IBJNews

2014 Forty Under 40: Luke Phenicie

Lou Harry
February 1, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
phenicie_luke_1col.jpg (IBJ Photo/Aaron P. Bernstein)

FBI bypass: Growing up in Tipton, Phenicie didn’t have a clue about the investment world. “I wanted to get into the FBI. That seemed the cool thing to do,” he said. “And the way you do that, I was told, was through an accounting degree.” Since he was putting himself through school, he opted for a state school, Indiana University. “The FBI wasn’t in the cards, but I found the investment banking world.”

Investment decisions: He spent a few years with a private-equity firm in New York before going back to the University of Chicago for his master’s. During his second year, he landed a job at HKW, which meant working in Indianapolis while driving up to Chicago every weekend to finish his degree.

Promotions: Phenicie joined HKW in 2004 as an associate, was promoted to vice president, then principal, then to partner at age 32—the youngest in the firm’s history.

Early acquisitions: “The first investment I made at HKW was a company called C&J Energy Services. It was doing roughly $6 million in earnings and we invested more capital in the business and then sold it for just under four times our money. We did well.”

Public perception: “Some people think you buy a business and try to take money out and that sort of thing. But the best investments we’ve made are ones where we’ve grown the employee base and grown the asset base. We invest capital in private business and grow them. And we have the management teams of all of our companies invest alongside us. When we sell, they get gains just like we do. If we do our jobs right, everyone makes money and everyone’s happy.”

AGE 37
Hometown: Tipton

Family: wife, Jenni; sons, Max, 7, Hank, 6, and Judd, 4

Outside the office: Phenicie has participated in 10 Ironman triathlons. “When I started in investment banking, I expected to work long hours, sometimes through the night. It was getting to a point where I wasn’t very healthy.” After a week of all-nighters, he headed home, where he knew he’d only have a few-hour break. He picked up his running shoes, ran four miles and said to himself, “I should start doing this again.”

Thoughts about “Shark Tank”: “[In my work, I] look for passion and hard-working, intelligent people with a high degree of integrity. It’s foolish to think you can make a sound investment decision in a 10-minute television segment.”•

ADVERTISEMENT

  • Dixon Creek companies owner
    I am very proud to have as my son in law. I am sure Luke will continue to have great success .In evevery thing he does. By the way it was Chicago not New York.

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
thisissue1-092914.jpg 092914

Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

ADVERTISEMENT