Brad Katsuyama had never laid eyes on Wall Street or New York City. It was his first immersive course in the American way of life, and he was instantly struck by how different it was from the Canadian version. "Everything was to excess," he says. "I met more offensive people in a year than I had in my entire life. People lived beyond their means, and the way they did it was by going into debt. That's what shocked me the most. Debt was a foreign concept in Canada. Debt was evil."
Not RBC nice: Returning to his alma mater, the University at Albany, years later to speak about the secret of his success, Frommer of U.S. electronic-trading firm called Carlin Financial told a group of business students: "It's not just enough to fly in first class; I have to know my friends are flying in coach."