Two Black entrepreneurs are displaying the power of collaboration. According to Black Enterprise, Black-owned investment firms The Williams Capital Group LP and Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC recently merged to become the largest minority and women-owned financial firm in the U.S.
The Williams Capital Group LP is led by Connecticut native Christopher J. Williams. The Howard University graduate launched the investment bank in 1994. Since its inception, the full-service investment firm has held high rankings in tax-exempt securities and taxable securities and has received several awards for their work in the financial space. The company has served over 65 businesses that are Fortune 100 companies. Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. LLC was founded in 1996 and is led by Georgia native Suzanne Shank. She’s the only Black woman to run a Wall Street firm. Her company has served as the lead manager for over 200 financings equating to $30 billion.
The new firm—dubbed Siebert Williams Shank & Co.—will be overseen by Shank and Williams will take on the position of chairman. Former United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry Cisneros will serve as vice president. Both Williams and Shank believe that the partnership will strengthen their position amongst other Wall Street firms. “By bringing together two first-class firms, we will accelerate our collective success and greatly enhance our ability to serve our clients using a strong capital base that is now significantly larger,” Shank said in a statement. “We are creating the #1 ranked MWBE investment banking firm in the country that will continue to compete with the best firms on Wall Street. Williams was the only firm with the capabilities, talent, and integrity in the corporate underwriting space that we felt expanded our franchise and matched our work-ethic and high-standards of performance, and now, we have created a truly historic firm.”
Williams says he’s excited about “playing a key role in leading and driving the growth of this dynamic organization” and is ready to “execute a shared vision of growth with laser focus on risk management, operations, and regulatory compliance.”
The official merge is slated to be completed by January 2020 and there will be offices located in New York, Oakland, and other cities.