Karin Kovacic, managing director, Monroe Capital, 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?

My career in dealmaking started in 2005 at Fifth Street Capital. I was extremely fortunate to join as the fifth employee and help build the company since its early stages. The experience and team helped build my network and define my career.

How has a mentor helped your career?

Ramsey Goodrich of Carter, Morse and Goodrich. I met Ramsey in 2005 at my first Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) Conneticut meeting and he has been an incredible mentor and friend ever since. He constantly makes himself available to support and advise me when needed and does it in a way that makes sense while keeping my best interests in mind. Ramsey gives contructive feedback and empowers me to utilize my strengths, improve my weaknesses, and broaden my skill set.

What is your current role?

I am a Managing Director on the Originations team. I source potential deal leads, identify and analyze potential investments for the firm. I cover the East Coast Region, mostly from Boston to DC.

Describe your influence on the middle market.

With my involvement in industry organizations, I’ve been fortunate enough to serve on organizations’ boards of directors and committees that center around the middle market since early in my career. I served on the ACG Conneticut board from 2006-2015 in almost every position they have, ranging from Program chair, Sponsorship chair, Private Equity chair, to President and Chairman. I served on the Alliance of M&A Advisors board from 2012-2016. Additionally, I served on the ACG Global Board and Executive Committee from 2015-2018. Currently, I am a member of the Public Policy, Intergrowth and Strategic Planning committees for ACG Global.

What is your advice for women?

I would encourage them to network early and often. You never know where your next opportunity will come from and building relationships is key to both your current role and potentially finding the right opportunities in the future. I would also tell them to read more. Learn and make sure you understand what is being discussed.

When you’re not making deals, what is your favorite thing to do?

I enjoy having fun with my children. We love outdoor activities, spending time at the beach or pool, and seeing our extended family, whether it’s locally or together on vacations across the country.

What other career path might you have chosen?

I could’ve seen myself getting involved in the community and helping children. Now, I volunteer with the Junior League of Greenwich and serve as the co-chair of a new program. Historically, the League has been an organization of women for women. We’ve spent three years creating our new program, BAM! (Boys Achieving More). This is the first one focusing on boys. BAM! is a coordinated effort with other local non-profits in the area to provide an outdoor day of conversations and activities promoting trust, respect, communication and leadership. We have about 100 local 5th grade boys participate annual and hope to continue to expand the program.