This week, we speak with Marcus Shaw, chief executive officer and president of AltFinance, a $90 million initiative to encourage students from historically black colleges and universities to pursue careers in the alternative investment industry. Prior to joining AltFinance, Shaw founded Montgomery TechLab, an organization to support inclusive economic growth in Montgomery, Alabama, and was CEO of Company Lab (CO.LAB) in Chattanooga, Tennessee; He has spent over a decade working in equity research and investment management. He received his MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
We discuss how the firm was founded by Aris’ Tony Ressler, Oaktree’s Howard Marks and Apollo’s Mark Rowan – legendary investors who wanted to access a deep talent pool that Wall Street had been ignoring for decades.
He explains that AltFinance is an apprentice-model business. He looks for students who are “coaches”—people who are willing to work through an apprenticeship structure, with an interest in investing, intellectual horsepower, and the ability to listen and coach. He explains why he looks for students with a rigorous curriculum beyond business and finance, as well as an interest in extracurricular work.
Shaw tells the story of his college football career. On a bet, he kicked a field goal from the 50-yard line on the campus field — “It’s all geometry!” — witnessed by an assistant coach. He became a walk-on placekicker for the Morehouse College football team.
Here is a list of his favorite books; A transcript of our conversation on Tuesday is available here.
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Favorite book by Marcus Shaw
Against the Gods: The Extraordinary Tale of Risk By Peter Bernstein
Up Close and All In: Life Lessons from a Wall Street Warrior By John Mack