McGuireWoods debt finance partners Ying Hsu and Penny Zacharias were profiled in The Secured Finance Network’s The Secured Lender – Women in Secured Finance 2021, published in May.
The publication recognized them as “inspiring women who exemplify excellence and have distinguished themselves within the secured finance industry.” The Q&A-style interviews focused on work-life balance, mentoring and lessons the women debt finance leaders learned along their career journeys.
Ying, who emphasized the importance of mentors and personal and professional relationships, said one thing she recognizes now and wishes she knew earlier in her career is that a career path may deviate over time.
“It took me a long time (probably longer than it should have!) to realize that each phase of my career and my life would require adjustments and, more importantly, to accept that my career might not look like my friends’ and colleagues’ careers,” Ying said. “It’s a long haul, and we each have to define what a ‘successful career’ means to us individually.”
Ying, who is co-chair of the Women Lawyers Network of McGuireWoods’ Chicago office and chair of the office’s recruiting committee, concentrates her legal practice in commercial finance transactions and general corporate law. She represents lenders and borrowers in a variety of finance transactions, including all types of secured and unsecured loans, lines of credit, acquisition financing and working capital loans.
Like Ying, Penny emphasized the importance of building a network of contacts early in a career and suggested that “work-life balance” may need redefining.
“The word “balanced” is really not the right one, as it suggests some element of order,” Penny said. “I think ‘manage’ fits better — there are days when you are of sheer necessity going to be managing one aspect of your life far more effectively than another.” Accepting this allowed her to reprioritize her time for greater efficiency and focus.
Penny, who was named one of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2020 Women of Influence, co-chairs McGuireWoods’ Women in Private Equity & Finance initiative and chairs the office’s recruiting committee. She has more than 15 years of experience representing financial institutions in a broad range of lending transactions. She focuses her legal practice on debt financing and secured transactions, including origination of asset-based and acquisition financing, leveraged finance, mezzanine finance and other lending transactions.