Caitlin Riederer’s career in private equity began through serendipity. As a student at the University of Illinois, she aspired to become a doctor. However, the summer after freshman year, Riederer struck up a conversation with David Kidd, managing partner of Adirondack Growth Capital, while walking her dog. The chance encounter led to her first summer internship at Adirondack, where Riederer dove into sourcing and evaluating potential investment opportunities.
“I fell in love with connecting people, ideas and capital. The experience played a pivotal role in my career and catalyzed my desire to pursue investing,” Riederer explains. After interning at Thoma Bravo the following summer, she was hooked on pursuing private equity.
After launching her career in management consulting, Riederer joined Charlesbank Capital Partners in 2016. She took a sabbatical to pursue her MBA at Harvard Business School, then returned to Charlesbank in 2020. Now a vice-president, she focuses on technology, investing in IT services and software companies. Recent highlights include selling portfolio company Ensono to KKR and helping lead Charlesbank’s investment in Bridgepointe Technologies, where Riederer holds a board seat and works closely with the co-founders on a day-to-day basis.
“Raising awareness of career opportunities in investing is a key step in building a diverse talent pipeline. After that, mentorship, sponsorship, and professional development opportunities are extremely important”
In her role, she credits intellectual curiosity as one of the driving forces behind her investing philosophy.
“I really believe in making your own luck. Taking an extra meeting or phone call could open the door to creating an amazing opportunity – or provide critical intelligence to steer away from unnecessary risk,” Riederer says.
Riederer also sees advantages to being a woman in a male-dominated industry. “I’m not just another blue suit in the crowd. I am able to bring my unique perspective and relationships to the table – and everyone remembers my name,” Riederer jokes.
Riederer leads Charlesbank’s women’s network and analyst recruiting initiatives.
“Raising awareness of career opportunities in investing is a key step in building a diverse talent pipeline,” Riederer explains. “After that, mentorship, sponsorship, and professional development opportunities are extremely important, as well as crafting thoughtful policies (such as parental leave) to retain women.”
She is also active in the industry more broadly, co-chairing the Women’s Association of Venture and Equity’s New York Steering Committee and contributing to other PE networks and organizations.
During her time at Harvard, Riederer and a friend interviewed more than 60 senior women in finance to learn how they built their careers. “The project demonstrated that the statistics don’t tell the entire story about women in finance,” Riederer says. “While the percentage of women in leadership positions is far too low, there are countless examples of successful female leaders in finance. It was tremendously inspiring to learn how these women blazed their own trail and hear their advice for the next generation.”
Outside of work, Riederer is an avid runner and non-fiction reader. However, her primary hobby is spending time with her family, including Murray, her six-pound Maltese dog.