Making it to managing director in investment banking is harder than ever. There are fewer opportunities for promotion every year, an increasing proportion of new appointments are going to those in support functions – particularly technology – and some banks like Goldman Sachs have changed their promotion cycle to every two years.
So, assuming you make the cut, wouldn’t you want to make the most of it? In the case of Brad Chandler, who worked for Morgan Stanley’s investment banking division in New York, the answer is…no. Chandler was promoted to MD earlier this year, but weeks later he handed in his resignation and decided to quit investment banking entirely.
Chandler has recently been installed as a director in the Nicholas Center for Corporate Finance at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He’s left the sophisticated East Coast of the U.S. for a state is known as “America’s Dairyland”.
Chandler joined Morgan Stanley in 2006 as an associate, immediately after graduating with an MBA from Chicago Booth Business School.
People leave banking all the time, of course, but Chandler’s decision seems all the more strange because he spent over ten years trying to make it into the senior ranks, only to quit pretty much immediately afterwards. Chandler has written a missive on his decision on the university’s website. Chandler’s boss described his decision to leave as “kind of wonderful” once he explained his rationale, he says.
Much of Chandler’s statement is very promotional of the opportunity at his new employer, but he says that “This role offers something my career on Wall Street never could. It offers a chance to apply my specialized knowledge to confront difficult corporate finance problems, but to do so with the primary purpose of giving back and developing the next generation of business leaders.”
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