Mergers & Acquisitions names 2021 Top 25 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Accordion’s Michelle Van Hellemont.

How are you a champion for change?
My role at Accordion has afforded me a unique setting to drive change and be a party to emerging trends in the private equity arena. As sponsor firms increase their emphasis and evolve their requirements for value creation at portfolio companies, we have adapted and matured the specialized consulting services we deploy to support the expanding industry focus on value creation. As value creation initiatives were challenged this year due to Covid, it was more important than ever to stay close to our clients, understand their priorities and help them leverage the deep expertise of our firm.

How are you advancing the state of women?
As a founding member of Exponent Women, I am at the forefront of providing a platform that unites dealmakers to exchange information, ideas, and connections. This proved to be more important than ever in 2020, as the crisis made traditional networking impossible. We brought women together via broad forums with timely topics and provided smaller, more intimate breakout networking opportunities to closely simulate in-person networking.

The board of Exponent Women used 2020 to embrace the opportunity to reach younger women in finance and create a new vertical of our organization called Momentum. Given the tenure of our founding members, and the tremendous experience that exists within our entire ecosystem, we knew it was time to provide women who are in the early stages of their finance careers with the prospect for mentorship and a platform to learn and grow outside of their immediate organizations/circles.