Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

George Van Amson

Insights from a Wall Street Insider

2017-18 CUSP Distinguished Speaker Series

Monday, April 9, 2018
Reception: 5:00-6:00 p.m. in 401 Lerner Hall
Lecture and Q&A: 6:00-8:00 p.m. in 555 Lerner Hall

Mr. Van Amson will discuss the organizational structure, history and culture of Wall Street, focusing on the last fifty years, but particularly on the last twenty-five. He will highlight the “careers, casualties, and commanders” of the industry.


George L. Van Amson serves as a Managing Director in the Institutional Equity Division - Sales and Trading, Management at Morgan Stanley. He is also Head of North American Analyst and Associate Advising and Development Programs. Prior to assuming these responsibilities he was Head of North American Recruiting in the Institutional Equities Division (IED) of Morgan Stanley and Manager of Sales Trading Service Desk for Global Wealth Management clients. Earlier as a Senior Sales Trader, he was responsible for managing Institutional Cash Sales Trading coverage of hedge funds, asset managers, pension funds and mutual funds. Prior responsibilities included senior position trader and sector trading head of cyclical equities, co-head trader of international equities managing the firm’s Latin American capital risk as well as supervising U.S. and London trading efforts in South Africa. A 40-year veteran of Wall Street with experience in domestic and international markets, Mr. Van Amson was selected in 1993 as a World Economic Forum Global Leader and was named in 1992, 1996 and 2006 to Black Enterprise Magazine’s “Top African Americans on Wall Street.” He has served as Chairman of the International Committee of the Securities Traders Association of New York. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley in 1992, Mr. Van Amson worked at Goldman Sachs as a Vice President, Equities – Trading and Arbitrage Division.

Throughout his career, Mr. Van Amson has been active in the community. He has served on the board of Harvard Business School Alumni Association, President of the HBS African American Alumni Association, Columbia College Board of Visitors, Chairman of the United Negro College Fund Wall Street Campaign, and board member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Currently, he serves as a Trustee Emeritus of Columbia University, Advisor to the Finance Committee of the Riverside Church, Director of Community Impact, Vice Chairman of the Board of the Amsterdam Nursing Home, Chair Emeritus of Columbia Alumni Association, and member of the Investment Committee of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Mr. Van Amson graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School, and received his BA in Economics from Columbia College, and his MBA with second-year honors from Harvard, where he served as President of the African-American Student Union. At Columbia, he was twice elected President of the Class, Senior Class Marshall, and lettered in Varsity Football. At Brooklyn Tech, he was elected student organization president and was the recipient of the All-Tech Medal (1970). Other honors include Columbia University Curtis Medal in Gold (1974), Harvard Business School General Motors Fellowship Award (1981), HBS Deans Leadership Award (1982), Columbia College John Jay Award (2000), Alumni of Color Heritage Award (2003), Community Impact “Making a Difference” Award (2004), Racial Harmony Award-Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (2007), Columbia Alumni Achievement Award (2009), Brooklyn Community Services (BCS) Human Spirit Award (2012), Varsity C 92nd Alumni Athletic Award (2013), The Distinguished Alumni Award-Brooklyn Tech (2013), and the Harvard Business School Alumni Professional Achievement Award (2017). Mr. Van Amson is a Sandan (black belt) in Judo and a international masters tournament competitor. A native New Yorker, he resides on the West Side of Manhattan with his family.   

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


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