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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

From Wall Street to academia

Photo by Marquette University Stock Photo
Valentine addressing students in AIM room, where he also runs the program.

James Valentine, a professor in the College of Business Administration, spent over a decade on Wall Street where he played an instrumental role in equity research and management. There, he led multiple successful equity research projects and managed a team of financial analysts.

He began as an equity research analyst in 1992 working at a few firms early in his career. Valentine now runs the Applied Investment Management (AIM) program at Marquette along with Jospeh Wall, Executive Director of the AIM Program and Director of Applied Disruptive Technologies Initiative at Marquette.

“In 2006, I was gonna retire and my boss asked me if I’d stay and take on a new role that we’re gonna create for me, which was gonna be the head of global training for Morgan Stanley’s Equity Research Department,” Valentine said.

 Valentine said he was initially shocked when he was given the news.

“They said, ‘we know you’re really good at training people,’ because I trained all my associates over the years and they went on to do great things,” Valentine said.

However, a growing interest in academia led him to make a pivotal decision in his professional journey.

“So, to have a firm that size, that big of a department, I think we had about a thousand employees globally, for them to ask me to be in charge of that was like, wow, so maybe I’m actually decent at this,” Valentine said. “That was probably the first time I started thinking about teaching.”

He began his teaching journey in the classroom when his friend Paul told him that a university was looking for practitioners to teach students.

“The first quarter I taught, it went well. In fact, they wound up opening up two sections of the course, because there was so much demand. And I started saying, you know what, maybe this is something that I enjoy doing, and students seem to like it,” Valentine said.

Valentine began his teaching career at DePaul University where he taught in the finance department and later joined the Doctor of Business Administration Program, completing his degree in 2021. He started working at Marquette in June 2022.

“It’s really helping the students understand the principles of finance and to help them land good jobs are the real rewards I find out of it,” Valentine said.

Bassel Fouad, a Marquette alum and former student of Valentine, said that Valentine wanted to inspire people and also influence people while touching peoples’ hearts at the same time.

Fouad said Valentine’s unique approach in academia is what really sets him apart from other professors. Fouad said he not only cares about academic success but also takes a genuine interest in students’ personal lives.

“He is actually one of the few teachers and professors that will actually try to be acquaintances with you just besides having a professional relationship. He’ll actually try to see how your day is going and how your family is doing, which is very rare in the academia world,” Fouad said. “He will try to push the students to do the best that they can, even when they doubt themselves, because he knows what their true intentions are when they put in the hard work and full potential.”

Gus Chiarello, a senior in the College of Business Administration, said that he finds it great that Valentine left Wall Street to give back to others.

“He’s made enough money already, instead of going out and trying to make more, he went and put himself in a position where he could help others succeed and make an impact,” Chiarello said.

Fouad said some of the biggest lessons he has learned from Valentine was in the AIM program and also through his book, “Best Practices for Equity Research Analysts: Essentials for Buy-Side and Sell-Side Analysts.”

As for his content with the new job, Valentine said he’s just as happy working academia as he was in the world of finance, but for different reasons.

“It’s very rewarding working with students and I thoroughly enjoy it. It gives me an emotional boost,” Valentine said. “Whereas when I worked on Wall Street, it was very fast-paced. And I worked with some of the most talented people in the world, which had its own benefits. And so I like both jobs.”

As for some of his students, Valentine is more than just a teacher, but an ongoing person in their life.

Dr. Valentine is a part of my family now. He is someone that I will continuously talk to, and not just about academia, but I will also check in on how his family is doing as well,” Fouad said. “He is always on my mind and I always want to make him proud.”

This story was written by Uzair Qhavi. He can be reached at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Uzair Qhavi
Uzair Qhavi, Assistant News Editor
Uzair Qhavi is an assistant news editor at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 year. He is a senior from Franklin, WI studying political science. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and binging television shows. This year Uzair is excited to work on in-depth projects and have a fun start to his last year at the Wire.

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