Hello. Our names are Alex Kopel and Joe Maas. We are co-founders and managing partners of Rowan Street Capital, LLC. We have known each other for about 15 years, first meeting at a CFA “boot camp” in Windsor, Canada. Both of us have had long professional careers on Wall Street, and have honed our investment philosophy and process for over a decade prior to starting our fund. In 2015, we finally decided to start Rowan Street out of frustration that we could not manage money for our clients the way we would do for ourselves.
Here is the truth that we discovered. Because of the inordinate amount of energy and resources within the world of professional money management is focused on asset gathering, short term relative performance is an anathema because it precipitates client defection. At the risk of pointing out the obvious, if one is to perform better than average, one must, more than occasionally, stand apart from what others are doing. But this behavior invites periods of underperformance, which is disastrous to the retention of client assets. “Worldly wisdom teaches that it's better for a reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally” -- Maynard Keynes. So the average money manager attempts to engineer a portfolio to retain clients and, of course, mediocrity is the result.
We believe that we could do better for our clients. The first two years of our existence, we stayed very small working just with our personal capital and that of our friends and family. We set out to think and act like owners of businesses (rather than renters of stocks) and believed that we could achieve our long-term goal of double-digit compounding with enough patience and discipline, and of course, with like-minded limited partners that trust us and believe in our vision.
Alex Kopel, CFA
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Mr. Kopel brings over 18 years of professional investment experience. Prior to finding Rowan Street, Alex was a Portfolio Manager at a privately held investment advisor, where he was responsible for managing in excess of $300m in client assets. Previously, he spent 8 years as a Portfolio Manager and Equity Analyst at U.S. Trust Bank of America Private Wealth Management where he co-managed multi-asset class portfolios for high net worth clients with assets in excess of $650 million. He started his career as a Portfolio Analyst at Bank of New York Mellon. Mr. Kopel received his B.S. degree in Finance from University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business) in 2000. He holds the CFA designation and is a member of the CFA Society of San Francisco.
Alex is a sports and fitness fanatic. In his spare time, he enjoys swimming, weightlifting, martial arts, ice hockey and skiing.
Joseph M. Maas, CFA
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
Mr. Maas brings over 30 years of unique professional investment experience to Rowan Street. An entrepreneur at heart, prior to co-founding the Rowan companies, Joe founded Synergy Financial Management LLC and related companies, which specialize in Asset Management, Business Valuation, Commercial Real Estate, and Mergers and Acquisitions. He has grown the firm to over $450m in assets under management. Prior to Synergy, Mr. Maas founded and operated an independent securities broker/dealer and an insurance company.
Mr. Maas’s professional capabilities, training, and experience also covers numerous industry designations including being a certified merger and acquisition advisor (CM&AA), which make him an expert in buying and selling middle-market companies with revenues from $5 million to $500 million.
An expert in his field, Mr. Maas is a published author and a member of numerous professional organizations; he has participated as a guest lecturer for the University of Washington, Seattle University, the Washington State Bar Association, and taught corporate finance as an adjunct professor at Seattle Pacific University. He holds the CFA designation and is a member of the CFA Society of Seattle.