Investment banker Joe Berry ’96 takes his turn in the film industry
As a longtime investment banker, Joe Berry ’96 is practiced in the art of deal-making. But in recent years, he’s tested his artistry on a new palette: the big screen.
At London-based Lorton Entertainment, Berry is a partner for the film company whose credits include 10 films, including Supersonic, a documentary about the English rock band Oasis. Two other documentaries in production are Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story, due out this fall, about the man known for his you-are-there skiing films; and Maradona, an exploration of Argentine soccer star Diego Maradona.
“I never thought that there would be a crossover between my career in finance and my passion for film and drama, but it turns out there is,” says Berry, whose day job is co-head of the depositories banking group for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW), a Manhattan-based investment banking firm. “This allows me to explore my creative side and actually make something that’s tangible.”
Berry says he works “weekends and nights” for Lorton, using tax credits and sales of distribution rights to minimize financial risks for investors.
It’s not a life he foresaw, but it’s one he’s taken up with gusto since his father, KBW chairman and co-CEO Joseph Berry, died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The younger Berry worked with his father, but overslept that morning.
“That forced me to push myself to be successful and to support myself,” he says. “I didn’t have a safety net anymore, and it shifted me into higher gear as far as my drive and work ethic.”