Meet Scott Rosenberg and Lily Donge, the new faces of retail brokerage.
Recent graduates of Ivy League MBA programs - Mr. Rosenberg from Wharton, Ms. Donge from Yale - the two probably would never have taken a job with a retail broker a generation ago.
But much has changed. Brokerage houses like their employer, Donaldson, Lufkin, & Jenrette, snap up MBAs to staff high-powered "private client" groups catering to affluent investors.
A career as a high-end financial adviser offers the potential of six- figure incomes, but without the pressures and grueling hours of a more conventional MBA pursuit like investment banking. A handful of brokers, including DLJ and Goldman Sachs & Co., hire only MBAs for their entry-level private client groups - and only from the very top schools.
"I wouldn't have been able to get into this program," says Mike Campbell, the head of DLJ's brokerage unit. Mr. Campbell went to New York University at night.
Mr. Rosenberg returned to Wharton so he could escape a career as a corporate lawyer. Though he spent a summer working for an investment bank, he saw there some of the same bureaucratic minefields as in law.
By comparison, high-end brokerage gives him a certain freedom he likens to entrepreneurship. "I'm getting paid to start my own business," he says.
Mr. Donge, a native of Vietnam, says a career in retail brokerage appeals to her "because it involves a more generalist approach" to markets.