Kevin Lenaghan was born in Washington, DC and grew up on the Jersey Shore. When he was growing up, Kevin excelled at math and music and played classical and jazz piano. He exhibited an early entrepreneurial streak by starting a company called “Kevin at the Keys”, where he marketed his piano performance capabilities. Kevin regularly performed throughout high school and the first few years at college at restaurants, jazz clubs, weddings and other events. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, studying Economics and Finance at the Wharton School, with a minor in Music History. Kevin completed his bachelor’s degree in 2001, while continuing to perform regularly, participating in numerous international piano competitions and festivals.
Kevin Lenaghan started his career in real estate investment banking at Banc of America Securities, which provided a solid technical foundation in financial modeling and securities analysis. He then joined a management consulting firm called FTI Consulting, where he developed further expertise in valuation analysis and sophisticated econometric techniques. FTI provided wonderful opportunities to lead teams, work on complex international assignments, and interact with outside experts on multi-billion dollar financial disputes such as the securities litigation related to the Enron bankruptcy.
However, after about five years there, Kevin determined that he would benefit from a business school education, with the intention of further developing his network and transitioning his career into more of a market-facing role. Kevin returned to the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 2007, partly on the recommendation of the Head of the Finance Department, who he had collaborated with at FTI. Kevin completed my MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management with honors in three semesters. Following graduation in 2009, he joined Cliffwater LLC, which is one of the leading investment advisory firms focused on alternative assets.
Cliffwater provided an attractive opportunity to join a fast-growing, entrepreneurial business where Kevin could rapidly expand his knowledge base and get exposure to both leading hedge funds and institutional investors. He was a member of the hedge fund research team at Cliffwater and his role expanded significantly over time. In particular, Kevin built out coverage of several hedge fund strategies and expanded the firm’s global footprint. He also helped Cliffwater build out its retail-oriented asset management division, serving as a co-portfolio manager for a $3 billion multi-manager alternative mutual fund.
Cliffwater became one of the largest allocators to hedge funds and other alternative asset classes in the world, overseeing over $70 billion in assets. Kevin collaborated closely with its institutional client base, many of whom were highly sophisticated, forward-thinking pension funds and endowments & foundations. By the end of Kevin’s tenure at Cliffwater, he had served on the Investment Committee and been promoted several times to Managing Director. Kevin also participated in the firm’s thought leadership in several areas, including portfolio construction, disaggregation of returns, tail risk hedging, alternative risk premia, and volatility strategies.
In late 2017, Kevin was recruited to join Clocktower Group as a Managing Director, the Head of Hedge Funds, and the Co-Head of Asset Allocation. Clocktower is an asset management and investment advisory firm based in Santa Monica that has a sizeable hedge fund seeding platform with approximately $900 million in committed capital. As the head of hedge funds for the firm’s seeding and investment advisory businesses, he managed the entire hedge fund life-cycle, including sourcing, due diligence and monitoring of all macro-oriented hedge funds. Kevin led the investment due diligence process for several new hedge fund launches, and developed a comprehensive, institutional process for evaluating and ranking prospective hedge fund candidates. He also established, led and served on the firm’s Investment Committee. Furthermore, Kevin served as the key external client representative for all Clocktower clients, which consisted of leading global institutional investors. He was responsible for the production and oversight of all external macro-oriented research, including monthly “Around the World” market overviews and proprietary assessments of macro-oriented manager positioning. Finally, Kevin served as the co-head of Clocktower’s asset allocation business, which provided strategic and tactical asset allocation recommendations for European clients.
After leaving Clocktower in late 2019, Kevin determined that the time was right to start his own firm, although he certainly didn’t anticipate doing so during a global pandemic! Kevin co-founded Ivy Academy LLC in early 2020 and the firm has two primary divisions: admissions counseling (the inspiration for the company name) and investment advisory.
Kevin currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Linda and two young children: Benjamin (4) and Emma (2). He also regularly contributes his time and resources to charitable and community organizations. For example, Kevin currently serves as a teaching fellow and advisor to Musical Mentors Collaborative, a great charity that matches talented musicians with deserving students for one-on-one music instruction. This cause is now even more beneficial given that so many amazing musicians are out of work due to the pandemic, and MMC has been expanding rapidly in response.