Meet Drew Tannenbaum, Managing Director of Corporate Strategy & Finance, who recently took on a larger leadership role at BAM as the newest member of our Management Committee. Drew is based in the Chicago office and manages our Corporate Strategy team. The Strategy Team’s mandate includes: contributing to the creation and supporting the execution of BAM’s strategic plan, evaluating new strategies, products, and businesses for the firm, and leading projects to build new or enhance existing firm capabilities. Click the link to read Drew’s thoughts on how he got to where he is today and what excites him about the future and his new role. In the Q&A that follows, Drew shares how he got where he is today and what excites him about the future and his new role.
Q: Can you tell us about yourself and background?
A: I grew up outside of Philadelphia. I came to Chicago for college thinking I wanted to be a doctor, then a lawyer, then... no idea! While in school, I was lucky to have an opportunity to visit a hedge fund’s office and thought, this seems really interesting, but I’m in no way qualified to work at a place like this. I was studying Political Science, hadn’t pursued an internship at an investment bank, and had no idea how to get started. That was the start of a long journey.
After trying and failing to get a job in investment banking, I eventually started in Equity Sales where I worked with two senior salespeople who primarily covered hedge funds. I found myself drawn to the work the Research Analysts were doing so I started to take classes on accounting and financial statement analysis in the evenings and was eventually able to get a job as an Equity Research Associate at Morgan Stanley.
After a couple years, I decided I wanted to understand more about how the companies I covered made decisions and implemented the strategies that were ultimately reflected in their financial statements. That led me to pursue an MBA at the Kellogg School of Management, join the Boston Consulting Group, and then go to work at a software company in Chicago where I learned the theory and practice of business strategy and management.
My interest in the financial markets and hedge funds remained present throughout. After reconnecting with Bill Wappler, Director of Research at BAM, I was lucky enough to get reintroduced to BAM and interview for a role that I thought would be an exciting and rewarding way to combine my past experience in finance and consulting by working on the Strategy team at a hedge fund.
I guess I did alright and here we are six years later!
Q: What are you most excited about in joining the Management Committee?
A: I have an extremely capable and growing team. What excites me most about joining the Management Committee is the opportunity to help them play an even bigger role in the future of BAM.
Q: What does working at BAM mean to you?
A: I feel very fortunate to work at BAM. It gives me the opportunity to work on interesting and ever-changing content with incredibly smart and motivated people. There are lots of places where this is possible, but BAM provides the opportunity to do this in a culture that is aligned with my values and that’s really special.
Q: What is some advice you would give to people just starting out in the industry?
A: There are a lot of things that are outside your control. It’s important to recognize that and focus on what you can control. You can control your goals and the planning and effort you put into achieving them. You can control your attitude and the way you treat other people. Set ambitious goals and put together a realistic plan for how you’re going to achieve them. Then work hard, be humble, and treat people how you’d like to be treated along the way.
Q: To end on a personal note, what are your interests outside of work?
A: I have two little kids who are six and four, so they take up most of my time outside of work. I grew up playing soccer and now I’m the coach of my son’s team which is both fun and unbelievably challenging. It’s tough to get one six year old to follow instructions, let alone 10! I also love the outdoors and I’ve set a goal to summit the Grand Teton this summer and am excited to train for and accomplish that.