The Secured Lender, June 2023 | Vol. 79 | Issue 4 | Page 90

SVP, Underwriting
SLR Digital Finance

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Kate Dorrlacombe is the senior vice president and head of underwriting at SLR Digital Finance, a division of SLR Business Credit. Kate graduated from the University of Iowa with bachelor’s degrees in finance and entrepreneurial management and a minor in Spanish. She previously worked as a financial analyst at IBM, Disney, and Wells Fargo. Kate built a lot of her credit foundation through Wells Fargo’s commercial banking credit training program. She joined Fast Pay, subsequently acquired by SLR Business Credit, as an underwriter in 2015 and quickly rose in the ranks to become the manager and lead a team of new business underwriters. Kate was raised in a big family with seven siblings and several extended family members under one roof, and family is the most important part of her life. She lives in Santa Monica, California with her dog, Lennon, and visits Iowa frequently to spend as much time with family as possible. In her free time, Kate enjoys volunteering for the Special Olympics and with youth in foster care and fostering rescue dogs.


What would you say to anyone considering a career in secured finance?

A career in secured finance is one of the best ways to become well rounded on aspects of how successful entrepreneurs run their businesses! If you have an entrepreneurial mindset, I encourage you to consider secured finance as a career as you are offered a holistic view of many businesses in various stages of their lifecycles and are comparing data and information about a wide range of companies in different sectors. Most importantly, you get to speak with seasoned ownership and management teams and learn from the experts themselves.


How would you encourage young professionals to become more involved in their community or volunteer?

How have these activities outside of work helped shape your professional life?

Consider joining an organization with other like-minded, yet diverse, individuals! I met many of my closest friends through the Association of Junior Leagues International as the members were in similar places in their lives and careers where they wanted to enhance their own leadership skills and give back to the community. Although this organization is not specifically focused on individual career development, it has directly benefited my professional life through educational workshops, leadership development training, leading volunteer programs with community-based partners, developing and hosting fundraising activities, networking with community leaders, and building a strong support system of like-minded peers with diverse backgrounds.


What advice would you give on how to self-advocate?

Someone once told me to treat yourself like a business, and that’s been a very positive way of framing my mindset to advocate for myself and for my company. In credit and underwriting, we do our best to stay objective about the facts and present the best recommendation for the company. In reframing your mindset about yourself this way, you focus on positive outcomes for the greater good. For example, if I were to self­advocate for enhanced responsibilities for a promotion, I would present the information to show how it would benefit my company versus how it would make me feel or any other subjective or emotional reason. I would present my ask by showing how it will reduce risk, save money, or increase sales for the group, and ultimately serve as a win-win for everyone. Being able to tie your asks to broader-serving outcomes that benefit the business is an easy way to advocate for yourself.


With many working remotely or hybrid the past few years, how can young professionals be sure to “stand out from the crowd” with upper management?

In my opinion, doing what is asked of you is just a fraction of the job! The best team members take initiative to seek out projects on top of their typical day-to-day tasks. For example, if you notice something isn’t done efficiently, or there’s a better program or more cost-effective solution, or a way to improve the customer experience, bring those ideas to management and offer potential solutions. It can be very easy to fall into the routine of simply completing your daily tasks, but in order for the company to stay relevant and achieve economies of scale, every team member should be thinking outside the box and volunteering a little more than is asked of them. As it pertains specifically to remote and hybrid work, I encourage employees to stay in front of teammates, customers, channel partners, and management, whether that be attending networking events, utilizing video calls and phone over email when possible, and even coming up with unique ways to unite the team such as video-based teambuilding activities.



To view all of the profiles in this issue – The Secured Lender, June 2023