Kyle Gisbrecht - Mountbatten Program

Kyle Gisbrecht

Kyle Gisbrecht

Alum Of The Month

Program: London

Intake: August 2007

Current Role: Vice President, Compliance at BDT & MSD Partners


What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
Public Relations and Advertising, Marquette University

What made you apply for the Mountbatten program?
After studying for a semester in London, I fell in love with the city and searched for the right opportunity to return.  The Mountbatten Program offered a perfect blend of career growth, cultural immersion, and personal development. It honestly could not have been a better fit.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
During my Mountbatten year in London, I was a member of the Marketing and Communications team at UBS Investment Bank.  I helped produce materials for the business teams designed to highlight the firm’s strengths and areas where we could provide value for clients.  Interestingly, my role also required a fair bit of time collaborating with the global Legal and Compliance teams to align our content to the applicable regulatory framework.  This collaboration helped ignite an interest in the legal field and later propelled me toward law school and a career in Regulatory Compliance.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
The highlights of my working experience were undoubtedly the conferences and events I was able to help host and attend. As a member of the Marketing and Communications team, it was amazing and humbling to meet incredibly influential thought-leaders in finance, politics, and business at these events. One moment that stands out is when I had a lively conversation with a member of the House of Lords who graciously wanted to learn more about me and my experiences.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Just like so many other fellow “Mountbattens,” there are too many highlights to choose just one. Traveling with friends to Egypt, Greece, and so many other destinations will be experiences I’ll remember for a lifetime.  From nights at local pubs to a holiday in the Canary Islands, the year provided an unmatched opportunity to experience life as a local Londoner while also gaining the chance to easily see other parts of the world. However, attending Royal Ascot as a guest of the US Ambassador in the Royal Enclosure while seeing Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family is definitely something I treasure – even more today.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship
Today many business leaders share a simple secret to their success: “say yes.”  For me, saying yes to as many work and social activities during my year in London was instrumental in making the year a success and opening doors later on – both personally and professionally.  Saying yes brought exciting new work experiences, helped build new relationships, and gave me some of the most memorable times of my year abroad.

Upon reflection, what do you consider has been the biggest impact of your Mountbatten year?
Easily, the friends and colleagues I met while in London had the biggest influence.  They have grown into relationships that I treasure on a personal level.  I’ve been blessed that one former colleague provided exceptional guidance and support when I chose to attend law school.  A fellow Mountbatten from the US helped introduce me to a job opportunity years later.  And even today, 15+ years following my first steps in London, my Mountbatten friends are those who have been with me during life’s challenges and celebrations, and I am continually grateful to the Mounbatten Program for bringing these amazing people into my life.

What happened after completing the year – what did you do next?
I returned to the US, completed law school, passed the bar, and moved to Chicago. I was fortunate enough to land an internship during law school with the Wealth Management business of UBS.  It was amazing to continue working with an organization I already knew so much about through my time at the Investment Bank in London.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
Following Mountbatten and law school, I continued working in Finance and am now focused on regulatory Compliance. Today I work at BDT & MSD Partners, a merchant bank with an advisory and investment platform built to serve the distinct needs of business owners and strategic, long-term investors.  I am responsible for managing and coordinating projects and key organizational initiatives to help the firm meet its legal and regulatory responsibilities. In other words, my team helps employees understand regulations important to our business and works to ensure the firm is operating within the applicable legal, ethical and fiduciary framework.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Professionally, I could not ask for a career that aligns with my skills and personality more.  I plan to grow in the Compliance field.  Personally, I still have the travel itch and would love more trips abroad.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My wife and I recently moved to a 115-year-old house in the Chicago suburbs after welcoming our daughter. I have quickly become an expert on using YouTube to DYI a range of projects – though hopefully not too many more!

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
Once a Mountbatten, always a Mountbatten. I love to meet anyone considering the program or alums passing through Chicago.