In our next Celebration of Women Dealmakers, we highlight Katie Kimble, managing director of investments for Fundamental Income, a principal investor in single-tenant, freestanding commercial real estate leased to middle-market businesses in a wide variety of industries across the United States and Canada.
Katie Kimble started her career as a public accountant, and then, as she likes to say, luck brought her into private equity early in her career. For the better part of almost 20 years, Katie focused on many different aspects of alternative investing, which help provide her with a holistic view of the space.
In early 2022, Katie joined Fundamental Income, a Phoenix-based net lease real estate company backed by Brookfield Asset Management. She was attracted to the firm’s team, culture and investment style — a style similar to that of private equity groups, with which she is very familiar. Every step of the company’s origination process is partner-led and focused on building strong relationships. Katie notes that Fundamental’s goal is to help businesses “unlock value” in their real estate and ultimately serve as a long-term capital partner to support their growth.
While most of the Fundamental team is in Phoenix, Katie lives and works in Chicago. This gives the firm a presence in the Midwest, where Fundamental sees significant opportunity. Katie recognizes that real estate has faced significant challenges in recent years but believes that Fundamental’s model allows it to be more resilient and creative, finding opportunity in the challenging economic environment and capital markets backdrop.
Katie considers herself fortunate in the support and mentorship she’s received, particularly as a woman in the finance industry. She was raised to believe she could be anything she wanted to be, so at a young age, she set out to be president. Katie believes this mindset contributed to what she views as the biggest career hurdles she’s worked to overcome: a feeling of imposter syndrome and a need for perfection. Katie has found that the best way to overcome these challenges is to accept that perfection is not possible and accept that failure is okay, as long as the individual “fails forward” and learns from the experience. Once she started teaching this mentality to her children, she realized she needed to embrace it further herself.
Such resilience is one of the character traits Katie says has benefited her most in her life and work. She started her career right before the 2007–2008 global financial crisis, leaving a job in public accounting to take on a new role with a new firm where her entire office was eliminated because of the financial crisis. COVID-19 also altered her career plans, but it brought her to Fundamental. She believes her willingness to be flexible with her career has spurred new opportunities that further expanded her knowledge, as has her intellectual curiosity — another character trait she values in herself and others. Katie also places significant emphasis on humility and emotional intelligence. She feels strongly about the importance of knowing how to speak and interact with people and knowing how to be aware of and accountable for one’s actions.
These are some of the qualities Katie has looked for when she’s been in a hiring role. She’s been encouraged to see that the pipeline of women working in the financial industry is widening, which she attributes to several factors. Groups supporting professional women have grown, and they are helping spur greater education on financial topics and career opportunities in younger women.
Katie is also appreciative of what she sees as an increasing open-mindedness within companies, with Fundamental as one such example. Despite Katie’s limited real estate experience, the firm recognized relevant skills from adjacent asset classes that could benefit the organization. She hopes to see more companies looking at job candidates for their true potential rather than prior financial experience. She believes this can help bring more women into the financial industry, which will benefit companies willing to be creative in filling positions.
The McGuireWoods Women in Private Equity & Finance Initiative promotes the advancement of women in private equity and lending through a series of varied experiences that provide substantive educational and networking opportunities.