Today a managing director at UBS, Kenneth Kloner graduated from Brown University and went straight into the Morgan Stanley analyst program, having worked as a summer intern in the bank's clearing and custody group the year before.
He loved the program but, inspired by an older brother who was a lawyer, went to Harvard Law School.
"I joke that it cost me millions. All of my friends ended up joining training programs that were starting to pop up at private equity firms, and all of them are partners now," says Kloner. "What Harvard Law confirmed for me more than anything was that I wanted to be in banking and finance."
With that, Kloner headed back to Morgan Stanley and stay with the firm until the end of 2001. He joined UBS in 2002 and has been the head of the firm's automotive investment banking group since 2011.
Kloner also learned that while most of his peers were going gaga over the tech industry, Kloner had more passion around old economy sectors. "During my early years as a banker I learned that I liked things that I could feel, see and touch. I didn't enjoy reading Wired Magazine as much as some of my colleagues," says Kloner.
Kloner clearly picked the right sector to focus on and has built an impressive career as an automotive banker. In 2009, Kloner was part of the team that negotiated the deal that saw Fiat SpA take a 20 percent in Chrysler Group when Chrysler had gone bankrupt. In 2011, Kloner was part of the team that advised General Motors on its sale of Delphi Automotive for $3.8 billion.
"I like what I do for many of the same reasons I decided I wanted to be a banker in the first place. Every day is different, you draw on all your different experiences, and I like helping clients and solve the challenges they face," says Kloner.