Hagai Barlev, Taranis Capital
KFN Testament / Case Study
KFN Relationships Lead to New Investors for Alumnus' Firm
Seven years before KFN was founded, a group of Kellogg alumni began exploring the idea of creating a network for the graduates.
Their goal was to create a platform for Kellogg and finance that created education and networking opportunities, according to KFN managing board member Hagai Barlev.
Hagai, a 2001 graduate of Kellogg, helped build KFN from scratch with those two objectives in mind, and saw the group unfold to provide exactly those things.
“I’ve benefitted by meeting new investors for my business,” says Hagai, founder of real estate investment firm Taranis Group.
These connections came from developing relationships with other managing board members, a seamless experience thanks to the ease of establishing rapport with fellow Kellogg financiers.
In one specific case, a conversation between Hagai and another board member began, and ended with the colleague becoming interested in Hagai’s sector of investing focused on multi-family and mixed-use real estate.
“Once I showed him the deal, he said, ‘I’m in!’” Hagai says. “It doesn’t take a whole lot of convincing, whereas these things can generally take a while in real estate.”
Hagai appreciates the common desire of the KFN community to grow its network. He knows it’s genuine interest from the alumni, because it’s simply “something you want to give back to the school.”
Although he belongs to other organizations, he says the connections made at KFN are unique, thanks to the shared Kellogg and Northwestern identity that people appreciate many years after leaving campus.
“The important thing is KFN is both exclusive and inclusive at the same time,” he says. “It’s Kellogg, it’s Northwestern, but under that umbrella, there’s inclusion and teamwork.”
As an alumnus who has been out of school for over a decade, he says KFN offers a unique and compelling tool for people to re-connect – after having gone for years without it, and without KFN.
Executive Committee member Tommaso Breschi is, like many members of the Kellogg Finance Network (KFN), in the dealmaking business that values relationships and connections.
So, when he joined KFN, he knew he faced the opportunity to leverage an asset from business school he says was underutilized – the Kellogg network.