Ascend Continues Growth with the Additions of Trevor Lunsford and Elliot Fantino to the Team

The news follows several recent deal announcements, with more to come by the end of Q1.

TYSONS, VA (March 6, 2023) – Ascend Capital Group (“Ascend”) is pleased to announce the additions of Vice President Trevor Lunsford and Associate Elliot Fantino as the firm invests in top talent to support a growing number of clients in achieving their unique objectives.

Trevor and Elliot will deliver value to Ascend’s clients throughout all aspects of the deal. Trevor’s primary focus will be the origination and execution of M&A transactions within the firm’s Software and Technology sectors. He will also lead the management, development, and mentoring of firm associates and analysts. Elliot will support senior-level bankers by developing comprehensive financial models, compiling acquisition lists, facilitating communication and information flow, leading quality control across team deliverables, generating dynamic presentation materials, and supporting business development efforts.

“Over the past year, we have significantly bolstered our execution capabilities with key new hires,” said Eric Parekh, Managing Director at Ascend. “As we enter a new phase of growth, deepening our bench of talent is critical to maintaining our high level of technical expertise and service. Ascend provides a unique platform for high-performing investment bankers to leverage their skills in an entrepreneurial environment and growth culture while helping companies navigate the challenges and opportunities throughout every stage of their journeys.”

Trevor Lunsford has worked in buy-side M&A and restructuring for the last six years across the TMT space and, more recently, within the Software and Tech-enabled services space with specific expertise in EdTech, MarTech, GovTech, and HRTech.

“Trevor’s vertically focused domain expertise, proven success developing future leaders, and experience advising leading Technology and Software companies will bolster our first-class transaction execution and client service,” said DJ Palmer, Managing Director at Ascend. “He also brings exceptional buy-side capabilities, having worked with a number of blue-chip private equity firms and portfolio companies on past transactions. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Trevor to the team. His areas of focus align perfectly with Ascend’s strong track record of best-in-class outcomes for our clients.”

Trevor joins Ascend from District Capital Partners, where he worked alongside top teams in the Vertical & Application Software space for private equity firms such as Insight Partners, Genstar Capital, Marlin Equity Partners, Stone Point Capital, Serent Capital, and their portfolio companies. He started his career at Cumulus Media, helping the company work through its Chapter 11 restructuring, moving into a buy-side-focused M&A role shortly after.

Trevor graduated from Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business with his BBA in Finance and MS in Finance with a focus on Capital Markets.

When asked about what drives his passion for M&A, Trevor said, “Whether it’s acquiring a mission-critical capability through an add-on transaction, or a platform investment changing homes and moving to a new sponsor, both open the next chapter of a company’s growth story. Being a small part of someone’s life work and legacy is such an exciting and humbling opportunity. Ascend has made quite a name for itself in the last few years, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of what’s next.”

Elliot Fantino has experience in investment banking, corporate development & strategy, and consulting. Over the last 2 years, Elliot has worked in sell-side M&A across various industries, including Business Services, Healthcare, Industrials, M&D, TMT, and Consumer. Prior to joining Ascend, Elliot was an Investment Banking Analyst at FORVIS Capital Advisors, the investment banking arm of FORVIS, a top 10 national accounting firm. He also held positions at Mitesco, a healthcare and technology-focused holding company, and Fidare Consulting Group, a boutique consulting firm that serves emerging businesses in management, finance, compliance, and investor relations.

Elliot graduated from the Strome College of Business at Old Dominion University, earning a BSBA in Finance & Economics.

When asked about his favorite quote, Elliot said, “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek” — a quote by Joseph Campbell. “Fear is all about perspective — when you focus on the positive outcomes, rather than what is making you hesitant or afraid, you can change the way you see things. When contemplating an exit, an alteration in perspective can be very beneficial for some business owners. As a result of Ascend’s people-first approach, their clients receive a peace of mind and perspective that clearly sets Ascend apart from other firms in the industry.”

DJ added, “Elliot’s passion for M&A and tenacious work ethic, combined with his analytical skills, will yield meaningful impacts and outcomes for our firm and clients.”

Interested in learning more about joining the Ascend team? Contact us at info@ascendcg.com.

As we enter a new phase of growth, deepening our bench of talent is critical to maintaining our high level of technical expertise and service. Ascend provides a unique platform for high-performing investment bankers to leverage their skills in an entrepreneurial environment and growth culture while helping companies navigate the challenges and opportunities throughout every stage of their journeys.

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