EX-BANKER: 'I could see that I was making a difference...I think that's harder to do today'


Fred Lane, managing partner and founder of Lane Generational at Raymond James, says it’s tough for young people to make their mark at investment banks.

Lane, who was previously vice chairman of investment banking at the firm, sat down with OneWire‘s Skiddy von Stade to talk about the industry and what it looks like to young people today compared to when he started.

After working briefly as an accountant, Lane took his first job in investment banking at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. He spent 24 years at DLJ and eventually became the co-head of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions business. 

Lane said that he was in the “right place at the right time” in terms of the growth of investment banking.

“When I joined DLJ within a few years I could see that I was making a difference. We felt like we were really big gears in a pretty small machine. And then we built a bigger machine, which was great. I think that’s harder to do today,” he said.

He added, “I still think [the investment banking] industry is still an attractive place to spend several years, if not longer, and to learn about the world of finance and the world of corporations and see the other pieces that go into this.” 

Today, though, young Wall Streeters have more options than just traditional investment banking.  

The financing industry has become much more fragmented, he explained, but also more interesting, with more opportunities (think hedge funds dipping into private equity, private equity firms opening their own hedge funds, and insurance companies and pension funds starting to do their own direct investments).

“The opportunities elsewhere, over time, are equally good or more attractive outside of investment banking,” he said.

Watch the full interview above and subscribe to receive new Open Door interviews with industry leaders here.

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