Can former top execs start fresh on Wall Street?

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Second acts have been hard to come by for former top executives of the largest banks.

The best example may be Richard Fuld, the former CEO of Lehman Brothers, who tried hard to make a comeback, but couldn't quite seem to manage the trick. He couldn't find a job until little-known Legend Securities hired him two years ago. That gig didn't last very long. Zoe Cruz, former co-president of Morgan Stanley, tried to start a hedge fund, but was forced to shutter it last year.

Will Vikram Pandit and Bob Diamond fare any better in their quest for a new beginning on Wall Street?

As reported by the New York Post, both are bent on starting new companies. Pandit apparently wants to start a private equity fund, while Diamond may be considering a hedge fund.  It may be a better time to form an alternative investment start-up. Hedge funds start ups, for example, were hot last year, hitting their highest numbers since 2007. But their status as former top executives will not automatically confer success.

Both will have some explaining to do -- Pandit for his odd forced exit and Diamond for the circumstances that led to his resignation. All in all, limited partners are a bit pickier these days. They will not quickly commit capital to a start-up even one run by a big name, especially one that was dogged by compliance issues.

Still, you don't get to the top without being able to move mountains, so perhaps they will find a way to succeed. It'll be interesting to watch. 

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