MiB: Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital

This week on our Masters in Business radio podcast, we speak with Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital.

Howard Marks graduated cum laude in 1967 with a major in finance and a minor in Japanese Studies from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business where he won the George Hay Brown Prize. He began his career as an equity researcher for Citicorp, before leading the TCW Group in distressed debt, high yield bonds, and convertible securities. He became Chief Investment Officer for Domestic Fixed Income at TCW.

In 1995 he and his partners formed Oaktree to run High-yield bonds, distressed debt, private equity, and other strategies. where he is chairman. Oaktree manages 17 separate distressed debt funds, averaging returns of 19% per year over the past 22 years net of fees.

He supervised Jeff Gundlach at TCW, and when Gundlach had his falling out with TCW, Marks helped him launch Doubline. Oaktree is a 20% owner of Doubleline.

He is perhaps best known for his Chairman’s Memos that he has been writing since 1990. Marks describes the first decade of sending them off into the world, with zero response. It wasn’t until his January 2000 letter “Bubble.com” that he there seemed to be any evidence people were reading them.

At Warren Buffett’s urging, he wrote the book The Most Important Thing.

Listen to the show live on Bloomberg Radio.  The full podcast will be available soon after on iTunes, SoundCloud and on Bloomberg. Earlier podcasts can be found on iTunes and at BloombergView.com.

Next week, we sit down with international economist Dambisa Moyo.




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  1. milbank commented on Jul 18

    You asked a very good and logical follow-up question, Barry. Which of the three parts of the investment cycle he described are we in? Instead of answering the question directly, Marks went into a “What is “Is”” answer finishing with the “We are cautiously fully invested.” He stated the cycle almost every investor already knows but, didn’t answer what almost every investor wants to know from him. The question you asked, “Where are we in the cycle now? He sounded like a politician side-stepping a “so, what is the solution” question.

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