Regarded as the Dean of Value Investing, Martin J. Whitman has proven an effective value investor in common stocks and an adept control investor who has led the rehabilitations of companies in various industries over the past five decades.
After serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II and attending Syracuse University and Graduate School at Princeton University on the G.I. Bill, Mr. Whitman joined the ranks of Wall Street as an analyst at Shearson Hammill & Co. Later, while working at the family office of William Rosenwald, son of a founder of Sears Roebuck, he developed a risk aversion commensurate with the responsibility of managing another family’s legacy. His ability to find safety through the careful study of assets enabled him to venture where other investors would not, like the bankrupt Penn Central Railroad secured debt or the mortgage debt of troubled utilities, such as General Public Utilities and the Public Service Company of New Hampshire.
Mr. Whitman founded his own brokerage fi rm in 1974 and the predecessor to the Third Avenue Funds in 1986. He managed the flagship Third Avenue Value Fund from its inception in 1990 through 2012 and was Third Avenue’s Chief Investment Officer from its founding through January 2010. He continues to work closely with Third Avenue’s investment team.
For over 30 years, Mr. Whitman was a Distinguished Management Fellow at the Yale School of Management. He frequently teaches at Syracuse University and Columbia University. He is also an honorary trustee of Syracuse University, his undergraduate alma mater and home to the Whitman School of Management, which is named in his honor. He is the author of The Aggressive Conservative Investor (Wiley Investment Classics, 2005), Value Investing: A Balanced Approach (John Wiley & Sons, 1999) and co-author of Distress Investing: Principles and Technique (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). He holds a master’s degree in Economics from The New School and is a magna cum laude Syracuse graduate. Mr. Whitman is a board member at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.