Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Avante Capital’s Ivelisse Simon.

Tell us about yourself.

I have over two decades of middle-market debt and equity investment experience. Prior to Avante, I held positions at Palladium Equity Partners, Reliant Equity Partners and various investment banks including Salomon Brothers. I serve on the board of several companies including Quest LLC. At Avante, I manage the fund’s portfolio and new deal activities. I joined Avante in 2009 as a founding member of the firm.

I hold leadership roles in several local and national non-profit organizations, including The Robert Toigo Foundation, The Hispanic Scholarship Foundation and the Westside Family Health Center in Los Angeles.

How are you a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

In June 2021 (eight days after having a baby), I spoke to the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, commenting on Senator John Hickenlooper’s MicroSBIC designation amongst other diversity initiatives. I have continued active conversations with Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Cory Booker’s offices on how the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program can best serve diverse small businesses.

Additionally, I championed our SBIC diversity internship program which grew to 30 interns across 26 SBIC firms. Next summer we expect up to 40 interns.

Describe a recent dealmaking accomplishment.

I was involved in closing six new platforms and deployed $122 million, a record for Avante.