Frank Coulson – A Man Who Truly Made a Difference in my Life

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.

6 thoughts on “Frank Coulson – A Man Who Truly Made a Difference in my Life

  1. Jacki,
    Thank you for your wonderful kind words about my father. I read your story in 85Broads often. I would love for you to contact me – It is wonderful getting to hear stories about him.
    His Youngest,

  2. Nearly everyone who had the opportunity to work for him, with him or around him, was the better for it. He was bigger than life, but what made him special was that higher he rose in the oginization, the more humble he became. He led by example, and taught so many young professionals in the industry how to grow into leaders. He will be missed.

  3. Jackie, Great to see this post. I remember meeting Frank for the first time in 1988, already a legend. He spent a little time w/ me when I went to NY and taught me the importance of getting to know everyone within an organization, and to treat them all with the same level of respect. Hope you are well. Bob

  4. Jacki –
    I saw Bob Frahm last weekend and he passed along the sad news about Frank. Yesterday, I was forwarded a link to your blog post. Your comments on Frank were right on target – I remember gaining a lot of confidence in myself as a trader from the confidence that Frank placed in me as a fellow professional. As driven as he was, he also knew how to remember to have fun after the trade, or at the end of the day.
    Take care,

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