Chicago Booth Magazine Winter 2019

Features

Personalities, characters, visionaries, trends, emerging ideas, industry insight, history, evolution, and more. Features explore the topics that matter most to the Chicago Booth community with memorable storytelling and insightful reporting.

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All In for Investors

In the 1990s, as a college student already dabbling in investing, Kunal Kapoor, ’04, came across the Rekenthaler Report. Written by Morningstar analyst John Rekenthaler, ’99, the reports weren’t the typical dull mutual-fund review. Rekenthaler vehemently argued—even ranted—for greater transparency for investors. He criticized fund companies for not disclosing their portfolio managers. When he disagreed with investing fads, he named names. Kapoor was hooked on Rekenthaler’s depth of knowledge and candor. “When you’re in college, I suppose there is always a tendency toward irreverence,” he says now. “When I discovered Morningstar, the thing that struck me was that everyone called it as they saw it. They had a really strong independent streak. I thought, if this guy could say what’s on his mind so freely, then so could I.” Two decades later, Kapoor now carries forward Morningstar’s tradition of independent investment research as its CEO, following the company’s founder and fellow Booth graduate Joe Mansueto, AB ’78, MBA ’80, who became executive chairman in 2017. The company, which is now on the cusp of growing past $1 billion in revenues, is the only place Kapoor has ever worked.<br/>

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Internships for the Startup Set

When Full-Time MBA student Paolo de Vivo walked through the door of his summer internship, it felt nothing like the office where he had spent the last few years. “There were 10 people in a room rather than 400 on a floor, and I basically had to jump in and understand what we were doing,” said de Vivo, who interned at London-based Beekin, a year-old real estate startup that provides risk analytics and is led by Vidur Gupta, ’10. The all-hands-on-deck atmosphere meant he had opportunities to learn from day one: he delved into the company’s machine-learning-driven models, reviewed product strategy, and became integral to the team. “By week two, I was meeting with clients and venture capitalists,” he recalled. De Vivo is one of dozens of interns who participated in Startup Summer, a unique, three-year-old program that places incoming Full-Time MBA students at internships with alumni-founded startups during the summer before they begin their first-year studies at Chicago Booth. Students spend seven weeks working side by side with founders at company offices or coworking spaces. A stipend from Booth covers interns’ living expenses, a boon for young startups seeking talented help. “Our alumni entrepreneurs give so much to Booth, so we wanted to give back to them,” said Stacey Kole, AM ’86, PhD ’92 (Economics), deputy dean for MBA programs.

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Expand the Brand

Effective corporate brand licensing deals should feel so organic, so synergistic, that consumer buy-in is a given. For the brands, the goals are a bit more bottom line: there’s a need to generate top-of-mind awareness, reinforce and enhance brand imagery, increase customer touch points, open new distribution channels, expand into new territories, build brand relevance, and help connect with new consumer segments, among other crucial metrics. Classic examples include Ford SUVs that feature two-tone Eddie Bauer–branded trim, Snuggle demonstrating its soft spot for air fresheners, and Road & Track magazine changing course to lend its name to racing and driving schools through Spring Mountain Motorsports. The common denominator among all three examples: each was the handiwork of Leveraged Marketing Corporation of America (LMCA), the agency founded in 1986 by Chicago native Allan Feldman, ’71. As CEO of LMCA, Feldman—considered by many to be the father of corporate brand licensing—remains an essential part of the agency’s three-decades-plus success. Having partnered with blue-chip multinational brands such as HP, AT&T, Westinghouse, and Arm & Hammer, among many others, LMCA is responsible for $6.9 billion in annual licensed product sales, and boasts more $100 million licensing deals than any other agency in the world.

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A New Day in Hong Kong

This past November, the University of Chicago officially opened The Hong Kong Jockey Club University of Chicago Academic Complex | The University of Chicago Francis and Rose Yuen Campus in Hong Kong. A regional hub for ambitious research, education, and collaboration, the new location is an important addition to the university’s international presence and engagement, expanding its intellectual contributions and academic collaborations in Hong Kong, China, and Asia while bringing new opportunities for community partnerships and social impact.