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Diversity in Business

NYSE’s Youngest Female Trader Talks About Her Career and New Show “Going Public”

Photos: Courtesy of Pamela Sisson

Lauren Simmons, the youngest female stock trader ever on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), continues to be a trailblazer. Her latest career move is hosting “Going Public,” a new streaming series that follows five diverse entrepreneurs as they try to win over investors, make deals, and get listed on the Nasdaq Composite.

“‘Going Public’ is the first original series to allow viewers to invest in IPOs (initial public offerings),” she said. “These are real, everyday American retail investors. I am so proud to be the host of the show and to be able to break down what is going on, how a company gets listed on the Nasdaq, and take them through the roadshow and be a voice of reason as to what is going on through this process.”

In the 10-part series, slated to debut in 2021 on Entrepreneur.com, Simmons will use her stock trader expertise to help viewers understand the high-stakes process of an investment roadshow. Viewers can choose to support any of the featured companies by investing real money in their Regulation A+ IPOs via an online platform.

“We are honored and excited that Lauren has chosen to join us and help make business history,” said Todd Goldberg, co-CEO of fintech firm Crush Capital, who created the series with his business partner Darren Marble. “She has been shattering glass ceilings and defying expectations her entire career. ‘Going Public’ was conceived to give retail investors a direct route into the IPO action and provide a funding platform for exciting new entrepreneurs. There is no better person to be the voice of that mission than Lauren.”

Modern-day historical figure

Simmons, who is only the second African American female trader in NYSE history, is a modern-day historical figure. She joined Rosenblatt Securities as an equity trader in 2017 and left Wall Street in 2019. Since her departure from the trading floor, Simmons has become a multifaceted entrepreneur, author, personal finance expert, global motivational speaker, producer, and director. She is also a contributor to CNBC, Yahoo Finance, and Bloomberg.

She stood out during her time on the NYSE, especially for her love of wearing heels and dresses. She was the only woman, but says the men were respectful, despite their “traditional mindsets.” For example, some men encouraged her to wear suits instead of dresses and not to wear heels because her feet would get tired.

She was unfazed by their fashion advice and used it to fuel her passion for increased diversity. That’s what appealed to her about her new show. The 26-year-old is eager to host a show that reimagines who can be a successful entrepreneur and in what regular Americans can invest. These days, women run only 9 percent of venture-capital-backed businesses and less than 3 percent are run by Black or Latinx people.

“Todd and Darren have created a new, innovative way to engage the next generation with investing, and to highlight diversity and inclusion because they know the importance of it,” Simmons said. “When they came to me, they said ‘100 percent we want a female host. We want her to be a person of color, and we want these five founders and these companies that we’re following to be representations of America, not representations of Wall Street.’

“I love that mindset and I stand by it. I like people who are champions and want that to happen, and are not just interested in making it a hot topic, trendy word.”

The next chapter

During the pandemic, Simmons returned home to Georgia to be close to her family. She’s been writing a book and doing a financial podcast. She’s also executive producing an AGC Studios movie about her life that will star Kiersey Clemons.

“I think this year, for me, I really got to tap into what it is that I see myself doing in the next few years, and kind of build that out,” Simmons said.

She’s also encouraged by the women’s and Black Lives Matter movements.
“I really do think we are so much stronger together than apart, and I’m just so excited for the next chapter,” she said.

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