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NFL legend's investment firm hires veterans, helps them 'get a leg up'

Blair Shiff

Phil McConkey really has accomplished a lot in his life. He served in the Navy, played in the NFL and caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl while he was with the New York Giants. After playing in the league for six years, he was a sports broadcaster and won two Emmys.

After all that, though, he decided to set out on a financial services career. So he joined Academy Securities, which prides itself on being the "nation’s first post-9/11 military veteran and disabled veteran-owned and operated investment bank and broker-dealer."

As the president and partner at Academy Securities, he helps manage people's assets, trade, strategize in alternative investments and navigate the world of investment banking.

McConkey joined FOX Business' Melissa Francis on Wednesday on "The Evening Edit" alongside another veteran — Rachel Washburn, who works for his firm.

Washburn was a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader before she served two tours of duty in Afghanistan. Her husband is still on active duty in the Army Special Forces

"We've been really fortunate to be able to have great people and attract great people like Rachel and help them get a leg up in financial services," McConkey said.

"We're in a service industry [and] who knows better about service than a military veteran," McConkey said.

They had one message they wanted to get out: Veterans are well suited to transition to civilian life and should be hired. Washburn knows this firsthand.

"It's been such an incredible opportunity," Washburn told Francis. "I left the service in 2016. I wasn't really sure what my next steps were going to be. I was an intelligence officer, and Academy gave me the opportunity to leverage my intelligence background, apply it to a new set of clients and look at the world through a lens of business, not just security."

Washburn saw some commonalities between her military service and her financial services job.

"It's a way to look at the world at a big level, understand what are the levers that are impacting different things around the world," Washburn said. "That's where we take our geopolitical expertise, combining with our macro expertise, and give our clients the 'so what' of how these events are going to ultimately impact the markets or their business.

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The reaction, McConkey said, has been wonderful and he touted Washburn's abilities.

McConkey said what goes on abroad can affect American businesses and investments and financial transactions, so it's important to employ people who understand those aspects when managing people's assets.

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