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Investing in the Dynamic Side of Investment Banking

Rob Louv pursues emerging growth opportunities from Wall Street to L.A.

Rob Louv
Managing Director, Co-Head of the Technology & Media Group, Houlihan Lokey

Vanderbilt MBA 1997

When investment banker Rob Louv met with a Texas entrepreneur in 2008 about selling a company, neither was aware that they shared an important common link: Both had graduated from Owen. The entrepreneur, Jack Long, MBA’83, had contacted Rob’s San Francisco firm, Montgomery & Co., on reputation alone, but the coincidence helped him make up his mind about using Rob to shop his company to potential buyers.

After Montgomery & Co. successfully sold 70 percent of the equity in Long’s company, Rob and JXK sealed a second deal soon thereafter—one that was arguably more significant than the one they had just finished. Together with Jack’s wife (and fellow Owen graduate) Carolyn, MBA’83, they established the Long and Louv Summer Enterprise Entrepreneurial Fund, which aims to help aspiring entrepreneurs at the Owen School. The fund provides a $15,000 stipend to students who want to pursue an entrepreneurial idea rather than a traditional corporate internship during the summer between their first and second years.

Giving a leg up to budding Vanderbilt entrepreneurs made perfect sense to the couple, since they themselves had used the skills they learned at Owen to launch two successful companies. Their decision to honor Rob in naming the fund was an easy one as well. After all, he brokered the deal to sell their company. He also was the one who encouraged the Longs to give back to Vanderbilt in the first place.

Like the Longs, Rob’s connection to Vanderbilt began before he was born. His father, Art Louv, graduated from Vanderbilt Law School, and his mother, Barbara, had Rob while she was a student at Peabody College. Although Rob grew up in Florida, his Vanderbilt roots drew him to Nashville for graduate school.

“When I went to Vanderbilt, my career objective was to go into investment banking. I thought I would end up in the South, but through the alumni network I was able to set up some interviews in New York,” Rob says. Peter Veruki, who then headed the career center, encouraged him to get some internship experience in New York.

“My Citicorp internship was directly linked to an Owen alum going to bat for me,” says Rob, who before that summer had never been farther north than Washington, D.C. The internship opened doors for him and led to a career opportunity in investment banking with Chase Securities, later J.P. Morgan. He went on to become Vice President of Global Mergers and Acquisitions in New York before moving to San Francisco to lead the firm’s West Coast merger and acquisition efforts for the information technology services and Internet sectors. With significant M&A deal experience representing $150 billion in transaction value, he then joined Montgomery & Co. in 2004 as the co-head of the Technology Banking Group and a member of the firm’s executive committee.

In 2008, Rob and several senior partners at Montgomery & Co. established a new investment bank called ArchPoint Partners, also based in San Francisco. ArchPoint continues to execute deals that were engaged under the Montgomery platform. “I am now like my clients—running a startup,” Rob says.

In 2014, he moved downstate to join Houlihan-Lokey as a managing director of the firm’s technology and media group. “I really like the action of emerging growth,” he says. “So I put myself in a position where not only was investment banking dynamic in its change but also the industries I cover are dynamic, too.”

"My Citicorp internship was directly linked to an Owen alum going to bat for me.”