Hall of Fame 37 - Emanuel Goldman

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to be a good equity analyst — but it can’t hurt. Just ask Emanuel Goldman. After graduating in 1962 from the University of California at Berkeley with a master’s degree in physics, Goldman worked as a theoretical nuclear physicist at General Electric Co.’s Atomic Power Equipment Division in San Jose, California, and then at General Research Corp. in Denville, New Jersey. In 1971, with three small children to raise, Goldman set his sights on the business world. He took night classes for two years while still working full-time and snagged his MBA at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1973. Armed with his new degree and 100 printed resumes, Goldman began looking for his next career.

Serendipity played a part in his landing in securities research. “Life is full of ‘what the hells,’” believes Goldman, 73. Answering an ad in the Wall Street Journal for a position in back-office operations at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. — he had no idea what the job entailed — brought him to New York–based recruiting firm Russell Reynolds Associates and an interview with Sandy Bernstein himself. “I was hired at the top of the market in 1973,” recalls Goldman, who was assigned to cover the brewing industry. The following year he debuted on the All-America Research Team as a runner-up in Beverages. Over the course of his career as an analyst working out of San Francisco, he moved to Montgomery Securities, Paine Webber, Merrill Lynch and ING Barings; expanded his coverage to include tobacco companies; and continued to be voted onto the team, amassing 37 appearances — including 15 first-place finishes — in Beverages and Tobacco, through 1998.

Goldman believes that his communication and relationship-building skills were critical to his success. “As a physicist there’s no payoff for developing relationships — you’re just talking to other physicists,” he notes. But an analyst must foster alliances with many constituencies: money managers, suppliers, company managements and the media, among others.

When ING sold its U.S. operations to ABN Amro, in 2001, Goldman hung up his cleats. He worked as a consultant for a time before retiring in 2007 and now claims to be “among the world’s greatest carpoolers for grandchildren.” Pointing to the compensation levels, intellectual challenges and flexibility of securities analysis, Goldman still believes “it’s a fabulous business.”

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