From video games to toy time with his toddler, this REI attorney knows how to have fun.
Kevin Kim, often referred to as the most Korean, Korean-American you’ll ever find (his own brother is even shocked Kevin was born in the Midwest), is an experienced corporate and securities attorney with Geraci Law Firm in California. And while a bit of a jokester, Kim’s accolades are nothing to laugh at.
He has earned a spot as a Top 25 Corporate Attorney by EB-5 Investors Magazine as well as Rising Star Super Lawyer in 2019. Kim focuses his practice on private placements and other alternative investments for private lenders, real estate developers, and other real estate entrepreneurs. He said about 20-30 percent of his clients are flippers and developers.
“When someone needs to raise money as a developer, as a lender, or a real estate professional, I draw up the private placement documents and advise clients how to go to market and raise money,” he said.
Kim has advised and prepared hundreds of securities offerings including mortgage funds, structured debt offerings, real estate syndications, crowdfunding offerings, EB-5 projects, and Qualified Opportunity Funds. He is also the lead instructor for the American Association of Private Lender’s Certified Fund Manager Courses, teaching hundreds of mortgage fund managers throughout the United States on securities regulations, fund design, and fund compliance.
Originally a third-generation banker, Kim decided to go to law school after his father and grandfather advised him to gain more education and stability.
“Even though I started in banking, I kind of always knew I would be a lawyer,” he said. “I gravitated toward theoretical classes and have a passion for writing, advocating, and understanding business deals. I like to understand the why of things.”
Understanding the “why of things” has made Kim great at what he does. But his WHY is his daughter Abigail.
“She is almost two and having her has changed my life,” he said. So much so, that when Kim has a bad day, his typical default method of easing his sorrows is to play with Abigail.
“She’s really into Moana right now, so we watch that. A lot,” he said.
That sounds like an uplifting remedy to a bad day. So, what does Kim do to celebrate a good day?
“I cheer and congratulate everyone involved in a win and then enjoy a little downtime with some co-workers. It’s all family here at Geraci,” Kim said.
As an attorney in the REI space, Kim would like to see changes in the industry.
“Laws need consistency. There are inefficiencies in regulations,” Kim said. “The rules of real estate investing have been a challenge. Too often, laws are drafted in a hurry and we should rethink how we are regulating real estate.”
Q&A with Kevin Kim
Do you have a guilty pleasure? A lot of them! (He laughed.) Right now, my favorite hobby is also my guilty pleasure. Nobody expects a guy like me to bake, and to bake bread at that.
If you could go back and change any aspect of your life, which would it be? I would have decided to study abroad during college.
Who has impacted your career the most? My mother. She has pushed me my entire life and is still teaching me the importance of passion, the value of hard work, and the importance of humility. These values have been the cornerstones of my career.
What books have impacted you both professionally and personally? The Four Disciplines of Execution by Sean Covey. I’ve read it three times! And, Leaders Ask Great Questions by John Maxwell. My initial instinct is to fix things. This book taught me to ask questions and find out what’s really going on.
If you could have one wish, what would it be? More wishes.