Fortress Investment Group
A born-and-bred New Yorker, Max Saffian got into finance the
old-fashioned way as a runner. The son of a
stockbroker-turnedresearch analyst and a prekindergarten
teacher, Saffian, 36, who majored in political science at
Columbia University, knew from a young age he wanted to work in
finance. By 16 he was running for a high-yield bond broker.
(Before the universal adoption of electronic trading and
Bloomberg terminals, someone would sprint between traders to
deliver bids and offers.)
After graduating from Columbia in 2002, Saffian continued
kicking it old-school, landing a job as a junior analyst with
W.R. Huff Asset Management Co., a high-yield bond fund firm
based in Morristown, New Jersey. Huff took a traditional,
research-intensive approach to investing, and Saffian learned
the art of lengthy research memos.
In 2006, on the lookout for new opportunities, he got a call
from a recruiter hiring for
Peter Briger Jr.s credit team at Fortress Investment
Group in New York. Saffian interviewed with Briger
lieutenants Andrew McKnight and Leslee Cowen and landed the
job, starting out as an associate. He has been with the $70
billion publicly traded alternative-investment firm ever since,
becoming a core member of its credit investment group.
In 2011, Saffian moved to a new San Francisco office with
Briger, McKnight and others on the credit team. For Saffian,
now a managing director with FIG, the change was quite an
adjustment: He didnt even have a drivers license.
In the month before the big West Coast move, he took lessons
and passed his road test (though on hearing the news Briger
swore he will never get in a car driven by his young trader).
Saffian has adapted to the healthy, outdoorsy San Francisco Bay
Area lifestyle. He even took up jogging, but now having sons
aged three months and one year has put pay to such a workout
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