Enmeshed in the rather relentless trading hub of Wall Street, Evan Rubinson, Duke University graduate and founder of the biotech hedge fund Koroit Capital, didn’t necessarily consider a career in the music industry as an endeavor he’d one day pursue. Upon learning of his father’s progressive illness, Rubinson found himself at the helm of an unrelated business adopting his father’s well-established musical instrument company. Fueled by his compassion, love of music, and calling to continue his father’s legacy, Rubinson founded ERA (Evan Rubinson Audio) Music Brands, a conglomerate of brands providing music-related products to the public.

As his father’s illness grew more severe, metastasizing into terminal brain cancer, it was time for Evan Rubinson not only to move closer to home but to reevaluate his direction in life as well. “I was very convicted,” describes Rubinson. “Family means a lot to me, [and] the opportunity to take over my father’s legacy meant a lot to me, so I don’t think I really ever had anything more than a convicted attitude towards coming home [and] turning the hedge fund into a family office, quite frankly, even though that was maybe a more lucrative career.” At the request of his ill father, Rubinson abandoned his company and assumed responsibility of his father’s business, Armadillo Enterprises.

evan rubinson

After working nearly 6 years at Armadillo Enterprises, Evan Rubinson eventually stepped down to launch ERA Music Brands, binding various brands and market verticals under one roof in order to set itself apart from other musical instrument suppliers. A somewhat unfamiliar playing field for Rubinson arising from a more financial background, the businessman was led to adopt a learn-as-you-go approach. “I think having [a financial] foundation…gave me a great deal of discipline and a great barometer.” While on the other hand, the music industry consequently caused him to deconstruct and let go of some areas of discipline he had previously acquired. “I think the music industry gave me a more important skill set of being a bit more nuanced, relatable to people, empathetic and understanding of people’s individual concerns, their work hours, and their schedules.”

evan rubinson

Apart from day-to-day tasks, Rubinson juggles a great deal of logistical, analytical, and organizational responsibilities throughout the company. Apart from their main function of owning a multitude of music brands, ERA delves into imports and exports as well as manufacturing from the UK or US. From negotiating with overseas factories, to setting appropriate pricing, to overseeing the manufacturing process, Rubinson supervises a variety of tasks. “It’s really a big organizational approach of, how do we get all these different parts to act together in synergy, how do we get the right craftsmen…the right people in the right positions, and making sure that the products we’re building, developing, doing research and development on…are up to snuff and upstage all of our competitors.” Considering the vast amount of crucial tasks, part of Rubinson’s job requires an enormous amount of strategic planning as well as hiring the right kind of help who can ensure the efficacy and flow of all the sectors combined.

evan rubinson

Although Evan Rubinson’s background in finance set him up successfully for the higher level duties of the business, the music professional further learned that there were areas regarding employees where it was necessary to shift approaches. “I think having both of those perspectives, and in the order that I had them, the strict discipline perspective first, and then the, ‘Okay, let’s open up a little bit more, let’s be more understanding, let’s be more relatable, let’s be more of a people person than a data person’…are very, very important things to kind of mesh together.” In a well-mixed concoction of both disciplined and laissez-faire approaches, Rubinson incorporates more of a lenient strategy when choosing the right people for collaboration. While building a team of employees, Rubinson considers that “the key talents are loyalty, teamwork, work ethic, and the people that are always willing to go the extra mile, the people who are willing to spend an hour or two after hours when they’re technically not getting paid…are willing to think about things more strategically and want more for themselves, and want more for the company.”

Reflecting on his finance days, career life in the music business seems quite different from the “dog-eat-dog world” of the financial sphere, and Rubinson quickly realized that his new role gave rise to his love and compassion for people. “The more that you really take the time to understand the creativity, the uniqueness [and] the sensitivities of the people that are around you, I think not only do they perform better in the music industry, but on top of that, I think it’s a much better relationship dynamic between a CEO and the people that work at the company.”

You May Also Like