What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Learn as much as you can and do not
get discouraged. It is very important
that you surround yourself with oth-
ers in the industry who want to help
you expand your knowledge. Don’t
be afraid to keep asking a question
if you do not understand. I recom-
mend starting out in the operations
and field exam areas, as it will give
you an opportunity to understand the
industry from the ground up. I took a
job as an administrative assistant to
a portfolio manager and from there
moved through operations, field exam
and credit. You will find a lot of the
current leaders in our industry started
out at the bottom and worked their
way up. For me it was beneficial to
work in the collateral area first, as it
allowed me to understand reporting
requirements for us as a lender and
the client as a borrower. This was fur-
ther enhanced when I became a field
that help me to learn and grow in my
career. This year I was asked to be a
mentor as part of the CFA mentoring
program which allows me to share
my experience in lending and pay it
What do you think the industry could
do to attract and retain the best and
the brightest today?
The industry should continue to focus
on programs that allow for exposure
and training in all of the ABL/factor-ing areas. I truly believe the reason
I could excel in my career was that I
was able to work in collateral management, field exam, underwriting,
account management and workout.
This foundation to me was the key to
my success. I think the industry should
offer internships which will allow us
to enhance the development of our
future leaders before graduating from
college. This was a pattern that banks
had offered through a credit training
program that has become less available to those entering our industry.
examiner even though my major was
not in accounting.
What do you know now that you wish
you knew in the beginning of your
That you will never know it all. In my
17 years, I find myself continuing to
learn in this industry. A lot of my experience comes from day-to-day, hands-on experience. It is also important to
learn about our customer’s business
by going out and meeting with them
face-to-face. All the underwriting
documents in the world can’t give you
the flavor of the business without taking a tour of the facility and meeting
with your customer in person. Not
every borrower is alike even if they are
in the same industry and, furthermore,
each industry has its in own nuances.
What kind of role has mentoring and/
or sponsorship played in your career?
I have been very fortunate to work
with a group of seasoned ABL lenders
that have been willing to share their
experience and knowledge with me
and present me with opportunities
North Mill Capital
eidi Ames, senior vice president and account executive, has been with
North Mill Capital LLC for six years. Prior to that she worked at Santand-
er Bank as a field examiner and Business Alliance Capital Corp. as a col-
lateral analyst. She has risen through the ranks of asset-based lending
through hard work and persistence.
She began her career in lending as a collateral analyst, posting daily borrowing base
certificates, reconciling collateral and calculating ineligibles. She was promoted to
field examiner and was not bashful to request needed information and dig deeply.
During her years as a collateral analyst and field examiner she managed to find time
to pursue a college undergraduate degree as well as a graduate degree. Over
the last six years she has transformed from field examiner, to one of our most senior
account executives, handling workouts as well as a full portfolio load of accounts.
Whether liquidating accounts, underwriting new business or handling accounts, Heidi
is tenacious and relies on her gut instincts as well as her well-disciplined collateral
Heidi lives in Flemington, NJ, with her husband, Dave, and daughter, Devon. She has
been active with the NJ CFA Board and currently serves as its vice president and is an
active member of East Amwell Township’s School Parent Teacher Organization. She
received her Master of Science in management/organizational change as well as
her Bachelor of Science in management from the College of Saint Elizabeth.