Stephen Cordasco didn’t join the banking club at the Fox School of Business until his senior year, but he made the most of his first meeting. He struck up a conversation with the guest speaker, a brokerage vice president, and ended up walking the man all the way to the subway platform. “I basically begged him to allow me to come in and interview for an internship,” Mr. Cordasco recalls. “Just as the subway was pulling up, he told me to be there 10 a.m. Monday.”
It was then Mr. Cordasco launched his investment career with the old Butcher & Singer brokerage firm, where he sorted client leads three days a week in a windowless basement office as an unpaid intern. The Philadelphia firm ended up hiring him as trainee following his graduation from Fox in 1990. After weathering a series of mergers with Wheat, First Securities, First Union, and Wachovia Bank, Mr. Cordasco began a long tenure with RBC Wealth Management. In 2012, Mr. Cordasco fulfilled his dream of starting his own independent firm and founded Cordasco Financial Network. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the premier financial advisory firm offers clients financial planning and wealth management services. A cornerstone of the firm’s offerings is its trademarked Lifestyle Coaching process — a service different from wealth planning and investment managing in that it focuses on boosting overall quality of life, according to the company. For his expertise in the investment industry, Mr. Cordasco has long been a regular presence on local and national financial news programs like Fox Business, CNN, and CBS Radio. He credits Betsy Leebron Tutelman, a professor at the Klein College of Media and Communication and current senior vice provost for strategic communications, with coaching him for his first break in broadcasting. He sought her help after receiving an offer for an on-air tryout with a local radio station, “She put me through a one-week crash course,” Mr. Cordasco recalls, “and I got the job.” Over the course of his career, Mr. Cordasco has made his way back to his alma mater in different capacities, including as an adjunct instructor at the College of Engineering. He applauds the way today’s students are comfortable questioning authority. “I would never challenge a teacher,” he says. “I remember getting a B-plus on a paper I thought was an A paper. I struggled over whether I wanted to address it with the teacher.” “I think back on that time and I don’t want to intimidate others, including those I manage today, like I was intimidated,” shares Mr. Cordasco. To encourage communication between leadership and new youth at Cordasco Financial Network, he employs and recommends a management tool called “Good; Better; How?” “Give me the good. What can be better? Show me how,” advises Mr. Cordasco. “It’s fun, creates engagement, and keeps people from getting their feelings hurt.”
Temple University Degree
Bachelor of Science ’90, Fox School of Business, Majors: Finance, Real Estate
Current Title & Company
Founder and CEO, Cordasco Financial Network
Temple University Awards & Affiliatons
- Commencement Speaker, Fox School of Business
- Dean’s Council, Fox School of Business
What I wanted to be when I was 20 years old
I went off to college at 20 years old as a finance and real estate major at Temple University and always wanted to be a Financial Advisor.
Best piece of advice anyone ever gave me
Hard work trumps talent every time when talent doesn’t work hard.