Going from literature to high finance, Scott Thein parlayed his undergraduate English degree into a career as a top transactional attorney at StoneX Group, a publicly traded global financial services organization headquartered in New York City.
Thein, deputy general counsel, works in the company’s Kansas City offices where he manages a transactional team that covers a variety of international financial and trading businesses.
“I was never so great at math, so getting to work in the financial industry has been fascinating to view at a high level,” he said. “I have really enjoyed learning how the global markets work.”
At StoneX, Thein, 42, has a reputation for “running at problems and leading multiple stakeholders to find creative solutions,” according to his nomination for this honor.
“His relationships across all levels of the firm and global offices are a testament to the respect he has earned and the respect and professionalism in his approach,” his nominator wrote.
After earning his JD magna cum laude from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Thein went straight into the corporate world, detouring into the Polsinelli law firm briefly before joining StoneX. His experience at the firm showed him new perspectives that are helpful in his corporate role.
“You get so much perspective working at a firm because your clients are lenders, borrowers in distress, structuring deals, and you get to see the real world from every angle,” he said. “In a firm, you also get to work with some of the top attorneys in their field, and you can bring all that back with you to your in-house role.”
Thein is also fascinated by world events that impact global markets and enjoys the challenges that come with creating strategies to mitigate risk in response to international crises.
“While it’s definitely challenging, I enjoy the excitement that comes with the transactional side, where you try to mitigate the negative market events and become as well-positioned as possible to respond.”
Over the years, Thein has relied on the wisdom of mentors along the way and has a special connection to the former general counsel at his first job as an associate attorney at Aquila, a now defunct electricity and natural gas distributor in Kansas City.
“Chris Reitz was a key mentor, and was the best boss I ever had,” Thein said. “When you are fresh out of law school, your whole practice is driven by fear because you have no experience, and every decision you make feels like life or death. He did a great job helping me transition from a law school student into a practicing attorney.”
When Thein is not at work, he enjoys indulging in his love of literature. His favorite genre is science – both fiction and nonfiction. He also enjoys playing with his three kids, who recently have discovered the joy of speeding down sidewalks on their scooters.
“They ride their scooters everywhere,” Thein said. “So I now ride a scooter everywhere too.”