But Martin J. Whitman has mellowed. At 81 he is cutting back somewhat; he and his wife just bought an apartment in Paris. He says he will keep working as long as he is physically and mentally able, but he has finally chosen a successor, Curtis Jensen, 43, his co-chief investment officer and manager of one of his funds. The question for investors: Does this unique value manager have in place talented apprentices who can carry on after him?
The answer, from David Barse, 44, chief executive of Whitman's Third Avenue Management, is yes. Barse says Whitman today is "comfortable" that his 17 managers and analysts have learned the Whitman Way. Indeed, the boss' emboldened lieutenants have changed him, moving him into areas he had ignored, didn't understand or disdained--into real estate, tech and international stocks. So Whitman has added three funds to be wingmen to his storied Third Avenue Value Fund.
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