Below is our recent interview with Cauldon D. Quinn, the Founder and CEO of Bancroft Capital:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to Bancroft Capital?
A: Bancroft Capital is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned broker/dealer and investment bank. Our firm is active in five distinct business units – fixed income sales and trading, equity agency trading, public finance, cash management, and corporate capital markets. With the proceeds of our business, we have instituted a formal Veteran Training Program to hire and train service-disabled veterans for a career in finance.
Q: Can you share a bit of your military story and significance in the name Bancroft Capital?
A: Bancroft Capital came from a personal story during my time in the service. I was responsible for forward logistics under General Jim Mattis during the first wave of special forces into Afghanistan post-9/11. Late in the evening of January 9th, 2002 I laid back on the cargo deck of a C-130 on what was left of the tarmac at the Kandahar International Airfield. I was headed out to visit FARP’s (Forward Arming & Refueling Point) which my unit was operating in the field. I was tired, sweating and freezing at the same, and laden with my Alice Pack and more than 70 pounds of gear, so the floor of the C-130’s cargo bay was a welcome respite.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I had forgotten something. Earlier in the day a young soldier whom I had never met asked if I would look out for a birthday care package sent by his family. I had found the package and intended to hand carry the last leg, but as I lay on that cargo floor I realized I had left it in my hooch. My conscience is an overpowering force and, despite my best efforts to dismiss what was “right,” I begrudgingly exited the aircraft just prior to take-off. I cussed this young soldier’s name as I waited for the next flight later in the night. Incommunicado while in the field, I was oblivious to what had happened until my return to Kandahar, when I was informed of a memorial service being held that morning – everyone on that first plane had died.
A Chaplain attached to our unit had printed on a leaflet the words to “Amazing Grace,” and about 170 service members sang that song in what was left of a bombed out airfield. There was not a dry eye in the house. As the service concluded I flipped over the leaflet to see the names of the lost. At the top of the list was Captain Matthew Bancroft. This caught my attention, as only a few years ago I had attended the U.S. Naval Academy with a Midn. Matthew Bancroft. Midshipmen know the “Bancroft” name well, as it is also the name of our collective dormitory home to all 4400 middies, Bancroft Hall, so I dare say that everyone knew of Midn. Matthew Bancroft.
For some time I struggled with survivors’ guilt. There is no good reason as to why I would have gotten off that aircraft. There is no good reason as to why Capt. Matthew Bancroft would die that day and I would live. I have since come to terms, however, with that fateful day and my ultimate truth – my Creator was not done with me just yet and I was to serve Him with my life. Thus, Bancroft Capital.
Q: Can you give us insights into your services?
A: At Bancroft, our focus is on our five core competencies – fixed income sales and trading, equity agency trading, public finance, cash management, and corporate capital markets. Inside each of our business units, our goal is to be laser-focused on serving the issuers and accounts with whom we engage. We bring unique distribution to corporate and public issuers on primary market offerings, helping those issuers achieve a lower all-in funding cost. We also have strong buy-side relationships, many of which have been nurtured over the course of 20 to 30 years, for whom we source product and provide liquidity in the secondary market. Finally, we recognize that we cannot be “everything to everyone,” and thus have developed strategic partnerships with other institutions across Wall Street to enhance our banking and cash management capabilities. Ultimately, we are judged on the service we provide – to issuers, accounts, and other investment banks – and it is through our effort to achieve excellence in that service that we best exemplify and honor those men and women who have served in our nation’s military.
Q: Can you tell us something more about your training program?
A: Our Veteran Training Program is comprised of three core elements: identifying candidates at the various transition units on military bases and at the military hospitals across the country; providing a 12-month structured program that combines becoming fully FINRA licensed (SIE, Series 7, and Series 63/66) while receiving on-the-job training across our five product lines; and offering educational advancement opportunities through collaborative partnerships with both Villanova University and DeSales University. We have held training seminars at the Warrior Transition Units at both Ft. Belvoir and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, introducing veterans beginning the initial transition out of the military to a career in financial services. Once in our program, veterans train side-by-side with longtime financial industry veterans to develop an understanding of equities, taxable fixed income, municipals, capital markets, and operations/compliance. Our program accepts a new class of two veterans every six months, demonstrating our commitment to addressing the largest segment of unemployed and underemployed in the country – our nation’s disabled veterans.
Q: What makes you stand out from your competition?
A: I have often been asked, “What separates a veteran from their civilian counterparts?” I am always drawn back to one distinct difference: a veteran’s commitment to mission completion. In the civilian world, we often get the advantage of the next opportunity and/or a new day to start again. In the military, we live our lives with the expectation that there is no second chance, as is the case in combat or so many of the daily peacetime responsibilities of military service members. I believe the greatest lesson that I take from my military career is the unparalleled commitment to mission completion, and our firm exemplifies that in our service to our customers every day.
Q: What are the company’s plans and goals for the future?
A: Bancroft is committed to growing slowly and intentionally, allowing our revenue streams to drive that growth as opposed to expanding and hoping revenue will follow. In addition to the two veteran training program candidates that will enter into our program every six months, we will continue to expand our capabilities through sales, banking, and trading in our currently established product lines. With branch offices in New York City and Chicago in addition to our Fort Washington, PA headquarters, Bancroft seeks to more firmly establish our footprint in the Northeast and Midwest while monitoring potential expansion opportunities in the South and West. Our culture is vital to our firm; we have taken great care and committed considerable resources toward establishing our brand which aptly represents our firm. Our primary mission, both today and every day hereafter, is to provide exceptional service – service to our clients, service to our country, and service to the veterans and first responders who have sacrificed on our behalf.