Mergers & Acquisitions names 2021 Top 25 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Avante Capital Partners’ Jeri Harman.

What’s new?
We successfully launched fundraising for our third fund, which is now substantially oversubscribed (despite Covid). At the same time, we had a record deployment year for our second fund and successfully managed our portfolio through Covid. Our firm immediately went to daily Zoom calls to make sure our team was connected and communicating. We triaged our portfolio to determine what the impact is/might be on the portfolio company, potential liquidity needs through an assumed protracted recovery period, and cost cutting or other steps the companies should take to address the Covid impact. We worked closely with the sponsors we partner with, other lenders, and the management teams to help the portfolios companies manage through this crisis. We also helped a number of our companies access PPP loans and kept our sponsors up to date on this and other stimulus opportunities. At the same time, we were able to deploy capital in new deals at a record pace in 2020, close to $100 million in six new platform companies.

How are you a champion for inclusion and equality?
In 2020, Avante launched the first ever diverse undergrad SBIC internship program (SBIC Diverse Scholar Internship Program). We had nine diverse interns (three at Avante and the balance with other SBIC firms who we partnered with). While it was originally planned to be in person, we switched it to a 100 percent virtual 8-week program, with numerous industry leader speakers, training sessions, and networking opportunities for the interns in addition to their day-to-day roles at each of the firms. We have already launched an expanded version nationwide for the summer, with about 25 participating SBIC firms and diverse interns.