How This 24-Year-Old Former NYSE Equity Trader Made History

Lauren SimmonsPhoto courtesy of Ida John

At 22 years outdated, Lauren Simmons shattered the glass ceiling by being the youngest and solely full-time feminine fairness dealer on Wall Street for Rosenblatt Securities. Affectionately dubbed because the “Lone Woman On Wall Street”, Simmons was additionally the second African-American lady in historical past to sport the celebrated badge.


Graduating Kennesaw State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s diploma in genetics and a minor in statistics, Simmons initially aspired to enter genetic counseling. She decided to place that on maintain. What had not modified, nevertheless, was her ardour to maneuver to New York City, the place networking led her to satisfy Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Rosenblatt Securities. Beyond her many , it was finally Simmons’ confidence that led Rosenblatt to take her below his wing as an Equity Trader.

“Being a trader, you make decisions within microseconds,” Simmons stated on assembly Rosenblatt, “So I think for him, even for me, the choice of coming onto the trading floor made sense immediately.”

The job wasn’t utterly hers; she nonetheless needed to move the Series 19 examination, which is a requirement for all ground brokers to earn their badge. This check has a move charge of 20% in a category of 10. After finding out the guide cowl to cowl for a month straight. Lauren Simmons made historical past. Since her story broke Lauren Simmons has been featured in numerous media retailers and presently, she has a film on her journey to Wall Street starring Kiersey Clemons.

I spoke to Simmons about her journey to Wall Street, favourite moments on the buying and selling ground and what the monetary service industries can do to extend range and inclusion.

Dominique Fluker: Share your profession journey. What impressed you to change into an Equity Trader on Wall Street?

Lauren Simmons: My journey was the facility of networking. I moved to New York with a genetics diploma knew I needed to do one thing utterly totally different and networked like loopy. I had many individuals inform me no or that I didn’t have any course as a result of I used to be making the change from genetics to statistics. And though I didn’t know what that position appeared like. I used to be severe about it involving numbers. Ultimately turning into an fairness dealer was one thing that selected me. A job was provided to me, and I stated sure. And so simple as that call was most individuals usually don’t say sure to roles that they as soon as didn’t have coaching or education in.

Fluker: At 22 years outdated, you turned the youngest, solely full-time feminine worker and second-ever African-American lady working as a dealer on the New York Stock Exchange. Share your course of on the way you broke the black ceiling.


Simmons: I by no means checked out my gender/race/age as an element. At 22 I turned the youngest dealer (the media caught on after I had turned 23) and even imagined that I might be making historical past. I simply needed to do effectively within the position that I used to be given. My first month I studied for collection 19 for a month straight. Didn’t speak to anybody. Originally the examination was one thing that anybody may move. From what I used to be instructed you went right into a room and so they gave you the solutions, however after the change went public and the examination was administered by FINRA it was an actual examination. Many of the recommendation I used to be given was to simply skim by the headlines of the chapters, and I might be simply high-quality. Considering the fail charge was 80% I studied the guide cowl to cowl. And I handed. Making historical past I didn’t discover out until months later after I signed my identify into the guide, and an NYSE archivist went in entrance of the room with the viewers and my household and knowledgeable the gang I used to be the second African American girls. And that second was wonderful to share with my household. And additionally bittersweet that in 225 I used to be the second African American. Amazing however eerie that issues like this are nonetheless being completed in 2017 or 2000 something.

Fluker: What did you’re keen on most about statistics and dealing on the New York Stock Exchange?

Simmons: Statistics is a common language and thru my school schooling of genetics and even utilizing statistics in highschool after I was going by the architectural engineering program I fell in love with numbers. Being capable of interpret knowledge to relay that info to purchasers was an thrilling course of.

Fluker: What was your most memorable second working on the New York Stock Exchange?

Simmons: The most memorable moments was the fixed laughter. There was fixed laughter always. One of essentially the most memorable moments was the teasing that went on the ground. I cherished coming into work when somebody had been out for every week, and their mouse can be glued to the desk, or garlic powder can be poured of their jackets, and they’d odor like pizza all day.

Fluker: Share how the monetary providers trade can enhance with range and inclusion. What obstacles did it’s important to overcome whereas engaged on Wall Street?

Simmons: Well, one mindset is every little thing. If you assume you’re going to fail, you’ll fail. In my position, I by no means checked out any of my outer attributes. And due to that, it stored me centered on the job itself. Because being an fairness dealer or any position you’ve gotten is gender impartial it simply is. Secondly, the monetary trade goes to must catch up. They are dated. I learn a quote as soon as, there are extra CEOs named John then there are girls. The solely approach for there to be range is for it to start out from the highest. If everybody sitting within the govt degree is white and male, what does that say in regards to the firm? And in case you rent a CEO girls after which let her go to switch her with one other man what else does that say. Diversity has to cease being a scorching matter phrase that individuals prefer to by round to look cool. There must be motion, and it must be represented all through the corporate and never simply on entry-level roles. I like Rosenblatt securities, but it surely actually bothered me that every one the companions or administration have been all white male. Not one lady. Don’t get me mistaken they let me a part of every little thing, however there was nonetheless a scarcity.


Fluker: In 2018, you signed a cope with AGC Studios to show your inspiring story right into a film. How does it really feel to have a film created that highlights your profession journey on Wall Street?

Simmons: I’m totally excited to be on this undertaking and to be one of many govt producers. I’m glad that my story and my message may have an additional attain and that individuals will get to see a unique aspect of me past the intense monetary aspect. Kiersey Clemons goes to do an incredible job portraying me.

Fluker: What’s subsequent for Lauren Simmons? What are you trying ahead to conducting in your profession?

Simmons: In the brand new yr, I’m going to proceed maneuvering by the world of finance. Empowering girls, Millennials, gen z’s, and minorities to be financially savvy. I’ll proceed touring doing speeches and releasing my guide later this yr.

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