Mark Miller — Senior Research Analyst
I’m a former attorney who took my many valuable skills from that career and applied them to my true calling: investment research and analysis.
For many years I represented medical device manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies in product liability litigation. I enjoyed learning about a drug or device and interviewing doctors, scientists, R&D executives and marketers to determine its benefits and risks. I welcomed the challenge of becoming an expert in many topics, and developed a leave-no-stone-unturned approach to legal and factual research.
But I didn’t enjoy the paper chase of law, the adversarial system and being wedded to a client’s position, worthy or not.
While practicing law, I began investing. I had no training, but my analytical and research skills served me well. When I felt information or transparency was missing, I called company representatives or experts and asked tough questions. My goal was to understand a company’s prospects and form an opinion based on my research.
When I described my investing style to my one Wall Street friend, she said I was performing the role of an investment research analyst. The proverbial “aha” moment occurred. A true calling!
I raced back to school for an MBA from Columbia Business School. I focused on small-cap value investing. Each day I felt my legal and industry experience, skepticism, curiosity and determination coming together in finance. After graduating in 2000, I worked on the sell side at Banc of America Securities. I uncovered revenue recognition issues at a company that subsequently declared bankruptcy. In 2003 I joined the buy side, where my process allowed me to take concentrated positions with long investment horizons. In 2008 I generated a profit by determining which companies were truly defensive in a severe economic downturn.
I like the life of the mind. But I enjoy my family, wrestling, yoga and my ’64 Corvette, too. My parents came from humble roots (my father was a teacher in the New York City school system and my mother was a bookkeeper), and they taught me to value hard work, family and continuity — values I share with my Daruma colleagues.