Josh Brown, aka Downtown Josh Brown, who tweets as @reformedbroker, is an investment adviser at Fusion Analytics in New York. As his well-followed Twitter handle suggests, he's also a former Wall Street broker, and now an influential financial blogger who contributes to a number of business magazines, including Fortune on occasion, and frequently appears on CNBC. March saw the publication of Brown's book Backstage Wall Street: An Insider's Guide to Knowing Who to Trust, Who to Run From, and How to Maximize Your Investments. Brown's investing chops and knowledge of The Street make him an ideal "expert" for the Fortune Fantasy Sports Executive League (Anyone can play, and scoring depends, in part, on how closely the player's picks match those of experts like Brown.) Brown shared his team with Fortune's Daniel Roberts, along with the logic behind his picks.
Josh Brown: My overall strategy was big personalities, big names, and big company experience over other factors. Like most people that play fantasy sports, I was looking for an all-star team. I did think about how they'd perform together but in general, I kept thinking that everyone wants to win anyway, so they'll figure out how to get along.
These are all people with proven wins already. You look at a guy like Jony Ive, for example, he had to work with Steve Jobs for many years. And as much as we lionize Steve Jobs, it's hard to find someone who would say he was a sweet man. So, sure, I have no idea if Jony Ive would play well with Trevor Edwards, but part of being a superstar in business is working well with people, regardless of whether you get along with them.
For non-exec chairman, you want a big vision kind of guy. Obviously Costco (COST) is something that, out of nowhere, took over retailing. So I go with Jim Sinegal. You saw existing retailers change their strategy just to cope with him. So it's a vision thing -- you want him in that slot because the other executives have to buy into the vision, first and foremost, Also, Sinegal has been around forever and that's key. He brings such good experience. I also think the state of the economy is such that people who can deliver value at low prices will continue to win.
At chief strategist, same kind of logic. As a strategist, you have to have a roadmap to figure out what everyone will be doing a year, two years, three years from now, and then you have to position the company accordingly. Larry Ellison has done that better than anyone else. The other thing is: you can't always innovate, sometimes you have to buy. And Ellison has made magnificent deal after magnificent deal. He doesn't necessarily overpay, he doesn't make promises that he can't hit. To me, that's been the big success of Oracle (ORCL): his ability to see the roadmap quicker than other people and then figure out what pieces he's missing.
Reid Hoffman as my utility player, because I look at a utility player as an unsung hero, and you never hear his name outside of people in the know and people in the Valley, but he is everything that Zuckerberg is. Very quiet, not a lot of ostentation or sexiness, but what he has put together is massive and has become part of the plumbing of the Internet. He seems to have his hands in everything important.
For design, it has to be Jony Ive. There is no one that's advanced technology design in the last 10 years that even belongs in the same conversation. He's an artist. There's always the argument of form over function or function over form, but he's the guy that merges them. He's A-Rod. Once I saw his name, no one else mattered. More
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