In conversation with Howard Marks: postgraduate students and alumni meet renowned investment management expert

Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Oaktree Capital Management speaks to students and alumni about his career in investments.

Bayes Business School (formerly Cass) welcomed Howard Marks, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of leading global investment firm Oaktree Capital Management, to discuss his career and investment philosophy with postgraduate students and alumni.

The online event was organised by Carina Ratcu, a Bayes Executive MBA student, along with the MBA Careers Team, and was hosted by Professor Scott Moeller, Director of the Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre (MARC) at Bayes.

Howard Marks

Mr Marks, author of the world-renowned memos series and the bestselling Mastering the market cycle: Getting the odds on your side, spoke about the psychological factors that impacted investment decisions along with the importance of reading the market and fellow investor behaviours.

He then took questions from the audience of Bayes MBA and MSc students and alumni, with topics of discussion ranging from balancing data and gut feeling to making the leap of faith and starting an investment fund.

The event concluded with career advice to aspiring investment managers, where Mr Marks cited the need for numeracy, imagination and psychological understanding.

“Recent global events underline just how difficult it can be to achieve higher rates of success in investing,” he said.

“The most important aspect of being a successful investor is having some form of advantage or superiority – whether through information (the legal, non-insider kind), intelligence, insight, or perception of future possibilities.

“Capital management and deal-brokering does not require advanced calculus, but strong numeracy is certainly beneficial – along with good psychological judgement and an imagination for possibilities and potential.

“In the general career market, students and young professionals need to figure out who they are and what they’re good at. Play to your strengths, avoid your weaknesses, but most all enjoy what you do.”

Carina, a second-year Executive MBA student, who approached Mr Marks as part of her elective modules in Private Equity and M&A, said the session was very inspiring for herself and her peers.

“We are really grateful to Mr Marks for joining us online and sharing his experiences,” she said.

“The Bayes MBA has a clear focus on industry and the opportunity to examine case studies in depth to learn from experts in their field – both in terms of breaking into sectors and developing further skills.

“It was particularly useful to myself and others to learn about the decision-making processes involved in M&A which help to explain many of the deal successes and failures that we have seen and studied – as well as the career advice he was able to provide for aspirational leaders.”

Professor Moeller said the session was highly insightful and beneficial to students and industry practitioners.

“It was a great privilege to listen to such a well-respected figurehead in the world of M&A and investment,” he said.

“Events like these are important for our students and alumni to learn more about industries in which they wish to manage. The M&A market has seen record levels of activity since the pandemic, making it more challenging yet rewarding than ever before”.

Read more about the Bayes Executive MBA programme.

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