Nov. 13, 2020
When came home from school with a report card, his parents never asked him about his grades. They were more concerned with whether he tried his best. “They were perfectly OK with mistakes,” recalls Samiuddin, who spent his childhood in Aligarh, a small town in the northern part of India. “Successes don’t teach you a lot of lessons. Failures do.”
The College of Engineering graduate credits his “failures” for getting him to where he is today — a principal at MSD Capital and part of its Tactical Investment Group, a cross-disciplinary team that includes people with deep fundamental investing acumen as well as those with advanced quantitative skill sets.
On Wall Street, Samiuddin values a diverse team with different backgrounds and toolkits. That’s why he established the Zakia-Saleem Scholarship. The scholarship is named for his mother, Zakia, who passed away in 2016 after a two-and-half-year battle with ovarian cancer, and his father, Saleem. Starting in fall 2021, an annual scholarship will be awarded to a student who has shown academic improvement in their college career, with preference given to Black female students.
“When I talk to kids from the Midwest, sometimes they don’t dream big enough because just getting to MU is a big enough of a dream,” he says. “But that’s just the start. It’s important to start visualizing yourself in a building or being that person. When they come [to Wall Street], you can see their wheels start turning.”