Third Avenue Management

Izzy's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 75

Does anyone know what the reputation of this firm is and how their pay, compensation, exit opps are?

http://www.thirdavenuefunds.com/ta/

Comments (71)

Mar 21, 2013

Marty Whitman's firm. Top asset manager. Think along the lines of FPA, Harris Associates, Ruane Cuniff, etc. They have more diverse strategies than you might see at other asset managers (e.g. distressed, special situations). I think they also have a sizable separately managed account business, but I can't say for sure.

Exit opps would be other asset managers, maybe L/S and value HFs. But I wouldn't be looking to leave. Anybody interested in investing would kill to work for these guys.

I would check Glassdoor for pay.

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Mar 21, 2013

You can include me in part of the group West Coast referenced in the second paragraph.
As he said, I wouldn't be looking to leave.

Jan 8, 2014

What are your thoughts on Columbia Management and Pioneer Funds (both Boston)?

Mar 21, 2013

Thanks for your input. No pay stats available on Glassdoor, already checked.

Mar 21, 2013
Izzy:

Thanks for your input. No pay stats available on Glassdoor, already checked.

At least at the entry level, should be similar to the asset managers I mentioned. Neuberger Berman, being another NY manager (but with more employees), might be a decent comp.

    • 1
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Mar 21, 2013

what is the comp like for FPA, Harris Associates, Ruane Cuniff, etc?

Mar 21, 2013

West Coast, your comments have been really helpful to me, thanks again. If you get a moment, can you type up a quick short list of other firms like Third Ave, Neuberger Berman, etc where you wouldn't be "looking to leave"? I have some asset mgmnt experience and am trying to break into a place like the above.

I did check the comp at Neuberger Berman as a comparison like you mentioned, thanks

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Best Response
Mar 21, 2013
Izzy:

West Coast, your comments have been really helpful to me, thanks again. If you get a moment, can you type up a quick short list of other firms like Third Ave, Neuberger Berman, etc where you wouldn't be "looking to leave"? I have some asset mgmnt experience and am trying to break into a place like the above.

I did check the comp at Neuberger Berman as a comparison like you mentioned, thanks

I have given this a fair amount of thought.

Wellington: Boston based, awesome culture, awesome products. I'd kill to work here. Mostly does subadvisory work e.g. Hartford Life outsources the management of some of their mutual funds to Wellington. Lots going on: they have quant, L/S, industry specific, etc. teams internally.

Dodge & Cox: Low turnover (both in portfolios and personnel) and a little slower paced. They focus on large cap equities; also started international and FI funds. Their funds are all multi-manager; every investment is extensively mulled discussed by the team. They started a research associate program a few years ago due to the expanding scope of the firm. The associates stay around for 3-4 years, then generally move to a MBA program (like most AM firms, great placement).

Capital Group: Old firm with a great track record. Good culture, good comp. Very understated - they do not advertise their funds. They also use a multi-manager model, but PMs are each given a slice of a fund to allocate to their best ideas. In my opinion, one of the best AM firms to work for. No real way in out of undergrad; they only have a back office rotational.

DoubleLine: I basically worship Jeffrey Gundlach, so I was excited to see them open an equities fund. No idea how you'd get hired there though.

First Pacific Advisors: Great performance. Robert Rodriguez's firm; he occasionally does interviews. I don't know much more about them.

Harris Associates: Chicago based, Bill Nygren's firm, manages the Oakmark fund. Has a thriving separately managed accounts business. I think comp is slightly below street, but I could be wrong.

Neuberger Berman: NYC based. Interesting structure: they split people up into teams by PM. So you would have the [PM's name] team managing one pool of money. Not terribly familiar with them.

Ruane, Cuniff, & Goldfarb: Manages the Sequoia fund. Classic Value investing.

Royce: Great name in small caps, if that's your thing.

Third Avenue: Previously discussed.

There are some other great managers (Yacktman, Fairholme, Himalaya, etc) but I haven't looked into them mainly because they don't really hire anyone.

And I am not saying other funds are bad. T. Rowe, Legg Mason, Fido, Putnam, etc. are all great places to work. I'd take offers from any of them. But the above have really produced differentiated products.

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Dec 17, 2013
West Coast rainmaker:
Izzy:

West Coast, your comments have been really helpful to me, thanks again. If you get a moment, can you type up a quick short list of other firms like Third Ave, Neuberger Berman, etc where you wouldn't be "looking to leave"? I have some asset mgmnt experience and am trying to break into a place like the above.

I did check the comp at Neuberger Berman as a comparison like you mentioned, thanks

I have given this a fair amount of thought.

Wellington: Boston based, awesome culture, awesome products. I'd kill to work here. Mostly does subadvisory work e.g. Hartford Life outsources the management of some of their mutual funds to Wellington. Lots going on: they have quant, L/S, industry specific, etc. teams internally.

Dodge & Cox: Low turnover (both in portfolios and personnel) and a little slower paced. They focus on large cap equities; also started international and FI funds. Their funds are all multi-manager; every investment is extensively mulled discussed by the team. They started a research associate program a few years ago due to the expanding scope of the firm. The associates stay around for 3-4 years, then generally move to a MBA program (like most AM firms, great placement).

Capital Group: Old firm with a great track record. Good culture, good comp. Very understated - they do not advertise their funds. They also use a multi-manager model, but PMs are each given a slice of a fund to allocate to their best ideas. In my opinion, one of the best AM firms to work for. No real way in out of undergrad; they only have a back office rotational.

DoubleLine: I basically worship Jeffrey Gundlach, so I was excited to see them open an equities fund. No idea how you'd get hired there though.

First Pacific Advisors: Great performance. Robert Rodriguez's firm; he occasionally does interviews. I don't know much more about them.

Harris Associates: Chicago based, Bill Nygren's firm, manages the Oakmark fund. Has a thriving separately managed accounts business. I think comp is slightly below street, but I could be wrong.

Neuberger Berman: NYC based. Interesting structure: they split people up into teams by PM. So you would have the [PM's name] team managing one pool of money. Not terribly familiar with them.

Ruane, Cuniff, & Goldfarb: Manages the Sequoia fund. Classic Value investing.

Royce: Great name in small caps, if that's your thing.

Third Avenue: Previously discussed.

There are some other great managers (Yacktman, Fairholme, Himalaya, etc) but I haven't looked into them mainly because they don't really hire anyone.

And I am not saying other funds are bad. T. Rowe, Legg Mason, Fido, Putnam, etc. are all great places to work. I'd take offers from any of them. But the above have really produced differentiated products.

Wow, I have a friend who turned down a top BB offer for Wellington/Dodge & Cox/Capital Group. Thought he was crazy but guess I might have been wrong...

Mar 21, 2013

West coast, thanks for taking the time to come up with that list. it's very helpful, i'm going to start digging and looking into those you mentioned. appreciate it

Mar 21, 2013

From what I understand I would put T.Rowe in the above list also (but subpar location).

Although I don't rate some of the firms up there as highly as West Coast Rainmaker, I certainly agree that they're solid places to be at. Doubleline might be the only fixed income exposure I have in my PA.

I would also include the likes of First Eagle and... u included a lot of the ones that I'd think of on top of my head. I can't speak to culture/work life as much but I imagine they're all relatively similar. Some other names that I've heard of are Driehaus, Matthews (Asian), Invesco, Baron, and Eaton Vance.

I don't think most of these places hire out of undergrad (w/ exception of Wellington).

Mar 21, 2013
cqxu:

From what I understand I would put T.Rowe in the above list also (but subpar location).

Although I don't rate some of the firms up there as highly as West Coast Rainmaker, I certainly agree that they're solid places to be at. Doubleline might be the only fixed income exposure I have in my PA.

I would also include the likes of First Eagle and... u included a lot of the ones that I'd think of on top of my head. I can't speak to culture/work life as much but I imagine they're all relatively similar. Some other names that I've heard of are Driehaus, Matthews (Asian), Invesco, Baron, and Eaton Vance.

I don't think most of these places hire out of undergrad (w/ exception of Wellington).

I have a high opinion of T. Rowe. I almost included them. They just fall closer to a general Mutual Fund house than something like Harris or Ruane Cuniff.

First Eagle - Definitely, they slipped my mind. Great fund.

Matthews - Yep, if you like Asia, these guys are fantastic.

Driehaus - I am familiar with them. You are right - if I included Harris, should have included Driehaus. He was known as a growth manager, and I'm a value guy, so I completely forgot about him. I think they recently started a L/S credit fund.

Invesco - If only for WL Ross; he's still one of the top distressed investors. I have heard mixed things about the rest of Invesco though.

Baron - I thought Baron was a really small shop, like Yacktman (so basically no hiring). Could be wrong though.

Eaton Vance - Not familiar enough to comment. I never thought of them as really great; I would have thought of them in the same light as Waddell & Reed. Decent, but not amazing.

I could also mention GAMCO (Mario Gabelli). I know nothing about their work environment, pay, etc. But they are unique in that they publish research as well as run a fund.

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Mar 24, 2013
West Coast rainmaker:
cqxu:

From what I understand I would put T.Rowe in the above list also (but subpar location).

Although I don't rate some of the firms up there as highly as West Coast Rainmaker, I certainly agree that they're solid places to be at. Doubleline might be the only fixed income exposure I have in my PA.

I would also include the likes of First Eagle and... u included a lot of the ones that I'd think of on top of my head. I can't speak to culture/work life as much but I imagine they're all relatively similar. Some other names that I've heard of are Driehaus, Matthews (Asian), Invesco, Baron, and Eaton Vance.

I don't think most of these places hire out of undergrad (w/ exception of Wellington).

Driehaus - I am familiar with them. You are right - if I included Harris, should have included Driehaus. He was known as a growth manager, and I'm a value guy, so I completely forgot about him. I think they recently started a L/S credit fund.

I could also mention GAMCO (Mario Gabelli). I know nothing about their work environment, pay, etc. But they are unique in that they publish research as well as run a fund.

I generally agree with everything above. But, I think you're giving Driehaus to much credit. They don't do much deep research - more of trading culture.

GAMCO is top notch imo.

Mar 21, 2013

great thread, lots of things mentioned. i will look into all of them. thanks again guys

Mar 23, 2013

Amazing thread because these places rarely get discussed. When I have time I will write up something a lot more detailed about my experience working at one of the funds West Coast mentioned for two years out of school. Top asset managers have an amazing lifestyle, comp is typically at or above street as far as I know, and the cultures tend to be a lot more intellectual and nothing is as cutthroat since monthly or quarterly performance isn't as big of a deal as long term performance. The firm I worked for paid slightly above what my investment banking friends were making as 1st years (and this was back in '06-'07 when the world was on fire) and not that I worked there but I can pretty confidently say Harris pays above street as well.

But to answer OP, Third Avenue is an excellent firm and definitely a place that would be great to start out. One of the best aspects of the top asset managers is that they typically want to keep their talent forever, and as a result they are very active in developing their talent / the culture is such that senior analysts and PMs will want to help you learn and become a smarter investor. So if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed at my AM firm for a few more years rather than jumping to HF just for the sake of being at an HF.

Mar 24, 2013
BlackHat:

Amazing thread because these places rarely get discussed. When I have time I will write up something a lot more detailed about my experience working at one of the funds West Coast mentioned for two years out of school. Top asset managers have an amazing lifestyle, comp is typically at or above street as far as I know, and the cultures tend to be a lot more intellectual and nothing is as cutthroat since monthly or quarterly performance isn't as big of a deal as long term performance. The firm I worked for paid slightly above what my investment banking friends were making as 1st years (and this was back in '06-'07 when the world was on fire) and not that I worked there but I can pretty confidently say Harris pays above street as well.

But to answer OP, Third Avenue is an excellent firm and definitely a place that would be great to start out. One of the best aspects of the top asset managers is that they typically want to keep their talent forever, and as a result they are very active in developing their talent / the culture is such that senior analysts and PMs will want to help you learn and become a smarter investor. So if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed at my AM firm for a few more years rather than jumping to HF just for the sake of being at an HF.

BlackHat, what's the best way to get into these top asset managers, such as Harris Associates, if your school does not get OCR? Would Equity Research at a MM such as Baird or Blair be good enough? Or, would an investment banking gig at a BB be better?

Mar 25, 2013
AsianMonky:
BlackHat:

Amazing thread because these places rarely get discussed. When I have time I will write up something a lot more detailed about my experience working at one of the funds West Coast mentioned for two years out of school. Top asset managers have an amazing lifestyle, comp is typically at or above street as far as I know, and the cultures tend to be a lot more intellectual and nothing is as cutthroat since monthly or quarterly performance isn't as big of a deal as long term performance. The firm I worked for paid slightly above what my investment banking friends were making as 1st years (and this was back in '06-'07 when the world was on fire) and not that I worked there but I can pretty confidently say Harris pays above street as well.

But to answer OP, Third Avenue is an excellent firm and definitely a place that would be great to start out. One of the best aspects of the top asset managers is that they typically want to keep their talent forever, and as a result they are very active in developing their talent / the culture is such that senior analysts and PMs will want to help you learn and become a smarter investor. So if I had to do it all over again, I would have stayed at my AM firm for a few more years rather than jumping to HF just for the sake of being at an HF.

BlackHat, what's the best way to get into these top asset managers, such as Harris Associates, if your school does not get OCR? Would Equity Research at a MM such as Baird or Blair be good enough? Or, would an investment banking gig at a BB be better?

I would like to get an idea on this as well.

Mar 21, 2013

Blackhat, I would definitely love to read about your experience, whenever you get time to write about it. What you said about the environment at AM firms is exactly why I want to try and break into a great one. It doesn't seem to be easy though. I don't mind taking a minor step back as long as I get into an environment like that.

Mar 23, 2013
Izzy:

Blackhat, I would definitely love to read about your experience, whenever you get time to write about it. What you said about the environment at AM firms is exactly why I want to try and break into a great one. It doesn't seem to be easy though. I don't mind taking a minor step back as long as I get into an environment like that.

Yeah the one big problem with a lot of these firms is the reason they are the way they are is because they're typically small analyst teams and there's a retardedly low turnover for the most part. My firm had two people leave in the last decade other than myself, one did not leave by choice (he was let go) and the other did not leave by choice either (he died) and I left because I'm mentally incapable of making good decisions and jumped at the first job that offered better comp.

Spread your resume around though, don't be afraid to shoot it out to as many places as you can, and they tend to take people who are pretty confident that they want to be investors (usually more long-term fundamental strategies) for life, so if your resume reflects that you never know what can happen.

Mar 25, 2013

Amazing thread. In terms of hiring by the firmst westcoast listed, wellington, capital group, dodge and cox, do recruit MBAs at top schools, but they are insanely hard to get into. Like each of those shops will hire at most 2-3 MBAs from the entire country. I met a guy who did stanford gsb, and he was the only MBA hired by capital group back in 2010. So yeah, these shops are tough to break into, and their hiring is much less structured than banks of private equity firms.

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Mar 25, 2013

Thoughts on Babson Capital as it relates to these firms?

Mar 25, 2013

I work at one of these and got my job off a cold online resume submission. Not making that up.

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Apr 23, 2013
WhiteHat:

I work at one of these and got my job off a cold online resume submission. Not making that up.

Having Wharton on your resume will usually get you through an online screen I'd think.

Mar 25, 2013

add GMO to this mix

Mar 26, 2013

great stuff bump

Mar 26, 2013

how would you rate top credit funds? I know that third avenue does distressed as well as a few others on this list (invesco), but wondering how those stack up in terms of intellectual culture, MBA placement, etc.

Mar 21, 2013

Responding to the above:

Babson - I always considered this more of a middle tier asset manager. Not great, not bad.

GMO - Interesting firm. I actually took a class from a forestry analyst there. Smart people, good culture. I think of them similar to Dodge & Cox. Very intellectual.

And while I'm thinking about it: MFS - Solid, old money firm. Kind of slow, not really exciting, but I am sure it is still a good place to work. I think they pay a bit below Boston peers (Wellington, Fido, Putnam).

And re: credit/distressed funds.

As I mentioned, I love DoubleLine. Gundlach is a visionary. The Steve Jobs of Fixed Income. I'd give a kidney to work for that guy, and I am not even in fixed income. I respect him even more for capping his AUM so early on. Fantastic.

PIMCO - Really the gold standard in FI. Questionable culture, poor internal mobility, but still a great name to have on the resume. Only take FO positions here (research, portfolio management). They love to market "portfolio associate" and "trade support" roles as paths into portfolio management. They are not.

Payden & Rygel - Good boutique FI manager. I don't know much about them.

TCW - Really formal culture, hit hard when Gundlach left. Decent pay, but slow upward mobility.

Western asset (Legg Mason sub) - Good firm, but, again, do not take a middle office position. Less "original" than the above.

Loomis Sayles - Great culture, office empty before 6:00pm from what I hear. Promotions a little slower than peers, but still very fair. Kind of like MFS in this regard.

Mackay Shields - A small FI manager, a subsidiary of NY Life. Great culture, very smart people. No idea how you would get hired here; it is a very small team.

RE: distressed funds, there really aren't enough "public" distressed funds to make comparisons. Most exist as dedicated distressed hedge funds.

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Mar 21, 2013

From what I understand based on reading their letters and hearing some of them speak... they have a unique way of doing things and thinking. It seems a bit... philosphical? Def. very intellectual.

I would ditto the above for Gundlach... besides the kidney. Aint no one gettin dat.

Mar 31, 2013

Great stuff. Twice as good because of the BH post it prompted

Apr 14, 2013

Genesis Investment Management LLP - UK AM firm which strictly focuses in Emerging Markets and Smaller Co's . They're following a blend of value and growth investing. Looks like a very good firm to me.
http://www.giml.co.uk/investment-approach.html

Colourful TV, colourless Life.

Mar 25, 2013

West coast and Blackhat (or others) - what are your thoughts on the asset management arms of mega funds? KKR Asset Management, Sankaty, etc?

Thanks for all the helpful posts

May 14, 2013

Also does anybody know anything about Bessemer Trust?

Mar 23, 2013
Welcometowallstreet:

Also does anybody know anything about Bessemer Trust?

Good shop. Work there.

Jun 11, 2013
Welcometowallstreet:

Also does anybody know anything about Bessemer Trust?

Very overlooked shop. If you have an offer there, don't hesitate to take it.

Jun 7, 2013

Anybody have any thoughts on Lord Abbett and Franklin Templeton? They always rank highly in Barron's fund family lists.

Jun 8, 2013
AssociateInvestmentGod:

Anybody have any thoughts on Lord Abbett and Franklin Templeton? They always rank highly in Barron's fund family lists.

Curious about Franklin Templeton as well

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

Mar 21, 2013
BepBep12:
AssociateInvestmentGod:

Anybody have any thoughts on Lord Abbett and Franklin Templeton? They always rank highly in Barron's fund family lists.

Curious about Franklin Templeton as well

Not familiar with Lord Abbett, but I am with FT - I've never interviewed with them, but I have researched them quite a bit given their status as a California investment manager.

They have relatively relaxed culture, short hours, but they also under-pay relative to Fido/T.Rowe/Putnam. It's still a great opportunity - you don't take these jobs for the starting salary.

Jun 16, 2013

What are some of the top LA based asset managers? I'm currently interning at a very small mutual fund/asset manager as a rising junior and would love to parlay the experience into an intern gig at one of these places. Looking to start networking if anyone can provide some good background for leading LA firms.

Jul 10, 2013

Thoughts on Macquarie? or Russell Investments? Thanks for the comments so far rainmaker.

Jul 10, 2013

Yes, thank you all for the great responses.

Does anyone have any opinion on Magnetar? Pretty small from what I understand, but just curious.

Also, where do large AMs stack up in all of this? Such as Blackstone's GSO for example?

I'm still just trying to define the line between general, large institutional AMs and the top AMs.

Thanks!

Mar 21, 2013

I think after a while you get a general sense for what's a good place to be at. You can also get a semblence of it through looking at fund performance. I have generally preferred the small to mid sized shops (for mutual fund this is like 250million to $50B probably... as ridiculous as that range sounds) over the fidos of the world.

I'm not familiar w/ Macquarie. I'm not even sure if Russell does active investments which should probably say something in itself even if they do.

Mar 23, 2013

Random resurgence of this thread might spur me to write something up on how asset management really works and how you know, from a business standpoint, if you're at a good one

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Apr 23, 2013

please do

Jul 10, 2013
BlackHat:

Random resurgence of this thread might spur me to write something up on how asset management really works and how you know, from a business standpoint, if you're at a good one

I think we would all appreciate that

Mar 25, 2013

Please...as soon as possible.

Jul 11, 2013
BlackHat:

Random resurgence of this thread might spur me to write something up on how asset management really works and how you know, from a business standpoint, if you're at a good one

    • 1
Jul 11, 2013
BlackHat:

Random resurgence of this thread might spur me to write something up on how asset management really works and how you know, from a business standpoint, if you're at a good one

Seconded

Jul 11, 2013

BlackHat could you give some color on how incentive compensation at HFs versus traditional asset managers affects culture, investing strategy, etc? That is how have you seen the 20% of profits rule in HF compare against asset management which is largely compensated on asset base?

Also, I've seen you talk about how large structured traditional asset managers like Blackrock, etc are not great places to start. I've talked to people and they've told me these places are more organized along the lines of analysts who cover certain companies and they report to a research director or MD of research (and have very structured training) as opposed to directly reporting to a portfolio manager like in leaner shops (where it seems that you pick things up as you go along) - which do you think is better?

Mar 21, 2013

As someone who had to kill to learn everything I think working at one of these bigger shops when starting out would be easier. That being said, most don't really bother recruiting undergrad that much if at all. I know a few who went to the likes of Wellington/Fidelity out of UG but the amount of value you can provide at that stage is basically minimal.

Mar 23, 2013

Will write tonight. I've got a free night luckily. Maybe this can finally be my soapbox on AM vs HF, as some people mentioned the distinction isn't clear in terms of why exactly the industries are different (aside from investment style). This should be fun!

Jul 11, 2013

Looking forward to it

Sep 28, 2013

Wanted to dig this old one up and ask any veterans if they've ever invested the minimum with these top shops just to get access to their most current investor letters.. you know, as sort of a learning tool to see how these guys think?

Mar 21, 2013

Don't they all just post them online anyways.

Feb 21, 2015

How about American Century? What do folks think of their global equity team in NY?

Jun 22, 2016

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Jun 22, 2016

I interviewed there about 4 years ago. It was on the sales/marketing side but I don't really remember much about the position. I met with a few people who seemed very laid back and down to earth.

Jun 22, 2016

Marty Whitman is a legend in the value investing universe, so if that's your thing then Third Avenue would obviously be a tremendous opportunity. I thought he was retiring though, and if that's the case you'll surely want to make sure you're comfortable with the succession plan.

Jun 22, 2016

Does anyone have thoughts on how the reputation of Third Ave. on the Street has changed since they shut down their focused credit fund? From what I've read in articles it seemed like there was a poor culture at the C-level that pushed for aggressive returns. From Morningstar it doesn't seem like the main value fund has done too well over the past few years?

Jun 22, 2016

All of their funds have underperformed big time. They have 4 or 5 funds I believe. I would stay away from this place. Assets have fallen tremendously. It's around $4 billion now. To put that into context, they used to manage $25 billion or so back in 2006. There's been a lot of turnover in the past year and a half not just at the management level, but amongst the rank and file also.

Jun 22, 2016

Concur with the above. If you're talking about an entry level, associate type role then consider them. I wouldn't go there for an analyst / post MBA / career type position though. I was shocked to see how much their AuM and performance has collapsed in recent years.

Jul 11, 2013

How would you look at it from the perspective of a out-of-undergrad analyst position. Would it be a bad start to a career given their rep?

Jun 22, 2016

Probably still a good place to go for an undergrad. Despite their recent troubles the name still has brand value and you would probably learn a lot from the senior people there. If you're choosing between buy side offers the decision becomes more difficult, but I would take Third Avenue over a sell side or banking job.

Jun 22, 2016

Geez, is this a result of Marty Whitman taking a less active role or what?

Jun 22, 2016

Value underperformed for 8 years. Nearly every value shop performed poorly, but Third Avenue did especially bad.

Jun 22, 2016

fantastic books and a great investor. i'd recommend all of his work

Jun 22, 2016
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Nov 26, 2018