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"I'm a big believer in putting everything in writing. Even when things work out in your favor, it can work out for the reasons you thought it did, or you simply get lucky and it can work out for another reason. Either way, putting things in writing helps improve the learning-feedback loop."

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Jennifer Oppold (Alpine Peaks)

Intellectual Honesty

While working for McKinsey & Company, Jennifer Oppold developed a passion for discovering what makes companies tick. At the same time, she grew frustrated at not being able to ever stay with a problem long enough to see it through, as consultants are required to quickly move on from one assignment to the next.

With a newly discovered professional calling very clear in her mind, Jennifer left McKinsey to enter a dual J.D./M.B.A. program at Harvard. While there, she spent a summer with Select Equity, a firm investing in small- and mid-cap companies with a value tilt. It was love at first sight.

At Select Equity, Jennifer started working with the firm’s founder, who would become her most influential mentor. While there, Jennifer learned the art of shorting, as well as how to wait for the value moment.

About two years ago, Jennifer launched her own firm, Alpine Peaks, where Select Equity’s legacy of intellectual honestly and personal mentorship lives on—now with Jennifer’s touch. Key to her success, she says, is diligence in writing down her assumptions.

Anyone can talk about intellectual honesty, but Jennifer lives and breathes it. Those who seek to make a career on the buy side (and truly, investors of all stripes) can learn much from Jennifer Oppold’s journey.

meet your host

Andrea Gentilini

Before he was CEO of Novus, Andrea launched and managed a $0.5 billion precious metals derivative fund for Union Bancaire Privée (UBP). Andrea was previously a Director for Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers), leading a global team focused on developing hedge fund research and delivering advisory services. Andrea also served as an Executive Director at UBS and as a management team member of The Boston Consulting Group in New York and Zurich. Andrea holds a M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering, a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, and two post-graduate degrees in Information Technology and Applied Statistics.