Senior Member, Investor Relations Group
Eton Park Capital Management, LP
New York, N.Y.
For Yusef Mohammed Kassim Sr., it was tough being a teen in Washington, D.C., during the city?s drug epidemic of the 1980s and early 1990s. ?Growing up in the heart of that environment helped solidify my resolve to succeed and create better opportunities for my family,? Kassim explains. His parents, immigrants from Sierra Leone, helped him to transform from a potentially at-risk youth to a successful engineering student at the University of Pennsylvania. ?I was the first in my family, and one of the few in my high school, to go to an Ivy League university,? he notes.
Kassim obtained a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in systems engineering, but was always fascinated with Wall Street. To stand out to recruiters, he acquired the necessary business knowledge with finance and security analysis classes. By graduation, he had landed an interview with Goldman Sachs. ?I was hungry. I was the most passionate person in the room,? he recalls. After multiple rounds of grueling interviews, Kassim was chosen as part of a select group of global analysts hired in 1999, less than 1 percent of them African-Americans. Today, he is a senior member of the Investor Relations Group at Eton Park Capital Management, sharing responsibility for the global marketing and client service aspects of the funds the company manages. ?I enjoy building relationships and marketing a world class product,? the former collegiate bodybuilder says.
In 2009, Kassim co-founded the nonprofit America Needs You to support ambitious, career-minded, low-income college students through mentoring, professional networking and career development opportunities. More than 500 participants have obtained internships in their chosen careers. Kassim enjoys fitness training, mentoring and going to the movies weekly with his wife, Kristal. ?I really believe the best is in front of me, and although I?ve had a great and fortunate ride, I?m very excited about what lies ahead.?