Joey Feste Jr is Vice President at KM Capital Management, a leading, Austin-based wealth management firm. At KM Capital, Feste oversees the due diligence process for alternative investments, primarily in the venture capital and growth equity space. He also assists with business development, managing client relationships, and improving the company’s tech-stack to streamline business operations.
Feste joined KM Capital after completing a two-year analyst program at McColl Partners, a boutique investment banking firm in Dallas, TX. At McColl, Feste was a financial analyst in the merger and acquisition department and had several roles, including working directly with senior partners and other professionals in executing middle-market mergers, acquisitions, and leveraged buyouts, and competing for prospective investment banking mandates. As part of his job at McColl, Feste had extensive interaction with and exposure to financial sponsors, entrepreneurial management teams, family-owned businesses, and corporate clients. Feste is also a Registered Investment Advisor Representative.
Joey Feste Jr earned a BBA in Finance from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. While in school, he volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and was an intern for Ford Financial Fund, LP, where he assisted with due diligence, modeling, and regulatory approvals in the financial services industry. . At UT, Feste was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and was a part of the University Honors Society.
Today, Feste lives in Austin with his wife, Jaynie. They are expecting their first child in August. When he’s not working, Feste enjoys playing golf, live music, and cheering on the Texas Longhorns.
Where did the idea for KM Capital Management come from?
My father started his career with Morgan Stanley where he was managing money for athletes. They didn’t have the bandwidth to offer more comprehensive services like paying bills or negotiating contracts. With the help of some of his colleagues from Morgan Stanley he opened KM Capital, a small family office focused on providing personalized comprehensive financial services to high net-worth professional athletes and entertainers.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The pandemic obviously had a big impact on my day-to-day routine. At the beginning, I jumped on making sure our tech stack was sufficient to make a seamless transition to remote work. My typical day starts with skimming through my emails and texts for any urgent client matters. Then I enjoy a fresh cup of coffee with my wife while I catch up on the news. The rest is blotted with my usual tasks at KM, from public and private investment due diligence to catching with clients on the phone. I’ve really enjoyed working from home. I’ve found my productivity increases as I’m able to more easily step away for lunch or a quick walk with my wife and dog. I don’t think it’s healthy to constantly stare at a computer screen for 8 hours a day. It’s amazing how much just getting outside in the sun brings up my energy and focus levels.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As I have said, I am probably most comfortable attending to details “down in the weeds.” This super analytical approach means that I conduct a tremendous amount of due diligence before presenting new ideas to potential partners and teammates. After I have developed a firm foundation to support my idea, I will begin to bounce the particulars of the idea off close friends and colleagues. Using the feedback that I receive, I am able to hone the idea into something concrete and actionable.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Decentralized Finance or “DeFi” gets me very excited. In a nutshell, DeFi is a blockchain-based form of finance that doesn’t rely on financial intermediaries such as brokerages or banks to offer traditional financial instruments. Instead, it utilizes smart contracts on blockchains. In the world of blockchain cryptocurrency, Non-Fungible Tokens (or NFTs) are one use-case in particular that is starting to peak the markets’ interest. Basically, “Non-fungible” means that each NFT is unique. This sets NFTs apart from currency notes, like the US dollar, that you can easily replace with another. Most NFTs are connected to the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain. NFTs can take virtually any form as long as it is some type of digital content. Over the last several years, NFTs have generated a lot of excitement as a way to buy and sell digital art. Earlier this year, KM Capital Management assisted a client with one of the first NFL NFTs, using a business model that gives the content owner the opportunity to participate in secondary sales. I see a lot of potential for NFTs to be used in the music industry and ticket sales.
What’s one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Of course, everyone knows about the benefits of exercise. But everyone knows about it because it’s so essential. I mean, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of your business. Personally, I like to work out in the morning and get an early start to the day feeling energized. You hear a lot in the media lately about taking the time for “self-care.” For me, I like to schedule a bit of quiet time after my workout each morning before diving into work. By taking this time early in the day to promote a healthy body and mind, I find that I am far more productive and effective in the office.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Take advantage of your time. It’s the only resource in life you can never get back. When it’s gone, it’s gone forever. As a younger person, I spent hours and hours as if they were free. I’d love to go back in time to tell myself to stop wasting time. Don’t waste it on things that don’t matter and don’t waste it on people who don’t matter. Don’t let your fear of offending people keep you in toxic relationships that only drag you down. Use every minute to the fullest. Take more risks. Do something that scares you. Get uncomfortable. Furthermore, take the most of your time and use it as wisely as possible. In other words, dedicate your time to meeting your highest priority needs. These are great lessons to take to heart in both your personal and your professional life.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Discernment. You can learn everything you need to know about someone within 5 minutes of meeting them if you pay attention and just listen.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Of course, it’s vital to say “yes” to the right opportunities, but it’s just as important to learn how to say “no.” In fact, as a business leader, you need to say “no” far more often than you say “yes.” Time management serves as a perfect example of this. You need to say “no” in order to keep others from dictating your schedule. From wholesalers to insurance salesmen, there is virtually no end to the number of people who may want to talk to me on any given day. So I have learned to prioritize and concentrate on the most important work at hand. When I have to communicate with someone, either externally or internally, I try to save time however I can. If a ten second email can take the place of a five-minute phone conversation, that’s the route that I take. One of my favorite quotes is by the English writer and Quaker philosopher William Penn, who said “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
We place immense value in developing deep relationships with our clients. I think we’re unique in that regard. We’re in constant communication, beyond business. We want our clients to enjoy picking up the phone when they see our name pop up. Our clients are our biggest advocates and word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool in our space.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Well, I came from the world of investment banking, where you have to pay attention to every little detail right down to formatting and fonts. This was a great environment for me to hone my super-focused analytical abilities. Unfortunately, it can be tough to see the big picture when you spend so much time looking at details. I’d say my biggest failure as an entrepreneur is getting too “into the weeds” and failing to take a wide view of things. This is one reason why it’s great to work alongside my dad because he’s a very “big picture” person. Over the years, I have learned how to come out of the weeds by prioritizing the most important issues at hand, but it is great to know that my dad has an eagle eye on everything that is happening at KM Capital at all times. This allows me to examine the detailed daily work that happens in each internal department, which is also tremendously valuable when running a company.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I bought a Perfect Putting Mat for my home office a few months ago. Not only has it improved my handicap but it also serves as a nice breather from work when my stress levels creep up.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Blinkest. It’s an iPhone app that shortens popular non-fiction books into 15-20 minute audiobooks. I find it helpful in identifying books I’d like to read instead of buying a new book, starting it, and realizing it’s not for me. I enjoy listening to them in the car or in bed as I go to sleep.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Atomic Habits by James Clear. It’s a practical guide on how to change your habits and get 1% better every day. After all, “compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.” -Albert Einstein
What is your favorite quote?
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought — they must be earned.” -Naval Ravikant Reminds me not to play status games and focus on what’s important in life. My wife and I are expecting our first child in August and I strive to be a good father and husband for as long as I can.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.