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Former Wall Street executive finds niche in Gainesville

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Brian Gendreau

Hough Professor of Finance
Warrington College of Business Administration

Brian Gendreau spent years working on Wall Street, and his friends in New York think it’s simply a matter of time before he returns.

Not so fast, says Gendreau.

“My colleagues in New York believe two things that are utterly false,” said Gendreau, Hough Professor of Finance. “One is that I’m coming back to New York City, and second is that I’m in some sort of semi-retirement.”

In fact, between teaching finance courses and making frequent appearances on national business networks like CNBC, Gendreau is as busy as ever.

Gendreau had worked in numerous private and government capacities in the Northeast, including as an investment strategist with ING, emerging market strategist with Salomon Smith Barney, the head of J.P. Morgan’s Emerging Market Economics group and economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Federal Reserve Board. Gendreau said he’d always been intrigued with academia, having taught as a lecturer at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and as an adjunct professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. When the opportunity to teach full time at UF’s Warrington College of Business Administration arose in early 2009, he jumped at the chance.

“We’d actually been thinking about buying a second home not too far from here and everything seemed to fall into place,” Gendreau said. “I got a job offer here and enthusiastically accepted.” A severe downturn on Wall Street at the time made the decision all the easier.

Gendreau teaches students in the Master of Science in Finance (The William R. Hough Program), MBA and Executive MBA programs primarily about emerging markets, finance and asset allocation. The emerging markets discipline is close to Gendreau’s heart; he spent most of his youth in Latin America. His father was a diplomat, and his family spent time in Venezuela, Mexico and Argentina.

“It was great, I loved it.” Gendreau said. “I didn’t know anything different. I came back to the United States in my teens. When I came back to the United States, I felt like I had been dropped in a foreign country. It didn’t feel like my country until I was well into college, but I saw a lot of the world.”

Although no longer living in the Big Apple, Gendreau is still connected to Wall Street. He consults as a market strategist with Financial Network Investment Corp., based in El Segundo, Calif., and is a regular on CNBC, providing expert analysis on the market. He is frequently cited in outlets such as CNNMoney.com and The Wall Street Journal.

Gendreau said he doesn’t long for the hectic, disordered and high-stress life he led for so many years in New York. He said he enjoys the flexibility teaching offers and is happy to call Gainesville home.

“For me to come here and teach emerging markets finance and asset allocation is nothing I planned, but thinking back it’s almost as if everything in my career prepared me for this,” he said.

Writer credit: Milenko Martinovich, Warrington College of Business Administration
Photo credit: Ray Carson, UF News Bureau