This week, we speak with Marcus Shaw, the chief executive officer and president of AltFinance, a $90 million initiative to encourage students at 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 The Company Lab (CO.LAB) in Chattanooga, Tennessee; he has also spent more than a decade working in equity research and investment management. He received an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
We discuss how the firm was stood up by Tony Ressler of Aries, Howard Marks of OakTree, and Mark Rowan of Apollo – legendary investors who were seeking to access a deep talent pool that Wall Street had been ignoring for decades.
He explains that AltFinance is an apprenticed-model business. He looks for students that are “coachable” — people who are willing to work through the apprenticeship structure, with an interest in investing, intellectual horsepower, and the ability to listen and be coached up. He also explains why he looks for students with rigorous coursework even outside of business and finance, as well as 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 — “its all geometry!” — which was witnessed by an assistant coach. He became a walk-on placekicker for the Morehouse College football team.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, and Bloomberg. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.
Marcus Shaw’s Favorite Books
Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter Bernstein