Featured on Jan 04, 2013
"Life is for living, not just surviving."
I'm a trader returned human being, and I will stop at nothing until I help create The Great Social Investing Network. I left Wall Street after thirteen years in senior trading & business development roles at banks and hedge funds including Jefferies & Co. and Susquehanna International Group. I proudly serve as V.P. and founding board member of Hannah Banana Foundation, an NYC non-profit that helps bring smiles to patients who are seriously ill.
- Title: Founder, tradembark
- Age: 36
- Location: SoHo
- Contact: @jessepod
What lead to your decision to leave finance to work on your own startup?
Wall Street trading desks were becoming an increasingly toxic place as commissions compressed over the years. I grew tired of a phony culture where mediocre people felt like they were owed a great career just by showing up. I deeply felt that the individual investor deserved much better access to information. Fifty million people deserve better than talking heads on CNBC and noise. I had an idea an for how help them connect to quality ideas and the people they trust. So I plugged right in to the NY Tech scene and joined wework labs, started really asking people questions about their problems with investing, and won't ever look back.
What was your favorite memory from 2012?
In May, surfing a gorgeous wave in front of Ku De Ta in Bali.
You are one of the founding board members of the Hannah Banana Foundation. Can you talk a bit more about the organization and how others can get involved?
I'm really glad you asked me about it. My former co-worker Arin and I became very close around the time her mother became terminally ill. The two of us used to take long walks together in central park when I lived on the UES. One day during a walk she told me she was considering starting a non-profit in her mom's honor and the rest is history. Hannah (Banana), her mom, had the greatest attitude ever. She was sick for most of her own adult life, but affected people deeply with her smiles, silliness, humor, and perseverance. We're a grass roots, volunteer run NYC based organization. We deliver smiles at sixteen NYC area hospitals by giving therapeutic gifts such as art supplies, toys, journals and activity-oriented books directly to patients while they are in care. Check out our website at www.hannahbananafoundation.org to hear more about our upcoming benefit this spring! We have bag-packing parties to get people engaged and feel connected. The hospital I handle for the foundation, NYU Langone Medical Center was crippled during Hurricane Sandy, they still don't have an ER. They're going to pull themselves back up, and when they do, we're going to do something really special there. Contact us through the forms on our site to get involved.
If you could have anyone in NYC as a mentor, who would you choose and why?
Bloomberg, obviously. He is the original trader returned human. His hustle built an media empire, the most important piece of hardware in the history of capitalism, and my favorite building in NYC!