Ascend Announces Two Promotions—DJ Palmer to Managing Director and Thien Van Tran to Director

The promotions come as Ascend continues its momentum from an impressive 2021 and commitment to creating a new paradigm in M&A.

TYSONS, VA (September 27, 2022) – Ascend Capital Group (“Ascend”), a middle-market investment banking firm providing buy-side and sell-side advisory services, is pleased to announce that the firm has promoted Douglas (“DJ”) Palmer to Managing Director and Thien Van Tran to Director.

“We are incredibly proud of the talent that we cultivate at Ascend,” said Eric Parekh, Managing Director at Ascend. “These promotions represent the dedication, focus, and hard work that every individual brings to their roles, as well as the upward trajectory of growth and success we’ve seen over the past few years which they helped drive.”

DJ has nearly 15 years of experience in global M&A, corporate strategy, private equity, and investment banking and was recently recognized as a recipient of The M&A Advisor’s 13th Annual Emerging Leaders Award. Over the past couple of years, DJ has not only focused on delivering successful outcomes for his clients, but also significantly contributed to the firm’s origination efforts and been recognized for his expertise across the software, technology, and services sectors. His deep M&A expertise is a result of having worked with a diverse set of organizations—from start-ups and family-owned businesses to large publicly traded organizations and global private equity funds. Prior to Ascend, he worked for District Capital Partners, Evergreen Advisors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Deloitte.

“In a transaction-focused industry, we are driven and defined by our relationships,” said Palmer. “At Ascend, we are focused on building and sustaining bonds with our clients, founders, and management teams, which extend behind the transaction. We take a long-term approach to the dealmaking process and are committed to the companies and people we serve. I am proud to be a part of the Ascend team and a new approach to M&A.”

Thien has nearly a decade of experience focused on M&A, capital raising, corporate finance, and investment banking. His superior analytical skills and relentless focus on driving the precise end-to-end execution of transactions over the last couple of years have led to exceptional outcomes for Ascend’s clients. Throughout his career, Thien has been involved in a wide variety of transactions across various industries, providing founders and management teams with a highly unique perspective into the M&A process. Prior to Ascend, Thien was a member of the investment banking teams at Evergreen Advisors, Regions Bank, and Cassel Salpeter & Co. He started his career as an engineer at the Space and Naval Warfare Center.

When asked about the best part of being on the Ascend team, Thein said, “We are aligned—not just as professionals and colleagues, but as principled human beings. Any decisions that might typically be difficult in other environments are remarkably simpler here, as we trust one another to do the right thing for our clients and each other.”

“DJ and Thien personify The Ascend Way and our vision to change how M&A advisory services are delivered,” added Parekh. “We look forward to their continued contributions as stewards for our clients, our culture, and our future as we continue to grow the firm.”

The promotions were effective September 1, 2022.

We are incredibly proud of the talent that we cultivate at Ascend. These promotions represent the dedication, focus, and hard work that every individual brings to their roles, as well as the upward trajectory of growth and success we’ve seen over the past few years which they helped drive.

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