Alumni of the Year: Kristi Frey ’90 and J.C. Frey ’90

LMU power couple Kristi and J.C. Frey were named the 2017 Accounting Alumni of the Year, the first time two people have been jointly honored in the award’s 27-year history. It’s not every day two young accounting students meet, get married and go on to achieve massive professional success, all while staying engaged in service and philanthropic activities with their alma mater. 

J.C. Frey and Kristi Frey
J.C. and Kristi Frey

At LMU, Kristi and J.C. started an endowed scholarship fund that supports accounting students. They have had the pleasure of meeting the student recipients of their scholarship and are continually amazed at their achievements and overall professionalism.

Kristi joined the LMU Board of Trustees in 2015 and is a member of the Development Committee. She is a former LMU Regent (2011-15) and a former member of the Regents’ Development Committee, the Career Development Services Advisory Board, and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. Kristi is a former real estate broker and most recently worked at Shorewood Realtors where she specialized in residential and income properties and received the “Top Producer” award. She is a CPA and former trustee of the Catholic Education Foundation.

As managing partner at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, J.C. oversees the firm’s $11 billion energy marketable securities group which he co-founded. He has been the portfolio manager of the largest and longest tenured MLP hedge fund, Kayne Anderson MLP Fund, L.P. (KAMLP), since its inception in 2000. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 1997, J.C. was an audit manager in KPMG Peat Marwick’s financial services group, specializing in banking and finance clients, and loan securitizations. He is a CPA and earned a Master of Taxation from USC. J.C. and Kristi have two sons and reside in Manhattan Beach.

As leaders in the LMU Accounting Society during their undergraduate days, Kristi and J.C. were thrilled for the opportunity to attend the Accounting Society Banquet and see how much the student organization has grown over the years. Attendees were equally thrilled to hear their inspiring Alumni of the Year acceptance speech which touched upon the benefits of being an accounting major, favorite campus memories, the importance of giving back, words of wisdom for graduates, and their overwhelming love for all things LMU. The Accounting Times had a few follow-up questions for the Freys:

What was your reaction upon learning you were selected as the 2017 LMU Accounting Alumni of the Year?

We were humbled and honored. Receiving the first joint alumni award highlights that two people who went through this program can achieve different experiences and career paths.

What do you think has been key to the success of the LMU Accounting Program?

It is the outstanding professors who care about you and are interested in teaching you more than just accounting. They are committed to educating the whole person and become your mentors as well your friends.

Why did you decide to start the J.C. and Kristi Frey Family Endowed Scholarship?

Since we were fortunate to be able to attend this top accounting program, we felt it was important to give back and to ensure other students will have the same opportunity and experience. We believe creating an endowment helps to continue the longevity and to be able to attract the top students that make this program so outstanding.

Why do you make it a priority to stay involved with LMU and give your time and money toward so many great causes?

LMU shaped us to become who we are today and gave us our foundation. We feel grateful and blessed to be a part of LMU. We enjoy working with the students, faculty, and administration and like to help in any way we can. We hope to inspire other accounting alumni to get involved and give back.

What’s your advice to current LMU accounting students or even recent graduates?

Our advice would be to take advantage of the opportunities this great accounting program provides. We think it's important to stay involved and connected with other students, get to know your professors, and network with others including the alumni.

Any chance your boys could follow in your footsteps and attend LMU to study accounting?

That would be wonderful of course and we think they've heard it mentioned by us a few times before!