Lin is the co-founder, COO & head of Capital Markets at InterNex Capital. InterNex Capital is an asset-based digital lender specializing in revolving lines of credit up to $5 million for small and mid-sized businesses. Lin is a seasoned structured finance/capital markets executive and business leader with over 20 years global experience.
Prior to launching InterNex Capital in 2015, Lin was managing director at GE Capital, where she held various senior leadership roles for just under a decade and received multiple awards for growth. Prior to GE Capital, Lin was a transactional lawyer at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (NY), De Brauw (Netherlands) and Freehills (Australia), covering private equity, leveraged/corporate finance and capital markets. Lin serves on the Duke Law Board of Visitors where she received the 2015 Alumni Award, and is a founding member of the Duke Law International Advisory Board. Lin was formerly co-champion of GE Capital’s Asian Women initiative and has recently joined SFNET’s Women in Commercial Finance Committee. She holds an LLM from Duke University, an LLB (with honors) and a BCom (accounting and economics double major) from Sydney University (Australia). Lin has lived in four continents, worked in three countries, and speaks five different languages. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and her two children.
What advice would you offer to women just starting out in the industry?
Focus on developing self-awareness early. Understand and be expressive about what benefits you can deliver to your employer, the industry, and seek out opportunities to demonstrate your strengths but also to develop and grow. Do not underestimate how much your value-add evolves and increases exponentially with your growing experience.
As a woman in finance, yes, of course, be cognizant of potential biases, but most of all, do not let being a woman ever be a chip on your shoulder. Your glass is not “half empty”. It may be a different glass, but it is completely full. Once you embrace that, and you are fully comfortable with and cognizant of your skills and the value you bring to the table, you should totally forget you are a woman and just get on with it. The sooner you realize this, the more you can focus on achieving your full potential.
What do you know now that you wish you knew in the beginning of your career?
The most important business relationships you’ll have later on in your career were forged during the earlier days of your career. Cherish those relationships. Go out for drinks with your friends, and, yes, do grab coffee with the person you enjoyed working with during that last transaction. It regularly surprises me how many of those long-time friends have subsequently turned out to become invaluable strategic relationships. Trust goes a long way in our industry.
What kind of role has mentoring and/or sponsorship played in your career?
I am the grateful beneficiary of the time and generosity that many friends, family, colleagues, mentors and sponsors have showered onto me along the way. I did not make the big decisions in my career — ranging from my move from Australia to the US in the late ‘90s to my leaving an established financial institution to co-found InterNex Capital in 2015 — all by myself. My early mentors — ranging from Duke, Simpson Thacher and GE Capital— remain dear friends, and in some cases business partners and investors today. Do not undervalue the insight and input you can garner from industry experts, peers, family, friends, and mentees. Everybody has something to offer. You can and should offer something to the next person. Build that community of support by helping others. Your eco-system ends up defining you much more than you might think.
What do you think the industry could do to attract and retain the best and the brightest today?
It is key to make the most of your work force’s disparate skills, diverse backgrounds and perspectives. At InterNex Capital, we hold regular brainstorming sessions to tap the creativity, expertise and insights of our team members. We strive to continually engage and challenge them, encouraging them to stretch, to try something different and go outside their comfort zone. We’ll create leadership opportunities in cross-functional projects for that purpose. We also believe in the importance of giving back to our community and we create opportunities for our employees to find their cause to support. Most of all, people want to work with colleagues they like and respect. “Nice” is a heavily under-appreciated word — and rarely used to describe the workplace in our industry. I am proud to say that we strive to build a “nice” culture here at InterNex Capital.