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May 18, 2013 1:58 am

Hi All, 
I’m attempting to break into the financial industry, but want to know if it’s worth it, as I do have a minor criminal history. 
In 2010, I was convicted of 1 misdemeanor- fraud which amounted in the loss of $100. At the time of the crime, I was 19 years of age. I was sentenced to “time served” in jail (which was about 8 hours in booking the day I was arrested), and payed fines less than $500. Also, I was put on probation for a little under a year.

Less than one year after conviction, the conviction was expunged and probation ended. The commissioner who expunged the conviction stated that the conviction cannot be used against me for the purposes of employment. While the crime is not view-able to most employers running background checks, it is view-able to FDIC, FINRA, SEC, FBI, etc. Also, considering the fact that most financial institutions conduct VERY thorough background checks, I don’t doubt that a prospective employer in the financial industry would be able to uncover the original conviction.

Now, I understand that breaking into the financial industry, as an Institutional trader or Investment banker, etc…, requires various forms of licensing. I also understand that, in order to work as an institutional trader or investment banker, I would have to file an application/ waiver form with various govt. licensing committees (given that my crime pertained to dishonesty).

My question is as follows: 
Given my criminal background and situation, do you think I would, after submitting any pertinent applications/waivers, be able to obtain licensing needed to work as a Institutional trader or Investment Banker?

Anon in NYC

May 19, 2013 6:33 pm

Your conviction might be a statutory disqualification but that does not necessarily mean that you can’t be licensed. You might need to go through the eligibility proceedings process.

May 31, 2013 2:46 am

Hi All,
2 part-question…

I live in NYC, and I’m looking to break into an entry-level Wall Street role that will allow me to transition to a Money Management Firm or Hedge Fund as a trader/analyst (NOT as a Quant, though).

I currently have a BA in business economics, and a years-worth of work experience (in a business consulting capacity).

I’m considering going back to school for a Masters degree (and perhaps a PHD), so that I’ll be qualified to get a top tier trader/analyst job on Wall Street.

(In the meanwhile, of course, I’ll be looking for entry-level finance jobs with my BA degree).

My questions to you all:

Given my goal, what should I get a Master’s degree in?

What’re the best types of entry-level positions that will allow me to transition into a role as a trader/analyst at a Money Management Firm or Hedge Fund?

Chris in NYC