DeWayne Louis – CUP Fellow Spotlight – December 2011

 

What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I am currently a principle within the hedge fund group of Investcorp, a $13 billion alternative asset management firm.  I joined Investcorp in 2005 at the inception of the Firm's North American and European hedge fund distribution business.  As a member of a team that serves the investment needs of pensions, insurance firms, endowments and foundations, I focus on business development strategies designed to increase firm assets and brand awareness among institutional investors.

Prior to joining Investcorp, I spent time as an associate in UBS' Private Equity Secondary Group, focusing on buying and selling private equity interests in the secondary market. Prior to that, I was an analyst in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse First Boston, focusing on mergers, acquisitions and project finance within the energy sector.

I was initially drawn to Investcorp to because of the entrepreneurial aspect of the role. When I joined Investcorp in 2005, the firm had very little assets from North American and European institutional clients.  As the second person hired to oversee the build out of Investcorp’s North American and European distribution business, the role presented an opportunity to be part of a start-up within a successful existing business structure. Thus far, it has been an amazing journey. Since 2005, Investcorp’s North American and European hedge fund distribution team has raised several billion dollars for Investcorp’s various hedge fund products

What is the biggest challenge of your work?
The greatest challenge of my job is clearly articulating sometimes very complicated hedge fund investment strategies to my clients and relating these strategies to my clients stated risk and return objectives.  I find that rather than trying to pitch a particular product, clients seem to react better to a discussion of different investment views and corresponding ideas around how best to implement these views into their portfolios

What is your proudest achievement?
Outside of work, I spend a considerable amount of time working with a national non-profit that provides intensive mentoring to students from difficult background.  When I first became involved in the program four years ago, my wife and I hosted a mixer at our home to introduce some of our friends and family to the students and staff of the program. It has been remarkable to watch the young people who came to our home, and the many others students who admitted into the non-profit’s program, transform into confident and articulate young adults.  Many of whom became the first in their families to attend college.

What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I am drawn to leaders with a strong moral compass.  Individuals who clearly define right from wrong and consistently choose a morally and ethically just path

Where do you see yourself in ten years?
In ten years, if I can look back at the preceding ten years and say that I have reliably acted in the best interest of my family, friends, colleagues and community I think that would be an ideal place to be.  Projecting the route I will take to get to that point is near impossible.  However, adhering to solid moral tenets and principles should aide me on that journey

What is one thing you’ve learned from the CUP Fellows Program that you would pass along to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
NEVER GIVE UP.  In my office, I have a cartoon on my wall that depicts a stork as it is trying to consume a frog.  The stork has nearly swallowed the frog.  However, the frog clutches the stork’s neck with its hands preventing the bird from completely swallowing the frog.  Above the picture are the works “Don’t Ever Give Up”. From the frog’s vantage point, he could release his grasp and allow the stork to completely swallow him.  He does not. The frog does not give up.

I know it may sound somewhat silly, but I look at that cartoon each day.  I remind myself no matter what happens I will not give up.  The Fellow Program reinforces this view by providing training and introductions to leaders who continue to work tirelessly to achieve their stated goals.  If young people want their careers and lives to have impact, it is important for them to never give up when faced with a difficult challenge.