A Transformational Experience

Alumnus credits his Rutgers School of Business–Camden education for helping him to launch a longstanding financial services practice

Albert Fox SBC’94, seated, co-managing partner of Fox, Penberthy & Dehn at Morgan Stanley, with Rutgers–Camden alumni he has hired into the practice. From left: Alex Vicente SBC’19, John Williams CCAS’00, Erik Opczynski SBC’11, and Joseph Dehn SBC’99.

When Albert Fox was a student at Rutgers–Camden in the early 1990s, his professor in his organizational behavior class, Gayle Porter, mentored him. “She gave me a forum once a week to have a conversation,” Fox said.

A 1994 accounting graduate who is co-managing partner of Fox, Penberthy & Dehn at Morgan Stanley, a financial services practice in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Fox had enrolled at Rutgers–Camden in the wake of financial hardship brought on by his parents’ divorce. “I didn’t have a lot of resources to go to college and I didn’t have the ability to go away,” said Fox, who grew up in Marlton, New Jersey. “Rutgers was the best opportunity locally to work full time and get a great education.”

His weekly conversations with Porter ran the gamut and delved deeply into social psychology, a forerunner to the field of behavioral finance. With Porter’s guidance, he wrote a 20-page paper about the role of social psychology in building a financial services practice. Fox, who went on to build a practice that has been named to the Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors rankings, looks back on that paper and Porter’s support as a defining moment. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was enormously transformational,” he said.

Fox credits his career success in part to many of his Rutgers–Camden professors who allowed him to make mistakes and explore opportunities while still working a full-time job. “When you are responsible for yourself financially, you need to succeed in work and school,” he said. “The educational environment at Rutgers allowed me to run a dual path. I’m really grateful for that.”

Fox said he found that his situation of trying to overcome financial and personal challenges was not uncommon among his peers at Rutgers–Camden. “The defining factor today that makes me passionate about Rutgers–Camden is that everybody that I’ve ever met who comes out of there has some level of a personal story where there is a grit factor associated with it,” he said. “Grit is the magic glue of that community.”

Fox has long been supportive of Rutgers–Camden students, hiring numerous interns over the years, including Joseph Dehn, a 1999 finance graduate of the School of Business–Camden who started as an intern and eventually rose to be a partner. Often interns hired by Fox go on to fill full-time positions, and five of its 13 employees are alumni. “I know the determination of graduates from Rutgers–Camden,” said Fox, a member of the School of Business–Camden’s Dean’s Council. “They become the kind of professionals who succeed.”

CRC 2977997 04/20

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