Mark Kolakowski

  • Long, multidisciplinary career on Wall Street including 14 years at Merrill Lynch 
  • Contributing writer, Investopedia
  • Author, "Career Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Business"
  • Consultant to independent entrepreneurs, editor of academic research papers in economics, developer of materials for an ESL course aimed at business professionals and university students.


During his 14 years at Merrill Lynch, Mark was a major contributor in many areas, most notably:

Prior to Merrill Lynch, Mark developed a comprehensive sales forecasting system for AT&T, before moving into project analysis. Then he became a management consultant at Touche Ross (since merged into Deloitte), whose engagements included merger analysis, forensic accounting, bank operations and mutual funds accounting.

Self-employed since 2001, Mark's activities have included being a strategic advisor to an Internet entrepreneur, a consultant to banking giant JPMorgan Chase, a guest lecturer at New York area colleges and an editor of academic research papers in economics. In his book Career Confidential: An Insider's Guide to Business (2008) Mark draws case studies in career management from his own experiences. He also has been interviewed for television documentaries dealing with the functions of the DTCC and financial fraud committed against Hollywood's elite. Additionally, Mark is a contributor to Investopedia, "the world’s largest digital financial education platform."


Mark earned an B.A. magna cum laude in economics from Harvard College and an M.B.A. in finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. While at Merrill Lynch, he passed the NASD (now FINRA) Series 7 Registered Securities Representative exam. He credits a strong liberal arts education received at Regis High School in New York City for much of his later academic and professional success.

About The Balance Careers and Dotdash

The Balance Careers makes navigating your career easy. It is home to experts who provide clear, practical advice on job searching, resume writing, salary negotiations, and other career planning topics. Whether you're looking to find a new job, advance at your current position, or explore new paths, The Balance Careers will help you take your career to the next level.

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