This is a Peter J. Solomon still from’s interview with him. Click on the image to open the video interview.

Skiddy von Stade of financial recruitment portal has a fascinating interview series that occasionally features Wall Street tycoons in their offices talking about their lives and their values.

In this week’s episode, Stade talks to Peter J. Solomon, founder of private investment bank Peter J Solomon Company, the man Financial Times calls, “The psychiatrist of finance.”

Here’s a link to the 12 minute video ->.

One of the key points Solomon makes is the importance of taking six months off before a career change.

“When you’re making a job change, really look around.”

He said Wall Street officially went to hell in 1981 when Salomon Brothers went public. This gave the firm limited liability and gave them other peoples money to take more risk.

“Theres no question that was the moment Wall St. changed.”

Financial crises every 20-30 years are a cost of capitalism, according to Solomon. He also believes that regulators will never be able to catch up to the ingenuity of Wall Street.

“We’re forcing the risk into the non-regulated area.”

Solomon’s comments on how to be a great investment banker are awesome:

– “Know who your client is and live and die by that client.”

– “If there’s any breakdown in integrity I’m going to fire you and if I’m wrong I will apologize.”

– “You have to be self starter but you also have to like to sell. Everybody is smart.. Nothing gets done in this world unless somebody buys it, otherwise you are a tree falling in the forest and who cares what your analysis is… What we look for is people who are self starters and who like to sell and they are very hard to find.”

He concludes that there’s more to life than money:

– “There’s always somebody richer than you but you can be more important.”

– “Importance in New York is defined by your charitable involvement, not by your wealth.”

Head on over to to watch the full interview (Link here) and other interviews with Wall Street leaders.

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