Featured Member: Sara Bowdoin, Siguler Guff

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Sara Bowdoin,
Vice President,
Siguler Guff

How did you end up in your line of business?

A little bit by chance, actually.  Prior to joining Siguler Guff, I was working at a boutique investment bank and really didn’t know much about the fund-of-funds world.  A headhunter approached me about the position in Boston and it has been a perfect fit.  My favorite part of my prior job was working with small and lower middle market companies.  Through our small business platform at Siguler Guff, I still get to do that every day.

How did you first get involved with ACG Boston?

Although I have been an ACG member for a few years, I only recently became more involved with the group.  I went through the ACG Boston ACCELERATOR program in August, which was a great way to connect with other young professionals in the area.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

A coworker once gave me advice about networking — he said that instead of going into a networking event thinking, “How can this person help me?” think, “How can I help this person?”  It is a subtle change, but the resulting conversations are more honest and open once the pressure to “get something out of it” is removed.

What is something people don’t know about you?

While in college at Wake Forest University, I lived in Venice, Italy for five months in a house on the Grand Canal — the same house where my parents met 30 years earlier.  While I didn’t meet my future husband there, I was able to travel to Venice with him this summer and show him the house.

What is your most satisfying professional accomplishment?

There is nothing better than seeing a small business thrive post-acquisition. Not only does it validate your underwriting, but it is rewarding to see businesses succeed. One of my first co-investments was in a specialized publishing business that was carved out of a large public company. This division had been neglected by the parent company and our acquisition with the private equity sponsor really brought new life to the company, especially the management team. The company continues to take market share and introduce new products. It has been a great investment so far and I’ve enjoyed watching the company’s success.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever had?

I would have to say Kauai in Hawaii. We went for our honeymoon and it was the most relaxing vacation in a beautiful spot.

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