I worked on Wall Street in the financial industry for about 24 years. During my time with Merrill Lynch, I was responsible for building and maintaining a book of retail clientele. However, my passion was in the securities trading and sales aspects of the industry, so I transitioned from retail sales to an institutional sales role within capital markets sales and trading. I joined Instinet Corporation, the leading player in electronic institutional sales and trading which was at the cutting edge of the industry. Around the year 2000, I was promoted to vice president and eventually senior vice president. I then became the head of a team catering to institutional hedge funds.
Seeking a more entrepreneurial opportunity, I took a few members of my team and joined Direct Access Partners in 2005 as managing director and head of equity sales trading. I also took on the role of president for the domestic equities and options vertical. When Direct Access Partners increased operations in 2013, I continued my career as a director of prime equity sales trading at Lazard Capital Markets and then as the managing director of electronic trading at Maxim Group, the employer I left to become a Right at Home franchisee.
What was your first job ever?
I began my career as a paralegal at the law firm Milbank Tweed.
Why did you choose to become a franchisee with Right at Home? How did you learn about the brand?
I knew about Right at Home from a colleague and good friend who has a Right at Home office in Plainview, New York, and another friend who has a Right at Home office in Connecticut. I considered starting my own business because I wanted to do something more than move numbers around. What I liked most about my time in the financial industry was helping people individually. Wall Street has changed dramatically in the last 10 to 15 years, and I was pretty uncertain about what the future holds for the industry. When I was considering leaving Wall Street, I wanted to do something that allowed me to work with others on a personal level, and I wanted a career that technology couldn’t put me out of business, but rather help my business. I wanted to find something that was self-gratifying, allowed me to give back and was also a change of pace from Wall Street.
Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?
Most of the advice came from my friends who were already involved with Right at Home and introduced me to the company.
What were your perceptions of franchising before starting the process?
I have been blown away by the amount of support and infrastructure that Right at Home provides. Without ever owning a franchise, I expected the process to go like this: you buy into a template and follow everything they say. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was more of a “create your own business” under their infrastructure. I look at it as sort of a hybrid franchise. Yes, you’re buying into a system and have corporate training and support, but it’s still an autonomously run business.
What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?
So far, the process has been smooth. The challenges I anticipate are hiring the correct people – not as caregivers, but as internal office managers. I also anticipate having difficulties standing apart from the competition in New York City.
How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business? (Please give us a cost breakdown.)
Excluding the franchise fees, it’s probably going to be around $10,000 in start-up costs. Rent, which is more expensive here than most markets, will be about $2,000 monthly.
Tell us about your family, and any hobbies or activities you take part in within your local community.
I met my wife Diane in 1990 when we were 20 years old and students at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. We married in 1994 and are approaching our 21st wedding anniversary. We have two daughters, Samantha (11) and Melissa (9), who have become the central, most important part of our lives. As a family, we enjoy an active lifestyle. We often attend the theater and art exhibits. We all play tennis and ski, often basing vacations around these activities. We are huge Boston Red Sox and New England Patriot fans (odd for New Yorkers, I know)
Is there anything else that might be interesting about you, your business, or any of your team members?
I think it is important that I have lived in NYC for more than 25 years and that I’ll be servicing the neighborhoods that I know and love. I am not just a business owner, but I’m also part of the community where I’m raising my family.