Economics major Chris Bracco ’21 has accepted a post-graduate job offer with Piper Sandler as an Investment Banking Analyst in their Financial Services Group, located in New York City.
In the summer of 2019, Bracco worked as an intern at Sandler O’Neill, before its merger with Piper Jaffray, in their Balance Sheet Analysis and Strategy Group. He says the internship prepared him well for his experience with Credit Suisse this past summer where he worked as an investment banking summer analyst in the Financial Institutions Group (FIG).
“I was able to learn the basics of investment banking through being involved on multiple transactions during my time at Credit Suisse,” says Bracco, a double minor in mathematics and entrepreneurial studies. He also serves as the president of Hobart Club Ice Hockey. “Despite being remote for the summer, I think it was unique in that the interns were able to sit in on due diligence processes and client calls; something that would be a rare possibility if the internship was in person. It is invaluable to listen to leaders of global financial institutions speak about market trends and transaction specifics when you are in such a junior role.”
Bracco took a gap year before attending HWS to play junior hockey. This time after high school gave him the opportunity to discover his passion for finance through working with his father at a U.S. Options Exchange, the MIAX Exchange Group.
“Since I no longer had hockey to fill my time when I got to HWS, I knew I wanted to go into finance and was kind of looking for a new goal to pursue to fill the gap in my time that I was not used to, and I found investment banking,” he says. “HWS is a unique place because there are so many fantastic resources available, but it is up to the student to take advantage of them. After seeing what these resources did for me in terms of my career, I will always be willing to help students who are looking to go down a similar path.”
On his way to Piper Sandler, Bracco has had support from HWS Board Chair Craig R. Stine ’81, Vice Chairman of the Global Financial Institutions Group at Barclays Investment Bank.
“Craig Stine has been instrumental to my success and has been a fantastic mentor. He was the person that I originally connected with at Credit Suisse, and he was willing to give me a chance to have a conversation with him,” says Bracco. “Without our connection that began almost two years ago now, I would not have the same story to share, and he has continued to be available and helpful to this day; he is someone that I really look up to.”
During his internship at Sandler O’Neill, Bracco says he is also grateful for the guidance he received from Robert Castrignano, who now serves as a managing director in the financial services group at Piper Sandler. He is “someone that has kept me perpetually motivated and has given me advice that I will never forget.”
Bracco is optimistic about his future. “When I received the offer to go back to Piper Sandler, it was probably the happiest I have ever felt. I have so much respect for those who run the bank and what they stand for. I am genuinely excited to begin my career at a firm with tremendous opportunities for both personal and team-based growth,” he says.
On campus, Bracco is also a volunteer with Big Brother Big Sisters of America and a member of HWS Finance Society. He has participated in the Pillars of Wall Street training experience hosted by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education.