Reinventing Yourself & Finding the "Paradise City"



A lot has changed in 27 years. In 1988, American rock band Guns & Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” soared to #1 on the Billboard 200. It has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million in the US, making...

A lot has changed in 27 years.

In 1988, American rock band Guns & Roses’ “Appetite for Destruction” soared to #1 on the Billboard 200. It has sold in excess of 28 million copies worldwide, including 18 million in the US, making it the best-selling debut album in American music history.

In 1994, a 30 year old Duff McKagan, the original Guns bass player, chose life over death and began a journey towards sobriety with the discipline of martial arts & mountain biking. Today, in his 21st year of sobriety, he is married to super model Susan Holmes and is a very involved dad to Grace and Mae. Motivated by his lack of understanding of the millions he earned in his 20’s, and as a former high school drop out, he enrolled in Seattle University’s Alber School of Business & Economics and started a wealth management firm Meridian Rock. He has a growing audience as a writer, with his first book in 2011 “It’s So Easy and Other Lies” making the NY Times Best Seller List, and as a regular columnist on Seattle Weekly and ESPN. In 2012, the original line up of Guns & Roses were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, their first year of eligibility. Released on May 15, 2015, Duff McKagan’s new book “How To Be A Man (and other illusions)”, recants entertaining perspective on how to find a gym when traveling abroad, parenting daughters, and being a man in a house filled with females. Of course always a rocker, and living his mantra “Never Quit Doing What You Love” he continues to perform with his band Loaded and the Kings of Chaos, and write new material. His newest single “How to be a Man” was just released on itunes.

In 1988, the DJIA closed at 2,168.57. Today, the market opened at 18,033.33 and 12 of those 30 stocks remain, including Boeing and GE, once led by visionary innovators Alan Mullaly and Jack Welch. Technology firms Apple, Cisco, Intel and Microsoft dominate with a combined market cap of about $1.4 trillion. In 1988, I was a new business school grad, living a rock & roll life and ready to take on the world! Born energetic and goal driven, with vivid imagination, I began my career as an analyst. I had a great boss who provided me with a strong foundation. Passionate about numbers and all things finance and analytical, I knew I was on the right path. In 1995, after receiving my MBA, I made the move from domestic retail banking to international private and commercial banking.

In 1988, the lion’s share of US equity trading took place on the NYSE, AMEX, and Nasdaq. Spreads were wider, the NYSE floor was filled with market makers executing trades with a pad and pencil. Today, spreads have thinned, the floor is empty and US equity trading is electronic and fragmented. Electronic trading has transformed the industry and investment firms have turned to a new industry of trading technology providers to develop software roadmaps, algorithms, matching engines, datacenter colocation, network & client comms, FIX messaging, & market data to manage their P&L.

In 2006, ready for the next chapter in my life, I left the worldwide Leumi Group and began a new career in trading technology. I started at NYFIX, which was acquired by NYSE in 2009, then recruited to Pico in 2013 as Head of Business Planning & Analysis. As a trading technology business partner driving P&L growth, I have helped firms manage their development roadmap p&l. I have reduced data center, market data, and telecom expense. I have created a monthly pricing analytics book, highlighting key competitive trends. I have created a market data entitlement and reporting framework. I have engineered financial automation my entire career, developing innovative financial models, dashboards, and Board of Director presentations.

Today, this Upper East Side rock & roll fan, announces the launch of my new finance analytical consulting firm, EAST 84TH STREET ANALYTIC$ LLC. Uniquely qualified with 9 years experience in the evolving landscape of trading technology, I am committed to help investment firms and technology providers grow their P&L and find their Paradise City.  Please check out my website.


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