Founder, Chairman & CEO
Steven is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Bakken Energy . He is also the Founder and CEO of Lebow & Co., a private investment and financial advisory firm. Throughout his 44 year career, Steven has been an investment banker at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (“DLJ”), founder of Global Retail Partners, a venture capital firm, a private investor and founder of businesses across numerous industries including consumer, retail, automotive and energy. He has been the lead financier to many early-stage companies and was the only person in DLJ’s history to make investments in five companies that returned between 100x to 600x the original investment. These businesses have grown into some of the leading brands in their respective industries including Costco, Starbuck’s, PetSmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods and ULTA Beauty. On a combined basis, the market capitalization of these companies exceeds $400 billion.
Earlier in his career, Steven was a Managing Director at DLJ from 1979-2000. At DLJ, he led the Retail Investment Banking Group advising clients in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. Steven was voted into the DLJ “Hall of Fame” in 1995. In 1986 Steven established DLJ’s Los Angeles Office and Co-Headed the Los Angeles Office with Ken Moelis from 1990-1996. Steven was very active recruiting people for DLJ and for many of the notable companies he financed.
In 1996 Steven co-founded Global Retail Partners within DLJ and was co-Founder and co-Managing Partner. Global Retail Partners launched with approximately $160 million in funding from investors including Carrefour of France, Paul Allen’s Vulcan Investment Arm, DLJ and approximately 150 current or former CEOs or CFOs of notable companies. In 2000, after DLJ was acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston, Steven and his partners left DLJ and rebranded Global Retail Partners as GRP Partners (GRP). Global Retail Partners and GRP together managed approximately $900 million when Steven retired in 2010. GRP’s second fund, GRP II, an approximately $400 million fund, has been ranked the best venture capital fund for all 2000 vintage funds in the US.
Steven has advised, financed and/or invested in many companies of various stages and private equity firms. His extensive network of individuals and businesses has created a powerful ecosystem for all those connected to him.
Steven holds a BA in Economics and Political Science with honors, Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA. Steven received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School of Business. Steven received the Exxon Fellowship for his studies at Wharton.