Alumni Profile

Lucas Detor ’94
Executive Team, CarVal Investors

Lucas Detor has worked in New York, Minneapolis and London, in accounting, finance, investment banking and as a member of the Secret Service. It’s a resume few can boast.
From UAlbany to the Secret Service to New York University to investment banking, nothing about Lucas Detor’s career journey has been ordinary or what he expected when he graduated in 1994. Yet he would be the first to tell you he would not change a moment of his global adventure of the last 22 years.

Detor had always been interested in public service. As a UAlbany sophomore, he joined the U.S. Army Reserves and later the New York National Guard. He chose a degree in accounting because it was a good route into federal law enforcement and continued his preparation after graduation as he accepted an accounting position at Pricewaterhouse.

After gaining valuable audit experience, Detor left the firm to begin his career with the Secret Service. The image of a “Men In Black” agent protecting the president is one we are all familiar with, but agents often have other roles. While Detor spent time protecting presidents and dignitaries, his expertise and passion was fraud investigation. He worked on cases ranging from organized crime to the prosecution of an attorney and politician who had served as general counsel of the Treasury Department during the Nixon administration.

Detor said, “Everything has a financial element. You can catch almost any criminal on bank fraud. If you follow someone long enough, you will find something.”

After Detor married and started a family, the necessity of dropping his cases and his personal life to work on protection details encouraged him to look for new opportunities. Simultaneously offered a job with the FBI and a scholarship from New York University, Detor pursued education. His boss at the Secret Service gave him a three-year leave to work on his MBA. When he finished, not only was the Secret Service waiting, but the FBI was too. Ultimately, a University at Albany alumnus at NYU connected Detor with an internship at Morgan Stanley, which led to a new career.

For 13 years at Morgan Stanley, including four in London, Detor worked with distressed companies. He left the firm in 2013 as the co-head of the global distressed and U.S. leveraged loan business.

In 2013, he moved from the sell side to the buy side when he began work for one of his clients, CarVal Investors, a $10 billion fund manager. Today Detor is a member of a three-person executive team running the firm. He leads high-yield and transportation investments and oversees capital formation and emerging markets for the firm. Detor noted that the critical thinking necessary for accounting is also crucial to investigating criminal cases (as he did with the Secret Service) and distressed companies (as he does with CarVal).

Maintaining his dedication to public service, Detor created ReserveAid with some colleagues from Morgan Stanley. The organization provides grants to veterans for a wide range of expenses, from mortgage payments, to home repair costs, to cab fare for doctor visits. He said, “After 9/11, I wanted to do something, but my first daughter had just been born and I couldn’t re-enlist.”

ReserveAid has provided more than $10 million to military families in need. Through ReserveAid, Detor has also established a $25,000 fund for internships for UAlbany veterans, noting that since many vets are older and have jobs, they often miss the opportunities that internships offer.

Detor now lives in Minneapolis, “a bigger Albany with more sunshine,” with his wife Elizabeth, who he met at Pricewaterhouse, and three daughters.