Laura Albrecht, managing director, Maranon 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?

I began my career in a business valuation role, but wanted to be closer to the transactional side and accountable for outcomes. I transitioned to a private equity fund of funds, which developed my skills in fund management, yet not investing at the company level. After a CFA and an MBA, I started at a private equity firm. My first two positions and continued education provided a great foundation for what I do today.

How has a mentor helped your career?

One mentor said, “You can’t do every good deal, but the deals that you do, must be good.” The guidance shaped my investment philosophy by digging into the intricacies of prospective investments, having the intention to be the chosen partner and striving to support those select businesses in achieving exceptional outcomes.

What is your current role?

I am a Managing Director and Partner at Maranon with 20+ years of experience, principally in middle market credit, private equity and fund management. I oversee Maranon’s investment underwriting and portfolio management activity and am a member of the Valuation Committee. I also lead our deal team staffing function, diversity recruiting efforts and staff development and training function.

Describe a recent deal.

In 2018, I led Maranon’s senior credit facility to support the recapitalization of Culinarte’ Marketing Group, LLC (dba “Bonewerks”) by Kainos Capital. Maranon invested in a market leader with a clear value proposition to discerning chefs. We were also excited that the premium product exhibited the prevailing trend of clean label that consumers continue to demand in the marketplace.

Describe a challenge you overcame.

Maranon was started by two co-founders in 2007, with four partners quickly recruited by 2008. The challenge I faced was that a new partner had not been named for 10 years before I joined the partnership in 2018. I overcame the challenge by going above and beyond what was expected of me. I worked hard on multiple transactions, but believe the leadership I showed on improving many of Maranon’s internal processes set me apart.

How do you support women?

I play a key role in fostering Maranon’s culture and talent development. I lead Maranon’s on-campus recruiting efforts, and hosts presentations for undergraduate and graduate students to encourage their knowledge of and interest in middle M&A. I have also been a champion for increasing gender and racial diversity; today the Maranon team includes ten women and minorities in key positions in investment management, fundraising, financial reporting and administration.

What is your advice for women?

To be your authentic self – live true to your individual yearnings, values and personality to break through group pressures or gender perceptions. It could mean pursuing a less traditional path or being the voice of dissension – all while wearing those sassy heels.