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The Influencers in Depth

Robin Engelson

Sphere of Influence: Founder and managing partner; holds nearly 32 years of experience in lending and investment banking; and serves on several executive boards

Robin Engelson is the managing partner at Sapphire Financial Group, a Minneapolis investment bank she founded in 2003. Sapphire Financial provides capital raising services for middle market companies and debt capital services for private equity firms and non-bank lenders. Engelson touts her experience in lending as reasons for success in raising capital for independent sponsors, family offices, and private and public companies.

With her experience, Engelson is able to provide clients with “the guidance of what’s available in the marketplace to accomplish what they’re trying to do.” The best thing about raising capital, Engelson says, is optimizing the best capital structure and relationships for a delighted client. Sapphire Financial is working on several transactions at the moment. One of those transactions includes a $60 million capital raise for an independent sponsor that’s buying two service companies. The raise includes debt and equity transactions.

Before creating her own firm, Engelson led the private placement advisory service division for Lazard Middle Market LLC, a U.S. middle market investment bank previously known as Goldsmith Agio Helms. While there, she focused on raising debt, non-control equity and arranging acquisition financing for sell-side M&A deals.

Engelson also served as a senior vice president at GE Capital, now a subsidiary of General Electric Corp. (NYSE: GE), managing the firm’s Midwest lending operations. Engelson grew the firm’s portfolio in her respective market from $25 million to more than $1.5 billion over her 10-year tenure at GE. With more than 32 years of combined experience in lending and investment banking, Engelson has financed or advised on more than $8 billion in transactions across a variety of industries.