Most Influential Women Q&A: Raquel Palmer, KPS Capital Partners

How has a mentor helped your career?

When I started my career in 1994, there were unfortunately not many women to turn to as mentors. I have a strong work ethic that I attribute to the hardworking women in my family, but in terms of professional mentors, there have been no women. I have always relied on my current partners, Michael Psaros and David Shapiro, for guidance and advice. We grew up in the industry together and their support has always been key to my growth and development. They have always treated me as an equal even when I was much younger, and have always been willing to brainstorm on any investment idea and give advice without feeling the need to step in or intervene. They continued showing their support by promoting me to Chairman of the Investment Committee and most recently in making me a Managing Partner alongside them.

What is your current role?

I am Co-Managing Partner of KPS Capital Partners and Chairperson of its Investment Committee. I serve on the Board of Directors of the following KPS portfolio companies: DexKo Global (Chairman), International Equipment Solutions (Chairman), C&D Technologies, Chassis Brakes International Group, TaylorMade Golf and Winoa. I have served on the Board of Directors of 23 former KPS portfolio companies.

Describe your influence on the middle market.

KPS Capital Partners’ reputation and ability to see value where others do not provides a critical and unique strategy to the middle market. We have acquired many companies and transformed them through operational improvements, strategic acquisitions, market repositioning, management improvement and investment in manufacturing footprint. We have created significant value for our investors through this strategy, which is evident in the four exits KPS announced in 2018, three of which I led: Electrical Components International (Palmer), American & Efrid, Expera Specialty Solutions (Palmer), International Equipment Solutions Attachment business (Palmer).