Evan Rubinson, a Duke graduate and popular founder of the successful Koroit Capital biotech hedge fund, never previously seriously considered a career in music . Although his father had a highly successful musical instrument company, Rubinson didn’t even consider getting involved in it until learning that his father was suffering from a likely terminal disease. It was then, motivated by familial ties, a personal love for music and a yearning to strengthen his father’s legacy, that Rubinson launched Evan Rubinson Audio Music Brands (ERA).
Rubinson relocated closer to home when his father’s brain cancer metastasized, and he reevaluated his own life’s path as he watched his father’s life slowly ebb away. At the time, Rubinson felt more sure than ever that he was making the right move. “Family is everything to me, and continuing my father’s legacy was important to me. I never had doubts about returning home and operating the hedge fund business from a home office. And, later, even though the hedge fund company was more profitable, Evan Rubinson honored his father’s request to quit Koroit Capital and take full control of Armadillo Enterprises, his father’s business.
Six years later, Rubinson detached himself from Armadillo Enterprises in order to ERA Music Brands, which combines numerous brands and verticals under one umbrella, which offers a unique selling proposition that his competitors didn’t—and still don’t—have.
Rubinson, coming from a financial background, had to learn as he went. “Having a financial base provided me with discipline and a gauge,” Robinson says. However, he freely admits that, while in the music business, he lost some of his discipline, and he sees that as a benefit. “The music business helped me become less rigid, more approachable, empathic and sensitive to other people’s worries, workload and schedules.”
At ERA, Evan Rubinson handles analytical, logistical and organizational functions. ERA owns several music brands and also imports, exports, and manufactures from the UK or US. In his role, Rubinson negotiates with international firms, sets prices, and oversees production. “It is a broad organizational strategy of how to get all these components to operate in synergy, how to get the appropriate craftsmen, the right people in the right roles, and making sure the things we are constructing, developing, and doing R&D on will upstage our rivals.”
Evan Rubinson’s expertise in finance prepared him for higher-level corporate obligations, but he learned to take a different approach with workers. “I think having both perspectives, and in the order that I had them, the strict discipline perspective first, and then the more understanding approach, of, ‘Okay, let’s open up a little bit more, let’s work as a cohesive team, be more understanding, be more of human than a data bot.’ I think these are two perspectives that are very important to mesh together.” When Rubinson chooses collaborators, he tries to combine rigorous and laissez-faire methods. Rubinson says, “I look for the essential skills: loyalty, work ethic and the ability and willingness to work together. But I also look for individuals who are always ready to go one step further, the ones who are prepared to spend an hour or two after hours when they are not being paid…who want more for themselves, and want more for the organization.” Reflecting back on his banking days, Evan Rubinson sees that his new profession gave him the gift of love and compassion for others, and his father gave him the gift of the new profession.