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Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Whitman established himself as an investment banker, expert witness in shareholder litigations, and turnaround specialist for bankrupt companies. He entered the world of money management upon effecting a takeover of Equity Strategies Fund, a closed end mutual fund, which he and his team subsequently converted to an open-ended fund. ESQF Advisers, Inc. (“ESQF”) was the investment adviser to the Equity Strategies Fund. Due to the significant appreciation of one of the positions, the Fund lost its diversification status and was liquidated in compliance with securities regulations. Third Avenue Value Fund (TAVFX) was launched in 1990 to act as the successor fund.
As Third Avenue enhanced its investment team with talented professionals, the firm launched four additional mutual funds - Third Avenue Small-Cap Value Fund, Third Avenue Real Estate Value Fund, Third Avenue International Value Fund and Third Avenue Focused Credit Fund -- launched in 1997, 1998, 2001 and 2009, respectively. The firm began to offer separate accounts to private and institutional clients in 1995. Third Avenue also manages a large sub-advisory business, as well as alternative investment vehicles.
Third Avenue Management LLC was established in 2002 to act as successor to the firm's advisory businesses in anticipation of the acquisition by Affiliated Managers Group, Inc. ("AMG") of an indirect majority equity interest of Third Avenue Management. AMG is a publicly-traded asset management firm holding company, based in Prides Crossing, Massachusetts.
In 2009, the Firm established Third Avenue Capital p.l.c. and launched a family of UCITS Funds for non-U.S. investors, in order to better serve the investment needs of clients worldwide.
Our logo features New York's Third Avenue Elevated train (or the El), which was in service from the late 1870s until the middle part of the 20th century. Marty Whitman, who took the train on a regular basis, believed it would be an apt symbol of our value heritage: the El cost a dime and allowed passengers to travel from the City Hall area on the southern tip of Manhattan, to the Bronx in the north.