SAYING THERE'S BEEN A BIT OF CHANGE IN THE WORLD of finance since BLACK ENTERPRISE last unveiled its list of 75 Host Powerful Blacks on Wall Street in 2006 is about as huge an understatement as saying the financial markets have had a few bumps over the past half decade. Since then, a subprime mortgage crisis nearly wrecked the world economy, leading to U.S. government bailouts for financial institutions, insurance companies, and the auto industry. Many global financial institutions were devastated. Former stalwarts were acquired for pennies on the dollar, widespread layoffs ensued, and the market indices have yet to return to their highs of 2007.
However, there has been some upside for African Americans on Wall Street these past five years. Those who remained with the global giants of the industry have demonstrated their expertise by leading them back to profitability. For some of the boutique firms that comprise the BE 100s financial services companies, their lack of exposure to toxic mortgage-backed securities that contributed to the financial crisis enabled them to bolster their operations by hiring talent from Wall Street giants and entering lines of business cast off by their larger counterparts.
Case in point: James Reynolds, CEO of Loop Capital Markets L.L.C. (No. 1 in taxable securities with $29.03 billion in lead issues and No. 2 in tax-exempt securities with $2.83 billion in lead issues on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list) hired nearly 25 people who had been downsized from bond departments at several large financial institutions, such as Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, that exited those lines of business. This same staff helped Loop Capital service a broader pool of bond buyers; their expertise was critical to the firm's landing a significant piece of business--a structured underwriting of nearly $1 billion in general obligation refunding bonds for New York City.
Another such entrepreneur, Christopher Williams, CEO of Williams Capital Group L.P. (No. 4 in taxable securities with $1.6 billion in lead issues on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list), turned acquisitive. The firm acquired the institutional assets of Nutmeg Securities LLC., a Westport, Connecticut-based broker dealer, as well as part of Utendahl Capital Partners, a former BE 100s firm.
Now these players continue to find new, inventive ways to win and profit in a challenging environment marked by a European debt crisis, the downgrading of the U.S. credit rating, a sluggish economy, and unpredictable markets. Due to the sweeping changes within this often volatile industry that remains a critical part of the U.S. economy, BLACK ENTERPRISE decided to take another look at the African Americans at the forefront, highlighting those who continue to make deals that will shape the course of the world.
The editors of BLACK ENTERPRISE spent the past several months developing this roster of "The 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street." In conducting the research, our team pored over reams of industry data; consulted with leading trade organizations including the National Association of Securities Professionals, the National Association of Investment Cos., and the Executive Leadership Council; and interviewed scores of leading executives and entrepreneurs in the financial services sector. The men and women on our list met the following criteria:
* Those chosen are investment bankers, traders, asset managers, venture capitalists, private equity financiers, or top executives at financial services firms and have management responsibilities over these areas.
* They have achieved the status of chief executive, president, partner, chief investment officer, managing director, or other top-ranking positions at their firms, and have significant management duties.
* They demonstrate significant influence within their company and throughout the financial services industry.
* Entrepreneurs who own their own firms must operate investment banks that have managed more than $10 billion in total issues; asset management firms with at least $2 billion under management; private equity firms with at least $90 million in capital under management; or perform at a leading firm that engages in unique or complex transactions.
* Candidates must work for a U.S.-based company and have at least 10 years of experience in the financial services industry.
M.R. Beal & Co.
Considered as the nation's oldest, continuously operating minority-owned investment bank, M.R. Beal & Co. (No. 5 in taxable securities with $1.6 billion in lead issues and No. 3 in tax-exempt securities with $2.2 billion in lead issues on the BE INVESTMENT BANKS list) was engaged in $40.2 billion of public financing in 2008, followed by $45.4 billion in bond issuances in 2009. In 2010, Beal led the company to senior-managed and co-lead deals totaling some $62 billion.
Ronald E. Blayloc
FOUNDER & MANAGING PARTNER
Blaylock serves on the transaction and analytical team for GenNx360 (No. 4 on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list with $600 million in capital under management) which invests in middle-market industrial and business-to-business companies. GenNx360's Fund I portfolio has $600 million in committed capital from leading institutional investors. The firm's portfolio companies represent more than $1 billion in revenues. Prior to launching GenNx360, Blaylock was CEO of Blaylock & Co., an investment banking firm he founded in 1993.
Cedric L. Bobo
The Carlyle Group
Bobo focuses on U.S. buyout opportunities in the industrial and transportation sectors. In his position at Carlyle, Bobo co-led Carlyle's acquisition of AlpInvest Partners, a $43 billion private equity fund-of-funds manager based in the Netherlands. This strategic purchase ushered Carlyle into a new line of business. Also, in 2010, Bobo co-led the formation of a joint venture that will work to acquire more than $5 billion in shipping assets using up to $900 million in equity over the next five years.
Edith W. Cooper
PARTNER, MANAGING DIRECTOR & GLOBAL HEAD OF HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
"The fact that BLACK ENTERPRISE periodically highlights the number of senior professionals on Wall Street is really a sign that we do continue to make progress," asserts Wall Street veteran Edith Cooper. Though she acknowledges that more still needs to be done, she says, "I think about the 25-plus years that I've been in the industry and I think, 'Gosh, have we really made progress?' And, quite frankly, I think, 'Yes, we have.'"
As partner, managing director, and global head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs, Cooper is charged with the responsibility of recruiting, developing, and retaining Goldman Sachs' more than 33,000-member workforce. She also counsels those looking to follow in her path. "The term for that now is mentoring, coaching, guiding. I have so benefitted from mentoring over the course of my career, so I've always been very involved in mentoring others."
A member of Goldman's Management Committee, Cooper is involved in every major strategic and management issue for the $39.2 billion firm. She joined the company in 1996 to build and lead its energy sales group. In 2000, she became co-head of the commodity business in Europe and Asia, based in London, and in 2002 assumed responsibility for the firm's futures business. "I've had the opportunity to contribute to Goldman Sachs through contributing to our clients' success and to the development of my colleagues, and by giving back to the …