FROM THE TRENCHES: Merger Leads To Top Women-Led, Minority-Owned Investment Firm on Wall Street

Reposted from . Oct 4, 2019, 02:23pm . By Asia Martin Forbes Staff Personal Finance

Suzanne Shank at the Black Girls Rock! Awards at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on August 5, 2017, in Newark, New Jersey. 

Come November, the women-led Wall Street firm Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. will finalize its merger with minority-owned investment bank The Williams Capital Group. The consolidation will create a top minority-led-and-owned institutional investment bank offering services in municipal underwriting, debt and equity sales and trading. 

Siebert Cisneros Shank and Co. was cofounded in 1996 by Suzanne Shank, the current CEO, Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, the first woman to be a member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and head a publicly traded financial services firm, and Napoleon Brandford, who is now retired. Since the death of Siebert in 2013, Shank has led the firm. As an African-American woman, she makes the firm a rare minority-woman-led investment firm. More than half of the firm’s employees are minority, and on its own the firm ranks high in the industry as a co-manager of municipal bond offerings. In 2018, SCS helped oversee more than $116.1 billion in corporate debt and equity transactions. (For more on Shank, read How This Female Engineer Pivoted To Become A Top Wall Street Leader.) 

SCS sought out the midtown-Manhattan based Williams Capital Group (WCG) to scale its business and grow its services for U.S. corporate underwriting of debt and securities, looking to compete with 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 stated in a release announcing the deal yesterday. WCG was founded in 1994 by its CEO Christopher J. Williams.

Shank will serve as president and CEO of the combined firm and maintain majority ownership. Williams will be chairman of the board. The new firm will rebrand itself in January as Siebert Williams Shank & Co. While Cisneros will remain with the combined firm as vice chairman, the firm chose to keep the Siebert name instead to honor the Wall Street pioneer.

The new firm will be headquartered in New York, New York and Oakland, California, with over 15 locations across the country.