What led you to a career in the deal making industry?
I started working in an SBIC fund over 25 years ago and really enjoyed working with small businesses. The capital provided to these businesses made a huge difference for its survival and growth over time. It felt very rewarding both emotionally and intellectually. Mizzen’s mantra is “A company’s success is our success.”
How Diversity adds value in the deal-making process?
It has been shown that diversity in the investment committee results in higher returns. The Mizzen team is very diverse and it really makes for better discussions on deals since we each have unique perspectives and past experiences. We want all our deal team members to have a voice.
The most memorable deal I worked on?
I don’t have one favorite but a memorable deal was funding a woman owned hotel company called Stay Pineapple Hotel. When covid hit, a particular bank sold its entire hospitality portfolio of mortgages. A loan–to-own group bought the mortgage on their NY property. Even though they were receiving interest payments, the group threatened to take over the NY property based on a breach of a fixed charge coverage ratio. We invested $15.5 million to refinance this group and help the Company through a challenging period of time. We had an appraisal on the hotel of more than double our loan and a personal guarantee from the owner. The CEO was so thankful that we had saved her hotel.
My number one advice for achieving success in the industry...
is perseverance. “I get knocked down but I get up again You are never going to keep me down” - song by Chumbawamba. You’ll make mistakes and you’ll doubt yourself at times but you keep on going. We launched Mizzen Capital in March 2020 right when covid hit but we just persevered and ultimately achieved success raising our SBIC fund.
Marilyn is a Founder and Managing Partner at Mizzen Capital, that has $265 million of assets under management and invests as senior secured debt in lower middle market companies.
Prior to founding Mizzen, Ms. Adler had senior management roles with SBIC investment funds including Medley SBIC LP, Sunrise Equity Partners LP and Hudson Venture Partners LP. Prior to that, she worked at Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association in the fixed income group and at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette in the investment banking division.
Marilyn serves as a board member of UJA’s Private Equity division, Banking & Finance division and Women of Wall Street division. She resides in New York City with her husband and has three grown children.
Education: M.B.A from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S from Cornell University.
Location: Mizzen Capital, New York, New York.