About 80 percent of the top 10 mergers and acquisitions last year included independent advisors, Moelis said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company has advised on high-profile deals in 2013, including Warren Buffett and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital's $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz and the $35 billion merger of advertising agencies Omnicom and Publicis.
Advisory fees from these deals, among others, helped push Moelis' revenue up 7 percent to $411.1 million in 2013. Net income doubled to about $70 million for the year.
The firm was founded in March 2007, after Kenneth Moelis stepped down from his role as an investment banker at UBS to open his own investment banking shop.
(Watch: Moelis: M&A on long, slow & steady improvement)
CEO Moelis and other employees hold about 85 percent stake in the company, with 10 percent being owned by institutional investors, according to media reports.
The IPO filing did not reveal how many shares would be sold in the offering or their expected price range.
Moelis named Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters for the offering.
The company intends to apply to list its Class A stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MC."
The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is a placeholder used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.