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Does Quattrone Have A Financial Industry Future?

Federal prosecutors are throwing in the towel in the Frank Quattrone case five months after an appeal court tossed the former star banker’s conviction on obstruction of justice charges. But will the three-year battle keep Quattrone out of the industry for good?

Federal prosecutors are throwing in the towel in the Frank Quattrone case five months after an appeal court tossed the former star banker’s conviction on obstruction of justice charges. But will the three-year battle keep Quattrone out of the industry for good?

Quattrone, who as a banker at Credit Suisse First Boston oversaw more initial public offerings during the Internet boom than anyone else, struck a deal with the Feds that will keep him out of prison – he was sentenced to 18 months more than two years ago following his conviction; his first trial, in 2003, resulted in a hung jury. If Quattrone keeps his nose clean for one year, the charges will be dropped as part of a deferred-prosecution agreement. After the U.S. Court of Appealsfor theSecond Circuit threw out his conviction, the Securities and Exchange Commission overturned Quattrone’s lifetime ban from the securities industry.

After the agreement was signed, Quattrone told reporters, “I plan to resume my business career.” Opinions are mixed as to what kind of reception he might receive.

“He has been tried and got off on a technicality,” Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Prof. Phillip Phan told Bloomberg News, calling him “damaged goods.” But Harvard Business School Prof. Samuel Hayes says Quattrone is remembered fondly in Silicon Valley. “He made a lot of people a lot of money, and they are grateful.” Following his 2004 conviction, 500 people wrote the judge in the case, urging leniency, including former Netscape Communications CEO James Barksdale and Cisco Systems Chairman John Morgridge. Barksdale called him “a man of honor.”

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