Howard Marks (investor)

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Howard Marks
Born 1946 (age 67–68)
New York City, U.S.
Ethnicity Jewish[1]
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania
University of Chicago (MBA)
Occupation Co-founder and Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management
Net worth Increase$2.0 billion (March 2014)[2]
Spouse(s) Nancy Marks
Children Andrew Marks (with Nancy)
Jane Hait (step-child)
Website
OaktreeCapital.com

Howard Stanley Marks (born 1946) is an American investor and writer. After working in senior positions at Citibank early in his career, Marks joined TCW in 1985 and created and led the High Yield, Convertible Securities and Distressed Debt groups.[3] In 1995, he left TCW and co-founded Oaktree Capital Management. In the 2011 Forbes rankings of the wealthiest Americans, Marks was ranked the #273 richest in the United States, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.[4][5]

He is known in the investment community for his "Oaktree memos" to clients which detail investment strategies and insight into the economy,[6] and in 2011 he published the book The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor.

Early life and education[edit]

Howard Marks was born in 1946 and raised in Queens, New York.[7] He attended the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania for undergraduate studies, where he graduated cum laude in 1967 with a major in finance[3][8] and a minor in Japanese Studies.[7] At the age of 23, he earned an MBA in Accounting and Marketing from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago where he won the George Hay Brown Prize.[3] He moved to New York to start work and in 1980 transitioned to Los Angeles, California.[5]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Starting in 1969 and continuing until 1978, Marks worked at Citicorp first as an equity research analyst and then as the company's Director of Research. From 1978 to 1985 he served as the company's Vice President, as well as a senior portfolio manager overlooking convertible and high yield securities.[3]

In 1985 he joined the TCW Group where he led the groups that were responsible for investments in high yield bonds and convertible securities, and in 1988 he and Bruce Karsh organized one of the first distressed debt funds from a mainstream financial institution. He was also Chief Investment Officer for domestic fixed income, and the President of TCW Asset Management Company. He remained with the company until 1995.[3]

Oaktree[edit]

In 1995 Marks and five other partners left TCW[9] to found Oaktree Capital Management[5] in Los Angeles.[10] The investment firm grew rapidly, focusing on high-yeld bonds, distressed debt, private equity, and adding further strategies.[10] He remains Chairman of the organization.

During the 2008 financial crisis Oaktree raised $10.9 billion, the largest distressed debt fund in history, to buy distressed assets, which "paid off richly for his investors," according to CNN.[10] According to Bloomberg, ”Oaktree’s 17 distressed-debt funds have averaged annual gains of 19 percent after fees for the past 22 years — about 7 percentage points better than its peers tracked by Boston-based consulting firm Cambridge Associates LLC”.[11]

In early 2012, Oaktree listed shares on the NYSE. The IPO raised $380 million, selling 8.84 million shares for $43 each.[9]

Writing[edit]

Marks consistently writes what he calls "memos to Oaktree clients" which outline his views on investing, the markets, and economies. According to CNN, he is "Admired for the folksy charm and astute commentary of his letters to investors."[10] According to Business Insider, "the letters read like Michael Lewis ghostwriting for Warren Buffett: insightful, direct, homespun, expert and sharply pointed. Their quality and insight have gained them a devoted readership among value investors."[6]

In March 2011 he published the book The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor through Columbia Business School Press. The book covered his investment strategies and analysis of market opportunity and risk. The book was praised by Warren Buffett, who called it a rarity in its usefulness. According to Buffett, "When I see memos from Howard Marks in my mail, they're the first thing I open and read. I always learn something, and that goes double for his book."[12]

In 2012 he contributed the article "Warning Flags" to the compendium The Gathering Storm, a collection of essays by investment managers where all proceeds went to charity.[13]

Organizations[edit]

In 1992, he created the Howard S. Marks Terms Scholarship to provide renewable scholarships to undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2009 he endowed the Marks Family Writing Center at the university. From 2000 to 2010 he chaired the Trustees' Investment Board at The University of Pennsylvania.[8] He is a member of the New York Society of Security Analysts and the Investment Committees of the Edmund Safra Foundation, and the Leona and Harry Helmsley Charitable Trust.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Marks' first marriage ended in divorce.[14] He has one biological child with his second wife Nancy: Andrew Marks,[15] a Managing Director at the hedge fund Blue Ridge Capital, LLC;[16][17] and one step-child: Jane Hait, from Nancy's prior marriage.[14][11] He is a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and Mount Sinai Hospital[disambiguation needed]. His wife has a B.A. in Psychology from New York University (1971) and an M.A. from Columbia University Teachers College (1972).[15] She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.[18] They live in New York City and London[11] and are members of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple.[19]

Publishing history[edit]

  • 2011: The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HOWARD MARKS WILL SPEAK AT THE INVESTMENT INSTITUTE". Jewish Federations of North America. February 11, 2013. 
  2. ^ Forbes: the World's Billionaires - Howard Marks March 2014
  3. ^ a b c d e "CSIMA Conference: Speakers". Columbia Marks. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  4. ^ "Howard Marks Profile". Forbes. March 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  5. ^ a b c "400 Richest Men: Number 361 Howard Marks". Forbes. September 20, 2007. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  6. ^ a b Walsh, Ben (December 21, 2011). "The Best Of Howard Marks: Advice From A Legendary Investor". Business Insider. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  7. ^ a b Wee, Gillian (June 17, 2011). "Biggest Distressed Debt Investor Marks Europe With 19% Returns". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  8. ^ a b c "Marks Family Writing Center: About Howard Marks". University of Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  9. ^ a b Banerjee, Devin (May 7, 2012). "Oaktree’s Marks Says Share Sale Was Humbling Experience". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  10. ^ a b c d Kimes, Mina (March 31, 2011). "Howard Marks: bonds are back in fashion". CNN Money. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  11. ^ a b c "Howard Marks Resource Page". Valuewalk. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  12. ^ Marks, Howard (2011). The Most Important Thing: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231153683. 
  13. ^ "The Gathering Storm!". The Gathering Storm. Retrieved 2012-01-12. 
  14. ^ a b BARRON'S: "Howard Marks: Bond Rally Only In 5th Inning" by Jonathan Lang March 13, 2013
  15. ^ a b The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education Our Board: Nancy Marks retrieved April 5, 2013
  16. ^ New York Needs You: "Andrew Marks (Co-Vice Chair)" retrieved April 5, 2013
  17. ^ New York Times Dealbook: "Young Wall Streeters at a Dinner for a Cause" By MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED September 20, 2010
  18. ^ Los Angeles Times: "MOCA Board: Meet the billionaires" retrieved April 5, 2013
  19. ^ Wilshire Boulevard Temple Bulletin Volume 97, Number 3 March 1, 2010

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]