Analyst Spotlight

Yiwen Qin Private Equity Analyst, Secondaries

Alma Mater: New York University, Class of 2018, Finance and Accounting Major
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined July 2018
Hometown: New York, NY
Favorite vacation spot: Sydney, Australia


Q: WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? HOW DOES YOUR TEAM WORK WITH OTHERS IN THE FIRM?

I am a Private Equity Analyst on the Secondaries team. The majority of my time is spent researching and underwriting secondary deals. I also spend some time on client work and ad hoc projects. There is no typical week for me – my work depends on what deal flow looks like from the various sources. Early each week, the team meets to discuss potential opportunities, prioritize which deals to focus on, and identify the action and diligence items to be completed. The work itself is sector- and industry-agnostic; one day, I might look at technology companies; the next day, I might focus on healthcare. This mix keeps things very interesting – and is a big reason why my first year seemed to fly by so quickly.

GCM Grosvenor is a very collaborative environment. The Secondaries team occasionally works with other teams and looks at deals that cross into different verticals. For example, if we are looking at a deal with real estate assets, we would seek out the subject matter expert on the Real Estate team and ask for their view as a part of our underwriting.

Q: TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND CAREER PATH. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH GCM GROSVENOR?

The summer before joining the GCM Grosvenor, I interned in the alternatives industry. Through conversations with colleagues, I learned about the secondaries business and what kind of work it involves – knowledge I could not otherwise get in college. After that, I saw the GCM Grosvenor Secondaries Analyst job posted on my school’s job board, and I was very intrigued. I interviewed and met with a few members of the team, and it felt like a great fit. Because the team was relatively small, I believed I could contribute right away.

Q: WHAT WAS THE CAMPUS RECRUITMENT PROCESS LIKE WHEN YOU WERE LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST POST-GRADUATE JOB?

The process was competitive and somewhat stressful to try and stand out from others. I think I was able to differentiate myself during the GCM Grosvenor interview process because I knew a bit about the firm, the role, and secondaries investments, and I demonstrated my enthusiasm to learn and develop in areas in which I lacked experience.

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE FIRM? WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?

This environment is collegial, and the people make it special – I can ask anyone a question, and everyone is willing to help – the firm truly has an open-door policy.

Q: WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS JUST STARTING HIS/HER CAREER AT GCM GROSVENOR?

When joining any new company, a learning curve is expected. Be patient, put in the work, and give yourself time to learn, but also be confident and speak up. Asking questions is an excellent way to demonstrate your curiosity and willingness to learn. Be confident in your skills and remember that you were hired because the firm believes you are capable and have something to contribute.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?

I grew up in New York, and I still love exploring different parts of the city. A lot of people who live here don’t often venture outside of Manhattan, but I love to explore new neighborhoods and find new things.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR SECRET AMBITION?

My secret ambition is to climb Kilimanjaro. I enjoy climbing but have only done smaller climbs around New England. I have also always wanted to visit Tanzania.

Q: WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES? WHAT MADE THEM SO INTERESTING?

As a business major, I took many finance and accounting classes, which were very technical and procedural. I very much enjoyed my liberal arts classes because they were interesting, challenging, and made me think critically about the world and society. One example is during my senior year; I took a required class called Attachment, Loss, and the Passage of Time. We read texts that discussed living in the present versus the past and what it means to be yourself. This all sounds philosophical, but as I was leaving college and entering the “real world,” that class challenged me to make more thoughtful choices. At work, I use the finance and accounting skills I learned, but outside of work, the liberal arts classes taught me things that help me in everyday life.

Q: WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?

This past summer, I went to Iceland for ten days. It was very liberating; we rented a car and drove around the country to see all we could. Some of the places I saw made me feel like I was on a different planet. The scenery was beautiful, the people were great, and I even saw the Northern Lights! I highly recommend going – I went at the end of summer, which was great because there are fewer tourists and pleasant weather.

Q: IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?

Attentive, collegial, and persistent.

Previous Spotlights

Yiwen Qin Private Equity Analyst, Secondaries

Alma Mater: New York University, Class of 2018, Finance and Accounting Major
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined July 2018
Hometown: New York, NY
Favorite vacation spot: Sydney, Australia

Q: WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE FOR YOU? HOW DOES YOUR TEAM WORK WITH OTHERS IN THE FIRM?

I am a Private Equity Analyst on the Secondaries team. The majority of my time is spent researching and underwriting secondary deals. I also spend some time on client work and ad hoc projects. There is no typical week for me – my work depends on what deal flow looks like from the various sources. Early each week, the team meets to discuss potential opportunities, prioritize which deals to focus on, and identify the action and diligence items to be completed. The work itself is sector- and industry-agnostic; one day, I might look at technology companies; the next day, I might focus on healthcare. This mix keeps things very interesting – and is a big reason why my first year seemed to fly by so quickly.

GCM Grosvenor is a very collaborative environment. The Secondaries team occasionally works with other teams and looks at deals that cross into different verticals. For example, if we are looking at a deal with real estate assets, we would seek out the subject matter expert on the Real Estate team and ask for their view as a part of our underwriting.

Q: TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND CAREER PATH. HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH GCM GROSVENOR?

The summer before joining the GCM Grosvenor, I interned in the alternatives industry. Through conversations with colleagues, I learned about the secondaries business and what kind of work it involves – knowledge I could not otherwise get in college. After that, I saw the GCM Grosvenor Secondaries Analyst job posted on my school’s job board, and I was very intrigued. I interviewed and met with a few members of the team, and it felt like a great fit. Because the team was relatively small, I believed I could contribute right away.

Q: WHAT WAS THE CAMPUS RECRUITMENT PROCESS LIKE WHEN YOU WERE LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST POST-GRADUATE JOB?

The process was competitive and somewhat stressful to try and stand out from others. I think I was able to differentiate myself during the GCM Grosvenor interview process because I knew a bit about the firm, the role, and secondaries investments, and I demonstrated my enthusiasm to learn and develop in areas in which I lacked experience.

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE FIRM? WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?

This environment is collegial, and the people make it special – I can ask anyone a question, and everyone is willing to help – the firm truly has an open-door policy.

Q: WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS JUST STARTING HIS/HER CAREER AT GCM GROSVENOR?

When joining any new company, a learning curve is expected. Be patient, put in the work, and give yourself time to learn, but also be confident and speak up. Asking questions is an excellent way to demonstrate your curiosity and willingness to learn. Be confident in your skills and remember that you were hired because the firm believes you are capable and have something to contribute.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?

I grew up in New York, and I still love exploring different parts of the city. A lot of people who live here don’t often venture outside of Manhattan, but I love to explore new neighborhoods and find new things.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR SECRET AMBITION?

My secret ambition is to climb Kilimanjaro. I enjoy climbing but have only done smaller climbs around New England. I have also always wanted to visit Tanzania.

Q: WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE CLASSES? WHAT MADE THEM SO INTERESTING?

As a business major, I took many finance and accounting classes, which were very technical and procedural. I very much enjoyed my liberal arts classes because they were interesting, challenging, and made me think critically about the world and society. One example is during my senior year; I took a required class called Attachment, Loss, and the Passage of Time. We read texts that discussed living in the present versus the past and what it means to be yourself. This all sounds philosophical, but as I was leaving college and entering the “real world,” that class challenged me to make more thoughtful choices. At work, I use the finance and accounting skills I learned, but outside of work, the liberal arts classes taught me things that help me in everyday life.

Q: WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE YOU HAVE TRAVELED?

This past summer, I went to Iceland for ten days. It was very liberating; we rented a car and drove around the country to see all we could. Some of the places I saw made me feel like I was on a different planet. The scenery was beautiful, the people were great, and I even saw the Northern Lights! I highly recommend going – I went at the end of summer, which was great because there are fewer tourists and pleasant weather.

Q: IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?

Attentive, collegial, and persistent.

Chase ArimaResearch Analyst, Hedge Fund Strategies Investments

Alma Mater: University of Illinois, Class of 2017, Finance and Information Technology Major
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined July 2017
Hometown: Hinsdale, IL
Favorite vacation spot: Barcelona, Spain

Q: TELL US ABOUT YOUR ROLE. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK LOOK LIKE?
I am a Research Analyst on the Hedge Fund Strategies Investments team. In general, my role can be divided into thirds: one-third monitoring performance of existing investments; one-third underwriting and doing diligence on new funds; and one-third working on ad-hoc, special projects.

There really isn’t a typical week. My work entails having conversations with hedge fund managers as well as reviewing the performance, outlook, strategy, exposure shifts, or anything else related to their funds. I also work with the Portfolio Management and Risk Management teams to identify solutions for our clients’ portfolios. We have calls and in-person meetings with managers with whom we invest, and we also meet with managers who are under consideration for investment. Between diligence meetings and general update meetings, the team I am on gets a lot of face-time with the managers. We also attend hedge fund conferences and other asset management industry events.

Q: HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED WITH GCM GROSVENOR?
During my freshman year at the University of Illinois, Brad Meyers, a senior member of the Hedge Fund Strategies Investment team, came to speak to the Business Honors program on campus. After hearing him speak, I made it a goal to work for an asset management firm like GCM Grosvenor. As my college career progressed, I met other students and young professionals who had previously interned at GCM Grosvenor and learned about their experiences. Through those relationships I was able to come to the office for an interview and received an offer for an internship the summer before my senior year.

Q: WHAT WAS THE CAMPUS RECRUITMENT PROCESS LIKE WHEN YOU WERE LOOKING FOR YOUR FIRST POST-GRADUATE JOB?
The process was competitive. It was difficult to stand out, so I did my best to get face-to-face interactions. When representatives from GCM Grosvenor came to campus, I made a point to say hello to those I had met previously at career fairs or other events. Over time, I became familiar with people at the firm and they became familiar with me, which helped during the interview process.

Q: HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR TO SOMEONE OUTSIDE THE FIRM?
GCM Grosvenor is a very transparent and flat organization. As an Analyst, I have access to senior investment staff on a fairly regular basis, and my ideas and feedback are welcome. Whether it’s an investment idea or suggestion on a certain project, I have a voice. I appreciate the inclusivity and collaborative environment.

Q: WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS JUST STARTING HIS/HER CAREER AT GCM GROSVENOR?
When I first started, I was so worried about getting everything right. What I learned, though, is that it’s most important to be a sponge and absorb the knowledge from those around me. I would tell a new joiner to not focus so much on perfection as much as learning; learn all you can and be prepared to draw from that knowledge later.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FIRST MEMORY AT GCM GROSVENOR?
I remember the first day of my internship sitting with all of the other interns in my class in what, to me, was a massive and impressive lobby. But one of my most memorable experiences was an activity outside the office – a cooking class organized for Interns, our mentors, and senior members at the firm. It was intimidating, but also a gratifying experience. We were able to connect with senior people in the organization on non-work related items. And the food was delicious – I’m not a very good cook, so I was impressed with myself.

Q: WHAT WERE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE COLLEGE CLASSES? WHAT MADE THEM SO INTERESTING?
Many people wouldn’t consider financial modeling all that interesting, but I did. I enjoyed all of the core finance classes. However, during my senior year I took some experiential learning courses – one on 3D printing and one on Big Data analytics – and both proved to be thought-provoking. It was very eye-opening to learn about the pace of development, applications, and implications of these technologies.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
I volunteer at Operation Hope, which works to provide financial literacy education to youth and adults. I also play in a men’s lacrosse league for fun and I love to travel. Recently, I went to northern Spain and participated in the Running of the Bulls with my dad. It was actually so dangerous that I do not recommend it. But afterwards, I felt like I was on top of the world.

Q: ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? WHICH TEAMS ARE YOUR FAVORITE?
I am a huge sports fan. I root for all Chicago and University of Illinois teams. During the fall of my senior year, a friend and I spontaneously decided to drive to Cleveland to watch the Chicago Cubs play in the decisive Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland. We picked up two tickets on the way and watched the Cubs win the World Series.

Q: IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?
Rewarding, inclusive, and attentive.

Caylie Clewlow Analyst, Portfolio Management

Alma Mater: University of Michigan, Business (2017)
GCM Grosvenor tenure: Joined July 2017
Hometown: Lake Forest, Illinois
Favorite vacation spot: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Q. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT YOUR ROLE AS AN ANALYST ON THE PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT TEAM?

Every day and every week are a little bit different, which I enjoy because it makes my role dynamic and interesting. I am involved in the full life cycle of a set of commingled and single clients’ portfolios: from the early stages of proposing an investment to a prospect, to the ongoing diligence and analysis, to regular communication with clients. For example, one important step is the monthly allocation process for all of our portfolios. During this process, we evaluate current investments and potential changes based on our investment thesis or the portfolio’s goals. This entails adding or removing an investment, changing the position size of an investment, or employing different tactical themes.

Q. WHAT TRAINING HAS BEEN MOST INFLUENTIAL DURING YOUR TENURE?

I found the rigorous two-day Hedge Fund 101 overview from David Small, a Managing Director at GCM Grosvenor who teaches a course on hedge funds at the University of Chicago, to be especially influential. I have applied what I learned, which has helped me succeed in my role. That session—provided as part of the three-week comprehensive Analyst Training Program—provided an in-depth look at hedge fund investing. After the class, we took an assessment to test our knowledge, which was both intimidating and helpful.

Beyond that, I appreciate that we are given opportunities to continuously learn about other groups at GCM Grosvenor. It is easy to get siloed into a role or department once comfortable with day-to-day tasks, but it has been helpful for me to talk to people around the firm. Doing so has given me a broader idea of what other teams work on and how our work in the Portfolio Management department impacts the firm’s overall goals.

Q. WHAT MAKES THE ANALYST PROGRAM AT GCM GROSVENOR UNIQUE?

From my experience, exposure to senior leadership, clients, and investment managers sets apart the GCM Grosvenor Analyst Program from others in the finance industry. Additionally, there are many opportunities as an Analyst to give input and take on responsibilities that normally would fall to someone more senior, which provides a great environment for fast-paced learning. Further, the idea flow coming from upper management allows Analysts to learn from senior talent and get exposure to many aspects of the alternatives industry.

Q. WHAT IS THE BEST PROFESSIONAL ADVICE THAT YOU HAVE RECEIVED?

Be confident in your ideas—that especially applies here at GCM Grosvenor. Even if you are an Analyst or the most junior person on a team, you should feel empowered to share your thoughts or propose ideas knowing that you offer a unique perspective.

Q. WHO IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLE MODEL?  WHY?

Sarah Blakely, the founder and CEO of Spanx, who was also the featured speaker at the GCM Grosvenor Small and Emerging Managers (SEM) Conference in 2018. At the conference, she spoke about setting specific goals and making intentional long-term career choices instead of only focusing on her day-to-day goals. Because of her advice, I have now tried to set long-term objectives for myself and be more aware of their progress.

Q. ARE YOU INVOLVED WITH ANY GCM GROSVENOR AFFINITY OR NETWORKING GROUPS AT GCM GROSVENOR? IF SO, WHAT HAVE YOU ENJOYED MOST ABOUT THOSE GROUPS?

I’m involved in Women’s Inspiration Networking Group “WINGs” and the mentoring program GCM Connect. I have been on the WINGS leadership board for the past two years as Treasurer and Co-chair of Marketing. I particularly appreciate that WINGs encourages everyone at the firm, men and women alike, to get involved in philanthropy, networking, and inspirational events. It is always a welcoming networking environment.

Q. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET AMBITION?

Learn to play the drums! I’m a big music fan, and think that drums are unique and set the tone for any song they’re in.

Q. ARE YOU A SPORTS FAN? WHICH TEAMS ARE YOUR FAVORITES?

I’m a big Michigan sports fan—go Blue!  I went back to campus for a football game this past fall and watch every Saturday during the season.

Q. WHAT IS A BOOK THAT HAS INSPIRED/SHAPED YOU?

The book Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, co-founder of Nike. It is about how he built Nike and the many trials and errors he experienced along the way. I enjoy stories about individuals and their paths to success, as they demonstrate that great success don’t come easy.

Q. IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE GCM GROSVENOR?

Committed, Communal, Diligent.

Bryce RobertsonAnalyst, 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 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.