Building a More Diverse and Inclusive Wall Street
Troy Prince, founder of Wall Street Bound, on bridging the gap between the world of finance and traditionally underserved communities
Veteran equities trader is building pipelines for people from underrepresented communities into financial firms’ front offices
In the last issue of Bold Learning, Gigs Taylor-Stephenson wrote about the steep disadvantage faced by black and brown students when it comes to landing a job on Wall Street. Troy Prince, the founder of Wall Street Bound, an organization that helps young adults from underserved communities build careers in finance, is determined to even the playing field. We spoke with him about how his organization is helping make Wall Street more diverse and inclusive.
Why is it important to build connections between young people from underserved communities and the world of finance?
After working in finance for several years, it became clear to me that Wall Street was either unable or unwilling to build bridges that help Black and brown people find jobs in the industry. But I knew from growing up in the Bronx that the raw talent existed. Wall Street Bound helps these young people become comfortable with being uncomfortable in spaces that, to them, are foreign and sometimes even hostile.
What do Wall Street Bound’s programs offer to supplement traditional classroom instruction?
Our students appreciate the more experiential approach to learning that happens outside of an academic setting. All of our instructors are people of color who have spent time on Wall Street, and the practical mindset they bring to our students is invaluable. We also help students earn industry-recognized certifications and credentials that demonstrate subject mastery. These credentials have the potential to dramatically change students’ trajectory when they’re applying for jobs.
What responsibility do Wall Street firms have in making finance more inclusive over the long term?
The distribution of wealth can’t be separated from the distribution of ownership and power. That’s why at Wall Street Bound, we ultimately want to see more Black and brown people not only participating in the world of finance but joining the ranks of management. That starts with helping them get in the door – but firms have to step up to the table to help achieve long-term equality.
These are excerpts from a wide-ranging conversation between Troy Prince and Kaplan’s Brandon Busteed, about building educational pathways to make the financial services industry more diverse. Watch or listen to Part One and Part Two of their interview, recorded February 7, 2022.