President and Head of Multifamily Finance, Capital One
For Grace Huebscher, starting a new company from scratch meant the chance to build the work environment she always wanted. "When creating a new culture, I said, 'OK, how can I bring the best of the best of all the experiences I've had and replicate it here?" she says.
In just four years, the company she created, Beech Street Capital, had grown into the sixth-largest originator and servicer of government-insured multifamily loans. Now, after selling it to Capital One, she's working to keep the culture she has built intact. She says it helps that both organizations share similar values.
Huebscher gives a lot of credit to the passionate group of employees she brought together. "A lot of people when they build teams, they naturally tend to hire people like themselves. That's not how I've hired," she says. "I'm a big believer in the idea that the more diverse the group is, the better the decision-making."
Women make up nearly half of her 140 employees, but Huebscher doesn't hire with such stats in mind. Rather, she looks for a diversity of thought and people with "the ability to question question the boss, question how things are going," she says.
Huebscher suspects these preferences might have come from her upbringing. She was one of nine children, with "not a shrinking violet in the group," she says. She and her siblings were extremely competitive growing up, but also knew how to cooperate. "You had a lot of strong, divergent voices, so you knew how to hold your own, but were also accepting of alternate points of view," she says. "At the same time you had to learn how to work as a family, how to work as a team."