Most successful hedge fund managers have backgrounds in finance, economics or related fields. Jacob Gottlieb, CEO and CIO of Altium Capital, is one exception. Although he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Brown University, he studied medicine at New York University School of Medicine. After finishing medical school, Jacob completed the first year of his internal medicine residency. Jacob’s split interests were influenced by his parents: his mother worked as a pediatrician, and his father taught as an economics professor. In the 1960s, the couple emigrated from Poland and settled in the United States. Upon making a home in Brooklyn, they started their family, which included Jacob and his younger brother.
Like many boys his age, one of Jacob’s biggest interests when he was young was collecting and trading baseball cards. But just as his medical degree would someday prove, Jacob’s interests were hardly typical. Already displaying an adept understanding of finance and investments, inherited from his father, Jacob entered an investing contest when he was a middle school student. When Jacob entered the contest, he conducted his own research and made several savvy investment choices. His father was impressed and rewarded him by opening a trading account for him. After Jacob completed his college years, he decided that he wanted to work on Wall Street instead of becoming a surgeon.
Determined to make a name as a respected figure, Jacob earned his Charted Financial Analyst certification from the Association for Investment Management and Research. This certification is the most distinguished achievement in the investing world. In the early 2000s, Jacob started out as a buy-side analyst. He also managed portfolios for healthcare stocks in various investment firms before he moved on and started his own company. With his extensive training and experience, Jacob started Visium Asset Management in 2005. Jacob grew the hedge fund to over $3 billion within several years, and it grew to nearly $8 billion within a decade. He was a managing partner and the Chief Investment Officer of Visium Asset Management.
After Jacob built a solid foundation for the company, his colleagues praised his strategic planning abilities. According to Jacob, surgeons and investment managers must make the same types of decisions: surgeons must stick to solid maintenance plans or risk a patient’s health deteriorating, and asset managers must maintain portfolios or risk them spiraling out of control.
In 2017, Jacob used these natural abilities and founded Altium Capital, where he acts as Chief Executive Officer. Altium first investment was for Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc., a company whose flagship product, orally administered insulin, has the potential to replace insulin injections entirely. Along with Oramed, Altium has taken part in direct offerings for several other healthcare-oriented businesses. Altium’s specialty is investing in small-growth companies. With this new venture, Jacob can move forward with his dual passions of medicine and economics and foster businesses like Oramed that have the potential to revolutionize industries as a whole.