In pursuit of truth: John F. Del Vecchio, Jr. '98
“I like to catch bad guys,” says John F. Del Vecchio, Jr., ’98, CFA, in response to being asked what he enjoys the most about his job at Active Bear ETF, an exchange-traded fund dedicated to shorting individual stocks that have red flags. “If a company’s management team is fraudulently representing itself, I am happy to uncover the truth in its accounting and operations.”
His many professional accomplishments and the pursuit of corporate transparency recently earned Del Vecchio the Young Alumnus Leadership Award in the Alumni Achievement Awards for 2014.
“If a company’s management team is fraudulently representing itself, I am happy to uncover the truth in its accounting and operations.”
How does a summa cum laude finance graduate with aspirations to excel on Wall Street end up based in Dallas as co-founder and co-manager of an ETF? “It began a couple of years after graduation,” says Del Vecchio. “I was working in New York City for a well-known Internet company. My employer’s revenue model and financials set off alarm bells. And I knew the venture capitalists wanted to burn through company cash.” These indicated to him that disaster loomed for the entire sector. And the dot-com bubble burst shortly after.
After 9/11, Del Vecchio was ready for a change. He joined a team of forensic accountants at Maryland-based CFRA, Inc., which then boasted a stellar track record of uncovering shaky stocks. At CFRA, Inc., and each job after that, he learned a little more about human nature, exposing accounting issues, and developing his bearish side, which led him to co-founding his own firm and to write a book.
The book, What’s Behind the Numbers? A Guide to Financial Chicanery and Avoiding Huge Losses in Your Portfolio, was named the best investment book for 2013 by Stock Trader’s Almanac.
The keynote speaker at last spring’s Archway Investment Fund Financial Services Forum, Del Vecchio thinks of himself as more of a “doer” than anything else. “I’ve always thought of myself as entrepreneurial,” he says. “I like to get stuff done.” For those in the financial markets, Del Vecchio is also clearly a leader with an unmatched talent for translating how a company’s balance sheet and intangibles impact performance – a skill crucial to avoiding large financial losses in any stock portfolio.
Bryant’s alumni network is 45,000 strong – accomplished men and women who influence, lead, and innovate in their professions, industries, and communities around the globe. They remain engaged with the University by sharing their expertise with students and faculty during campus visits and through the career center network, participating in alumni activities, and making Bryant a priority for their philanthropy.