Frank Quattrone was the most prominent investment banker of the 1990s tech boom. In 1977 he began his career with Morgan Stanley, rose through the crowd of tech bankers, and eventually led initial public offerings for more than 175 companies, including Cisco, Netscape, and Amazon. By 2001, before the market flamed out, the mega-banker was earning roughly $120 million a year.
Later Quattrone's career was waylaid by federal charges when he urged subordinates to destroy potential evidence in a stock trading investigation. When the charges were eventually dropped in 2007, Quattrone returned triumphantly to Wall Street where he set up Qatalyst, a boutique investment bank. Serving as its Chief Executive Officer, Quattrone grew the firm from three employees to over 50 until 2016 when he finally stepped down. Since then, Quattrone has turned his focus to philanthropy and education, serving as Chairman Emeritus and board member of The Tech Museum in San Jose, California, and as Chair Emeritus of the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara Law School, among many of his contributions.
As the son of a garment workers' union officer, Quattrone used his exceptional scholastic abilities to earn a spot in the undergraduate program of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1973. His tuition and room charges were paid by a full Mayoral and Senatorial scholarship. But the future "Prince of Silicon Valley" had to take out a loan and work part-time to pay for food and other expenses.
One of the jobs for the precocious business student was to streamline the budget of a federal facility called the Defense Supply Center Philadelphia. In addition, Quattrone showed an early proclivity for activism with his efforts on the Penn Consumers Board—working with other student volunteers to provide a guide to off-campus housing that included landlord ratings. In 1977, Quattrone received his Bachelor of Sciences degree in economics from Wharton, graduating summa cum laude.
Throughout the years, Quattrone has made numerous efforts that illustrate his ongoing connection to his prestigious alma mater. Most notably, in 2013, he provided the lead $15 million gift that formed the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice. Housed at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, the national research and policy center was created to promote long-term and data-driven structural improvements to the U.S. criminal justice system.
Quattrone, a longtime financial benefactor of his former school, also contributed a major gift to the Singh Center for Nanotechnology in UPenn's engineering school. Currently, he serves the school by sitting on the advisory board for the Quattrone Center, where his years of invaluable experience are being passed onto his alma mater's next generation of ambitious headline-makers.