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10 Things You Didn't Know About Howard Marks

Howard Marks is an American business and investment writer and investor. He is known for his success in business as well for the books and articles that he has published on investing and finance. He is considered to be a guru in financial circles and when he speaks, he commands the attention of those who are looking for investment advice. Mr. Marks has enjoyed a brilliant career and he continues to make rich contributions to the financial sector to this day. If you're a fan of his work, you may enjoy learning more about his personal life and his career. Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Howard Marks.

1. He co-founded Oaktree Capital Management

Oaktree Capital Management is an investment company that is the largest of it's kind in the world. It specializes in making investments in distressed securities. Marks co-founded the firm in 1995. The company experienced a rapid growth rate with a focus on private equity, distressed debt, and high-yield debt. Oaktree flourished during the 2007-8 financial crisis raising the largest distressed debt fund of $10.9 billion. Oaktree went public in April of 2012, on the NYSE. The stocks which started their initial public offering at $43 per share sold 8.84 million to the public.

2. He still owns a part of Oaktree Capital Management

Marks and his partners sold 62% of Oaktree Capital Management to Brookfield Asset Management in March of 2019. The owners retained 38% of the company. They maintain full control of the day to day operations of Oaktree per the agreement that was reached in the partial sale.

3. He is one of the wealthiest Americans

Howard Marks made the Forbes 400 list in 2019. This is a ranking of the wealthiest Americans. He placed number 370 out of 400 with a net worth of $2.2 billion at the time that the list was published.

4. Howard Marks is known for his memos

Marks has a great deal of investment knowledge. He just seems to know when to invest and how much to put into a distressed asset. He regularly publishes memos to the investment community, which are admired and appreciated. He provides his readers with insight into economics and the current status of the economy as well as details of his investment strategies.

5. Warren Buffet is a fan of Howard Marks

The great American investor and businessman Warren Buffet is also impressed with Howard Marks' memos. He shared that he gets them in his email and when he sees them they are the first things that he reads. This is quite a compliment coming from one of the most respected financial gurus in America today. He further stated that there is always something new that he learns when he reads the memos and he also read and appreciated the book that Marks published. If you're not yet familiar with Marks, this should boost your confidence in his insights.

6. Howard Marks worked his way up

Mr. Marks worked from 1969 through 1978 as an equity research analyst. From 1978 to 1985, he worked for Citicorp 16 years with the firm. He served as the senior portfolio manager and Vice President of the convertible and high yield securities division. This was prior to the founding of Oaktree in 1995. Marks worked his way up and developed his knowledge base and skills along the way.

7. He has an impressive education

Mr. Marks attended the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. This is a prestigious business school. He majored in finance and graduated cum laude with his B.S.Ec degree from the institution. He went on to attend the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business where he earned his M.B.A. in marketing and accounting. While at the school he was the recipient of the George Hay Brown Prize. Mr. Marks is a certified financial accountant.

8. He is a respected advisor and board member

Marks is a Professor of Practice at King's Business School in London and he is also the Royal Drawing School Investment Committee member. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Duke Kunshan University. He serves on the Shanghai International Financial Advisory Council. He also chaired the investment board of the University of Pennsylvania where he is an Emeritus Trustee. He is an honored member of these boards and the institutions that he advises are glad to have his input on weighty financial matters.

9. He and 5 colleagues left a company to form their own

It is an interesting story about how Oaktree Management was established. During the 1990s, Howard Marks was working for TCW as an asset manager. While he was employed at the firm, he met his current partner in Oaktree, Bruce Karsh. The pair had some great ideas for setting up their own firm. They became acquainted with 4 other colleagues from TCW and decided to strike out on their own. His time at TCW put him into contact with the team that would help him to establish what would become the largest investor of distressed assets. All five in the group left TCW and went on to co-found Oaktree Management in 1995, according to Forbes.

10. He wasn't born into a rich family

Howard Marks is a multi-billionaire but he didn't acquire his wealth from a family inheritance. He is a self-made billionaire. We learned that he was raised in the Queens area of New York. He didn't have a privileged upbringing. He and his family lived in a two-bedroom flat in the city. He was not familiar with the verdant types of homes that he now calls homes. He didn't have millions in financial backing when he struck out on his own, but he did have a special eye for economics and an understanding of how to choose the right markets to invest in.

Allen Lee

Written by Allen Lee

Allen Lee is a Toronto-based freelance writer who studied business in school but has since turned to other pursuits. He spends more time than is perhaps wise with his eyes fixed on a screen either reading history books, keeping up with international news, or playing the latest releases on the Steam platform, which serve as the subject matter for much of his writing output. Currently, Lee is practicing the smidgen of Chinese that he picked up while visiting the Chinese mainland in hopes of someday being able to read certain historical texts in their original language.

Read more posts by Allen Lee

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