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Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast. That’s the greatest leadership lesson Cauldon D. Quinn learned in the Navy, and it’s one he carried into the business world and his role as co-founder and CEO of Bancroft Capital, LLC.

Quinn was presented with the concept during training on how to clear compartments while seizing a naval vessel. Working at a hurried pace in a high-stress situation is likely to lead to mistakes and failure. Working concisely and at a slower pace has a greater chance of both aggregate speed and success, Quinn said.

“While learned in a military setting, the basis of this axiom has served me extremely well in my civilian professional career,” he said. “When confronted with a situation, instead of acting quickly through emotion I ‘make it small’ by stepping back and objectively educating myself. Once equipped with fact (knowledge) I am able to move forward with an unemotional, well-thought-out, intentional action. Not only does this reduce the likelihood of mistakes, but this yields a higher degree of success and ultimately greater efficiency, in the aggregate.”

Quinn’s company, Bancroft Capital, is a certified service-disabled veteran-owned small business specializing in institutional brokerage and capital markets services. Quinn, a disabled Navy veteran, founded the company in 2017. The company offers a Veteran Training Program that gives veterans and first responders a chance to develop a skill set to build new careers as traders and investment bankers.

Bancroft has tripled in size since its founding, with 30 employees nationwide working out of four offices. In November 2021, the firm surpassed $350 billion in co-managed transactions since the company’s inception, with just over $9 million in net profits in 2021 alone.

Bancroft traces its name to Jan. 9, 2002, at Kandahar International Airfield in Afghanistan, where Quinn waited in a C-130 aircraft for transport to join his unit. Before takeoff, Quinn remembered that, earlier in the day, he promised a young soldier he had never met that he would look out for a birthday care package from his family. Quinn had the package but forgot to bring it with him, and his conscience wouldn’t let him leave without going back for it. He reluctantly got off the aircraft to retrieve the package and caught a later transport.

Quinn later learned that everyone in the aircraft he left at the last minute had died. Quinn saw the name Capt. Matthew Bancroft on the top of a leaflet listing the victims.

“I struggled with survivor’s guilt,” Quinn said. “There was no good reason as to why I would have gotten off that aircraft … no good reason why Capt. Matthew Bancroft would die that day and I would live. I have since come to terms with that fateful day and my truth — my Creator was not done with me just yet, and I was to serve Him with my life. Thus, Bancroft Capital. Bancroft will never forget the sacrifice of life and limb laid on the battlefields by so many.”


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