Katie Krasnewich is a boater.
For a few weeks each summer growing up, her family, including five siblings, would drive out to a lake in Wisconsin, where her dad and uncle would pull kids on waterskis behind a small outboard boat for hours.
Now, the Brunswick executive is getting ready to buy her first boat, “a dream come true.”
“I come from a modest background,” she says. “You look at things like the Bayliner product and you see that families of modest means can get out on the water and enjoy boating.”
In fact, that’s one of the things Krasnewich appreciates about Brunswick’s strategy to “fill in the white space” in its boat brand line-up. She says the company’s goal to have a boat for every customer “makes a lot of sense to me.”
As vice president of mergers and acquisitions, that’s good. She heads up a team that’s involved in determining which companies Brunswick wants to pursue as acquisitions, securing an agreement with that company and completing the acquisition. Since being appointed VP, her team has acquired Sea Pro, Albemarle and Harris Kayot, among others.
Krasnewich’s background is in finance, and before coming to Brunswick, her positions with companies like Deutsche Bank and Arthur Andersen were focused on what she calls “the art of M&A.”
But now she’s on the inside, which is not only more interesting, it has her rethinking her career goals.
“On its surface, [my job] seems very numbers driven and, in fact, financial valuation is a critical part of the process,” she explains, “but what I actually enjoy the most about it is learning from the operational people and learning from the acquisition target. As I tell my team here, there’s not a better way to learn about the operations of a business than acquiring one.”
In her job, Krasnewich is exposed to experts in a wide range of disciplines throughout Brunswick and the companies it acquires, which has opened her eyes to the career opportunities available.
At 32, as Brunswick’s youngest VP, Krasnewich now imagines that some day she might run one of the companies she helps Brunswick acquire.