Our Team

Employee Spotlight

Michael J. So, CPA
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A Little Background

What brought you to Driehaus?

Prior to DCM, I worked at a fund administrator providing back-office services to various hedge fund clients. I knew that I eventually wanted to work on the client side for an asset manager. DCM was looking for somebody with a working knowledge of credit instruments and back-office operations, so it seemed like a good fit. I started out in the Financial Services Department and my initial focus was to clean up the data in our accounting system. Additionally, I worked on building out our daily NAV reconciliation process and the data flow to our other internal systems. About a year and a half into my tenure, the opportunity presented itself to work in Risk Management and I took it. I transitioned into Risk Management to help improve and maintain the risk infrastructure, work on interesting internal projects and help the firm operate more efficiently.

Tell us about your role:

I work on the Risk Management Team as a risk analyst. Within risk, we are trying to provide an independent view of exposures, sensitivities, and downside risk in order to help the firm achieve its investment objectives. Simply put, we identify, monitor, and help control any unintended risk exposures within our portfolios. The metrics we provide serve as an additional input into the portfolio managers’ portfolio construction decisions. Additionally, we supplement the teams’ understanding of current market conditions through the use of quantitative analytics.

Given the size of our firm, I get to wear multiple hats. I support the various investment teams, work through quant projects, assist with ad-hoc marketing requests, and generally lend a helping hand where needed. I take pride in helping my coworkers do their jobs effectively and not let any task be too small.

Outside of risk, I am involved in some of the important firm initiatives and am proud of the strides we’ve made in the areas of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) integration and sustainability. A tip of the hat to the leadership team as they have adapted to the changing investor landscape. I take great pride in being a part of these initiatives!

Let's talk finance

What advice would you give to people in this role or people wanting to pursue this role?

If you are thinking about a role in investments, having a passion for markets is essential. Additionally, I would say that you need to be a lifelong learner as there is never a shortage of information in this industry. Lastly, it helps to have a flexible mind as things are constantly evolving and you need to be able to adapt.

What is your greatest piece of advice from your time in the industry?

My greatest piece of advice from my time in the industry is to remain humble; you just never know what is going to happen and COVID was a great reminder of that.

How do you explain your job to friends and family?

While it is an imperfect analogy, I use baseball to explain my job to my kids. The portfolio manager is the manager, and the players are the investments. The manager (PM) determines the position the players play and how long they play. Risk management serves as the assistant coach. We try to identify players who pose the greatest risk to losing the game, give the manager our take on how we are different from the other team and try to spot any player tendencies that put us at a disadvantage. Risk is complimentary in nature and we always strive to help the manager make better decisions.

On the quant side of things, it is all about recognizing characteristics of players, and how they’ve historically performed in certain game environments. The goal is to help make sense of what is happening in the game (market) and optimize our team’s performance.

What about Driehaus

What is your favorite memory at Driehaus?

Richard’s birthday extravaganzas were always amazing. Before starting at DCM, I had never been to a party of that scale. When I walked on to Richard’s estate for the first time, I understood just how generous he was. It felt like a large exclusive club that he gave us all access to. My favorite theme was 007 mostly because of all the antique cars on display. My wife and I always enjoyed the food stations!

What would you say is most unique about Driehaus?

I would say working in a mansion, that is pretty unique! I think our whole office is a testament to Richard’s taste.

Michael after work

What are your hobbies?

During COVID, I took up smoking… meats! I have been experimenting with different meats, rubs and woods. It can be pretty labor intensive, but it is something different and I love seeing the fruit of my labor when my family has BBQ sauce all over their faces. My go to is pork spareribs!

If money and time were of no consequence, what would you do?

I would travel to experience different cultures and food. I have always wanted to go to Singapore – shows and movies make it look like a grand place to visit and I’ve heard it is very clean.

Michael J. So, CPA

Risk Analyst

Began at Driehaus: 2015

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