The interview below is part of an ongoing 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 or Penny Zacharias at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Alexis Vanstone
Alexis Vanstone is a vice president at Thompson Street Capital Partners, a middle market private equity firm focused on investing in founder-led businesses primarily in the life sciences and healthcare, software and technology, and business and consumer services sectors.
Prior to joining Thompson Street, Vanstone was at Twin Brook Capital Partners and BMO.
Q: What attracted you to PE?
Alexis Vanstone: Initially, it was the opportunity to learn about a range of industries and work with entrepreneurs. I have several entrepreneurial family members and was fortunate to witness their work growing up. I saw their successes and the struggles they faced firsthand. This made me want to not only help these types of entrepreneurs find success but also work alongside such talented professionals.
As I've progressed through my career, I've come to enjoy the interpersonal element of PE. It's a facet I didn’t fully appreciate when first entering the professional world.
Q: How do you believe women of your generation will be able to influence the PE industry?
AV: Our generation can help up-and-coming women understand what exactly a career in PE entails and highlight the successes of other women in the PE industry to show them it's possible to have a rewarding career and work-life balance.
We can also advocate for qualified women candidates and colleagues, when merited, and offer to help and guide these individuals as they progress through their careers.
Q: Why is it important for more women to pursue entrepreneurship?
AV: Candidly, we can’t allow so much talent to go to waste. Women not only represent a massive segment of the population who deserve to be represented in the business world, but they also bring unique experiences and skills to help shape a more diverse world economy.
Q: What are lessons you have learned concerning what's required for success in PE?
AV: Two major lessons helped me navigate the PE world. First is the importance of speaking up. Second is the importance of hard work. I found these two are related. I was able to find the confidence I needed to speak up because I had put in the hard work, analyzed the data and done the research, which allowed me to talk about issues, make valuable contributions and ultimately help drive the best decisions.
Q: What are the biggest highlights of your PE career thus far?
AV: The biggest highlights have been working with talented, driven individuals, both on the PE side with my colleagues and with the founders and management teams of the businesses I work with.
I am grateful to have had an opportunity to work on and be part of so many interesting deals in a range of industries that led to successful outcomes and helped transform the way some of those industries operate today.
To contact Alexis Vanstone, email email@example.com.