Amy Weisman, director, business development, Sterling Investment Partners, is one of 36 dealmakers named in Mergers & Acquisitions’ 2019 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A. Click here for the full list. This year, we asked the dealmakers to tell their stories in their own voices through Q&As.
How did you get into dealmaking?
A professor suggested I endeavor to get a coveted job in investment banking. However, in 1985, at the University of Michigan, only automotive companies and accounting firms interviewed on campus. Undaunted, I sent more than 100 resumes “the old fashion way” – and landed an investment banking position at Smith Barney.
Describe your influence on the middle market.
Twenty years ago, I was one of the early architects of the business development role for middle market PE firms. Through the years I have continued to bring innovation to deal sourcing by providing guidance to colleagues regarding branding and using social media to build deal flow. Last year I spearheaded, with a few colleagues, the first ever PE-PE deal sourcing event.
How do you support women?
Besides one-on-one mentoring of many women, I have worked with universities to increase the "pipeline" of young women entering finance. Once these women enter finance, a next step is to develop a community of support. That is why I became a founding member of a focused women’s deal making group, Exponent. I am also asked to be a featured speaker at conferences encouraging women to advance their careers in finance.
What is your advice for women?
Network Like a woman. In today's hyper-networked, social media inundated, and fast-past world, you need to stand out with new people. I encourage women to use their natural set of communicative, people skills to their positive advantage. Specifically, get to know others by finding out what makes them tick, there is time in the future to focus on the business deal. People will always remember that you cared enough to get to know them.
What other career path might you have chosen?
While a business major in college, I was equally passionate about art history. If I was more daring, I might have pursued working at Sotheby's or Christies as a Renaissance art expert.