Analyst Spotlight

Kevin Yoo Analyst, Investor Operations

Alma mater: University of Illinois, Finance (2016)
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined in July 2016
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois


Q: WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE?
There is no typical week for me in Investor Operations, as I interact with so many people. On any given day, I am in contact with clients, consultants, administrators, third-party representatives and others. My primary responsibility is to provide answers to clients’ questions. I will either craft answers myself or get the information I need from various departments around the firm, including Treasury, Accounting, Legal and Investments. The types of incoming requests can vary greatly, which keeps things interesting. I’m constantly learning.

Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH GCM GROSVENOR?
My first interaction with GCM Grosvenor was during my junior year, when I interviewed on campus for an internship on the Fund Finance team. I made it to the final round of interviews, but did not get an offer. But I liked what I saw from the firm, so, during my senior year, I interviewed with the Investor Operations team to be part of the Analyst program. By that point, I realized I was looking for something more client-focused instead of investments-related, and a role in Investor Operations seemed like a perfect fit. Throughout the interview process, and in speaking with people I knew at GCM Grosvenor, I learned more about the firm, its people and the role, and I was thrilled to receive an offer to join the Analyst program. I am glad I persevered.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT WORKING HERE?
Everyone has a positive mindset, attitude and work ethic. When I joined GCM Grosvenor, I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was so open and willing to help. I imagine everyone would like to work at a place where people help each other be successful. For me, GCM Grosvenor is that place.

Q: WHAT MAKES GCM GROSVENOR SPECIAL?
The firm makes it easy to connect with others, especially senior management. GCM Connect, the firm’s mentoring program, provides a formal structure for Analysts and Associates to get advice and career guidance from senior managers. Outside the program, many in senior management have an open-door policy or are otherwise easily accessible. For example, I get coffee with our CFO regularly and speak with the Director of my department often. Analysts have access to senior leadership in a way that I don’t believe happens at other companies.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
“Never Settle.” This is how I was raised and what I would say to someone coming out of college. I would advise people to work hard, be persistent and stay patient; it may take time to find their true passion, but it’s a matter of understanding themselves and being flexible. I think these are simple words to live by, but following them and not settling can sometimes be hard to do.

Q: WHO IS/WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE MODEL?  WHY?
My older brother Jason. He is the hardest working and most intelligent person I know. After gaining a full-tuition scholarship to college and graduating with a degree in communications, he made his way into finance and is now a VP of Sales in the futures trading industry. At one point, he was going to school, working full-time and was involved with two volunteer projects. I have a lot of respect for the path he took to get where he is. He consistently inspires and challenges me to pursue my professional goals as well as my other passions.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
On the weekends I work as a line cook at the restaurant Girl and the Goat in Chicago’s West Loop. Cooking is a passion of mine, and what I do for fun. I actually like the pressure and heat of a kitchen. At home, I do a lot of grilling, barbecuing and cooking; I like researching and trying new recipes. I also love eating at new restaurants. Every year, my goal is to try at least 15 new restaurants in Chicago, four in different US cities, and four internationally. While this is not always obtainable, I keep it as an adventurous goal. I enjoy learning and experiencing different cultures through food.

Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH A FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would like to have dinner with Danny Meyer, the New York restaurateur and founder of Shake Shack. I would ask him about his life and how he built a restaurant empire in New York, one of the industry’s toughest cities for success. I would also ask to hear about his journey from opening a small restaurant in Union Square to being so successful today.

Q: ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TEAM?
I’m a big Chicago Bears fan. I have great memories of watching Bear games with my family when I was growing up.

Q: WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS?
My favorite movies are Friday Night Lights and Burnt. I enjoy television shows like Chef’s Table, The Mind of a Chef, and David Chang’s Ugly Delicious – mostly shows that are food-related.

Q: IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?
Open-minded, collaborative, hardworking.

Previous Spotlights

Kevin YooAnalyst, Investor Operations

Alma mater: University of Illinois, Finance (2016)
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined in July 2016
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

Q: WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE?
There is no typical week for me in Investor Operations, as I interact with so many people. On any given day, I am in contact with clients, consultants, administrators, third-party representatives and others. My primary responsibility is to provide answers to clients’ questions. I will either craft answers myself or get the information I need from various departments around the firm, including Treasury, Accounting, Legal and Investments. The types of incoming requests can vary greatly, which keeps things interesting. I’m constantly learning.

Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH GCM GROSVENOR?
My first interaction with GCM Grosvenor was during my junior year, when I interviewed on campus for an internship on the Fund Finance team. I made it to the final round of interviews, but did not get an offer. But I liked what I saw from the firm, so, during my senior year, I interviewed with the Investor Operations team to be part of the Analyst program. By that point, I realized I was looking for something more client-focused instead of investments-related, and a role in Investor Operations seemed like a perfect fit. Throughout the interview process, and in speaking with people I knew at GCM Grosvenor, I learned more about the firm, its people and the role, and I was thrilled to receive an offer to join the Analyst program. I am glad I persevered.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT WORKING HERE?
Everyone has a positive mindset, attitude and work ethic. When I joined GCM Grosvenor, I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was so open and willing to help. I imagine everyone would like to work at a place where people help each other be successful. For me, GCM Grosvenor is that place.

Q: WHAT MAKES GCM GROSVENOR SPECIAL?
The firm makes it easy to connect with others, especially senior management. GCM Connect, the firm’s mentoring program, provides a formal structure for Analysts and Associates to get advice and career guidance from senior managers. Outside the program, many in senior management have an open-door policy or are otherwise easily accessible. For example, I get coffee with our CFO regularly and speak with the Director of my department often. Analysts have access to senior leadership in a way that I don’t believe happens at other companies.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU RECEIVED?
“Never Settle.” This is how I was raised and what I would say to someone coming out of college. I would advise people to work hard, be persistent and stay patient; it may take time to find their true passion, but it’s a matter of understanding themselves and being flexible. I think these are simple words to live by, but following them and not settling can sometimes be hard to do.

Q: WHO IS/WAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE MODEL?  WHY?
My older brother Jason. He is the hardest working and most intelligent person I know. After gaining a full-tuition scholarship to college and graduating with a degree in communications, he made his way into finance and is now a VP of Sales in the futures trading industry. At one point, he was going to school, working full-time and was involved with two volunteer projects. I have a lot of respect for the path he took to get where he is. He consistently inspires and challenges me to pursue my professional goals as well as my other passions.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
On the weekends I work as a line cook at the restaurant Girl and the Goat in Chicago’s West Loop. Cooking is a passion of mine, and what I do for fun. I actually like the pressure and heat of a kitchen. At home, I do a lot of grilling, barbecuing and cooking; I like researching and trying new recipes. I also love eating at new restaurants. Every year, my goal is to try at least 15 new restaurants in Chicago, four in different US cities, and four internationally. While this is not always obtainable, I keep it as an adventurous goal. I enjoy learning and experiencing different cultures through food.

Q: IF YOU COULD HAVE DINNER WITH A FAMOUS PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE?
I would like to have dinner with Danny Meyer, the New York restaurateur and founder of Shake Shack. I would ask him about his life and how he built a restaurant empire in New York, one of the industry’s toughest cities for success. I would also ask to hear about his journey from opening a small restaurant in Union Square to being so successful today.

Q: ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TEAM?
I’m a big Chicago Bears fan. I have great memories of watching Bear games with my family when I was growing up.

Q: WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE MOVIES AND TV SHOWS?
My favorite movies are Friday Night Lights and Burnt. I enjoy television shows like Chef’s Table, The Mind of a Chef, and David Chang’s Ugly Delicious – mostly shows that are food-related.

Q: IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?
Open-minded, collaborative, hardworking.

Kendall MaxwellAnalyst, Risk Management

Alma mater: Washington University, Economics (2016)
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined in July 2016
Hometown: Naperville, Illinois
Favorite vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii

Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE.
I am an Analyst on the Risk Management team. Much of my role is focused on monthly and quarterly portfolio-level reporting for clients. I also work on some of the Risk Team’s broader initiatives. For example, I’ve had the opportunity to work with our system developer and other team members to build our quantitative factor analysis systems. On a day-to-day basis, I help maintain those systems, coming up with new visuals the Portfolio Management Team can leverage, while exploring innovative ways to approach our processes.

Q: HOW DOES YOUR TEAM WORK WITH OTHERS AT THE FIRM?
The Risk Team works closely with the Research and Portfolio Management Teams. For the Research Team, we conduct due diligence and ongoing monitoring of managers’ funds. Our work with the Portfolio Management Team is focused on managing risk and monitoring our portfolios, which often involves regulatory reporting. We do a lot of slicing and dicing of the data to provide clients the different data-views they want. I’ve worked with both Research and Portfolio Management, but my focus is primarily on the Portfolio Management side.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FIRST GCM GROSVENOR MEMORY?
GCM Grosvenor Vice Chairman Paul Meister’s firm overview presentation that he gives to interns. I’ve heard it a couple times; each time, I learned something about the firm and our history. He highlights how the firm values its culture and how our most important assets ride up and down the elevator. I hold onto this idea every day when I come into work.

Q: HOW DID YOUR INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE DIFFER FROM YOUR ANALYST EXPERIENCE?
As an intern, I saw the day-to-day work of the team, but much of my time was focused on a project that culminated at the end of the summer. In my full-time role, I have many more day-to-day responsibilities. Although I may be working on various projects at a given time, my “day job” still has to get done. Despite seeing first-hand what a full-time role looks liked as an intern, I didn’t really know what to expect until I was doing that work every day.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT WORKING AT GCM GROSVENOR?
The close relationships I have developed with my team. I always had the perspective that “work is work,” and separate from the rest of my life, but it has been a pleasant surprise how much I enjoy spending time with my colleagues both inside and outside of the office. I work with a fairly small team comprised of a lot of open and gregarious individuals who foster a friendly, collegial environment; we have lunch together nearly every day and share activities outside of work.

Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR A NEW COLLEGE GRADUATE STARTING HIS/HER CAREER?
Don’t be afraid of failure, and be honest about your failure. People often say that you have to fail to grow, but to really grow, I think you need to be honest about where you failed and how you plan to come back from that. The bounce-back from a failure is as important as the learning experience of actually failing. Even when you’re working with incredibly smart, motivated people, everyone slips up; you have to know how to respond in a way that works for you and for everyone around you. You’re not operating in a vacuum, so you need to know how your actions are going to affect others.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Keep it simple. I like that approach for both my professional and my personal life. My dad always said speed and simplicity are the keys to success. It’s a good motto, because problems often arise when things become overcomplicated. If this happens, it helps to remember to keep it simple, focus on the goal, and not lose sight of what is needed to achieve that goal.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I really enjoy volunteering. I am a mentor for Chicago Scholars, an organization that works with students who are typically first-generation college students. I am mentoring a few high school seniors and helping them with the college admissions process. I will continue to mentor them through their first year of college to help them adjust to campus life. I am also on the board of Asserting Achievement, Literacy, & Resiliency, an organization I was involved with in high school. Now I have the opportunity to give back to the same group in a different way.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR SECRET AMBITION?
One of my life goals is having a foundation focused on teaching young girls about personal finance. I want to focus specifically on girls of color in low-income communities, because I think the wealth gap is such an important issue.

Q: WHERE IS ONE PLACE YOU WOULD LIKE TO TRAVEL?
Anywhere in Europe. It seems like I’m the only person who has yet to visit. I would start in Italy, probably Milan. I love fashion, and I’ve also heard the history and the architecture is beautiful. I would love to see that and explore elsewhere outside the US.

Q: IS THERE A BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED OR SHAPED YOU?
Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.” I love that book so much that I put it on my graduation cap. It really speaks to staying strong despite adversity. I believe anyone can relate to that message because we all have different perspectives and experiences in life.

Q: WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?
Collegial, community-focused, and committed. I went for the three C’s.

Bryce RobertsonAnalyst, Private Markets Investments

Alma mater: Emory University, Finance & Real Estate (2016)
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined in July 2016
Hometown: Highland Park, Illinois

Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE?
Due to the nature of our business, there is no such thing as a typical week. That is what I enjoy about the Private Markets Investment team – every hour holds something new. As an Analyst, I’m responsible for performing due diligence on investment opportunities, maintaining client relationships and performing internal analyses.

In the Analyst role, we are “guardians of the truth.” If there is a metric needed by someone at the firm, we find and own that information. Most Private Markets Analysts begin as generalists but then naturally follow their skills and areas of interest. I could be staffed on a primary fund, secondary fund or co-investment deal. My current interests are co-investments and real estate, and the majority of my projects are in those areas. We have a staffer who facilitates balancing the needs of the business with our strengths and interests.

Q: DESCRIBE YOUR INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE. WHAT MADE IT SO SPECIAL?
I joined the firm in the summer of 2015 as an Intern on the Private Markets Investments team. From day one, we experienced what it is like to be an Analyst on the team. We were treated as Analysts and given similar responsibilities. It was expected that there would be a learning curve along with needed training.

We had a very close-knit intern class. There were many opportunities to facilitate interactions.

Q: TELL US ABOUT THE TRAINING YOU RECEIVED DURING YOUR TENURE.
The Analyst Training Program involved a three-week comprehensive overview of the firm. It covered our public markets and private markets businesses. We were introduced to people with whom we would come into contact; this was both useful and slightly overwhelming at the same time. The training has continued. We have monthly Lunch and Learns with senior investment team members to highlight complex nuances of recent deals. This helps us approach new deals with the right lens and adds to our library of knowledge.

Q: WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST ABOUT WORKING HERE?
I have been most surprised by everyone’s openness. I can walk into anyone’s office, at any time of day and ask a question. Also, I often present to the Investment Committee, which provides great exposure and allows me to learn from their feedback.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED?
Be a sponge. That means taking advantage of every opportunity to listen and learn – whether it is listening in on a phone call or building your network and library of knowledge.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. There are no “stupid questions” during your first year. You are not expected to have the same level of product or institutional knowledge as someone who has been with the firm for several years.

Q: WHAT THREE WORDS WOULD YOU USE TO DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?
Innovative. Passionate. Diligent.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?
I’m a total foodie and you can find me at a wine and cheese tasting on many weekends. I also enjoy golfing (sometimes well, depending on the day).

Q: WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES?  WHAT MADE THEM SO INTERESTING?
My freshman seminar was called the “Statistics of Sports and Gambling” and was my most interesting class because it a) was not a “typical” class, and b) surprisingly changed the way I look at the world.

My real estate classes were all practical and hands-on, which gave me great real-world exposure to the real estate market in Atlanta.

Q: ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? WHICH TEAMS ARE YOUR FAVORITES?
You won’t find me watching American football but I’m a big fan of the Arsenal Football Club. I also follow one of my home teams in Scotland, East Fife.

Being a Chicago native, I’m a big Blackhawks and Cubs fan. I have been going to Cubs games since I was a baby and went to a few games this year. I watched the World Series from Maui with 40 other Chicago fans, which was the next best thing to being there.

Q: WHAT BOOK HAS INSPIRED OR SHAPED YOU?
“Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell. One of its lessons is that being quick is not always the best thing. Oftentimes your brain has decided on an answer before you’ve had a chance to think about it. If you are playing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, that may be a good thing, but if you’re working on an investment deal you may want to get more information. Your gut instinct may not always be right.