The interview below is part of a yearlong effort by McGuireWoods to profile women leaders in private equity. To read previous profiles, click here. To recommend a woman for a future interview, email Amber Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Spivack enjoyed a 30-year healthcare investment banking career before joining New State Capital Partners, a middle-market PE fund, as its senior healthcare industry partner. During her investment banking career, Spivack focused on advising corporate executives and boards on the execution of strategic and financial transactions for publicly traded, privately held and not-for-profit healthcare companies, globally. Her experience ranged from serving large cap companies while at Merrill Lynch, as managing director and head of the strategic advisory group, and at UBS, as managing director in its global healthcare corporate finance group, to serving middle-market companies while at Morgan Keegan and, most recently, KPMG Corporate Finance. In addition to her position with New State, Spivack sits on several privately held and national nonprofit healthcare industry boards.
Q: What attracted you to PE?
Maureen Spivack: I had spent a career giving advice as an agent but not a principal. I was always vested in my clients, but at the end of the deal, I had to walk away. I have a career of experience not just in healthcare but in understanding how good businesses succeed and create value. I wanted to use those skills and capabilities to evaluate and oversee companies from both the principal and board member perspectives.
Q: Why is it important for women to pursue careers in PE?
MS: I have been a mentor to women interested in investment banking for all my career. PE is still male-dominated. It is vitally important for women to have the opportunity to advance in PE. These two professions offer financial independence, which is incredibly important for women to maximize their options and achieve goals.
In addition, as our clients themselves diversify, investors need to represent all perspectives and points of view, as would be possible with a diverse workforce.
Q: What do you view as the biggest challenge facing women entrepreneurs?
MS: The biggest challenge is being heard. For whatever reason, women get access, but they are discounted, with their message and story going unheard. Persistence is vital. Keep going. Don't take it personally; just keep moving forward. Women need to be tenacious. Don't look for reasons to not do. Just show up every day and you will do it! Having women at the table on the investing side will dramatically affect this challenge.
Q: What advice would you give to woman-led companies interested in securing PE funding?
MS: Have your elevator speech ready. Be able to succinctly describe your company, its value proposition in the marketplace, how much money you are looking for and what it will be used for.
In addition, know what kind of partner you are looking for and what characteristics or traits will be a better fit for you when working closely with your investor. While all money is green, all investors are not the same. Be prepared to say what a good partner looks like to you and your company. You need to do real diligence on your potential partner to know how they react when things are going well and, invariably, when things don't go exactly to plan!
To contact Spivack, email email@example.com.
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