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Wall Street firms’ penchant for recruiting athletes is no big secret, and neither is their fondness for former college lacrosse players.The sport is infamous for both its connections to recent high-profile and controversial court cases and its ability to be a helping hand for many into the world of finance.
A recent Bloomberg BusinessWeek article goes a bit more in depth about the Wall Street “lacrosse mafia,” tracing a large network of Wall Street executives that also have roots in the sport. [h/t Dealbreaker]
In particular, we were struck by one executive Matt Gleason—a former lacrosse player from Cornell University—who remarked to BusinessWeek that his lacrosse experience may be more useful than his MBA.
Gleason received an MBA from Notre Dame, but he says his lacrosse bona fides are a more valuable industry credential. “Not long ago, I found out that Peter Cordrey (Princeton ’82), who I’ve been playing tournaments with for years, is the managing director at Prudential in fixed income, which is what I do for my firm,” says Gleason, now the executive vice president at Dwight Asset Management in Burlington, Vt.
The reasons why lacrosse is such an popular feeder for Wall Street is pretty split between players and non-players.
- Financial professionals with lacrosse experience say the determination taught by the sport is a helpful and valuable trait to have on the Street.
- It’s possible that lacrosse—an expensive sport—can only attract pools of rich young children, who are more likely to go on to elite schools and then onto careers in finance anyways.
- Lauren Rivera, a Northwestern sociologist, has studied financial recruitment trends and written: “in an era of increased access to higher and elite education, the prestige requirements for elite jobs have intensified, and extracurricular activities now serve as a new credential of candidates’ social and moral character.”
- Rivera also said the trend could also due to Wall Street firms’ “homophilic tendencies,” meaning financial professionals are attracted to others like themselves.