Holly Smyth, B. Riley Securities
Holly Smyth
Managing Director
B. Riley Securities
What led you to a career in the deal making industry?
I have always enjoyed negotiations – whether it’s buying a house or structuring a deal, understanding what drives each side’s thought process is intriguing to me. As an Advisor, I am able to help companies negotiate the appropriate structure and find the right financing partner. I grew up in a family business and understand how valuable the right partner can be. I don’t take this responsibility to my clients lightly.
Best practices for fostering an inclusive workplace...
Being open-minded to alternative ideas, people, suggestions. To me, the culture is defined by the people. There are plenty of places to work, but what makes a job a career are the people you work with along the way.
Advancing woman to leadership...
In order to advance women to leadership positions, firms need to support the women through one of the toughest periods – when women are becoming mothers. Many women decide not to return to work after having children, particularly in the finance space. If a woman chooses to work full-time and firms are supportive throughout this period, we will see an increase in female leadership. I think the ability to be a working mother has become more attainable through flexible work-from-home schedules.
Advice to women on building careers...
Stick with it! There are many opportunities for women in the i-banking/deals industry. “The key of persistence opens all doors closed by resistance.”


Holly has more than 20 years of experience in the banking industry, providing financing solutions for independent, private equity, and family-owned middle market companies in the U.S. and Latin America. She has advised clients on various deal structures, including leveraged buy-outs, recapitalizations, and growth and acquisition financings. She has worked with clients in the industrial, transportation and logistics, business services, consumer products, and renewable energy sectors of the economy. Prior to joining legacy FocalPoint, now B. Riley Securities, Holly was a Senior Vice President in commercial lending at BBVA U.S.A.

Education: Bachelor of Science in finance and marketing from Miami University (Ohio) and a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

Location: B. Riley Securities, Chicago, Illinois.


& Distressed Investing

Forum & Awards Gala
July 19, 2023