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Hall of Fame 41 - John Mackin

John Mackin earned an MBA at Harvard Business School, then accepted a position at Burnham & Co. in 1967 as a junior analyst in machinery — an area in which he had little interest or expertise. “But the more I got to know it the more I liked it, and the more I enjoyed it the better I got, and the more successful I became the more money I made — it was just sort of a spiral,” he explains. An upward spiral. Mackin debuted in first place in Machinery in the inaugural All-­America Research Team survey, in 1972, and was tapped for the team every year through 1995, claiming ten first-place appearances along the way. He joined Morgan Stanley in 1973 and stayed there until his retirement in 1999.

The industry has changed a lot over the past four decades, he says, owing to both the advent of computers and the Internet and tougher regulations on disclosure. “It’s harder now to get an edge by having information that someone else doesn’t have,” observes Mackin, 71. “Consumers of research are less interested in pure company insights, yet it’s tougher for an analyst to stand out.”          

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