The financial industry has a long, sad legacy of a lack of diversity and representation among communities of color, especially Black and Hispanic communities. The trading floors and office towers of the world's biggest money managers are notably homogenous, and have not done enough to open career paths to these groups. College recruiting is abundant at Ivy League institutions and elite private universities, but rare at community colleges and state schools.
Troy Prince, the founder of Wall Street Bound, a nonprofit organization based in New York City, has been trying to change that. Prince, a rare, Black, Wall St., veteran with over two decades of experience with U.S. and international investing firms, noted the lack of people who looked like him in the front offices of financial institutions. After working in Asia for the past several years, Prince returned to his native New York a few years ago to build the dream he had been been envisioning for the past 15 years.
“We know that talent and IQ is equally distributed,” Troy explained recently in our webinar about his program. “Opportunity is not...It is only a matter of connecting them with the opportunities through education and access.”
Wall Street Bound provides that education through teaching the technical skills behind data and equity analysis, discretionary and quantitative analysis trading, and investing basics. The organization is currently running two programs. The first trains rising sophomores or juniors in college with GPAs of 3.0 or better, who self-identify as a person of color, on a traditional Wall St. career track that preps them for the SIE exam, the key credential for being considered for a front office job with a financial firm.
The other program is for recent college graduates to learn proprietary trading skills with a particular focus on the cognitive and behavioral aspects of securities trading. "We focus on what it takes to become a trader by focusing on those universal traits, but we are also looking for students with the willingness to learn and the passion for trading," Prince says. Wall Street Bound recently partnered with Maverick Trading, a proprietary trading firm to launch a trader training program. It's a one year program where students can focus on options trading, forex, and mentorship.
Wall Street Bound screens and accepts candidates into the program, and provides credentials training, as well as mentoring and support. It also connects participants with internship programs across the financial industry. Prince is looking to partner with more financial institutions in financial services to amplify internship and training opportunities for the program's students. "In 5 years, I see us as a global organization that is helping us develop the next generation of traders and investors who come from communities like the one I grew up in, and giving them that opportunity."