Blacks on Wall Street and Other Money Streets

By Norment, Lynn | Ebony, February 1999 | Go to article overview

Blacks on Wall Street and Other Money Streets

Norment, Lynn, Ebony

Money is power, and on Wall Street the power of money walks, talks and makes the strong tremble. The topsy-turvy finance industry is one of the most competitive businesses in the world. Success on Wall Street requires long workweeks, exceptional stamina and intellect, plenty of confidence, enthusiasm and energy, and sound judgment and intuition. It also helps to be armed with an MBA from an elite university, and it is imperative to be able to handle stress well.

"Wall Street is as competitive as you get," says Raymond J. McGuire, managing director in the Mergers and Acquisitions Group at Merrill Lynch & Co. "People are competing for the same grail."

Today, after decades of virtually being shut out of the top Wall Street firms, Black financial wizards are negotiating and closing big deals, and Black investment banks and asset managers are experiencing a boom in business. "In recent years," says William M. Lewis, managing director and co-head of worldwide mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, "Wall Street has made a major commitment to diversify, realizing that in order to succeed, it must embrace inclusiveness in order to attract the very best talent wherever it may be. In general, African-Americans are faring well."

Others agree that due in part to the buoyant stock market and subsequent expansion of financial firms, there are increased opportunities for minorities. However, the gains in finance and money management clearly are not enough.

"Whether it's participation in transactions or gaining access to positions of influence, we still haven't reached a critical mass," says John O. Utendahl, founder of Utendahl Capital Partners, among the top African-American firms on Wall Street. Utendahl, who founded his investment banking company in 1992 after a 12-year tenure on Wall Street, says, "We need to support those few individuals and opportunities that have a chance to break through the barriers in the hopes that they'll pave the way for greater advancements."

Maynard H. Jackson agrees. The former mayor of Atlanta who now heads the second-largest Black investment bank in the country says the dollar amount of finance deals negotiated by Blacks is minuscule. "We have a long way to go; we are not anywhere close to where we need to be," he says. Jackson estimates that the total of all the finance activities handled by Blacks at major firms and banks, as well as those who head their own firms and banks, would represent about 1 percent of total financial activity.

John W. Rogers, founder and president of Ariel Capital Management and Ariel Mutual Funds, points out that more Black youths do not pursue careers in finance because they are not exposed to investing and money management due to the fact that African-Americans in general do not inherit wealth and have the extra income. "There's no need to learn about investing your wealth when you don't have a lot of wealth," he says, adding that brokerage firms have been very slow to create real opportunities for African-Americans; consequently, there have been few role models.

Nevertheless, African-Americans are making inroads on Wall Street and other money streets around the country. Historically, the term "Wall Street" was used to define financial institutions that advise corporations, individuals and sovereigns on financial matters. Today, according to the executives featured here, the term is very broadly used to describe almost any financial service provider, regardless of the city in which it is located. One executive said, "Wall Street is a state of mind."

One example of how well African-Americans are faring on Wall Street is Raymond McGuire. At Merrill Lynch, he has primary responsibility for transactions involving domestic and international mergers and acquisitions with emphasis on consumer products and the paper/forest products industries. Among the major deals in which he has played a key role are James River's merger with Fort Howard, Dial Corporation's sale of selected brands, and Kimberly-Clark's sale of Scottie's facial tissue.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

Blacks on Wall Street and Other Money Streets


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.