Ciannella, Christopher
Christopher Ciannella
  Download Vcard


Mr. Ciannella has over 18 years experience with expertise in profit improvement, turnaround strategies, financial statement modeling and forecasting and M&A due diligence and sell-side advisory.  Chris heads up the FDP Due Diligence practice and has been involved in both buy and sell-side due diligence. 

Notable Engagements

Chris has performed over 75 turnarounds, profit improvement and M&A due diligence engagements in a variety of industries.  Chris's principal consulting experience is in the following sectors:  manufacturing, distribution, printing, food and agriculture, healthcare, steel services, and construction.

M&A Due Diligence

  • $200 million distributor of construction products (buy-side) - analyzed the EBITDA loss of a major vendor that contributed to 14% of revenues.  Identified a non-core business segment.
  • $75 million global provider of maintenance and repair services for industrial coke and glass ovens (sell-side) - analyzed EBITDA and changes in gross margins by segment (coke and glass) and by geography (Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific).
  • $95 million eCommerce specialty distributor (buy-said) - identified an underperforming segment by analyzing segment profitability.  Assisted client with targeted working capital levels.
Performance Improvement
  • $150 million revenue holding company ($125 million revenue egg processor and $25 million nutraceutical manufacturer) - reviewed and revised each company's strategic plan and financial forecast.  As a result, the company was able to retain its existing financing arrangements until a sale of the company could take place.
  • $75 million revenue private label food and beverage manufacturer - developed a detailed operating plan outlining $1.5 million in profit improvements and $2.0 million of inventory reductions, which returned the company to profitability and positive operating cash flows.  Advised management in organizational restructuring.  Our effort culminated with the successful refinance of the company's senior loan facility.
  • $40 million revenue label manufacturer - assisted ownership with returning the company to profitability within a few months by successfully increasing prices, eliminating an unprofitable product line, hiring a new CEO and rationalizing the workforce.  Successfully refinanced the company with a new lender.

Bankruptcy and Insolvency

  • Sale and liquidation of Walsh Landscape, Inc. - After selling the company and paying senior debt in full, successfully liquidated the remaining assets through an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, returning over 43% on creditor claims.
  • Operated as Chief Restructuring Officer during United Building Maintenance, Inc. wind down and liquidation of assets.
  • Advised the bank group on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of the YMCA of Metro Milwaukee.
  • Advised Triumph Packaging Group, Inc. on its out-of-court liquidation sale to Graphic Packaging, Inc.


Chris has rejoined Fort Dearborn Partners as a Partner, after being away for about a year.  Prior to joining Fort Dearborn Partners, Chris worked 8 years in public accounting, most recently as a Director for RSM in their Due Diligence practice. Chris also had been a line of business Controller at Harris Bank & Trust and served in the United States Navy.  Chris is an active age-group triathlete and a 2-time Ironman Finisher.


  • Northern Illinois University - Bachelor of Science
  • University of Chicago, Booth School of Business - Master of Business Administration

Certifications and Memberships

  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Member - Association for Corporate Growth
  • Member - American Legion
  • Board Member - South Suburban PAD