medallions, and scholarships during his early career. He was awarded Most Outstanding Soloist for two consecutive years at the Music in the Parks festival (‘05 and ‘06). He has also earned the Most Outstanding Soloist Scholarship from IAJE at the Monterrey Next Generation Jazz Festival in 2005. He received a full scholarship to the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music which he attended for 2 years.

Apart from his achievements, Naoto has performed at many venues with many different ensembles, combos, and groups. His performances include but are not limited to Carnegie Hall, Segerstrom Hall, Ming Hall, Carnation Plaza, Greek Theater, Calgary Stampede, and Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Naoto performed with both Wayne Bergeron and Arturo Sandoval where he was featured as a young artist by Tom Kubis’s big band.

Naoto graduated with a Bachelor of Science (BS, Accounting and Finance) from Chapman University and a Bachelor of Science in Music Performance Trumpet from California State University, Long Beach.