Ivelisse Simon of Avante named to 2020 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A
Describe a recent accomplishment.
In 2019, Avante is on track to nearly triple our deployment as compared with prior years. I sourced and closed three of the four new platforms as well as several add-ons, or over 80 percent of the total capital deployed. I am particularly proud that three of the deals involved women partners, and two involved new sponsor relationships.
How are you a champion for change?
As a small business investment committee, Avante’s largest investor is the U.S. government. I visited Capitol Hill alongside my fellow SBIC members. My focus was on increasing diversity in the SBIC program and the private equity industry more broadly. I faced a lot of pushback (e.g. “Women aren’t interested in private equity” or “We have bigger issues to tackle”) but ultimately the message resonated with Senators. I am honored to lead this important charge to implement an internship program to increase diversity in the industry. I like to say that “we aren’t doing our job if we’re not having the awkward conversations.” Also, I launched a networking group for women in private equity on LinkedIn and I serve on the Advisory Board for Westside Family Health Center, which supports families across Los Angeles with high quality healthcare, regardless of ability to pay.