Kathleen King, vice president, corporate development, Day & Zimmermann, 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?
I started in corporate finance and worked on several integration projects. After a time I began to see how important it was to ensure the flow of the deal – right from sourcing through to post-closing integration – needed to be in alignment. I moved from leading integrations into full-time Corporate Development from there.
How has a mentor helped your career?
Early in my career I had a mentor who gave me several encouraging bits of advice that have served me well. One was “Try it”…too often when presented with a challenge – a new job, a relocation, a challenging project – we face the decision like it’s make or break. In my case it was a relocation, and he said “try it…if you hate it there you can always move back”. I sunk home to me that these decisions weren’t final, and I had latitude to explore and try things. Some of the things I have tried have failed, but I’m always better for having tried.
What is your current role?
I’m currently VP, Corporate Development at Day & Zimmermann. In that role, along with the entire Corporate Development team, we help guide the company in achieving our strategy, and specifically our growth goals. We do a lot of deal sourcing, looking for targets that align with our profile.
Describe your influence on the middle market.
I find ACG a valuable tool to interact with the wider middle market, to learn from them and provide my own experiences for colleagues to learn from. The Strategic Acquirers’ Network at ACG Philadelphia has been particularly helpful to me as we meet several times a year and discuss topics relevant to what corporate buyers’ are facing in the market today.
Describe a recent deal.
Deals are getting more competitive. When it seems like we must be at the peak, we find we are not. Speed to close has been a particular challenge for us, and we find we have to get out of our comfort zone a lot more than we used to.
How do you support women?
The best advice I have heard on how women can help other women, and advice I’ve benefited from as well, was pretty simple. Advocate for other women in your environment. That is it. Support each other. If we all do that, we can make an impact. And a lot of small impacts add up to big impact. One thing I heard in all the MeToo press also resonated with me…choose your one thing and do it. Some people march, some advocate, some are loud and others are quiet. Find your one thing, the thing you can do to support other women, no matter how big or small, and commit to yourself to do that one thing. That’s all it takes to create change.
What is your advice for women?
APPLY FOR THE JOB. Even if you think you are not fully qualified. Try it. You’ll more than likely find that you can not only do it, you can do it well.
When you’re not making deals, what is your favorite thing to do?
Spending time with my family.
What other career path might you have chosen?
I love to read. I read history, biographies, novels…pretty much everything. I would love to write, but I’ve never attempted it. Yet.