Howard Marks, W’67

Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing at Penn Arts & Sciences

Howard Marks

Howard Marks (W'67) has spent his career in finance and is the founder and co-chair of Oaktree Capital Management, LLC. Mr. Marks is the author of two books: The Most Important Thing Illuminated: Uncommon Sense for the Thoughtful Investor published in 2013 and his most recent book, Mastering the Market Cycle: Getting the Odds on Your Side, published in 2018, which explains how investors intuit, map, and respond to ups and downs in stock market activity.

He is also a writer whose investor memos are eagerly anticipated across the financial world for their wisdom, charm, and crisp clarity detailing his investment strategies and insight into the economy. Of Mr. Marks' writing, Wall Street Journal's Peter Lattman wrote, "Everyone knows about the anticipation leading up to Warren Buffett's annual shareholder letters. But for a certain Wall Street set, there are equally high expectations for the writings of Howard Marks."

Mr. Marks regards writing as central to success in the 21st century. His generous support of the Marks Family Center for Excellence in Writing, his second gift in support of writing education at Penn, makes it possible for students to receive expert individual attention to their writing from writing faculty, senior writing consultants, and peer tutors drawn from across the disciplines through our award-winning Critical Writing Program and Writing Center. It also provides expanded opportunities to local high school students and adult literacy learners through community service project.

As Chair of the University’s Trustees' Investment Board from 2000-2010 – a decade bookended by major financial crises – he avoided the market excesses and almost doubled the size of Penn’s endowment, receiving national recognition for his management. Mr. Marks’ and his wife, Nancy, other Penn philanthropy includes the Howard Marks Professorship in Economic History, the Howard Marks University Professorship, the Howard Marks Investor Speaker Series at Wharton and endowed scholarship support for undergraduates. Mr. Marks is an emeritus trustee of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Marks holds a B.S.Ec. degree cum laude from the Wharton School with a major in finance in 1967, and an MBA in accounting and marketing from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago, where he received the George Hay Brown Prize. He is a CFA® charterholder. Mr. Marks is a Trustee and Chairman of the Investment Committee at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, a member of the Investment Committee of the Royal Drawing School and is Professor of Practice at King’s Business School (both in London). He serves on the Shanghai International Financial Advisory Council and the Advisory Board of Duke Kunshan University.