The interview below is part of a yearlong effort by McGuireWoods to profile up-and-coming women leaders in private equity (PE). To read previous profiles, click here. To recommend a rising star for a future interview, email Amber Walsh at email@example.com.
Renny Sie is a vice president of business development and investor relations at Boyne Capital, a Florida-based PE firm focused on investments in lower-middle-market companies. She is responsible for deal origination and limited partners coverage. Prior to joining Boyne, Sie worked at the Goldman Sachs investment management division. She received her MBA from Miami Business School, DMA in piano performance from University of Miami and BA and MA degrees in music from California State University, Fresno.
Q: What both attracted you to PE but potentially concerned you about this chosen career path?
Renny Sie: My father is an entrepreneur and I've always been attracted to all things related to entrepreneurship. I grew up in Indonesia and came to the United States to study piano. After many years of studying music, I decided to pursue an MBA degree.
My career in finance started at Goldman Sachs. During my tenure there, I learned a lot about PE investments and developed a strong interest in the asset class. I was especially attracted by the opportunity to learn how small to mid-sized businesses work across industries and how the people behind them create value. It's truly exciting, and I learn something new every day.
Like everyone who's a career changer, I was naturally concerned about being inexperienced. However, I was fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing team at Boyne. They were incredibly nurturing and supportive during my early days.
Q: What lessons have you have learned concerning what's required for success in PE?
RS: I think these lessons are applicable not only to PE, but to everything in life. First, there's no substitute for hard work and perseverance. I learned early in my career that oftentimes, your hard work doesn't always produce the outcome you desire. That can be discouraging, but focusing on the things that I can control and measuring my performance based on input instead of output really helped me stay on track.
Second, relationships are critical to success. "People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou was spot on with that quote. Invest time in fostering relationships with colleagues, business owners, deal sources, investors and other stakeholders because it will pay dividends in the long run.
At Boyne, we take a human approach to investing, one that forges lasting and collaborative relationships. We understand that it's not an easy process for founders/business owners to bring in capital partners. Building relationships with founders/business owners is our top priority. We take time to listen and really understand their views and long-term goals. We view our investments as partnerships where we are committed to helping our partners achieve a common goal.
Q: Why is it important for more women to pursue careers in PE?
RS: Many studies have found that there's a high correlation between diversity and company performance. Diversity, gender diversity included, plays a big role in bringing different perspectives to the table. Women and men generally focus on different things, which also present different strengths and weaknesses. Without both sides providing feedback adequately, it would be difficult to achieve maximum potential.
Furthermore, since the number of women professionals in PE is still quite low compared to men, it's not easy to find fellow women PE professionals with whom to exchange ideas or collaborate. From my experience, great ideas come from collaborations, so it's important to have more women in this industry.
Q: What is a goal that you have set for yourself in the coming year?
RS: To be better than I am this year.
To contact Sie, email firstname.lastname@example.org.