The owner of a San Francisco Bay-based private investment firm, Hans Overturf is a loving father of six children with enthusiasm for reading financial literature, long-distance running and piloting helicopters.
As the owner of a successful private investment firm, Hans Overturf works diligently. He believes in developing talent and works closely with the junior financial partners. He is currently in the process of forming a new Board of Directors for his firm, seeking qualified board members both inside and outside the finance sector.
Mr. Overturf balances his professional life with many hobbies. One of his favorite hobbies is flying helicopters. He is licensed to fly the two-seater Robinson R22 as well as the slightly larger R44. To learn how to fly a helicopter, Hans attended a flight school in San Luis Obispo called Heliswiss. Hans loves the bird's-eye view of the ground he gets when he's operating helicopters.
Hans loves to read. His favorite books are on matters of finance, microeconomics and macroeconomics. Recently, Hans completed "Freakonomics," a book that mixes hard-hitting economics principles with pop culture.
Overturf’s six children keep him busy on the home front. His oldest son is 17 and will soon be leaving for college. Hans wants to maximize the time he spends with his eldest son before he leaves home.
Hans loves to run and was a cross-country runner as an undergraduate at Humboldt State University. He has introduced his younger son to running and they enjoy engaging in runs together.
From his roots in Switzerland, Hans Overturf developed a talent for finance and pursued a successful career in the sector, securing employment with brokerage powerhouse Morgan Stanley.
Overturf was born in Hallau, a winemaking town in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. The town of Hallau comes alive in the summer, popular with tourists and international visitors. The town boasts a wine museum and multiple wine-related events annually.
Hans loved Hallau and never anticipated leaving. At 16, however, he got an apprenticeship as a junior postmaster in nearby Zurich. Part of the apprenticeship involved training in Switzerland's thriving financial industries. He discovered he had a strong interest in and aptitude for finances.
Military service is compulsory in Switzerland, and Hans Overturf served in the Swiss Armed Forces as a panzergrenadier. In the Armed Forces, Hans cultivated his leadership skills and his sense of dedication, rising to the rank of first lieutenant with a team of 43 men.
Hans was 22 when he got out of the service. He knew what he wanted to do with his life. He was not certain, however, that he would be able to successfully pursue a financial career in Switzerland. The Overturf family immigrated to the U.S. with his wife, Maria, and their infant son. Once there, he enrolled in Humboldt State University, located in the town of Arcata, California.
In 2000, Hans Overturf graduated summa cum laude from Humboldt State University with a Bachelors degree in economics. His talents for finance were obvious, and he was immediately drafted into a trainee program with the brokerage house Morgan Stanley. The trainee program lasted two full years. Of the 200 candidates who started out in the training program, only 37 graduated. Hans graduated second in his trainee class and won the Morgan Stanley National Director’s Award.
Morgan Stanley was officially founded in 1935 at the height of the Great Depression. The company was founded by Harry S. Morgan, a grandson of the famous financier J.P. Morgan. Hans Overturf finds J.P. Morgan's life history inspiring and motivating.
At the height of his power in the early 20th century, J.P. Morgan was one of America's most famous power brokers, his name synonymous with expansive wealth. J.P. Morgan overcame significant setbacks in his lifetime to achieve his success. He had been born into an extremely wealthy family but was so ill in childhood that, at the age of 15, he was bedridden for an entire year.
At 25, J.P. Morgan went to work for the American branch of the banking firm his father worked for. He found a mentor in his father's colleague, the famous financier Anthony J. Drexel. Drexel and Morgan founded a financial firm together, which became known as J.P. Morgan and Company after Drexel's death.
J.P. Morgan was particularly well known for his ability to restore profitability to struggling businesses. His profitability strategies are still studied and used today. Hans Overturf has referred to these strategies while developing plans for clients who are small business owners.
J.P. Morgan was also famous for his collection of art and gems. As a young man, he earned an undergraduate degree in art history, and he remained passionate about art his entire life. During his lifetime, he was elected president of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Much of his extensive collection of art and china was donated to the museum upon his death. Morgan's interest in gems led the gemologist George Frederick Kunz to name a newly discovered gem "morganite."
Hans recognized the need for clients to feel comfortable as they maintained their diverse financial assets. In 2003, Hans started his own financial advising practice. He was licensed as an insurance broker and as a real estate agent.
As a financial services professional, Hans Overturf has always been interested in innovative new financial models. Two of the models that have recently captured his attention are microloans and crowdfunding.
Microloans are sums of money that are usually loaned to individuals who run small businesses in developing countries. Websites such as Kiva allow ordinary individuals to secure microloans using the Internet. Since its inception, Kiva has distributed more than $437 million to individuals and small companies around the world. Kiva doesn't charge any interest or administrative fees on the money it collects on behalf of struggling businesspersons.
Microloans began in Pakistan as a way to get around the debilitating restrictions imposed on entrepreneurship by poverty. Some businesses were simply considered to be too risky for established financial institutions to work with. Muhammad Yunu, the economist who came up with the microloan model, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2006.
Crowdfunding is a strategy for pooling money to support various types of projects. Generally, the support network is organized over the Internet through websites like Kickstarter. Projects are often artistic in nature but can also be initiatives by disaster relief organizations, small business startups and political campaigns. Crowdfunding leverages many small contributions to meet a larger financial goal.
There are over 450 crowdfunding platforms on the Internet. The best known crowdfunding platform is Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a for-profit business, taking five percent of all funds raised for any project. Kickstarter specializes in funding artistic projects while CrowdCube and Seedrs raise money for small business startups.
The 2012 JOBS Act places limits on the amounts that individuals can invest through crowdfunding intermediaries. Several states believe that federal law doesn’t do enough to protect crowdfunding. Kansas and Georgia have passed crowdfunding exemptions and Washington and North Carolina are considering similar measures.
Hans Overturf gained an interest in microloans and crowdfunding, recognizing their capacity to alter the future of economics and finance.
Despite the responsibilities of his home and professional life, Hans Overturf always finds time for his favorite sport: running. He hopes to complete a marathon in the near future. Hans offers a few tips for anyone contemplating running a marathon:
• Stay hydrated. A marathon course is 26.2 miles long. Race organizers generally place water stations at three mile intervals. It's a good idea to drink water at every way station even if you don’t think you need it. Your body will thank you! Incorporate frequent water breaks into your marathon training schedule.
• Stay fueled: Your body uses glycogen as fuel when you are running. Glycogen is a type of sugar that is manufactured in your liver from complex carbohydrates. Your body will also burn your fat supplies, but glycogen is a more effective fuel source. When your glycogen supplies are used up, you'll find yourself feeling completely exhausted.
Sprinters burn more glycogen than slower runners. In a long distance race, you want to run more slowly than you are capable of running. That way, you will conserve glycogen and finish the race.
• Shoes and socks are important: Wear a comfortable pair of shoes in a marathon. Never use a marathon as an opportunity to break in a new pair of running shoes. If you do, you're likely to end up with blisters. Hans Overturf’s favorite running shoes are Newton Gravity.
It's best to break new shoes in on a ten mile run. Run at the same pace you might use to run a marathon. That's a long enough distance to tell if the shoes are going to make your feet sore or give you blisters.
• Wear professional running gear: When you run, you are going to sweat. Sweaty tee-shirts chafe and irritate the skin. Tee-shirts may also make you feel overheated. It's advisable to invest in running gear made out of specialized sweat-wicking nylons.
Even if you are not ready to participate in a marathon, Hans Overturf recommends running as a terrific boost for both body and mind.