Founder and President of Living Mountain Capital LLC
Board Director for Installed Building Products (NYSE:IBP)
Board Director for Eagle Materials (NYSE:EXP)
Margot’s Keys to Success:
- Spread the word and communicate your corporate board intentions to your network and colleagues
- Invest in yourself
What made you decide that you wanted to become a corporate board member?
After twenty plus years as a C-suite executive of global public companies, I believed I could add unique insight, strategic value and new thinking as a board member. By leveraging my extensive experience in M&A transactions, initial public offerings, and international growth of digital and technology products and services, I felt I could help companies pursue innovative opportunities and overcome current challenges as they face rapid change and business model transformation.
Once you decided to work on getting onto a corporate board, what were some of the 1st things you did?
I immediately began to spread the word and communicate my desired intentions. I reached out to my network of directors, business leaders, lawyers, investment bankers, accountants and other colleagues to let them know that I was interested in serving on a board.
How did you get connected to your first board seat?
My first board seat resulted from contact with a colleague that I worked with over 20 years ago. All of my executive positions and board positions to date have been directly or indirectly through people I have worked with during my career.
How long did it take you to get your first corporate board seat after you started devoting time to the process?
Honestly, a lot longer than I expected. I was ready by age 40, having already served as a C-suite executive and global chief legal officer of successful public companies for more than 10 years by then. I took companies public, acquired and sold close to a hundred companies and helped rebuild Cantor Fitzgerald after 9/11. Apparently, I was the only one who thought that, and it took me longer than I originally anticipated.
Do you have any suggestions for women looking to secure a corporate board seat?
Warren Buffet says “invest in yourself” which I found to be great advice throughout my career. Whether it is public speaking, exploring technology or staying current on a topic, do whatever you need to do to create a better version of yourself. For example, I spent years working at leading-edge technology companies and wanted to keep current to continue to stay useful for my company boards. That’s why I cofounded Cien.ai, an artificial intelligence (AI) company focused on improving sales productivity. In addition, I sought out additional education and took an AI class at Sloan/MIT.
What is your favorite quote that inspires you?
“It is hard until it is easy.”
Margot is an experienced c-suite executive, public and private company director with a passion for building technology, real estate and construction companies. A board member of Installed Building Products, Inc. (NYSE:IBP) and Eagle Materials Inc., (NYSE:EXP) she also helped take RealPage (Nasdaq:RP) public. Margot is President of Living Mountain Capital and an investor and co-founder in www.cien.ai. Her business and technical acumen has directly contributed to growth of new services, products and markets worldwide.
Views From The Boardroom is an exclusive series from Women In The Boardroom, where corporate board directors share their experience, insight and wisdom and their view from the boardroom. Corporate board directors interested in participating should email email@example.com.
The opinions and experiences expressed by the interviewees do not necessarily reflect those of Women in the Boardroom.