James F Davidson, CM&AA, CM&AP, CPA, CGMA, CFF, CFE, CBA, CTP, CIRA

Managing Director & President

Jim DavidsonVCard-128 is managing director and founder of Avant Advisory Group, a management consulting and operationally focused financial advisory firm that specializes in middle-market M&A. Jim is both a Certified Merger & Acquisitions Advisor (CM&AA) and Certified Merger & Acquisitions Professional (CM&AP). He has obtained CPA and Chartered Global Management Accountant certifications with multiple financial forensics specialization credentials and is a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Board Advisor (CBA) and Certified Director. Finally, he is both a Certified Turnaround Professional and Certified Insolvency & Restructuring Advisor.

Avant Advisory Group provides M&A transaction support and has performed hundreds of buy-side and sell-side diligence engagements that include financial / quality of earnings and operations for companies ranging from distressed to multi-billion firms. Further, his firm has been engaged by both counsel and buyers/investors to investigate and opine on post-acquisition issues and disputes.
Jim has served in executive positions at both public and private companies ranging from entrepreneurial to multi-billion-dollar firms. After 10 years of accounting, auditing, M&A transaction advisory and other consulting for Big Four Certified Public Accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, Jim transitioned to private industry. He spent over 10 years as a member of several boards of directors and in various financial and executive positions, including president and CEO, COO, CFO, secretary-treasurer, chief accounting officer, and corporate controller.

Jim integrates experience from private industry, public accounting, auditing and consulting. His specialties include mergers and acquisitions, distressed and special situations that comprise insolvency, bankruptcy, financial restructurings, operational turnarounds, and profitability improvement. He uses his expertise to assist with issues of fraud, forensics, and dispute resolution, due diligence, strategic planning, and corporate governance. His combined experience and professional qualifications fulfill financial expert requirements defined by Sarbanes-Oxley, NYSE, and NASDAQ. He also served on the Financial Executives International (“FEI”) committee for Mid-Sized Public Companies. He has served on the Small Business Bankruptcy Task Force of the American Bankruptcy Institute and was past member of the board of directors of the Orange County Forensic Expert Witness Association, past 4-year president and current member of the board of directors of the Los Angeles Chapter of Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

In over 30 years’ experience, Jim has obtained diversified experience across many industries, including the specialized areas of aerospace & defense; engineering & construction; contracting; industrial products manufacturing & assembly; trucking & transportation; route-based businesses; waste management & disposal; & services; energy – oil & gas, oil shale, ethanol, mining; consumer products & services; restaurants, franchising; retail & wholesale distribution; food processing & packaging; agri-business; healthcare; business & professional services; government & not-for-profit; telecom, media, & technology.

Currently, Jim primarily serves middle-market companies ranging from $25 million to multi-billion-dollar sales, private equity firms, family offices and their portfolio companies, banks, alternative lenders, & other capital providers, attorneys & law firms.
A university-certified facilitator and instructor, Jim has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in business and management. These have primarily related to business ethics, auditing, forensic accounting, finance, economics, management, strategic planning, and critical thinking. He has also extensive to numerous professional and business associations such as the following:

He has presented to multiple professional and business associations on topics such as the following:

  • “M&A Outlook 2019 – Driving Due Diligence Efficiency & Effectiveness”
  • “Lessons from the Trenches – How to Avoid Bad Deals and Minimize the Harm When They Happen”
  • “Working Capital Disputes & How to Avoid Them”
  • “Private Equity and Family Offices Middle Market Buyouts”
  • “The M&A Capital Stack Post-Recovery – the Why, Who, and Why”
  • “Cautionary Tales, Red Flags, Broken Deals & More Lessons From M&A Experts”
  • “M&A Due Diligence – Financial Quality of Earnings & Operations”
  • “The Impact of Asset Valuations on Credit Decisions”
  • “Quality of Earnings, Forensic, and Other Issues: Forewarned is Forearmed”
  • “Distressed Asset Acquisitions”
  • “When the Next Bubble Bursts: How to Invest in the Next Economic Downturn”
  • “Advantages of 363 Sale vs. 1129 Plan and Other Alternatives”
  • “Lessons from the Trenches, Views from Industry Experts”
  • “Recovering Value from Underperforming Companies in the Current Economy”
  • “Structuring and Financing Special Situation and Tough Deals – Carve-outs, Distressed, Operational and Financial”
  • “Got Profits? Now You See Them, Now You Don’t as Profits Vanish in both Crisis Situations and Fraudulent Activity”
  • “Restructuring –Lessons Learned from the Experts”
  • “Corporate Transgressions and Financial Reporting Gimmickry”
  • “Trends & Techniques in Fraud, Forensics & Corporate Investigations”
  • “Mortgage Fraud – Rise, Fall, & Emergence from Bankruptcy of a Public Company & Subprime Lender during the Financial Crisis”
  • “Liability of Attorneys, Accountants and Other Professionals in Ponzi Schemes”
  • “Managing a Turnaround”
  • “Lessons Learned from Strategic Planning and Execution Failures”

Jim and has been a designated expert in both federal and state courts, was 4-year president for the Los Angeles Association of Certified Fraud Examiners and remains on its board of directors. He has also served on the board of the Orange County chapter of the Forensic Expert Witness Association, the board of the Orange County Transaction Network, and the board of Opus Connect. Jim obtained a master’s degree in business in finance & managerial accounting and bachelor’s degrees in psychology and political science from the University of California, Irvine.
He serves on the board of directors, finance & audit committee of the international, not-for-profit organization, Royal Family Kids https://royalfamilykids.org/.