Bruce Spohler


Think independently, work collaboratively

With entrepreneurial energy, Bruce Spohler '86 focuses on building strong teams

The marriage of finance and entrepreneurialism may have been his destiny. Bruce Spohler's grandfather was a first-generation German American. Here in the U.S., he initially worked for a regional supermarket and went on to open a delicatessen. Spohler's father is a successful Wall Street wealth advisor and asset manager.

When considering business schools, Spohler knew exactly what he was looking for and applied to only one: Kellogg. "The school has always attracted people who think outside the box — team players who also were independent and creative. This was a rarity for business schools back in the '80s. It is even today," he explains. "Equally important, I couldn't see myself in a cutthroat, everyone-for-themself environment. Kellogg's belief in cooperation and camaraderie was evident and unique."

He recalls an early and important Kellogg lesson that would set the tone for his career. "It was one of our first group projects, and to be honest, I only gave it an 80% effort. Everyone else came in with 110%. I felt terrible. It was the last time that ever happened. At Kellogg, we always worked with others. You had to be self-aware and understand your strengths and weaknesses."

Spohler has carried these ideals through every phase of his career, aligning himself with people who challenge him and offer complementary skills. He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert, where he worked on mergers and acquisitions. When Drexel dissolved, rather than go on to another bank, he and a few Drexel colleagues founded The Argosy Group LP. The firm flourished and ultimately was sold to a larger company, CIBC World Markets, where Spohler served as managing director and went on to co-head U.S. Leverage Finance. The entrepreneurial bug bit again, and in 2006, he co-founded Solar Capital Partners with a fellow Kellogg alum, where he currently serves as a managing member.

"We live Kellogg lessons here every day," Spohler says. "Our staff is incredibly smart and talented, but they check their egos at the door. Job candidates interview with several of us. We want to be absolutely sure it's a good fit. We are proud that our team represents diverse backgrounds and skills, but the commonality is everyone here is really nice; they care about each other; they want to spend time together and build a firm we can all be proud of."

Just as Spohler represents the best of risktaking, entrepreneurialism and calculated business savvy, so does his firm: self-starting innovators, some of the best minds in business, who excel together as a tightly cohesive team.


2015-16 Donors

  • The MBA that I received at Kellogg was life-changing and I want to help fund projects and programs to help the next generation of Kellogg students.
    – Jenny Lee '01

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  • My success is in large part due to the launch pad of Kellogg. I feel a responsibility to create the same opportunity for others.
    – Bruce Spohler '86

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  • Kellogg is achieving a bold and strategic vision. Students, faculty and leadership are accomplishing extraordinary things, and I'm excited to be a part of that.
    – Edith Cooper '86

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  • For us, it's more about paying forward than giving back. We feel proud to invest in Kellogg's future; enabling it to claim its place among the world's top business schools.
    – Gary '89 and Catherine Briggs '94

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  • We give to support Kellogg Scholarships. I believe that diversity is the way to attract students of the highest caliber and character. Supporting Kellogg's financial aid initiatives make this happen.
    – Lori Samuels '86

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  • We have gained a lot of value through our experiences at the Center for Family Enterprise, and know other families have as well. We think it's important to continue that work.
    – Drew Everett '08/'16

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