C&B Notes

A Legend Passes

As value investors who prefer to concentrate our capital in our best ideas, we have always been fond of this quote from Marty Whitman: “One of the things that is very important to understand is that diversification is only a surrogate, and usually a poor surrogate, for knowledge, control and price consciousness.”   Mr. Whitman passed away on April 16th at the age of 93.

From Third Avenue Management’s press release on April 17th:

Today, Third Avenue Management announced that Martin J. Whitman, the Firm’s Founder, legendary investor and a pioneer in Value investing, passed away Monday evening.

“We are saddened by the loss of our founder, friend, and mentor. Everyone in the Third Avenue family was blessed to have had the opportunity to know Marty and learn from him.  He was an extraordinary investor, an impactful teacher, and a true capital markets pioneer.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” stated the Firm’s Management Committee.

Further, “as those that interacted with Marty over his storied career know, he was one of the sharpest-minded investors in recent times.  The principles that he developed over the course of decades are more relevant today than ever, which is why Third Avenue will carry on his deep-value approach to investing while also giving back just like Marty did over so many years.”

Teaching was always Mr. Whitman’s passion. He frequently taught at Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, which was named in his honor.  He was a distinguished Management Fellow at the Yale School of Management, conducting seminars for over 30 years.  He also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University Business School.

In addition to being widely recognized for his frank and insightful quarterly letters to Third Avenue Value Fund shareholders, he authored several books including Modern Security Analysis — Understanding Fundamental Finance, Distress Investing: Principles and Technique, The Aggressive Conservative Investor and Value Investing: A Balanced Approach, as well as a number of articles on security analysis and investment banking.  Most recently, Mr. Whitman published a “best of” anthology of his prolific shareholder letters, Dear Fellow Shareholders… in 2016.

Referenced In This Post