Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Frank Coulson - A Man Who Truly Made A Difference

Last Friday I was travelling home from New York City and started a conversation with the man sitting next to me. In short order we figured out that he was a good friend of the daughter of a dear friend of ours. A few minutes later another connection was made. A colleague travelling with him used to work at Goldman Sachs in the Philadelphia office. In chatting with this gentleman the conversation quickly went to someone I knew we both knew well from that office, Frank Coulson.

Frank was a partner in the fixed income division and a truly legendary bond salesman. I told my new friend that I would very likely not be on this plane, not be doing what I am doing now, if it were not for Frank Coulson. I went on to tell him the story about the largest single trade I ever did as a mortgage backed bond trader at Goldman, and that trade was with Frank. The story of that trade is forever captured in the book “More Than 85 Broads: Women Making Career Choices, Taking Risks, and Defining Success on Their Own Terms.”

The story contrasts how two men treated a young woman (me) on the trading floor one particular day, doing her best to be the best trader she could be. Frank was the hero of the story. Frank was the hero because on that day he trusted me, despite my inexperience, to execute a huge trade for his best client when he could have easily gone over my head. That day, that trade, that TRUST truly changed my life. It was that day I realized I could survive and maybe even thrive as a Wall Street Trader.

After sharing that story I went back to my seat, grabbed my journal and started writing about Frank. Today I heard that Frank Coulson passed away. My deepest condolences go to Frank’s family. He was a spectacular man and I am grateful to have known and worked with him. He really did change my life.

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