Jason welcomes Lisa Kaplowitz to the podcast this week. Lisa is an Assistant Professor at Rutgers Business School, but her expansive career includes her time as an investment banker, treasurer of Bed Bath & Beyond, and CFO of various private equity-backed start-ups. In part one, Lisa talks about the landmark gender equality lawsuit she was involved with in college, her battles with imposter syndrome, and the inspiration for founding Rutgers’ Center for Women in Business.
About Lisa Kaplowitz:
Over the course of her distinguished and diversified 25-year career, Lisa Kaplowitz has been an investment banker, Finance Officer in both publicly listed and privately held companies, Professor of Finance, and a relentless champion for gender equality. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Women in Business at Rutgers University. Her work has been featured in Forbes, CFO Magazine, and Bloomberg TV. In 2020, Ms. Kaplowitz was recognized as a Woman on the Rise by Paradigm for Parity. Throughout her career, she has established a record of growing businesses and increasing profitability by creating focused strategies, reducing costs, and streamlining operations. Known for her engaging and energetic leadership style, Ms. Kaplowitz has been a consistent catalyst for change.
As an investment banker at Deutsche Bank and Bank of America, Ms. Kaplowitz advised clients on a range of business combinations, valuations, and corporate transactions. Later as Treasurer of Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ: BBBY), Ms. Kaplowitz established the corporate Finance department and long-term financial plan and oversaw the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley in the cash management department. She was an integral part of the M&A team, responsible for due diligence, valuation, and integration. In addition, she oversaw investor relations, risk management, cash management and payments functions and the investment strategy for the company’s $2B cash portfolio.
She later served as CFO of various private equity-backed start-ups, working with firms such as L. Catterton Partners and Eurazeo. These CFO roles included serving as Corporate Secretary which gave Ms. Kaplowitz significant experience planning and leading Board meetings.
As Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in the Finance and Economics department at Rutgers Business School, Ms. Kaplowitz passionately shares the knowledge and insights she gained on Wall Street and as a CFO with undergraduate, MBA and Executive MBA students in her classes.
At Rutgers, she founded and serves as Executive Director of the Center for Women in Business, whose mission is to develop women business leaders by removing barriers, building community, and empowering them with the confidence and skills necessary to succeed as business leaders. Her leadership at the Center is a continuation of the work Ms. Kaplowitz has long done as an ardent sponsor of gender equality.
Her first foray as a champion of gender equality came as a scholar-athlete at Brown University, when she and her gymnastics teammates won a landmark Title IX case that added more varsity athletic opportunities for women and served as a catalyst for other universities, high schools, and youth sports across the country to add more opportunities to play sports. Ms. Kaplowitz continues as a champion of gender equality through her work with PowerPlay NYC, a non-profit that uses sports to advance the lives of underserved girls, helping them grow emotionally, socially, and academically stronger. She serves on the Board and as the organization’s Treasurer.
Ms. Kaplowitz earned a B.A. in Economics and International Relations from Brown, where she was Academic All-Ivy, and an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.