75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street: Whether They're in Investment Banking, Sales and Trading, Asset Management, or Private Equity, These Power Players Move the Financial Markets

By Brown, Carolyn M. | Black Enterprise, October 2006 | Go to article overview

75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street: Whether They're in Investment Banking, Sales and Trading, Asset Management, or Private Equity, These Power Players Move the Financial Markets


Brown, Carolyn M., Black Enterprise


--Additional reporting by Denise Campbell, Hyacinth B. Carbon, Sonya A. Donaldson, Alan Hughes & Tennille M. Robinson

THEY'RE WALL STREET'S BILLION-DOLLAR players. Some raise capital to build or improve schools, hospitals, airports, and railroads from Los Angeles to London, Others have been responsible for financing the next generation of entrepreneurs and the products that will change the way we live, work, and play.

Whether they are engaged in investment banking, sales and trading, asset management, or private equity, those who wield power on Wall Street know that success is about more than negotiating money-making deals--it's also about brokering relationships. "So much revolves around opportunities to bring in business," says John W. Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO of Ariel Capital Management L.L.C. (No. 2 on the BE ASSET MANAGERS list with $19.3 billion in assets under management). Bottom line: being a power player means having the right connections.

In Ariel's case, it's also about branding--an art that Rogers and President Mellody Hobson have mastered. Once one sees the company's logo--the turtle--you instantly know Ariel's reputation for steady returns and profitability. The dynamic duo made the cut among the most powerful African Americans on Wall Street not only because of their negotiation, money management, and relationship-building prowess but, like the turtle, their longevity at the top.

BLACK ENTERPRISE'S listing is a compilation of the best and brightest investment bankers, traders, asset managers, CEOs, and venture capitalists. Some physically operate on Wall Street while others ply their trade in cities across the globe. Pick a spot on the map--Chicago, San Francisco, London--and you'll find one of our 75 power brokers in action.

Roughly 30 are top-tier professionals at financial behemoths. Another 33 are entrepreneurs who head the largest black-owned investment banks, asset management companies, and private equity firms. Whether they are heading major departments, managing core businesses, or running their own firms, these executives all have an impact on their companies" bottom lines.

Our team of editors and reporters spent six months engaged in extensive research to identify the financial elite. This year's roster outnumbers previous lists, growing to 75 members. One reason: the growth of private equity, the sector in which 18 of the power hitters operate.

Fourteen individuals who appeared on our 2002 list did not make the cut this time around. Some, such as C. Kim Goodwin, former chief investment officer at State Street Research & Management Co., retired from the industry. Some moved into different industries: For instance, top analyst Charles Phillips Jr. assumed the role of co-president and director of tech giant Oracle Corp.

The list includes seven professionals who have appeared on all three of our previous lists: They include Citigroup's James F. Haddon, Bear Stearns' William H. Hayden, Citigroup's Raymond J. McGuire, Lazard's William M. Lewis Jr., Merrill Lynch's E. Stanley O'Neal, Utendahl Capital Partners' John O. Utendahl, and Morgan Stanley's George L. Van Amson.

Over the years there have been radical changes in the gender composition. In 1992 and 1996, only two women made our list--one of whom was William Blair principal Michelle L. Collins. In 2002, six women made our roster. This year's listing features 11 women, including Collins, who resurfaced as co-founder of the private equity firm Svoboda, Collins L.L.C., and newcomer Amy Ellis-Simon, head of multiproduct sales for Merrill Lynch. She appeared on our "Up and Coming African Americans on Wall Street" list in 2002.

The pool of talent is impressive. Unfortunately the number of African American financial managers remains relatively small, and allegations of racism are still leveled at major firms. Despite being run by an African American, Merrill Lynch is being sued by 70 former and current employees who charge that it engages in discriminatory hiring and promotion practices. …

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