T'93

Diego Ferro

Partner and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Greylock Capital Management

I had some of the best times of my life at Tuck. Any excuse to come back, I do.

Identifying investment opportunities in distressed countries or companies is not a job for the fainthearted. But Diego Ferro T’93, co-chief investment officer at Greylock Capital Management, isn’t faint of heart. He’s been in the business of finance for 25 years.

Prior to Greylock, Ferro worked for the biggest names on Wall Street: Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs. He witnessed the financial crisis first-hand, which not only transformed the industry, but his career as well.

Ferro, a member of the Tuck Latin American Council, came to Tuck in 1991 from his home in Argentina with degrees in business and economics. He wasn’t familiar with New England but was impressed by Tuck’s top ranking among business schools. For someone who thrives on competition like Ferro, who graduated with distinction as an Edward Tuck Scholar, Tuck was the perfect place to gain the skills he needed to have a successful career in investment banking.

Why did you choose Tuck over other MBA programs?

I always ask MBA candidates: How do you want to live your life for two years before going back to the grind? For me, I didn’t want to be in a city because I assumed I’d be in a city working in finance for the rest of my life. And I wanted an environment where I could be part of a community. It was great to be close to the mountains and do my studies in a quiet space. I had some of the best times of my life at Tuck. Any excuse to come back, I do.  

How did Tuck prepare you for a career in finance?

It introduced an element of natural competition. I had always been at the top of my class, but at Tuck I was surrounded by smart people vying for the same position. This is one of the best trainings for success in a corporate environment. Everyone is trying to advance, and there are fewer places at the top than at the bottom. I think Tuck is good at introducing this in a very organic way.

When I graduated with distinction, it meant so much more within this context. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is the real deal.” It’s not cut-throat. People want you to succeed. But it’s competitive out there, and you have to develop an edginess to be successful.

Is there an element of teamwork, too?

Yes, you have to be a team player. I think learning this has helped me over the years in my career. To be successful, you have to pay more attention to the social dynamics of groups. I think a lot of that came out of my experience here.

What did you do after graduating?

I started working in investment banking on the sell side, and I thought that was what I wanted to do all my life. I never thought I’d go to the buy side.

What made you switch?

The financial crisis. I don’t want to put it on par with the Depression, but it was one of those things that changed a lot of lives. At that time, I went to the buy side. I’m happy I did. It helped me see things from a different perspective. It’s been very interesting learning how to work on both sides.

Why did you choose Greylock over other companies?

Part of the reason is that I wanted to do more than just manage money. Our firm is small. There are only 20 of us, so that means I’m part of lots of conversations—marketing or personnel decisions, let’s say. There’s always something happening in the world of Greylock that needs to be addressed. The human component of what I do is interesting. That’s what has always fascinated me about Wall Street in general. It’s full of highly educated people with fragile egos and weird demands. 

How do you come up with your investment ideas?

We focus on undervalued, distressed, and high yield assets. One of the interesting aspects of this is that there’s always something not working somewhere in the world. There’s always a country or a corporation running into trouble. It’s an endless source of chaos and is not for the fainthearted, but if you do it right, you can help the country turn around and profit  in the process. I think Venezuela, for example, is a great investment opportunity. It reminds me of Russia in 1998.

What do you love most about what you do?

I think the reason I wanted to go into finance and study complicated instruments such as derivatives is that I always liked problem-solving, whether that means solving a problem in a restructuring or trying to figure out why something is a price it shouldn’t be. That still gets me interested.  

Continue Reading

Related Stories

Noreen Doyle

Noreen Doyle T’74, chair of the Newmont Mining Corporation, was the first woman to chair the British Banker’s Association in its 96-year history.

Read More

Preserving Culture Through Banking: Meet Dawson Her Many Horses T’10

Dawson Her Many Horses T’10, SVP & Native American business leader at Wells Fargo, helps Native American tribes protect their way of life.

Read More

Tuck Alumnus Named Head of Goldman Sachs’ Global Securities

At Goldman Sachs’ Global Securities Division, Tuck Alumnus Jim Esposito orchestrates a global operation managing risk for asset managers, pension funds, insurance companies, hedge funds, corporations, and governments.

Read More

Rick Cardenas

T’98 Rick Cardenas’ first job was bussing tables at a Red Lobster. Fast forward 25 years and he’s now CFO of Darden Restaurants which, until 2014, owned Red Lobster.

Read More

Lindsey Drake

Fun Finance: Lindsey Drake T’11 talks about her role as a senior finance manager at Amazon Books.

Read More

James “Jim” Lindstrom

Jim Lindstrom T’01 has a career of both investment and senior operational roles—a unique perspective to lead a multinational corporation in today’s dynamic environment.

Read More

Deb Kemper

As managing director of the Boston Forum of Golden Seeds, a national network of angel investors funding early-stage companies led by women, Deb Kemper T'95 lives by the motto: be the change you want to see in the world.

Read More

Kathryn Baker

Kathryn Baker T'93 is a true expert on boards of directors. She has served on more than 20 of them over the last 16 years, ranging from oil and gas companies to Norway’s Central Bank to Tuck’s own European Advisory Board.

Read More

Jie Lian

The Chinese economy has grown tremendously since 1989, and so have the opportunities for enterprising Tuck graduates, like Jie Lian T'01.

Read More

On Networking

Not many people in ball bearing sales finish their careers in venture capital. For Mike Carusi T’93, now one of the most successful health care investors in Silicon Valley, that unlikely journey started with two eye-opening years at Tuck. 

Read More

Collette Chilton

Williams College chief investment officer Collette Chilton T’86 is helping deliver big returns for the Little Ivy.

Read More

Roger McNamee

Investor. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. Roger McNamee T’82 is all of these and more in a career that has taken him to the top of the tech world.

Read More

Alain Karaoglan

Alain Karaoglan T’87 never could have predicted he would one day be chief operating officer of Voya Financial, a top-tier retirement plan provider with more than $500 billion in assets under management and administration.

Read More

Debbie Atuk

Navigating the present while honoring the past is a challenge for many Native people. Debbie Atuk T’04 has found a way to do both.

Read More

Christopher Fox

After working in security sales for Goldman Sachs, Christopher Fox T'81 was drawn back to the public sector because he wanted to serve his community and for the intellectual challenge.

Read More

Vicki Craver

At Tuck, Vicki Craver T'97 discovered a latent interest in financial strategy. Now, after a successful career at Goldman Sachs and raising a family, she applies her financial accumen to vetting nonprofit projects.

Read More

Scott Frantz

Following five years in the mergers and acquisitions industry, Scott Frantz T'86 joined a few close friends in putting together a private equity and venture capital business.

Read More

Daniel Rowe

Sword, Rowe & Company CEO Daniel Rowe T’09 is blending his love of music into a successful career with the boutique merchant bank.

Read More

Francis Barel

In much of the Middle East and North Africa, cash is still king. PayPal’s Francis Barel T’05 wants to change that, and open people’s lives to the world along the way.

Read More

Blair LaCorte

One of Blair LaCorte T’90’s great skills as a leader is not only to guide a company from infancy to success, but to know when to set it—and himself—free.

Read More

Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams T'84 harnessed his architectural and business skills to grow the Williams Capital Group into one of the most successful mid-sized investment banks in the world. 

Read More