Sphere of Influence: Runs Riversideís back-office functions, fundraising and deal origination; serves on the firmís investment committee and supervises a fund; previously served as chair of the ACG; testified before Congress on behalf of PE industry
Pam Hendrickson is one of the most powerful dealmakers in the middle market and arguably the most influential female mid-market dealmaker. At Riverside, one of the industry’s most active PE firms, Hendrickson fulfills several significant roles. As COO, she runs all of the firm’s back-office functions (including finance, compliance, marketing, human resources, information technology and administration) and two sales functions (fundraising and deal origination). She also supervises The Riverside Strategic Capital Fund and sits on the firm’s global investment committee, which considers investments in all five of the firm’s fund strategies. Since Hendrickson’s arrival in 2006, the New York and Cleveland, Ohio, firm has purchased more than 200 companies and raised nearly $4 billion. Riverside raised its fourth micro-cap fund with $650 million in capital to back small businesses. Prior to joining Riverside, Hendrickson spent 22 years at JPMorgan Chase in a variety of leadership roles.
Beyond Riverside, Hendrickson’s influence is far-reaching. She is a former chair of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) – the only woman ever to hold that position -- and she has advocated on behalf of the private equity industry through Congressional testimony, television interviews and op-ed pieces. She is also a member of the advisory board of the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, where she earned an AB in public policy and history.
One investment Hendrickson has enjoyed participating in is Tate’s Bake Shop, a cookie maker founded by entrepreneur Kathleen King. Hendrickson was instrumental in winning the deal for the firm and in recruiting Maura Mottolese to fill the CEO spot. Since Riverside bought the company in 2014, Tate’s has grown revenue more than 50 percent, according to the PE firm.
“There’s an awful lot of evidence out there that diverse perspectives make better investment decisions,” Hendrickson says. “But it’s not just women. It’s other minorities as well. Bringing those types of perspectives to a discussion around investments is really important, and you will absolutely make better decisions.”