John Osterweis is a man of many talents and passions. He’s the Founder and Chairman of Osterweis Capital Management in San Francisco, a thriving investment firm that’s been protecting and growing assets for individuals, families, endowments, and institutions for almost 40 years. He’s also a former ultramarathon runner, an avid horse rider, an active community leader who serves on boards throughout the Bay Area, and a generous and engaged philanthropist.
“I couldn’t ask for a more responsive supporter than John Osterweis,” says Cindy Rogoway, Executive Director of Hebrew Free Loan. “As a philanthropist, he’s remarkable in his desire to stay informed about what we’re doing and his readiness to give wherever it will make the most difference for our organization and those we serve. He was the first person I called to discuss our need for additional funds when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and we were deluged with loan applications.”
John was the sponsor of our first Business Circle Luncheon featuring Noah Alper of Noah’s Bagels, and he’s been a leader in our Business Circle ever since, consistently giving at the highest levels. John has always recognized his own good fortune and feels an obligation to pay it forward.
“Hebrew Free Loan fits in with my Jewish philanthropy by helping people who can use a boost. Offering support in the form of a loan lets a person take responsibility by paying it back, so the funds can help others in the future. It’s what community ought to be.”
John has also managed Hebrew Free Loan’s investments for many years, guiding the agency through good years and tough ones with a level head and steady hand. Thanks to John’s financial savvy and dedication, Hebrew Free Loan is well positioned to be a safety net for San Francisco’s Jewish community for generations to come.
John didn’t start out planning to be a financier. He grew up in Long Island and Pittsburgh, majored in philosophy at Bowdoin College in Maine, and didn’t get into finance until he came west to get his MBA from Stanford. Investing draws on the abstract, analytical thinking skills he learned studying philosophy and the intuitive nature he developed through exposure to many different aspects of the world. “Numbers only get you so far,” John says.
Creativity is a guiding force in John’s life, and he’s surrounded by creative individuals. A long-time board member of the San Francisco Ballet, John is inspired by the mix of art and athleticism he finds in ballet. His wife Barbara is a professional artist, and his two children work in the arts as well. John’s son was a longtime fashion designer who’s currently writing a crime novel, and his daughter was a professional dancer who now teaches Performance Studies at California Institute of the Arts.
John and Barbara moved to Bolinas full-time when work became remote at the start of the pandemic. He loves his work as much as ever, and is grateful to be able to stay plugged in and engaged, but do it at a somewhat more relaxed pace. John has no intention of retiring any time soon, and we’re glad to hear it!
Watch John’s Food for Thought video interview with Roman Polnar, Chair of our Business Circle, to hear his thoughts on how to thrive in a changing economy.