Meet Curi RMB Capital: Ilhwa Lee

January 22, 2024

By cdarmody on January 22, 2024

Nothing shapes your experience working with Curi RMB Capital more than the people who make our work possible every day. The Meet Curi RMB Capital series offers a chance to get to know our team a little better.

RMB: Can you give us an overview of your role at Curi RMB Capital? 

Ilhwa Lee: I'm a portfolio manager on RMB's equity team. I am primarily responsible for our Japan equity strategies but am also involved in our international equity strategy, where I cover other geographies as well. In my role, my primary goal is to introduce the best investment opportunities in my geographic coverage (especially those that are not available in the US) to our portfolios, manage them within our desired risk levels, and ultimately deliver superior risk adjusted returns and diversification benefits to our clients.

RMB: What does a typical workday look like in your role?

IL: In my role, a typical workday starts with checking the news in the Asia Pacific region overnight. My day time is typically filled with meetings with company management, analyst calls, lots of research, building financial models, and team discussions to generate investment ideas and make decisions. Given my geographic coverage, many of my management calls happen at night.

RMB: Tell us about the education and career path that brought you here. 

IL: I was born and raised in South Korea. I did my undergrad at Seoul National University, where I earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and economics. During my military service, I served in the US Army as a drill sergeant. Upon moving to the United States, I earned my MBA at the University of Chicago. Throughout my professional career, I have worked in Seoul, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Chicago, taking various investment roles including public equity investment, private equity investment, manager research, and asset allocation. I moved to Chicago for personal reasons to be with my wife and start a family, but it was a natural career transition to be working as a portfolio manager at RMB.

RMB: What keeps you busy outside of work? 

IL: My family! I have a loving wife (who didn't pay me to say that), two kids, and two cats. We enjoy traveling and outdoor activities together. I’m also teaching my son piano (and singing), which has been a privilege to watch.

RMB: Is there something that you’re especially passionate about in life? 

IL: Investment! I love what I do, and this role is a perfect fit for me and my interests. I also enjoy learning new things such as languages, cultures, instruments, sports, and more. I recently started jazz piano and golf, and realized that swinging your golf club is not any easier than swinging on the piano.

RMB: What makes you most proud to work at Curi RMB Capital?  

IL: The people-first culture. Our people are always our top priority, and it's clear that we care deeply for our clients and their goals.

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