25 hottest blacks on Wall Street.
They are the "25 Hottest Blacks on Wall Street," a compilation of the best and brightest investment bankers, traders and analysts in America. Responsible for deals and transactions for hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars here and abroad, these men and women are at the top of their profession.
Although BLACK ENTERPRISE has covered African-Americans on Wall Street for more than 20 years, this is the first time the publication has developed a list of this nature. Of course, not all the individuals listed actually work on Wall Street. These money mavens can be found in cities across the country: Atlanta, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Francisco.
The good news: Finding these bankers and traders wasn't as difficult as one might think. African-Americans can be found at the highest levels of responsibility at several of the nation's most prestigious Wall Street firms. And black finance professionals have also built impressive track records with their own investment firms.
The bad news: African-Americans at the nation's leading investment banks remain few in number, especially black women. There also is little indication that there are enough black finance professionals coming through the pipeline to improve the statistics. AfricanAmericans are a small percentage of the financial services industry. In 1991, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported there were 1.6 million people working in the industry. Five percent, or 77,000, were black. Surprisingly, 8.6% of the 766,000 financial managers, underwriters and other financial officers in the industry were black.
All the bankers interviewed were extremely concerned about the lack of AfricanAmericans in the industry. That's why most of the individuals, like William Lewis at Morgan Stanley, are aggressively pushing their companies to seriously implement programs designed specifically to recruit and hire talented and highly qualified black MBAs and lawyers. "This is not an industry that is traditionally known in the African-American community," says William Hayden, senior managing director at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. and former chairman of the National Association of Securities Professionals (NASP). "We didn't have brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers who worked for these firms like many of our peers. And because investment bankers tend not to get a lot of publicity, African-Americans in this industry need to reach out to the community."
Change also will be required of Wall Street itself. For far too long it has been a club stooped in exclusivity. Needless to say, seeking out qualified African-Americans for membership has never been a priority of chief executives of the major investment banks. However, there have been encouraging signs. For example, Morgan Stanley has contracted with James H, Lowery & Associates, a Chicago-based consulting firm, to set up and implement a program to recruit, retain and develop more minorities for the investment bank. Consultant Lowery credits Morgan Stanley with including key decision makers, such as Vice Chairman Barton Biggs, Lewis and Managing Director Eugene Flood, on the firm's Minority Development Task Force. "In past efforts of this nature," Lowery explains, "the task forces have been composed of lower-level executives and nondecision makers. Because key decision makers were not a part of the process, they didn't buy in, so the task force's recommendations just gathered dust."
Organizations such as NASP have also worked to foment change. Founded in 1985, NASP represents minority investment bankers, bond lawyers, commercial underwriters, investors and brokers, among others, Its goal as a nonprofit organization is to promote professional excellence and equal opportunity for access in careers and business transactions in public and corporate finance. Its current chairman, Malcolmn Pryor of Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. is on BLACK ENTERPRISE'S Wall Street all-star list. To contact the National Association of Securities Professionals, call or write: c/o Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co., 1360 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 880, Atlanta, GA 30309; 404-875-1545.
After three months of investigation, BLACK ENTERPRISE editors and reporters were able to gather a list of about 60 names of senior-level individuals who roughly met our requirements. Interviewing dozens of investment professionals, we realized just how small the universe really was as we kept hearing the same names over and over. Once the eligibility requirements were established, it was clear which 25 would make the cut.
To be eligible for the list, a candidate must work for a domestic investment firm as an investment banker, trader or analyst. Portfolio managers, asset managers and retail brokers were not included in our search. Individuals had to have annual compensation packages (including salary, bonus, stock options and pension plans) starting at $300,000. This figure is higher than the requirements for two other similar lists that BLACK ENTERPRISE has compiled over the last five years. The minimum compensation package for "The 25 Hottest Black Managers in Corporate America" was $250,000 (See February 1988) and for the "21 Women of Power and Influence in Corporate America", it was $100,000 (see August 1991 .)
In addition to the $300,000 cutoff, individuals with titles of panner, managing director, senior vice president and director were carefully reviewed. Vice presidents who managed major desks or major deals also were considered.
Two of these bankers--Garland Wood of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Michelle Collins of William Blair are full partners in majority-owned firms. Seven managing directors are represented, including Marianne Spraggins of Smith Barney, the only other woman on the list. William Hoyden has the distinction of being the only senior managing director,
Also included on the list are four African-American-owned investment firms. Three of the firms have served as lead or co-lead managers in several substantial municipal finance deals around the country. Although M.R. Beal & Co., Grigshy, Brandford & Co. and Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. have made their name in public finance, all three are establishing reputations in corporate and international work. The fourth black-owned firm on the list is Utendahl Capital Partners LP., a 6-month-old boutique that handles taxable fixed-income business.
Breaking a stereotype often perpetuated in mainstream media, the majority of investment bankers on the list (at-large investment banks) were not in municipal and public finance. In fact, more than one-third (eight) handle corporate finance deals such as mergers and acquisitions, debt restructuring and bond trading. Five on the list are in sales and trading, working on a slew of innovative products and services for domestic and international clients. The four in public/municipal finance are leveraging tremendous clout and connections with big-city administrations--white and black--to serve as lead manager of deals ranging from several hundred million to more than a billion dollars.
Of course, MBAs are well-represented on the list. Including the chairmen of the black firms; 18 have MBAs. Six have law degrees; three have both. Only two did not see a real need for a graduate degree.
There's no doubt about it, where you went to school is extremely important in the tightly knit investment community--especially for African-Americans. Of the 21 individuals and the four chairmen of the black firms, 16 have a collective 26 Ivy League degrees. Harvard's business and law schools have the most graduates on the list.
This is a rather young group of high-powered professionals. The average age of participants is 39. Tracy Maitland of Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., 31, is the youngest; at 51, First Boston Corp.'s Ronald Gault tops the group.
The average length of time these men and women have worked for the investment banks is 11 years. That's because individuals like Gault, with seven years on The Street, started their careers in the public sector, academia or law. Goldman Sachs' Garland Wood and Cornelius "Perk" Thorton, vice president and senior research analyst, respectively, have been at it the longest--each for 20 years.
The examples presented by these outstanding individuals should help to enlighten the entire investment industry to the bottom-line benefits of fostering sophisticated business opportunities for highly talented individuals without restriction based on gender and race.
AGE: the average age is 39, within a range from 31 to 51 years old.
EDUCATION: Eighteen have MBAs, six have law degrees, three have both. These Wall Street all-stars have attended the most prestigious institutions in the country. Sixteen have a total of 26 Ivy League degrees.
AREAS of SPECIALTY: The largest concentration of individuals specialized in corporate finance and mortgage-backed securities. Three of the black-owned finns and four individuals focused their efforts on public finance deals.
SALARY: Total compensation packages (including salary, bonus and pension plans) ranged between at $300,000 and $1 million.
RUNNING HIS OWN RACE
Bernard Beal remembers the advice his high school track coach gave him: Run your own race and don't look back. Since 1988 when he founded M.R. Beal & Co., ranked No. 3 on the 1992 BE INVESTMENT BANK UST, he's done that.
In 1991, the firm senior-managed $113 million worth of new issues. The 42 professional staffers also underwrote $14.1 billion worth of new municipal issues with full creditto each manager.
The New York City-based investment bank has been carving a niche in housing, education and municipal financing. During the past several years, the Carleton College and Stanford University School of Business graduate's firm has senior-managed an increasing number of deals in these areas. These include placing 80% of a $133 million financing for the District of Columbia Housing Finance Agency; marketing $85 million worth of City of Chicago general obligation equipment tender notes; and $60 million for the City of Detroit public school system.
Beal, 38, gained expertise in these areas during nine years in Shearson Lehman Hutton Inc.'s municipal and corporate finance division. As senior vice president, he headed its college and educational group, co-rounded the housing group and created option-tender bonds. The former short-distance runner also knows how to spot potential allies and increase pressure on his competition. Last winter, M,R. Beal scored a coup when it lured Donna Sims-Wilson from the investment bank Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. Wilson, an expert on mortgage-backed securities, now runs M.R. Beal's Chicago office and is establishing a federal financing division.
Beefing up select areas is part of a broader, deliberate game plan at M.R. Beal, where most of the business is geared toward institutions. "The way we are expanding is a fairly slow process. We have hired investment bankers to increase our private placement business. We are hiring more trading professionals who are experienced in the secondary and new-issues market," Beal says,
The short-term plan is to manage equity offerings within three years. The long-term plan is to be able to provide a resource for small and medium-sized businesses' access to capital markets.
Through June 1992, M.R. Beal was involved in several private placements including one equity deal for a minority-owned company.
Beal admits he was surprised by the intensity of competition when he went solo and by the need to reestablish his identity as an investment banker. He says, "I had no idea how tough this business would be [on the entrepreneurial side]. I assumed that clients I had known would continue to let me do deals as I had done. But when you are in a smaller boat, those waves do rock you."
With his business nearly doubling each year, Beal is more than surviving. In fact, he appears to have learned the secret of Wall Street: Doing business there is more of a marathon than a sprint.
RAINMAKING IN CHICAGO
In its 58 years, Chicago's William Blair & Co. has not strayed from its historic approach to developing client relations: First find wellmanaged small to mid-sized niche businesses--companies that have revenues between $100 million and $1 billion and have high-growth characteristics. Make sure they have growth potential and stick with them over the long haul.
The firm's approach to tapping talent is much the same. As one of the few independent, high-quality investment houses left in the Midwest, William Blair is highly selective and has little turnover. Like her firm, partner Michelle Collins--a Yale University alumna who was hired out of Harvard Business School in 1986 by William Blair--is, says one of her peers, "a quiet power."
Considering Collin's experience, her choice of William Blair over a large New York city firm clicks. Prior to attending Harvard she was a Chase Manhattan Bank corporate auditor and she visited many companies in a spectrum of industries. "I was looking for a smaller, more intimate place, where you don't have seven layers of management," she says.
Last January, Collins was made a partner in the Corporate Finance Department, Much is expected of Collins in this rainmaking position. In six years, she has demonstrated a solid abilityfor doing deals in public or private equity offerings, mergers or acquisitions.
Modest and amicable, Collins is known for her rapport with clients. She also is committed to her hometown, serving on the Chicago Historical Society, the Visiting Nurse Association of Chicago and the Chicago Child Care Society boards,
Of William Blair's 45D employees, 93 are partners. Collins, 32, is the only black partner and one of three women partners, Hierarchy is a bad word at William Blair, which emphasizes maintaining intimate relationships with its clientele. Says Collins: "The decision to walk away from a potentially large fee because something doesn't sit right with you, is just as valued as the decision to aggressively pursue a client,"
Although specialization tends not to be one of the firm's goals, Collins has worked on several deals involving office products manufacturers and retailers. She recently participated in a $13 million common-stock offering for Office Club Inc., and in the $269 million acquisition of that company by Office Depot Inc.
In November 1991, shortly before Collins was reviewed for partnership, she was in on William Blair's deal of the year: the $694 million sale of Sanford Corp. to Newell Co., a writing instrument manufacturer and a long-standing client. Collins had been Sanford's financial adviser since 1987 and was a key corporate finance representative on the sale. Last June, she worked on a deal where United Stationers Inc. acquired Stationers Distributing Co. for $80 million.
Collins won't say her involvement in the transaction nailed down her partnership, but she concedes, "It certainly didn't hurt."
Partnership has not changed Collins' responsibilities, yet. She says her clients remain the same. But one thing is clear: Every dollar in profit she generates for William Blair increases her share.
M.I.T. GOES FOR MONEY
Eugene Flood's path to principal in Morgan Stanley & Co.'s Fixed Income Division was typical and extraordinary. In 1978, he received his B.A. in economics from Harvard College. Then in 1983, the Cambridge, Mass., native received his Ph,D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). It wasn't until 1987 that Professor Flood made it to The Street.
Flood spent five years researching and teaching finance to future MBAs at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, but he never got one himself. He also was the recipient of a National Science Foundation Minority Fellowship for Graduate Study in Economics and lectured at executive training programs held by M.I.T., the Nomura School of Advanced Management in Tokyo and the International Management Institute in Geneva.
Only after he attained the educational goals he intended did Flood join his former students in Gotham. Today, he is a trader in Morgan Stanley & Co.'s mortgage-backed securities area. He also holds a principal title that is one notch behind managing director in Morgan Stanley's hierarchy. His specialty: asset-backed securities.
What Flood does is facilitate trades between institutional accounts. For example, a trust company will let several investment banks know it wants to invest in mortgage- or asset-backed securities. Flood purchases such securities from his clients to sell them for a profit. The trick is to bid low enough to make a profit later, but high enough to outbid the competition.
On the flip side, Flood must set a selling price-- lower than that of his competition--to attract clients. It's a delicate balancing act demanding an awareness of the market and knowing what is expected--or unexpected--that will impact the prices you set.
There is risk. For instance, a trader could buy several million dollars' worth of securities and not find a buyer for them. If their value drops off, it could mean tremendous losses for his or her firm.
Flood relishes the risk. "You look at the guys on the other side of the [trading] screens as the other team. The bell rings at the start of the day and the game begins. There are days when you feel great, like you could walk on clouds; and there are days when if you can just make it out of the room any way possible, you're thankful."
Flood began at Morgan Stanley as a manager in the research and development group, part of the Analytical Proprietary Trading Group. The group traded a large equity portfolio for the firm's account, using analytical methodologies that Flood helped develop. In 1990, he began managing the Derivative Trading Group, which designed and traded analytically based strategies. In July 1991, the group was disbanded, and Flood went to mortgage-backed securities.
The former academic wants young blacks to consider investment banking. He explains: "This is an industry where you can take responsibility early, have autonomy, get straightforward evaluation of your performance and the rewards are good,"
Anyone who knows Ron Gault will quickly agree that he personifies the true "can do" mentality. And that's not surprising when you look at his childhood. Beating polio and its crippling aftereffects at age 13 taught Gault that "if you can persist, you can prevail." But despite the victory over his ailment, the managing director at First Boston Corp.'s Public Finance Group wanted more. "I never wanted to be average," he says.
At 51, Gault is far from average. Since joining First Boston as a vice president in 1985, his office mementos are tribute to the dozens of groundbreaking deals he has led.
Gault took Howard University to the capital markets for the first time in 1987, raising $67 million through tax-exerupt bonds for the construction of housing for graduate students and staff. He led a $150 million financing transaction for his hometown's ChicagoO'Hare International Airport in 1988 and a $75 million financing for the Philadelphia Gas Works Facility in 1991.
And then, of course, there is New York City. First Boston was a financial adviser to New York from 1982-1990. During that time, Gault and his team helped get the firm on board as one of the five major houses that under writes the city's $4 billion to $6 billion annual general obligation debt. Gault's reputation, connections and insights from his days as a senior adviser to former Mayor Edward Koch and friendship with Mayor David Dinkins surely didn't hurt his firm's chances for the job. In December 1990, when the city was at a low in investor credibility, Gault structured an innovative $1.3 billion transaction that addressed the concerns of investors by getting bond insurance and offering bonds to individual investors.
To help clamp the deal, investors were invited to spend three days in the city talking to local officials and businesspeople. Although some considered such a maneuver too risky, Gault believed that the investors would be convinced of the value of investing in New York. They were.
Deals like these in which he can "see and feel and touch the projects that result from the capital we raise,"says Gault, are the reason he went into the investment banking business. Last summer, for example, Gault led an $80 million advance refunding of outstanding debt on low-income housing projects for the Chicago Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. The refinancing will generate an annual payment of just over $1 million through the year 2004, which will be reinvested in low-income housing.
After graduating from Grinnell College in Iowa, Gault received a master's degree in public administration from the University of Michigan. Before joining the Koch administration, he worked as the Ford Foundation's National Affairs Division Program Officer, with portfolio responsibility for major urban development projects.
And now Gault is aiming to contribute on the global level. After lobbying his industry for two years, First Boston and other Wall Street firms launched a six-month professional internship program for 21 black South African managers in June. His goal: "to demonstrate to the world that good corporate citizenship is good business."
Calvin B. Grigsby and Napoleon Brandford III always knew the direction they wanted to take their San Francisco-based investment bank: Up. And since its founding 11 years ago Grigsby Brandford & Co. Inc.'s ascent has picked up speed.
In 1991, Grigsby Brandford ranked No. 1 on the 1992 BE INVESTMENT BANK LIST (see On The Rebound, this issue) underwriting 139 municipal issues worth $19.2 billion with full credit given to each manager. The full-service investment firm was also the only African-American firm ranked among the top 100 lead managers in municipal issuances. It placed 70th and led $275 million worth of issues.
Interestingly, Grigsby Brandford CEO Grigsby, 45, and vice chairman Brandford began planning to unite their capitalist visions soon after meeting. It was 1981 and Grigsby Brandford's predecessor, a lease financing company-- Fiscal Funding--was doing a Florida deal. Brandford was Dado County's deputy finance director.
The duo liked each other and drew up a plan. Brandford, a Purdue University graduate with an MPA from the University of Southern California, would acquire skills at a major investment firm. Grigsby, a University of Arizona graduate with a JD from the University of California's BoaIt Hall School of Law, would raise capital. ""I really didn't know how big firms worked. I told Napoleon if he got an offer to take it, burro make sure he came back when we are ready," Grigsby says.
The plan clicked. In 1982, Brandford, now 40, became a vice president in the public finance area of Shearson American Express Co.'s San Francisco office. Grigsby, a former corporate securities lawyer, kept underwriting public works and equipment financing. He also tried to woo investors. "At first, we tried to raise $1 million in venture capital. We were turned down because we refused to give up equity. So, I decided to generate the capital internally," he says. Raising money this way took longer. But Grigsby Brandford, unlike some other black-rounded investment banks, is 100% black-owned.
In 1985, Brandford joined Grigsby. Since then, he and the other 20 investment bankers in Grigsby Brandford's public finance area have won praise for their work. Recent deals that Grigsby Brandford leadmanaged include underwriting $107 million in Los Angeles County Transportation Commission sales tax revenue refunding bonds, and $107 million in San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's water revenue refinancing bonds. In the latter deal, the firm beat out competitors such as PaineWebber Group Inc. and Goldman, Sachs & Co.
In 1991, Grigsby Brandford's corporate finance division structured and arranged financing for Carroll & Co., a black-owned firm purchasing Direct Gas Supply, a natural gas distributor and marketer. Grigsby says: "Our successful public finance practice enabled us to generate more than $10 million in net capital, which we are using to pursue corporate underwriting."
Brandford agrees, "We are on a mission to create a national financial institution."
COLD CALLS, HOT CASH
Staying hungry, says James Haddon, is the only way to stay on top; and in public finance, the need to keep up with the people rotating through public offices is crucial. Beyond that, he adds: "There's a saying in the business: The higher up you go, the bigger the target on your back."
But this 38-year-old managing director and head of PaineWebber Group Inc.'s 17-member Infrastructure Group, part of its Municipal Securities division, doesn't let the intense competition for new business get to him. He thrives on it. The truth is that Haddon started bringing clients to his firm when he was just a junior vice president.
In 1982, as a second-year associate in PaineWebber's Student Loan Finance Group, also part of public finance, Haddon's job was to beef up the firm's position as an underwriter for issuers of student loan revenue bonds for secondary markets across the country. That year he clamped a $40 million deal in Iowa, new territory for PaineWebber in the student loan area. Over the next two years he senior-managed over $30 million in student loan business in several states.
In the mid-1980s, Haddon was promoted to first vice president and moved into the General Markets Group. There, Haddon senior-managed an $88 million financing for Philadelphia Gas Works, an authority new to PaineWebber. He also senior-managed a $180 million transaction for the City of Detroit, which needed the money to expand its convention center.
Haddon was promoted to first vice president. In 1987, he became a managing director in March 1990, heading the Infrastructure Group, charged with geographic coverage of about 20 states. Haddon describes the pace of his progress through the ranks as "typical," of the three PaineWebber associates hired straight out of business school in 1980. However, he was the first to attain managing director status. The promotion, he says, was recognition of his record as "a producer for the firm and a leader in getting business." Even as a manager, Haddon still makes cold calls to potential clients. "Every day lsubmit our qualifications to people, build relationships, offer new products, services ideas and strategies, he says with enthusiasm." A graduate of Wesleyan University and Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, Haddon was attracted to public finance from the beginning of his career. "I always liked the fact that I was helping public entities. It doesn't sound as sexy, but intrinsically it's more down-to-earth."
Born in Columbia, S.C., and raised in Passaic, N.J., Haddon is blunt in responding to queries about the predominance of African-Americans in public finance. "Clearly, we've seen more blacks in public offices and in positions where they're issuing debt. We've seen more blacks coming into municipal finance because of that. It's an issue that no one should be second-guessing or embarrassed about. It's opened up Wall Street for minority individuals."
That said, however, Haddon adds: "Do I get business from minorities because I'm a minority? No. Part of the reason I'm still here and thriving at PaineWebber is that I've shown that I'm adept at selling our services to anyone." Surely no one would say Iowa is a minority account.
When you walk into William Hayden's window-lined office, you can't help but notice the gleaming bronze sculpture of Bill Pickett, America's first African-American rodeo champion. Pickett is the perfect symbol for the veteran banker whose first client (and one of his biggest) at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. was the State of Wyoming. Since 1975, Hayden, has served as this "wild west" state's senior banker.
As a senior managing director and co-head of the firm's Public Finance Department, Hayden raises money for major corporations and state and local governments through tax-exempt bonds. Since joining Bear Stearns in 1984, he has led transactions from Connecticut, where in 1991 he was senior banker for Gov, Lowell Weicker's $800 million recovery bond program, to a $100 million financing for the Wyoming Community Development Authority, Bear Stearns ranks sixth in negotiated municipal financings, In the first six months of this year, the firm participated in 59 financings totaling $4.5 billion.
Trying to get the 50-year-old partner to discuss the specifics of any one deal is nearly impossible. Like many in his business, Hayden's loyalty is to his firm and its clients. But a scattering of framed tombstones around his office reveals Bear Stearns as lead manager of a $233 million transaction for the Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority, as well as two transactions for New York--one for $2.3 billion for the state, the other for $850 million for the city. (Bear Stearns is one of five rotating senior managers for New York City.)
As team leader of 70 officers and other professionals throughout the country, Hayden jokes: "I don't have to carry the bags anymore." His days are spent on strategic planning, overseeing transactions and meeting with CEOs, governors and mayors. He adds, "[When I first started] I knew a lot about a little. Now, I know a lot about a lot."
While still in law school, Hayden worked for former Sen. Edward W. Brooke, who was then Massachusetts attorney general. Upon graduating from the New England School of Law in Boston, he launched a short but impressive government career. After making an unsuccessful bid for the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1964, Hayden served as a tax law specialist with the Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., and on the staff of President Lyndon Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders before moving to New York City. Hayden's first stint as managing director was at First Boston Corp., which he joined in 1974 after leaving the New York State Urban Development Corp.
Hayden sits on Bear Stearn's president's advisory council--which includes 27 (out of 180) of the firm's most valued senior-managing directors. As the former chairman of the National Association of Securities Professionals, Hayden is passionate about African-Americans building careers in majorityowned firms. "The vast amounts of capital and worldwide clout make the opportunities in these firms limitless," Hayden says.
A KNACK FOR NUMBERS
At first glance, George Haywood seems as straight as they come. Then get him talking. The son of two teachers, Haywood graduated from high school at 16. With perfect scores of 800 in both his physics and chemistry pre-college achievement tests and a 772 in math, it was obvious that Haywood had a gift for solving extremely complex problems.
Three years later, however, he took time off from pre-med studies at Harvard University to work as a flight attendant--just for the fun of it. And instead of hitting the books at Harvard Law School, Haywood spent most of his time counting blackjack cards in casinos from Atlantic City to Panama. He says he treated the mastery of his self-taught discipline "like a job"--and was wellpaid for his efforts. Haywood says his winnings amounted to six figures, enough to support himself for two years after the rest of his law class had graduated and he had stopped frequenting the gaming tables.
When the money started to dwindle and Haywood realized he wasn't really interested in law, friends on Wall Street piqued his interest in pursuing a fast-paced career in trading.
Haywood was quickly hired by Lehman Brothers, now a division of Shearson Lehman Holdings Inc., and chose to trade corporate bonds. It was, he notes, the hot area in the early '80s, "the altar at which all traders prayed."
With that sort of history and true genius for numbers, it's no wonder that, in 1982, Haywood finished first in his sales and trading training class at Lehman Brothers, whose parent company is owned by American Express Co. Equally not surprising is that as a managing director there less than 10 years later, Haywood routinely outperforms many of his fellow corporate bond traders.
Haywood's job is to sell big blocks of long industrial bonds to banks, insurance companies and pension funds. He adds: "The day the stock market crashed in 1987, was the greatest day the bond market had experienced in decades." During periods of unusually low interest rates like now, long bonds (which will mature in 10 years) attract greater demand. Haywood can sell these bonds at a higher price to investors looking to lock in a higher rate for future gains. (Haywood, authorized to commit as much as$500 million of his firm's capital, has an all-time high for one month of $5 million in profit for his firm.)
Haywood attributes his success as a trader to his head for figures. He also displays a trader's necessary knack for thinking fast on his feet and under pressure, assessing risk and knowing when to tolerate it. Working well with and responding quickly to clients and salespeople also are traits that keep him at the top of his industry.
Following a two-yea r stint as head trader in his area, a job that is 95% administrative and managerial, Haywood returned to the center of the trading floor, to the job he loves. As for blackjack, the 39-year-old gambler-turned-trader says he doesn't miss it. "If you put the same amount of effort into law or medicine or trading," says Haywood, "you can probably make more money and hold your head up in society."
ON THE EDGE WITH CMOs
To most people, cliff diving--that is jumping from extraordinary heights into deep inlets or natural pools--is a risky practice that only daredevils undertake. For Kevin Ingram, it's just another sport and a way to keep in shape and stay sharp.
Maintaining an edge is always a premium on Wall Street, especially if you're a 34-year-old vice president who runs three desks at Goldman Sachs & Co. In this position, Ingram oversees trading of primary and secondary collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO), secondary asset-backed securities and adjustable-rate mortgages. The mortgage market is a booming one, valued on a scale with the national debt, in the trillions of dollars. Two hundred billion dollars in CMOs were created in the first six months of this year alone, Ingram says.
(CMOs were developed in response to the fact that investors in mortgage-backed securities, such as Ginnie Maes, were unable to predict the pace at which their capital would be repaid. CMOs manage this risk by dividing mortgage pools into short-, medium- and long-term portions.)
Ingram's job is to issue and structure CMOs to satisfy the needs of Goldman Sachs' major institutional clients, including insurance companies, banks, thrifts, pension funds and asset managers. The job is a critical one that requires Ingram to carefully weigh the risk he puts on Goldman Sachs' balance sheet against the potential return for the firm and its clients.
"People tend to think of this as a mystical area," Ingram says, "but it's really a practice. You develop a group of skills and rules and ethics. You use them over and over again to make tough decisions."
One of the toughest decisions Ingram ever made was to abandon his engineering plans in favor of business school. In 1980, the Philadelphia native graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in chemical engineering and went on to seek a master's degree as a Western Electric Research Scholar in Engineering at Stanford University. After leaving school to work as an engineer for a year, Ingram entered Stanford's Graduate School of Business.
Ingram launched his career at Lehman Brothers as an associate. A week after he started, Lehman was sold to Shearson/American Express and went public. Determined to be part of a traditional partnership, Ingram moved to Goldman Sachs one year later. "The partnership structure allows more direct access to top-level decision makers," says Ingram, who from the beginning was determined to work with and learn from the top players in the industry. In 1988, he was promoted to vice president. He took over the CMO trading desk in February. Now junior traders look to him for leadership.
As head of his area, "It's not enough to be a great market caller," says Ingram, who is modest, introspective and sits on his firm's 2-year old Diversity Committee. "My accounts know I will listen to their issues, treat them with highest confidentiality and put their interests before mine. If you do that repeatedly, they keep coming back. You're not just a trader then, you're like a family doctor. You're a good businessman."
PERFECTING THE PORTFOLIO
For most New Yorkers, a 42nd-floor office with a head-on view of the Word Trade Center is a dream of a lifetime. But it's not surprising that Milton Irvin prefers to spend his days in his second office--a cluttered desk on the fringe of Salomon Brothers Inc.'s fixed-income trading floor. "I like to be in the hub of things, to feel more a part of the market, part of the action and the corporate culture," explains the 43-year-old director who heads the firm's pension service business. "We are very much a trading-floor culture." Nevertheless, his transition from super-intense on-line producer to mature senior manager is one that he relishes. In his current position, assumed last spring, Irvin advises officers and trustees of public and corporate pension plans on asset allocation, asset shifts and structured portfolio investments. He also helps several large state retirement systems develop strategies for investing each of their $20 billion-plus in assets in international securities, real estate, private ventures and derivatives.
It was on the trading floor that the East Orange, N.J., native began to thrive. Irvin arrived at Salomon in 1977, with degrees from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business and Finance, and three years as a lending officer at Chase Manhattan Bank.
Once at Salomon, Irvin hit the fast track as the primary contact for the U.S. branches of several foreign banks and corporations interested in U.S. Treasuries, money market instruments and other financial products. Two years later, Irvin was promoted to vice president and continued racking up promotions and phenomenal sales. By 1980, he had periods where he did about $50 million worth of business each day.
In 1983, Irvin successfully turned around the Chicago office's money market sales unit in just two years, and returned to New York as Salomon's national money market sales manager. His job: identifying products that would hit big on the firm's bottom line. But the margins narrowed throughout the mid-1980s, and in 1987 Salomon exited the money market business entirely.
"The good news from upper management was that I still had a job. The bad news was that it wasn't clear what that job was," Irvin says. "It was an interesting time to be at the height of your career and then have your area no longer exist."
Feeling more than a bit conflicted about his decision, Irvin joined PaineWebber Group Inc. as a managing director in 1988. Although it represented a step up in both title and compensation, he regretted the move and in 1990 returned to Salomon as the senior staff person for the national sales manager. Since returning, Irvin has stepped up his drive to "consistently make a difference" to his clients and firm.
Today, Irvin concentrates on bringing in new long-term business--and becoming a managing director. "When I've made managing director, I'll have made it," he says with a grin. "That's what keeps me coming in here every day at seven."
MOVING OUT TO MOVE UP
Standing at a picture window in a borrowed office at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.'s World Financial Center headquarters, Tracy Maitland scans the dazzling yachts docked in the Hudson River five stories below. "You can always tell what kind of a year it's been by looking at the size of these boats," he says, grinning. The boats outside are huge.
It certainly has been a terrific year for Merrill Lynch, and for Maitland in particular. Although Merrill Lynch regards such rankings as proprietary information, several insiders confirmed that Maitland was Merrill's top producer in convertible bond sales worldwide in 1991 and one of the firm's top two salespeople overall. Maitland's group is among the firm's most profitable, ranking No. 1 in the convertible securities market. The 31-year-old director in convertible securities sales and trading also sells equity derivatives-synthetic securities customized to meet clients' specific needs.
Maitland came to Merrill Lynch as a corporate intern after earning a bachelor's degree in economics from Columbia University in 1982. One of few in his field without a graduate degree, Maitland decided against pursuing an MBA. "Business school helps get you in the door," Maitland explains. "I was already in."
Following an 18-month rotation through various divisions including corporate finance, securities research, trading and the firm's lobbying office in Washington, D.C., Maitland accepted an equities sales position in Detroit, then considered a no man's land among investment bankers.
Where others saw a potential dead-end, Maitland saw a unique opportunity. "Rather than be a junior person in New York forever, I figured I could really do something in Detroit and get noticed," Maitland says. His strategy worked.
Soon after he moved to Detroit, Merrill Lynch acquired New York's A.G. Becker and its team that specialized in convertibles--corporate securities (usually bonds or preferred shares)that can be converted into common shares at a prestated price. Few firms were involved in the convertibles market then, and in 1985 Merrill introduced whet has become its best-known convertibles product: Liquid Yield Option Notes (LYONs). Within 18 months, Maitland had successfully developed his territory--which included Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio, a region rich with Fortune 500 headquarters. By then he was also outproducing his colleagues in many other regional offices.
When a senior-level opening developed on the New York sales force in 1987, Maitland was asked to return to his homerown and was promoted to vice president. Earlier this year, he was named director, the highest title a salesman can hold on the trading floor at Merrill Lynch.
With no desire to manage others or move off the floor, Maitland seems content. "In this business, titles don't mean much" he asserts. "I went into this because it is as close to running your own business within another company as you can get." Luckily for Merrill Lynch, Tracy Maitland's business is thriving.
MAKING HIS MARK IN M&A
The story is well-known in Wall Street circles: In 1984, faced with precisely five minutes to convince a First Boston Corp. executive that the firm should hire him, Raymond J. McGuire said calmly: "Harvard College, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School pride themselves on having the cream of the crop of students. I pride myself on being the film off the top of the cream."
"Any other reasons we should hire you?" asked the disarmingly unfazed recruiter. Without missing a beat, McGuire responded: "In the heat of battle, it's better to have me on your side than against you, because I'm going to win." McGuire got the job.
Just seven years later, in December 1991, Ray McGuire became the first black managing director at Wasserstein Perella & Co. Inc. Of the 10 mergers and acquisitions specialists reviewed for promotion at that time, McGuire, 35, is the only one who advanced, reportedly making him one of only two African-Americans to rise to the top of the highly lucrative and complex M&A field.
His ability to advise clients in acquiring, divesting from, or investing in companies has been tested time and again. One need only to follow his track record from his days as an associate at First Boston when M&A was just taking eft, through his tenure at Wasserstein Perella. When top officers, Bruce Wasserstein and Joseph R. Perella, left First Boston in 1988 to start their own boutique, McGuire, along with a select group of other Wasserstein Perella managing directors, left First Boston to join them.
Since its founding, Wasserstein Perella has completed approximately $200 billion in M&A transactions, ranking it among the world's top five advisers. In the last three years, it has advised on six of the 10 largest transactions executed. McGuire has been significantly involved in many of the firm's most significant deals. For example, he helped to advise GeorgiaPacific Corp. in its $5.1 billion hostile takeover of Maine-based Great Northern Nekoosa Corp. in 1990. The transaction resulted in the largest paper and forest products company in the world.
McGuire also represented New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. in its 1991 acquisition of Cleveland-based Murphy-Phoenix Co., producer of Murphy's Oil Soap. The deal amount was undisclosed, but The WallStreet Journal valued the sale at just over $100 million.
In addition to histransactional work, McGuire oversees Wasserstein Perella's recruiting and supervises the firm's 60 or so associates and analysts, regularly evaluating their performance and troubleshooting where needed. His role as employee mediator is as close as he gets to realizing his childhood dream of becoming a Perry Mason.
McGuire, who also attended the University of Nice, France, while on a Rotary Fellowship, recalls the story of his fateful First Boston interview with zest and without apology. "In this business," says the former high school basketball captain--who attended the exclusive Hotchkiss School on a partial scholarship--"you have to be on your game. There's very little margin for error. Some people call it arrogance, cockiness; I'm not that. I just believe in me."
READY TO ROCK `N' ROLL
It was 1989 and Marc McIntosh was trying to impress his client, Louisianabased Century Telephone Enterprises. At the time, McIntosh was 32 and a vice president in corporate finance at Goldman, Sachs & Co., generally regarded as one of Wall Street's premier firms. His specialty was public offerings, private placements and advanced financings for electrical utilities, natural gas and telecommunications companies.
And then the unexpected happened. His efforts not only impressed the client, but won over his competitor--PaineWebber Group Inc.--as well. The firm made McIntosh an offer he says he couldn't refuse.
In October 1989, McIntosh became senior adviser to Century Telephone and a host of other telecommunications companies as a PaineWebber managing director and head of the firm's 12-member Telecommunications Group.
A graduate of the Harvard Business School and De Paul University in Chicago, McIntosh recently led a $115 million convertible debenture offering for Century Telephone. His group also advised Boca Raton, Fla's, Computer Products Inc. on its acquisition of Heurikon Corp., a Madison, Wisc.-based computer board company.
As of early 1991, McIntosh also heads a small Latin American group, which acts as investment adviser to several Mexican clients such as Banobras, an agency of the Mexican government, Grupo Dina and Commercial de Mexico.
Although McIntosh must oversee the execution of all his groups' transactions--which include equity and debt financings as well as mergers and acquisitions-- the role he relishes most is that of drumming up new business for the firm and expanding its telecommunications and Latin American client bases. He explains: "I'm the guy who's marketing and selling our firm, our products, our services. I'm out there."
Wearing a Nicole Miller tie--a Christmas gift from a client--and a shirt with starched French cuffs, the tall and dapper McIntosh insists that clothes may not make the man. But, nothing can be less than best when winning a new client is at stake--"espec ially if you're black and young," he says. "You want to walk into [a presentation] looking great, with lots of polish, ready to rock `n' roll." To stay in shape, alert and quick to respond, McIntosh enjoys scuba diving, a sport he learned three years ago at New York's Downtown Athletic Club.
A director on the boards of the Greater New York Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Chicago native who spent his teen years in Evanston, III., says he dreams of one day teaching business "to the toughest class at the toughest high school in the South Bronx," and encouraging more black and Hispanic youths to jump into the financial arena.
Looking back on his career, McIntosh concedes that his decision to leave Goldman Sachs was a tough but smart choice. "Goldman Sachs is like the Marine Corps--very cautious, very guarded, but amazingly good at what they do," he explains. But switching firms meant making a choice "between being a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a medium pond." Having made that choice, McIntosh adds with confidence, "I've never regretted it."
TAKING NAMES, LEADING DEALS
Travel is a constant for Adebayo O. Ogunlesi, a director in the New York City-based investment bank First Boston Inc. On Monday, he may be in Caracas, Wednesday in Manhattan and Thursday off to Sydney. "It is an unusual week when I spend the whole time in New York. I get my passport renewed every nine months," the Nigerian-born banker says.
Such activity suits Ogunlesi, 38, who joined First Boston in 1983. Since 1989, when he became a director--a year earlier than others who joined First Boston when he did, insiders say--he has led financing teams doing business throughout the world.
Ironically, Ogunlesi thought he would spend his career in law. After the Oxford University alumnus received his Harvard JD and MBA degrees, he spent two years clerking. First, the former Harvard Law Review editor worked in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, then for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. In 1982, he joined the partner track at the elite New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. "That's where I thoughtl would be forever," he says.
The same year, a Cravath, Swaine client-- First Boston--asked to borrow Ogunlesi for three months to work on a liquefied natural gas project. Shortly after, First Boston "discovered I had an MBA and actually read spreadsheets," he says.
This was good for First Boston and bad for Cravath, Swaine, to which Ogunlesi never returned. "In an investment bank if you are good, you get responsibility and respect early on. In a law firm, even if you are good you have to wait," he says.
There has been no waiting at First Boston. Ogunlesi has been involved in a stream of deals including buying airplanes, selling airlines and providing project finance for petroleum projects. Among major deals: in 1991, leading a team that sold a controlling interest in the Venezuelan airline Viasa to an Iberian Airlines-led group for $145 million; two years earlier he led a group that helped Iberian Airlines buy Aerolinas Argentina for $500 million and in another deal provided $150 million in project financing for Texaco and California Edison. Ogunlesi's office is festooned with deal trophies, such as, tombstones, model airlines and hats with company logos.
Generally modest, Ogunlesi admits he knows how to assemble teams. But he says the hardest aspects of his work are the nontechnical ones. These include: influencing clients, inspiring confidence, managing expectations and knowing when to step aside. The quantitative side is predictable; the human side is not. "In the 1980s, the number of transactions seemed important. But at the end of the day what you really have to do is maintain a long-term relationship with a client," he says.
Ogunlesi remains loose by not taking himself too seriously. This point was brought home, he says, the only time his son was impressed by his job. The reason: Ogunlesi led a $62.5 million asset-backed preferred stock offering for Mattell, the toy maker.
JUNK BONDS BOUNCE BACK
In the high-risk, high-return area of finance dealing with junk bonds, making the right decision at the right time can make--or break--a career. When Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. managing director Stanley O'Neal was considering where to work on The Street, the real player was Drexel Burnham Lambert Inc.; then there was everyone else. But after investigating the various firms, O'Neal opted for Merrill Lynch's disciplined approach to this often risky business as opposed to the sales and trading mentality that controlled the high-yield finance fieldoms of the investment banking industry.
Given the collapse of Drexel, O'Neal, now head of Merrill Lynch's high-yield finance group, clearly made the right move. In 1991, Merrill Lynch dominated the $9 billion high-yield finance market, lead-managing more deals than any other firm, or about $3.9 billion worth. As of July, there were $20 billion of new-issue junk bonds; $3.3 billien was lead-managed by Merrill Lynch. (The firm's main competition in this area is Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Inc., which hired several former Drexel brokers.) O'Neal, 40, who took over Merrill Lynch's high-yield group in April1991, functions as both producer and leader of his 15-person group. In his management role, O'Neal says he is "a resource, not a supervisor."
O'Neal's success rises and fails on his ability to bring in and nurture clients, which range from supermarket chains to cable, chemical and cruise ship companies. His group raises debt capital for these clients, all of which fall below investment grade. The job requires carefully analyzing credit, then tailoring a security that meets the client's needs and can be sold in a high-yield market. The market is highly volatile but it pays higher yields.
O'Neal arrived at Merrill Lynch just five years ago. He began at GM as an analyst in 1978, straight out of Harvard Business School. By 1980, O'Neal was a director. Two years later, he moved to Madrid as treasurer of GM's Spanish subsidiary and in 1984 he returned to New York City as assistant treasurer.
He left General Motors to continue developing his career. The reasons: To advance at the auto giant, O'Neal would have had to move to Detroit and give up finance, which was handled in New York City. He was not ready for those options. At 35, he had a new specific plan.
"I spent all my career in corporate finance, understanding businesses and what makes them profitable or not profitable. High yield seemed the puresttranslation of corporate finance. into investment banking," he says.
O'Neal came equipped with a strong background. At the nation's largest auto manufacturer, he had spent a lot of time on accounting and profitability measures, developed a strong sense of credit analysis and had been a top-level manager. He also knew clients' wants and expectations, having been on the client side himself for almost a decade. What he had to learn was the business. "Some people would've seen it as a big risk. But I didn't see the downside. I had confidence in my abilities; the question was, where was that going to lead me?
$400 MILLION DEAL MAKERS
Malcolmn Pryor, Raymond McClendon and Allen Counts may be based in separate offices, but the partners are united in moving the country's biggest African-American-owned investment bank, Pryor, McClendon, Counts & Co. (PMC) at one pace: full speed ahead.
Using their expertise in government securities business as a springboard, PMC has expanded to a broad range of financial products. These include taxable and tax-exempt finance, securities trading and asset management. Wedgewood Capital Management, PMC's investment advising arm, has about $200 million under management.
The firm, No. 2 among the nation's black investment banks (see BE INVESTMENT BANKS, this issue), has 55 employees in 14 offices. It is a member of the National Association of Securities Dealers, the Securities Investor Protection Corp. and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
In 1991, PMC gained a foothold in mortgagebacked securities, becoming one of the Resolution Trust Corp.'s (RTC) major underwriters. With $200 million, PMC became the first minority firm to lead an RTC deal. Through June, Securities Data Inc. reports that PMC offered $5 billion worth of mortgage-backed debt (with full credit to each manager) ranking 12th among the top debt managers.
PMC is accustomed to major deals: Last May, it became the first minority firm to serve as principal distributor for a mutual fund, the Atlanta Growth Fund, an open-ended fund comprising primarily the 50 most highly capitalized public companies in the Atlanta area. These include Coca-Cola, Bell South and Home Depot, And last July, it became lead manager of the largest black-led municipal finance deal, the nearly $400 million Airport Systems Revenue Bond Issue for Denver.
Rapid growth is no surprise at PMC considering the name partners' experience. McClendon is a Morehouse College grad with a Georgia State University MBA. Pryor and Counts graduated from Howard University and both have Wharton School MBAs. Counts also has a Howard J.D. Pryor, 45, worked as a Goldman Sachs salesman before he went out on his own in 1979, forming an investment partnership. In 1981, he established Pryor, Govan, Counts & Co. In 1989, a merger with R.J. McClendon Capital Corp. changed the name. McClendon, 40, managed an $800 million investment portfolio as Atlanta's chief investment officer and was vice president for Multi-Family Activities of the Federal National Mortgage Association. Counts, 49, headed Citibank's World Corp. Shipping Group in Hong Kong from 1973 to 1980. In 1981, he co-rounded the first minority-controlled broker/dealer in government securities.
With such experience, McClendon says PMC's challenge is "to strengthen the firm so that it is recognized as a top quality investment bank that just happens to be run by African-Americans." Pryor adds, "the financial market is the last piece of the civil rights struggle."
A POWERHOUSE BANKER
A 50th floor office in the Burlington Building in New York reveals two things about its occupant. The view of the Hudson River and Central Park in its lush entirety indicates a person of influence. Ivory lace lampshades and floral tapestry throw pillows are a woman's personal touches.
Marianne Spraggins is both. She is a managing director in Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co.'s Public Finance Group--the first and only AfricanAmerican woman managing director on Wall Street. She is also a third-generation lawyer, a born community activist and a passionate political player.
Last July's Democratic convention tested her stamina as she worked around the clock to rally support. The day Gov. Bill Clinton was named the Democratic Party's presidential nominee held nonstop activity. First, she hosted a reception for Illinois senatorial candidate Carol Mosely Braun. Then, after the convention adjourned she co-hosted a party for Democratic Party chairman Ron Brown and his wife, Alma, that lasted until dawn.
This hectic schedule did not bother Spraggins. The Boston University graduate, who also holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a master's in law from Harvard Law School, has always been busy. Prior to joining Salomon Brothers' mortgage department in 1979, she taught core legal courses at New York Law School for two years.
Spraggins says she specifically chose mortgages because it was an evolving market and there were no African-American executives. "When I started in the business, blacks were in two areas, money markets and municipals. I didn't want to be pigeonholed. I wanted to establish that I could do mainstream business," she says.
Within four years she was leading mortgage-backed security transactions for major states. In 1984, these included four Connecticut transactions totaling more than $500 million. "At the time, I had no idea what-was big or small. I just put one foot in front of the other and kept on moving," she says.
Onward and upward. By 1986, Spraggins says having proved herself in the mortgage securities area, she transferred into public finance. In 1988, Spraggins went to Prudential Bache Securities as a first vice president. Within two years, she was promoted to managing director. Shortly after, she moved to Smith Barney.
Spraggins has gotten ahead with few role models or mentors. The one person she credits is her father, Roy Travers Spraggins, who was a behind-thescenes lawyer active in Harlem politics in the 1950s. He gave her his love of law, politics and a good fight.
She holds no punches discussing what she faced. "Wall Street is still a very macho environment. In the work environment being black was usually an issue. But on Wall Street being a woman became a critical concern. Once I understood the system, I knew how to operate. As a woman, there are certain doors you're never going to go through. You're never going to be in the locker room where whatever little magic between men happens. I just tried to make sure that one of the men who was in that room was looking out for my interests."
MAKING EVERY MOMENT COUNT
Turning on a group of seventh-graders about the excitement of high finance may be difficult for some, but when First Boston Corp. director Frederick Terrell needs help, he pulls out his heavy ammunition, comedian Eddie Murphy. Last spring, Terrell used key scenes from Murphy's hit movie Trading Places when discussing commodities with a predominantly black inner-city class at Joan of Arc Junior High School in New York City.
Terrell, who has made a three-year commitment to teach this class twice a month, explains that there is really little difference in intellect between a stock broker and the street hustler character played by Murphy in the movie. He explains to his class: "The important thing is to get the guy who could become a street hustler the training he needs to be on Wall Street instead." Growing up in La Puente, Calif., where very few children in his neighborhood ever go to college, Terrell is very concerned about reaching out to minority youngsters.
After receiving his bachelor's from La Verne College, Terrell pursued a master's degree in urban studies from Occidental College. Upon graduating and completing a post-graduate fellowship with the Coro Foundation, Terrell worked as a deputy to Los Angeles City Council President John Ferraro. But Terrell wasn't interested in a career in government, so he went to the Yale School of Management. He spent a summer with First Boston's public finance group in 1981 and returned after graduation the following year.
At 37, Terrell is a senior banker in his 50-member Mortgage Markets Group. On any given transaction he may have from 20 to 39 people reporting directly to him. He has primary responsibility for all transactions for federal agencies, including the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC), which divides about $1 trillion of business a year among a handful of prominent investment houses. The RTC account has been one of the firm's most important business opportunities since the inception of the agency in 1989. In fact, First Boston is considered a forerunner in investment banks that have developed federal finance groups.
Last spring, Terrell led two back-to-back $1 billion securitization transactions for the RTC, the second of which, he notes, was the largest commercial securitization deal ever done. At roughly the same time, Terrell was at work on a $390 million transaction for Veterans Affairs. The deal, which featured the use of Guaranteed REMIC Pass-Through Certificates, was the first of its kind.
During his progression from associate to director, Terrell worked in municipal finance where he helped establish an innovative derivatives products group. In 1986, he transferred to investment banking. It is in his current area that Terrell says he is "able to combine all of the things I'd been working on. Asset securitization is one of the more powerful ideas to come into capital markets. I wanted to be associated with a product that had legs, something that was going to be around for a long time."
Terrell credits his own "aggressiveness, initiative and luck, and knack of making a good impression in five minutes" for his success. He adds: "I think I've used my five minutes to better advantage than some."
Cornelius "Perk" Thornton is a real no-nonsense professional and a man of few words. He even retains his childhood nickname "Perk" because "it's one syllable and it's catchy." It also happens to be a highly respected name throughout the financial community, here and abroad.
But when the vice president and senior research analyst addresses Goldman, Sachs & Co.'s sales force on performance prospects of companies in the packaging industry, Thornton is all details. And these folks, who directly advise investors on the best and worst picks for their money, are all ears.
Through painstaking research and analysis of industry fundamentals, Thornton may have a better perspective on a company than its corporate board. In fact, his valuable insights and predictions have landed him on Institutional Investor magazine's list of Wall Street's most outstanding brokerage analysts for 14 straight years. For the last seven years, he has ranked first in the packaging field. (The 1992 All-America Research Team appears in Institutional Investor this month.) Thornton, 50, is the only African-American analyst to have ever claimed firstteam honors.
Perhaps one of the reasons Thornton is so good at what he does is that he's been doing it for almost 20 years. A bit of a late bloomer, Thornton served as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army before enrolling at age 25 as a freshman at the University of Iowa.
Envisioning a career in marketing, Thornton went on to the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where Wall Street recruiters captured his attention with their promises of prosperity. But upon graduation in 1973, Thornton had no Wall Street offers. So, the Chicago native took a job working at the Aetna Life and Casualty Insurance Co. as a common-stock analyst where he was recruited specifically to analyze the paper and packaging industries.
In 1976, he moved to the institutional equity research area at Morgan Stanley and continued to focus on the packaging industry. Four years later, Thornton joined First Boston Corp. as a senior securities analyst and vice president. Earlier this year, he joined Goldman Sachs.
Thorton says his goal is to bring timely, money-generating ideas to clients. "Therein lies Lady Luck," he explains. According to Institutional Investor, in 1989, Thornton was hailed by clients for being among the first to note signs of a shakeout in the metal-can-making industry. This enabled investors to foresee and later enjoy a stock leap at Crown Cork & Seal Co., Thornton's choice as the most likely beneficiary of the shakeout.
Although Thornton was tweaked in 1991 for his mistaken prediction that soft drink companies would agree to pay more for aluminum cans, he made up for it by continuing to stand by Crown Cork & Seal, which, once again, performed well for investors.
If Thornton makes the All-America list this year, it will be his first appearance as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. Making the list is clearly important to Thornton because it marks him as on top of his game--a game where consistency is paramount to success.
A NEW BREED OF BANKERS
Shattering stereotypes is good for the soul. It also can boost a bank account. Last April, investment bankers John O. Utendahl and Ronald Blaylock destroyed an image and prepared for positive cash flow when they opened Manhattan-based, Utendahl Capital Partners (UCP).
From its first day UCP, a diversified broker-dealer, began offering a broad array of financial services. At the same time, Utendahl Capital guts a myth that minority firms are not interested in or cannot do taxable fixed-income business successfully.
The young broker-dealers--Utendahl and Blaylock are 36 and 32, respectively--inspire confidence. Last June, the Resolution Trust Corp. (RTC) selected UCP as a special-bracket underwriter in its securitization program. Soon the partnership was co-managing an RTC $750 million single-family mortgage-backed security deal.
That same month, UCP became the first minority firm to co-manage a Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. deal. The $500 million Freddie Mac transaction went off without a hitch, with Goldman, Sachs & Co. as colead manager. Such groundbreaking work is precisely what UCP President Utendahl, and Executive Vice President Blaylock had in mind when they ventured out on their own.
Utendahl first made a name for himself at Merrill Lynch Inc., where he was a vice president and senior bond trader. He spent six years creating what some called Merrill Lynch's best client relationship, which contributed vigorously to the firm's standing as number one in taxable new issues.
There was an earlier stop for the Queens, N.Y., native. Utendahl, who has degrees from Long Island University and Columbia Business School, began his career as a corporate bond trader at Salomon Brothers. The firm also was number one in taxable new issues while he was there.
Blaylock's background is equally solid. In 1991, he was PaineWebber Group Inc.'s top salesperson for collateralized mortgage obligations. But he shot his first bull's-eye while working at Citibank's capital markets before joining PaineWebber in 1986. A graduate of Georgetown University, Blaylock also earned an MBA at New York University.
UCP is already ahead of the game. Utendahl and Blaylock say that the firm has a substantial capital base but will not reveal its size or investors. What is certain is that UCP clears its transactions through Broadcort Capital Corp., a wholly owned and fully guaranteed subsidiary of Merrill Lynch.
Launching UCP, Utendahl hired the best talent he could, including a former Salomon Brothers managing director. The UCP team boasts top-notch financial strategists, mortgage and institutional sales specialists and an analytics and back-office expert. The six senior-level executives at UCP have more than a combined total of 75 years on Wall Street.
With phase one of the UCP launch completed, Utendahl and Blaylock look to phase two: creating an asset-management group.
NAILING THE GLOBAL DEAL
George Van Amson does not speak Spanish. But he is fluent in the heady language of finance. And his facility has made the Goldman, Sachs & Co. senior international equities trader a vital point guard in one of the world's hottest capital markets: Latin America. In fact, last year Van Amson, 40, was crucial to several of his firm's most significant international transactions as changing economic and political forces made the Latin American market a primary target for institutional and private investors. The deals include Goldman Sachs' coordination of a $2.2 billion global secondary offering for Telefonos de Mexico, one of the largest international deals of the year.
Van Amson also was instrumental in an $863 million global equity offering for Grupo Televisa, the second-largest equity offering and the largest initial public offering ever for a Mexican company. Last March, he participated in a stock issue of 3.6 million shares for Sears, Roebuck and Co. of Mexico. The result: Goldman Sachs ranks as the leader for underwriting Latin American issues.
When English is the financial language of the world, not speaking Spanish is a nonissue, says Van Amson, who also specializes in trading Canadian and precious-metal stockworldwide. The 10-yeartrading-floor veteran also disagrees with the notion that traders are like gamblers. He says, "Trading requi res extraordinary discipline; you need to be able to synthesize an im - mense amount of information in a short time, and then make a decision and be right more often than you're wrong. You also have to understand a variety of cultures and customs. There's a language to trading that doesn't necessarilytranslate from one country to another."
The Bronx native understands how corporate cultures differ. After graduating from Columbia University in 1974 with an economics degree, Van Amson worked for an industrial company and a bank before becoming an analyst in Goldman Sach's controller's office. In 1980, he entered the Harvard Business School. Two years later, he returned to Goldman Sachs after graduating from Harvard with honors.
The complexity and volatility of international trading attracted Van Amson immediately. "Staying at the top of this field requires boldness and the ability to inspire confidence, usually long-distance. You also have to be humble enough to know when you're wrong and then change directions quickly," he says.
It is difficult for Van Amson to target precisely when his career as an international trader at Goldman Sachs took flight. "One year you're a new associate and you're asking everyone what to do and then, one day you look up and there are three new associates asking you what to do. It's hard to pinpoint when that transition took place," he explains.
Clearly, Van Amson was right more often than not. In 1986, he was promoted to vice president, and in 1989 he became leader of an emerging market group. Having survived the downsizing that followed the Wall Street crash and with Latin America booming, Van Amson's career is climbing. An unexpected event could send his Latin accounts off course. But, says Van Amson, "That's what makes it so exciting."
THE PITCH OF A PARTNER
Innovation is the lifeblood of all emerging businesses, and a great new idea can shift a promising career into high gear. "That's because, says Garland Wood, "when you have a new product, you have no competition." Twenty years ago when Goldman, Sachs & Co. was looking for an edge to win lucrative public finance business, Wood met that challenge.
Early in his career as a Goldman Sachs associate, Wood distinguished himself by creating several strategies in advanced refunding, where clients could convert out standing bonds from high interest rates to low interest rates. Wood likens the methods he developed to refinancing a home mortgage, but his strategies were highly quantitative and far more complex.
By the mid-1970s, Wood's refunding strategies were used throughout Wall Street. But before they gained a following, he lured several new clients to Goldman Sachs, using his new products as a carrot. One recruit was the Louisville Water Co. in Kentucky, which remains a client of his today.
Goldman Sachs' first and only African-American partner says that he has built his career over the last two decades by spending an enormous amount of energy in generating business and executing deals. As a veteran in the industry, Wood now focuses on pitching prospective clients. "This is a 24-hour business," Wood explains in a telephone interview from California, where he is talking with the heads of a number of the state's transit authorities looking to raise money through bond issues. "Every day I'm out of the office making contacts, calling on clients or client prospects, pitching the various services we provide," he adds.
Wood came to Goldman Sachs from Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in economics and an MBA. When Wood first joined the Municipal Finance Department at Goldman Sachs, it had about 10 professionals. Today, the department is more than 10 times that size.
In 1976, he was promoted to vice president, and 10 years later he became a partner. Although he admits to having been "a significant contributor" to several notable transactions over the years--most recently for a Southern California transit agency for which Goldman Sachs lead-managed a bond issue worth about $300 million--the Texas-born banker insists there are no major coups, no grand successes, no magical, pivotal moments he can pinpoint along his career path. "You're running with a very elite and talented crowd, so there aren't many things that you can claim as your own," says Wood, falling in line with Goldman Sachs' resistance to distinguish any one member from its creme de la creme crowd.
"[However,] there are, of course, times when your friendship with or knowledge of someone and their business puts you over the top," he admits. "But with most clients, you have to earn their business every day. In many cases, you do a transaction and when it's over, that business is gone. But that's what makes it fun. You never know exactly what the next challenge is going to be."
DREAMS OF A SALESMAN
Sometimes those dreams of a lemonade-stand salesman really do come true. Thirty-one years ago, Eric Yergan was actually one of those rare, driven 7-year-olds who set up a Kool-Aid stand on Long Island street corners. Today, the 38year-old senior vice president at PaineWebber Group Inc. sells treasuries to foreign governments and is ranked among the top 10 salespeople in his division.
Yergan credits the Gulf War for enabling him to have a superior year. "The war caused a lot of volatility in the market that allowed the astute salesman with the astute customer to take advantage of the market," explains Yergan, who during the war spent round-the-clock hours on the phone, often at home, monitoring the gains and dips in world markets.
PaineWebber recognized the former Honeywell Computer salesman's performance in February, promoting him from first vice president to senior vice president. That's the highest title a salesman can attain at PaineWebber and remain a line producer. As one of only four senior salesmen on the fixed-income trading floor, Yergan spends at least six hours a day on the phone.
When Yergan, a graduate of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., arrived at the Harvard Business School in 1982, he took a standardized personality test designed to target natural aptitude for certain jobs. "I was off the scale as an extrovert's extrovert," Yergan recalls, laughing heartily. "That made me perfect for sales."
Yergan began his career in high finance as a $32,000a-year salesman at A.G. Becker. After Becker was sold to Merrill Lynch in 1984, Yergan joined PaineWebber as a vice president. There he set his sights on being a major force on the firm's sales team. And Yergan fits all the stereotypes: a guy (with a strong Long Island accent) with rolled-up shirt sleeves in the middle of a chaotic trading floor yelling to both a phone receiver and a trader across the room, "Buy. Sell. Buy." On the other end of the phone are customers--mostly officers of foreign reserve banks--listening to his advice on how to invest their money in long- and short-term U.S. bonds. When his advice is on target, the customer makes a profit, and so does his firm.
"In this business perfection is the key. [To the customer,] it doesn't matter if you're white or black, if you speak their language or you don't. In fact, I wouldn't even try to speak another language because I wouldn't want to make a mistake. The cost of mistakes are too high in this business. The question is: `Can you perform for me?'" Yergan says. "The best and the worst of Wall Street is that you're judged by performance. For me, that's the best. As a trader, you must always look for ways to grow your business." Right now Yergan, working to expand the firm's global business, is comfortable in his super salesman role. Although he is considering a more senior management role someday, a voice in the back of his mind keeps saying "Maybe I'll just be kind of wealthy and manage my own account. That's a dream we all would like to come true."
AN ADVOCATE FOR DIVERSITY
When William Lewis was an undergraduate student at Harvard University, there was no question of his plans: The Richmond, Va., native would work on Wall Street for two years so he could be in New York City, return to business school and then become an economist.
But although he graduated cure laude with a degree in economics in 1978, Lewis never did become an economist. Instead, he would make his way in the mergers and acquisitions business, advising heads of major corporations on whether to buy other companies, sell all or part of a company, merge with another, or stay on their own. Fed by the junk bond craze of the 1980s, M&A became a hot business indeed--and one with very few African-American players in leadership positions.
When Lewis left Harvard Business School in 1982, he returned to Morgan Stanley Group Inc., where he had worked as an analyst in the M&A department before graduate school.
In 1985, Lewis assisted in defending Union Carbide Corp. against GAF Corp., a chemical concern, which attempted an $8.3 billion takeover. The following year, Lewis' advice helped prevent Bilzerian & Mack Associates' $1.3 billion attempt to snag Hammermill Paper Co.
In 1988, as Wall Street entered the height of the M&A craze, Morgan Stanley sent Lewis to Chicago to start and head its Midwest M&A department. In late 1989, with a big year behind him, Lewis was named managing director. He remains one of only four managing directors in the United States in his department and is the only black managing director firmwide.
Lewis remained in Chicago through 1991, although his group was folded into the corporate finance department during that year. In early 1992, Lewis returned to New York, where, despite the general fall-off in M&A activity throughout the industry, he continues to juggle four to 10 assignments simultaneously with various teams reporting to him on each deal.
While complex financial strategies, in-depth analysis and intense negotiations are the lifeblood of the investment banking industry, Lewis insists, "what we do is not rocket science. People ask for our advice and we must give sound advice. However, there's no reason to believe that only people who go to Harvard or Stanford Business Schools can do this."
Lewis, 36, is a member of a task force at Morgan Stanley examining how to better recruit and retain black talent. He believes that key to such efforts must be broadening the net that Wall Street firms cast to include traditionally black schools such as Florida A&M University, Morehouse College and Howard University. "Hopefully, in this recessionary season we should be able to get beyond our very narrow views of what it takes to be successful on Wall Street," Lewis says.
BANKRUPTCIES' MR. FIX-IT
If there is such a thing as the art of the deal, it must take masterful strokes indeed to deal in the high-stakes action involved in restructuring corporate debt.
As a vice president in Salomon Brothers' Leveraged Finance Group, Benjamin Duster, 32, has been a key player in several of the nation's most publicized restructuring deals. Duster is currently active in the ongoing restructurings of $1.4 billion in debt for Circle K, a national chain of convenience stores, and $900 million in debt for Merv Griffin's Resorts International. Recent restructuring experiences also include the Daily News (which filed for bankruptcy in December 1991) and the now-defunct Midway Airlines.
Earlier this year, when Duster decided he wanted to leave New York for Atlanta, Salomon Brothers made sure he didn't leave the firm as well. Although Duster's work demands that he travel a great deal, he is now based in Salomon's small downtown Atlanta office. A colleague refers to Dusters move as "a lifestyle choice," and stresses the fact that Salomon was eager to accommodate that choice. And no wonder.
Ben Duster and Salomon Brothers share a dozen years of work history. Like several of his younger minority colleagues on The Street, Duster began his career at the firm as an intern in the Sponsor for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Investment Program (212-979-2040) during the summer after his junior year at Yale University.
When Duster returned to school in the fall, Salomon kept him on parttime as an analytical consultant. He graduated cum laude from Yale in 1981, and went on to receive a joint graduate degree in law and business from Harvard University in 1985.
Throughout his graduate school years, Duster worked for Salomon, gaining experience in merger, acquisition and divestiture advisory work, turnaround buyouts, venture capital and general corporate finance. He has been involved in bankruptcies and out-of-court restructurings since 1985, when he became a full-time Salomon employee. The Chicago native, whose father is a lawyer, is also a member of the Illinois Bar Association.
Duster speaks regularly to high school students about the potential for success and personal satisfaction in business and other professions. Never forgetting the program that first opened his eyes to Wall Street's possibilities, he is, of course, an SEO mentor.
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|Title Annotation:||includes profiles of each finance professional|
|Article Type:||Cover Story|
|Date:||Oct 1, 1992|
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