Over his years as an investment banker, Fred Lane, a managing director at Raymond James, played advisor and career counselor to some notable names, including the now-CFO of Costco, who he encouraged to head to business school — though his persuasive techniques were somewhat unusual.
Here’s the story, as told to OneWire‘s Skiddy von Stade.
When Galanti had walked into his office one day in the late 1970s while both were working at Donaldson Lufkin and Jenrette, and asked, “should I get an MBA?” Lane responded:
“Richard does your father want you to go to business school?”
“Do your father love you?”
“Do you love your father?”
“Then you should go to business school!”
Lane also told Galanti that investing might not always be his passion, and an MBA would open new doors.
Galanti took Lane’s advice and enrolled in Stanford business school, and would later be recruited by a “small business” named Costco only a few years after graduation. We all know how that developed.
Aside from advising that young people to get their MBA, Lane also offered a few pieces of wisdom for recent grads just entering their first job or internship in investment banking:
- Listen to everyone’s opinion
- Develop a group of mentors and spend time with them
- Gain confidence in your own abilities and decisions
To Lane, the older generation is already playing a supporting role to the younger generation, who are the innovative and creative minds of the industry. His goal is to nurture and pass on the torch.
“The best ideas will always come from the young people,” he said. “The 20-year-olds and the 25-year-olds and 30 and 35 year-olds are going to have the great ideas — It is our job as the more senior people to provide them some advice and counsel, and to apply some limits and boundaries around what is being done.”
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