Howard Marks, co-chairman and co-founder of alternative investment firm Oaktree Capital Management (OAK), and his wife, Nancy Marks, were awarded the 2018 New York City Navy SEAL Foundation Patriot Award.
"The award Howard and Nancy (received) this year is not something we give lightly. It's given to a couple that is all-in," said Steve Wisotzki, Navy captain and SEAL in an online video speaking about the award.
The Marks' connection to the Navy SEALs began in 2014 as a result of one of Mr. Marks' memos to his clients, according to a transcript of Mr. Marks' remarks at the Navy SEAL Foundation's benefit dinner on April 12.
Ryan Delaney, an Oaktree managing director, sent the memo — "Dare to be Great II" — to his cousin, Jared Tuxill, a chief warrant officer with one of the top SEAL units, Mr. Marks said. Mr. Tuxill subsequently invited Mr. Marks to speak to the senior cadre at a SEAL training base in Virginia Beach, Va. Mr. Marks later was invited to speak at the Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL graduation in Coronado, Calif.
The couple have been involved with the foundation ever since.
In his speech April 12, Mr. Marks said he met the men in the Basic Underwater Demolition unit "and saw that they're not comic-book superheros."
"They're ordinary people — OK, with physical gifts and mental tenacity the rest of us don't have — who do extraordinary things," he said.