J.P. Morgan’s Joseph Greff Joins All-America Hall of Fame
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J.P. Morgan’s Joseph Greff Joins All-America Hall of Fame

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The veteran researcher celebrates his tenth straight appearance at No. 1 in Gaming & Lodging.

Talk about the luck of the draw. Joseph Greff always wanted a career in equity research, but it was pretty much pure chance that led him to cover casinos and companies in the hospitality industry. The J.P. Morgan analyst has beaten the odds to amass more first-place appearances in Gaming & Lodging on Institutional Investor’s All-America Research Team than anyone else who has covered the sector. With this year’s victory, his tenth, Greff earns entry into the All-America Research Team Hall of Fame.


“When I was pursuing research spots in the late 1990s, I was looking for sectors that were out of favor but were durable and sustainable,” the 45-year-old recalls. Few analysts seemed interested in covering leisure companies. “You can imagine that at this time, dot-coms, technology and telecommunications were the hot sectors — and I was lucky enough to have wanted to avoid them” before the Internet bubble burst in the spring of 2000 and tech stocks plummeted.


After graduating from Allentown, Pennsylvania’s Muhlenberg College with a double major in economics and mathematics, Greff spent about five years working as an insurance underwriter before recognizing that what he really wanted to do was publish company research. He enrolled in New York University’s Stern School of Business to pursue an MBA, which he earned in 1999.


“I used the business school route to transition into equity research intentionally,” he says. “I was attracted to the analytical rigor as well as the personal interaction and presentation skills needed for an analyst to successfully interface with buy-side clients and corporate management teams.”


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Greff covered gaming and lodging companies for Prudential Securities, ABN Amro and Fulcrum Global Partners before moving to Bear, Stearns & Co. in 2004. (The latter firm was acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. in 2008.) He debuted on the All-America Research Team in 2005 as a runner-up in Gaming & Lodging, vaulted to the top of the roster the following year — and hasn’t budged since.


“Joe is an independent thinker who’s willing to break from the pack,” one survey participant told II the year Greff reached No. 1 for the first time, while in 2007 a buy-side supporter praised the analyst’s “top-notch models and good stock picking.”


Although Greff stumbled into the sector he covers, he acknowledges that things have worked out well. “The industries have experienced profound growth, sizable consolidation, and large up and down swings related to product and /or economic cycles,” the New York native says, “so it has been exciting.”


What advice would he offer someone considering a career in equity analysis? “This is a great field, where running a research franchise is effectively running your own business within a large, resourceful organization,” he responds. “It is demanding and fast-paced, requires travel, lots of writing, modeling and putting together presentations, and having a phone glued to your ear. This is a job that gives you constant feedback — and when you get favorable feedback from a client, it is a great, great feeling.”


Greff is the 56th individual inducted into the All-America Research Team Hall of Fame. Fourteen of the honorees appear on this year’s team:


* Meredith Adler of Barclays, Retailing/Food & Drug Chains


* Jeffrey deGraaf of Renaissance Macro Research, Technical Analysis


* Steven Fleishman of Wolfe Research, Electric Utilities


* Joseph Greff of J.P. Morgan, Gaming & Lodging


* Ed Hyman of Evercore ISI, Economics


* Andrew Lazar of Barclays, Food


* David Raso of Evercore ISI, Machinery


* Jessica Reif Cohen of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Media


* A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi of Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., IT Hardware & Electronics Manufacturing Services


* Mark Schoenebaum of Evercore ISI, Biotechnology/Large-Cap, Biotechnology/Mid- & Small-Cap, Pharmaceuticals/Major


* George Staphos of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Paper & Packaging


* Andrew Steinerman of J.P. Morgan, Business, Education & Professional Services


* Michael Weinstein of J.P. Morgan, Medical Supplies & Devices


* Ivy Zelman of Zelman & Associates, Homebuilders & Building Products


Three currently ranked analysts have amassed nine No. 1s each and so could meet Hall of Fame eligibility next year:


* James Covello of Goldman, Sachs & Co., Semiconductor Capital Equipment


* Robin Farley of UBS, Gaming & Lodging and Leisure


* François Trahan of Cornerstone Macro, Portfolio Strategy


Also in the running: Brian Tunick, who racked up nine straight visits to the winner’s circle in Retailing/Specialty Stores while at J.P. Morgan. He joined RBC Capital Markets in January but didn’t begin publishing until early May, when ballots for this year’s team were being distributed. As a result, Tunick doesn’t make the 2015 team — this is the first time he’s missed since his 2004 debut — but he could return next year.


The 2015 All-America Research Team reflects the opinions of a record 3,800 individuals at more than 1,000 firms, including over 90 of the 100 biggest U.S. equity managers. Our respondents manage an estimated $11.3 trillion in U.S. equities.


 

The All-America Research Team Hall of Fame Listed below are the members of the All-America Research Team Hall of Fame, ranked by the total number of times they finished in first place in their sector(s), and the firms where they worked at the time of their most recent top appearances.


Ed Hyman,

Evercore ISI 35 Dennis Leibowitz,

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. 25 Stephen Girsky,

Morgan Stanley 23 Jerome Gitt,

Merrill Lynch 22 Michael Armellino,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 21 Joel Price

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. 20 Jack Salzman,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 20 Joseph Ellis,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 19 Richard Sherlund,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 17 William Young,

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. 17 Robert Farrell,

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith 16 Patricia McConnell,

Bear, Stearns & Co. 16 George Staphos,

Bank of America
Merrill Lynch
16 Kenneth Abramowitz,

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. 15 Robert Cornell,

Lehman Brothers 15 Emanuel Goldman,

Paine Webber 15 David Raso,

Evercore ISI 15 Mark Schoenebaum,

Evercore ISI 15 Meredith Adler,

Barclays 14 Jessica Reif Cohen,

Merrill Lynch 14 Ehud Gelblum,

Morgan Stanley 14 Thomas Hanley,

UBS Securities 14 Jerry Labowitz,

Merrill Lynch 14 A.M. (Toni) Sacconaghi,

Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. 14 Lee Seidler,

Bear, Stearns & Co. 14 Steven Fleishman,

Wolfe Research 13 Barry Good,

Morgan Stanley 13 Jeffrey Klein,

Kidder, Peabody & Co. 13 Andrew Lazar,

Barclays 13 Andrew Steinerman,

J.P. Morgan 13 David Adelman,

Morgan Stanley 12 Harvey Heinbach,

Merrill Lynch 12 John Hindelong,

Credit Suisse First Boston 12 Curt Launer,

Credit Suisse
First Boston
12 Steven Milunovich,

Merrill Lynch 12 John Tumazos,

Prudential Securities 12 Michael Weinstein,

J.P. Morgan 12 Gary Yablon,

Credit Suisse
First Boston
12 Ivy Zelman,

Zelman & Associates 12 Joseph Bellace,

Merrill Lynch 11 Jeffrey deGraaf,

Renaissance Macro Research 11 Elaine Garzarelli,

Lehman Brothers 11 Jonathan Goldfarb,

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith 11 B. Alexander Henderson,

Citigroup/Salomon Smith Barney 11 Jay Meltzer,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 11 John Rohs,

Schroder Wertheim & Co. 11 Jeffrey Sprague,

Citi 11 Cai von Rumohr,

Cowen and Co. 11 Richard Bernstein,

Merrill Lynch 10 Joseph Greff,

J.P. Morgan 10 Ernest Liu,

Goldman, Sachs & Co. 10 John Mackin,

Morgan Stanley 10 J. Kendrick Noble Jr.,

Paine Webber
Mitchell Hutchins
10 Katharine Plourde,

Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp. 10 William Siedenburg,

Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. 10 Harold Vogel,

Merrill Lynch 10  


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