December 10, 2019
In early September, 2019, St. Cloud Capital, LLC onboarded Vice President Sibyl Kavak onto its investment team. “We’ve followed Sibyl’s career trajectory for a number of years and are excited to have her join St. Cloud,” stated Benjamin Hom, Managing Partner of St. Cloud. “We were excited to be able to convince Sibyl to join the St. Cloud team as our first woman investment professional. It was long overdue and she has already hit the ground running. We hope she will be a regular contributor and participant at the LPGP Women in Private Debt Conferences”, said Kacy Rozelle, Managing Partner of St. Cloud.
Women in business, such as Ms. Kavak, are increasing their presence in the private equity and direct lending world. Additionally, women today own or co-own 35% of franchises and 42% of all businesses, according to the Wall Street Journal. Industries with the most female business owners include interior-decorating, clothing/toys and accessories and travel agencies. “I think it’s driven by the fact we have more women in C-level upper-management positions than ever before, and when those women leave corporate America, they have more confidence to run their own business,” says Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet. Nevertheless, diversity is still an issue in the financial industry and within Wall Street, according to Wall Street Journal. However, more and more clients are asking to work with female financial advisors. St. Cloud is also seeing increasing amounts of female business owners looking for funding to grow their businesses.
Sibyl is already a big part of St. Cloud and represents the firm at conferences nationwide. On October 30th, 2019, Sibyl attended the LPGP Women in Private Debt Conference in Miami. The conference brought together professional women to discuss trends in the private credit market as well as explore opportunities and challenges affecting women in the financial industry. “This conference provided a lot of great content and excellent networking. It is always great to meet and develop connections with other like-minded and inspiring women,” stated Sibyl. “It is also very encouraging to see increasing amounts of female founders and entrepreneurs looking to finance growth in their businesses. I am excited for the partnership opportunities to come.”
Sibyl appeared on a panel with Jeri Harman of Avante Capital Partners and Jessica Nels of Churchill Capital. The panel, “Strategies, Products, Risks and Returns” centered around the discussion of sponsored versus non-sponsored lending as well as opportunities in the lower middle market. St. Cloud prefers non-sponsored lending as its focus is to invest in entrepreneur-owned, family-run and other private companies that are seeking capital to meet a particular growth opportunity. “While there is certainly more handholding and typically no “deep pockets” behind us, we seek to partner with strong management teams who have spent a good portion of their lives living and breathing their businesses, and we seek to have their incentives completely aligned with ours,” noted Kacy Rozelle.