is a former investment banker, and presently the owner of popular New York eatery Luke's Lobster. Luke's may be a Cinderella story in the city's restaurant scene: In just six months since its inception, the modest establishment has cultivated a loyal following and strong critical praise. The momentum has been so dramatic that plans are already underway to open a second location, way up north in the Upper East Side.
But while the rookie restaurateur may seem like an overnight success, his background in finance suggests that he's no fluke. Even while he was entering the dining business, he kept one foot in the banking business—in the first months of operation, the namesake of Luke's still held his old job in the lucrative (and, as of late, highly controversial) realm of investing. We spoke with Mr. Holden regarding his shift from finance to food, and where the two trades intersect.
VAULT: You've just left a career in investment banking to own and operate your restaurant full time. Which firm did you work for, and what was your position?
Lucas Holden: I was a third-year analyst at CS Capital Advisors (formerly Cohen and Steers Capital Advisors) before leaving to start Luke’s Lobster. The investment banking team specializes in M&A capital-raising and restructuring services principally dedicated to the real estate investment trust (“REIT”) space.
Read the entire interview here.
- Posted by Alex Tuttle