Laura J. Lofaro is the founder and chief executive officer of Sterling Resources International LLC, an international management consulting firm specializing in executive recruitment and compensation since 1988. Before beginning her career in business and finance, Ms. Lofaro attended the College of New Rochelle, graduating cum laude with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in art history and a Bachelor of Arts in political science. Her philosophy is that life affords many opportunities to learn from experience and from other people and that “people are like the most interesting book and that getting to know them opens your eyes to new things.” Ms. Lofaro completed one year of doctoral coursework before becoming an associate of Hawkes, Randolph, & Associates in 1987, where she worked to build the company’s global retainer investment banking business with a focus on corporate finance, sales, and training.
Ms. Lofaro’s work for Hawkes, Randolph, & Associates inspired her to return to school, and she began to pursue an application to Harvard Business School in the late 1980s. After asking several of her clients to write her letters of recommendation, two of them independently approached her and suggested that she instead become a management consultant and open her own firm. Shaken by the coincidence and interested in exploring the possibilities that launching an independent firm could afford her, Ms. Lofaro established Sterling Resources International in 1988, becoming a chief executive officer at just 32 years old.
Sterling Resources International provides analytics and consulting to clients in technology, banking, and other highly competitive sectors to assess market positioning, employee and business productivity, and provide restructuring plans. As chief executive officer of the firm, Ms. Lofaro acts as head of business development and works alongside the chief financial officer to expand the company’s client base and manage day-to-day operations. She is responsible for setting and refining the firm’s strategic focus in management consulting and executive recruitment operations, and has historically been an innovator in her approach to executive staffing, becoming one of the first to place a woman as the head of health care for a major American company and hiring a woman to lead Morgan Stanley’s fixed income division as early as 1997.
Ms. Lofaro has been named one of the Top 100 Women in Finance and one of Finance Magazine’s 2020 Top 100 People. Widely regarded as an expert in her field, she has been featured as a guest on CNBC, invited to speak at the Columbia Business School, and authored “Projected Compensation for Investment Banking” in 1989, a valuable budgeting and projection planning resource for clients. Ms. Lofaro attributes her success to her work ethic and to the benefits that come from building a strong team of coworkers. She emphasizes that she completes everything, no matter how long it takes, and advises others that the keys to success are hard work, perseverance, collaboration and compromise.
Outside of her professional life, Ms. Lofaro is passionate about working to end the cycle of homelessness. She is active in fundraising for Southampton Hospital and The Lord’s Place, a nonprofit in West Palm Beach, Florida, providing supportive housing, career training, reentry services, and more, to men, women, and families experiencing housing instability. Ms. Lofaro hopes to be able to educate and empower young women to feel strong and independent and to be able to pursue their dreams. In addition to her work advocating for people experiencing homelessness, she sits on the board of trustees of the Museum of the City of New York.