Throughout the course of 2009 I am spotlighting companies large and small who understand the value that veterans bring to their organization. These are companies that are successfully utilizing the many skills and talents of military members. These organizations demonstrate sincere desire to bring more veterans into their companies by doing some or all of the following:

  • Establishing a specific military hiring initiative as part of its overall HR strategy;
  • Recruiting at military job fairs, through military job boards and on military installations;
  • Preparing their recruiters and/or hiring managers on how to screen veteran resumes and interview service members;
  • Updating their marketing materials to attract the military.

Place Trade Financial, Inc., is a full service broker/dealer [financial services firm] based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Place Trade offers a range of products and services including investment advice, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, 401(k)s and 401(k) rollovers, college, retirement planning and more. Place Trade’s CEO and President is Sarah M. Place, a military spouse and former military “brat”. Says Place, “I am clearly biased in my veteran hiring preference because I know firsthand what veterans have to offer. My father was a career officer and my husband was a career NCO.  I have been around the military all of my life. I have a special appreciation for the characteristics held by most veterans including their honor, dedication, confidence, discipline, respect and ability to get the job done without issues.”

Place Trade has been hiring service members since its inception almost 7 years ago and approximately 30% of its employees are former military. Roughly 25% of the new hires Place Trade made in 2008 are veterans. Military applicants have come to Place Trade mostly by word of mouth and referrals – proof that the expansive military network can be a great source of new employees for a company.

Place believes that veterans do very well as financial advisors; she does not hesitate to describe the benefits she has seen from hiring military. “I feel confident that I have hired and will continue to hire individuals that can be trusted to treat clients with honesty and respect. I know that veterans have the necessary discipline, are able to take charge and get the job done without a lot of supervision.”

Although her employees don’t require a security clearance to work at Place Trade, “it’s always a plus and a confidence booster to know that most veterans have [a clearance] since all of our employees must be fingerprinted and have FBI background checks done” (read my earlier blog on the benefits of knowing that veterans are pre-screened).

In addition, anyone who is currently working and licensed (or has been licensed) in the industry will have a Uniformed Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (commonly known as a “U-4”). At 28 pages, the U-4 reminds me of the government application process for a security clearance, and it asks many of the same types of questions (i.e., “Have you been convicted of a felony?”) and for the same types of background information (i.e., “provide residential history for the last 5 years”).

In order to become a basic registered representative / stockbroker a person needs a bachelor’s degree, a Series 7 and a Series 63 license.  These licenses can be obtained once an individual is “appointed” by a firm (broker/dealer) such as Place Trade Financial.  An individual must be appointed/sponsored by a broker dealer before they can sit for the examinations, and Place Trade is willing to sponsor non-licensed veterans so that they can sit for the exams and enjoy a career at Place Trade Financial.  Service members who begin preparing 8-12 months in advance for transition can use that time to study and prepare for the examinations. Various companies offer study materials and classes online. Smart companies know how to utilize the veteran’s long transition window to help the service member obtain required credentials/certifications/licenses. It is a Best Practice that I advocate in my military hiring web seminar “Military Applicant Sourcing Options

And now, the best news of all: Place Trade is hiring! “We are actually looking to hire up to 16 experienced, licensed Financial Advisors immediately. Veterans who are experienced, licensed Financial Advisors may be hired as commission-based independent advisors throughout the US. We are currently hiring in several states and are open to adding additional states depending on the specifics of the situation. This offers flexibility to veterans who may be transitioning.”

Place Trade gives military preference in hiring.  Says Place, “In fact, we would prefer to hire as many veterans as possible.” To search for jobs at Place Trade go to its career page.

One Response to “Veteran Employer Spotlight: Place Trade Financial (Full Service Broker/Dealer/Financial Services)”

  1. Michael Kothakota

    What a great organization! I wish I had known about Place Trade when I got back from Iraq.

    For all veterans who are looking at a career in financial services, make sure you do your homework before you jump in.

    Here are some things to remember:

    1) Financial services and financial advising is a sales job. You will not be immediately advising people on how to structure their investments. You must build your client base.

    2) Build your client base before you leave the service. Spend a lot of time getting in touch with the people you’ve met over the years and tell them what you are doing and that you would like to work with them.

    3)This is a tough business. Nobody tells you what to do. There is no manual for success either. You cannot initiate battle drill 1A and expect to conquer here.

    4) Have thick skin – rejection is extremely high in this business. You will be rejected over 90% of the time.

    5) Be organized – Your military training should prepare you well.

    If any vets are interested in a career in financial services, and you want to know how to go about it, please contact me at, or join my network on LinkedIn at

    Best of luck to all vets!


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