Caution: Traders at play
A career on Wall Street doesn’t usually involve hand-mixing cement and shoveling mulch.
A career on Wall Street doesn’t usually involve hand-mixing cement and shoveling mulch. Unless you work for Piper Jaffray. About 75 of the firm’s New York employees spent a Saturday off from the trading floor last month helping transform a parking lot into a 2,250-square-foot playground for Holy Cross School in Brooklyn’s East Flatbush section.
The Minneapolis-based firm, which gives 5 percent of its profits to charity, contributed a $55,000 grant to help fund the construction. The project took place on September 17. Volunteers from the elementary school and the neighborhood pitched in, erecting a spiral slide, monkey bars and bean-stalk climbers, among other amusements, for the school’s kids.
Two Piper managing directors in New York, Steve Frankel and John Near, spearheaded the playground project after being contacted earlier this year by KaBoom, a Washington-based not-for-profit group that has built more than 800 playgrounds in urban neighborhoods since 1995. Piper has been expanding in New York in recent years and was looking for ways to spread some of its charitable dollars in the city.
“Who would not have wanted to work on a playground?” asks Frankel, 36, who toils in the firm’s institutional research sales group and took charge of building the slide. “It’s a great way to spend a Saturday.”