Post Wall Street Jobs
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 6 June 2012
On March 14, a 12-year veteran of Goldman Sachs named Greg Smith quit his job. When he did, he took the extra step of submitting an op-ed piece to The New York Times that detailed his reasons. Titled “Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs,” the article pulled no punches in its description of the company’s environment as “toxic and destructive.”
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein and COO Gary D. Cohn responded via an internal memo that said “the assertions made by this individual… do not reflect our values, our culture and how the vast majority of people at Goldman Sachs think about the firm and the work it does on behalf of our clients.”
According to Reuters, Smith nabbed a $1.5 million book deal from Grand Central publishing. He’s not the first person to leave Wall Street behind to find opportunity elsewhere. Many people have left careers in finance and found fulfillment in other areas, and many of them say their financial-sector background gave them an edge in starting a new venture.
Read ahead to find out about seven former financial sector executives who left it all behind, started over and found success.
One popular career destination for people who have left finance is the tech sector. Jon Stein was a senior consultant at First Manhattan Consulting Group who left in 2006 to formBetterment.com, an online brokerage firm.
“I knew I wanted to start a business and had the name even before I knew what we were going to do,” Stein said in a telephone interview with CNBC.com. “We still wanted to make money but wanted to do so in a way that was better aligned with our customers. We built the most frictionless, most automated and guided investment solution that has ever existed.”
Stein conceded in an interview with the New York Daily News that he and his team had given up large salaries to do what they’re doing now. “Mostly, this is about doing something satisfying and making a difference versus making a fat salary but feeling like a cog in the wheel.”
This article originally published June 7th, 2012 on CNBC.com