Wayne Walker, ’89, is no stranger to foreign environments. As a young child in the early 1970s, he emigrated with his family from Kingston, Jamaica, to New York City. And Walker’s career has brought him across the world to countries like Norway, Sweden, China, and the Philippines.
Walker, who studied business administration at Buffalo State, is the founder and managing director of a global education firm that provides training in capital markets to university students and business professionals.
A 28-year veteran of the finance industry, Walker started his career at Chase Bank in Manhattan shortly after graduating from Buffalo State. Since then, he’s held nearly every position in financial services—including working as a trader, investment banker, consultant, and manager.
Walker felt that his diverse career experience would lend itself to teaching the ins and outs of finance to business school students. His hands-on knowledge of trading would also translate to helping prepare students for the “real world.”
“I took my business courses seriously in college, but sometimes it was hard to find the connection between our course material and what actually happened in finance,” he said.
This influenced Walker to establish Global Capital Market Solutions (GCMS), which launched in 2008 with two-day certification courses on capital markets and trading at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. Walker, who’s based in Copenhagen, has expanded the firm’s partners, and GCMS now offers certification courses in Europe, Asia, and Latin America.
Walker started the firm to teach people how to maximize corporate profits and personal investments, but the timing could hardly have been worse.
“Given the financial crisis of 2008, there were some challenges when I launched GCMS,” he said. “I believe we’ve sustained for so long because of the success of our former students (who are now alumni working in the business world) and the reputation we have that spreads through word of mouth.”
Walker said English is the essential language for international business, which makes the GCMS courses more sought after because they are all taught in English.
“My students get a competitive advantage by learning in English,” he said. “It’s the universal language of finance, and it’s actually a selling point for GCMS.”
Walker said he was attracted to Buffalo State because it offered a vibrant urban setting without the stress of bustling New York City: “Buffalo State provided a great balance in terms of the location and types of programs.”
Walker also found balance between his coursework and student activities. He was active on the Student Union Board throughout college and served as the organization’s president his senior year.
“We oversaw a lot of the student programming on campus, working with real money—and sometimes making real mistakes,” Walker said. “But they were also learning opportunities at the time and during my early years as a professional managing client funds.”
Walker said he shares the same pieces of advice to the institution with his GCMS students.
“Make connections, create a global network, and never stop reading,” Walker said. “In college, I would have never seen myself in the position I am today. For many years, I was successful at work and comfortable in my career, but I always thought there was something more. It’s important to try things out because you never know where they can lead.”
Walker is also the author of several books on financial trading and cryptocurrency that are available on Amazon.