JUDSON J. CAVALIER: The Laid-Back
couple of days after pledging his fraternity, Sigma Beta,
and moving into his room at the University of New
Hampshire, Judson J. Cavalier bought a bed. More
precisely, said his college roommate and fraternity
brother, Nathan Sloan, it was a mattress, and Mr.
Cavalier never bothered to get the box spring or the
frame. "He was, like, what you would call laid back," Mr.
So laid back that the university invited him to take a
semester off to think about his commitment to academics.
With a friend, Mr. Cavalier went to Vail, Colo., where he
figured he could ski a lot, and took a job as a ski-boot
salesman. "He made phenomenal money. Everybody knew he
was a good worker," Mr. Sloan said. "He just didn't sweat
the stuff he didn't have to sweat."
Mr. Cavalier, 26, did graduate, and was hired by
Thomas F. O'Neill, his next-door neighbor growing up in
Huntington, N.Y., and a founder of Sandler O'Neill &
Partners. He was about to be promoted from bond research
to salesman. "Being a bond salesman, you made a lot of
money and you played golf with the guys," said another
childhood friend, Ian Crystal. "That was perfect for
Judd. He was there."