Marilyn Adler, managing director of Medley (NYSE: MDLY) in New York, has been launching and operating Small Business Investment Companies since 1996. She says was drawn to the space because she liked the idea of making a real impact on small businesses and helping them succeed.

“Access to capital makes a real difference in a company’s success,” Adler notes. “When you are working with much larger companies, capital can be a commodity. When you’re working with smaller businesses, it’s much harder for them to get financing and it makes a critical impact.”

Adler joined Medley in 2012 and launched the Medley SBIC, which she heads, in 2013. The fund has $372 million invested in 28 companies. Two of the key deals that Adler worked on were Medley’s investments in California Products Corp. of Andover, Massachusetts, a maker of specialty coatings, and Stancor Inc., a submersible pump manufacturer in Monroe, Connecticut. Medley SBIC invested $13.75 million in second-lien debt in California Products, which was later sold to Audax Private Equity for a 1.3 times return on invested capital. For Stancor, Medley SBIC provided $7 million of a unitranche debt financing for acquisition by a family office.

Before joining Medley, Adler served in senior management roles with SBIC investment funds at Sunrise Equity Partners and Hudson Venture Partners. She also worked in the fixed-income group at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association and the investment banking division of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette.

Adler serves on the Small Business Investor Alliance board and chairs its BDC committee. She serves on the boards of UJA Women of Wall Street, ACG Women of Leadership, UJA’s Private Equity division and UJA’s Banking and Finance division as well. A former finance chair of the Cornell University board, Adler has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.