Mergers & Acquisitions names the 2022 Most Influential Women in Mid-Market M&A, including Katten’s Kimberly Smith.

Describe a recent dealmaking accomplishment.

For a number of years, I have handled acquisition and other transactional work for West Monroe, one of the fastest growing digital consulting firms in North America. This year, we closed a deal between West Monroe and MSD Partners, an investment advisor formed by MSD Capital L.P., which is the family investment office for Michael Dell, the founder and CEO of Dell Technologies.

How are you a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are factored into major firm decisions, from associate hiring and partner promotions to allocation of work and business development opportunities. I aim to improve the diversity in the staffing of matters and to create additional client engagement opportunities for our diverse attorneys in the corporate department. As a firm, we are committed to considering DEI engagement during performance evaluations, ensuring that attorney compensation systems reward DEI efforts and providing billable credit for DEI involvement.

A high priority for me is to grow the corporate group by recruiting and adding talented associates and experienced partners to the team though targeted, strategic recruiting initiatives. Over the past year, I have worked hard to boost the number of diverse attorneys in my group, with the biggest gain seen in the number of attorneys of color. Part of that success is attributed to the internal Diversity and Inclusion Committee I formed when I was co-chair of the M&A/PE practice in 2021 with the goal of improving recruitment and retention of diverse attorneys.