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

Before forming Smith Whiley, she was a managing director at Aetna Inc., where she invested in excess of $4 billion and managed a $9.2 billion portfolio.

Kneeland Youngblood. Co-Founder & Managing Partner Pharos Capital Group Dallas, TX Age: 50. Calling Youngblood a jetsetter would be putting it lightly. All within the span of a week, Youngblood has conducted business on a global scale. First, he went to Spain, to greet a former foreign ambassador to the United States. Then, France, to meet with an entrepreneur that Pharos is considering doing business with. And finally, Greece, for a Starwood Hotels board of directors meeting. In terms of frequent-flier miles, it doesn’t hurt that Youngblood is chairman of the board of the American Beacon Fund, a subsidiary of American Airlines that manages $20 billion in assets.
It was the lure of a private jet that led to Youngblood’s transition to becoming a financial power broker. At the time, “I was involved in politics. I raised campaign funds for people like Bill Bradley, Ron Brown, and Ann Richards,” he explains. Youngblood received a phone call from a CEO who was also serving on a governor-appointed commission. “He wanted us to fly down to a board meeting together,” recalls Youngblood. “When I asked for the time of the airline flight, he said, ‘No, hang with me on my corporate jet.’ I had no idea people operated like that.”
That was in 1990. Since then, Youngblood has charted the course of Pharos, with $500 million in capital under management, through three private equity funds. The firm ranks No. 2 on the BE PRIVATE EQUITY FIRMS list, focusing on growth and expansion capital primarily in healthcare, business services, and applied technology in underserved markets. Pharos likes to commit $10 million to $15 million and have on average 20 deals. Current investments include Windsor Health Group, Converge, Clearwire, and Reel FX.
“We look for entities where Pharos can add value,” says Youngblood. “We leverage our relationships with members in the corporate community.” Pharos’ investors include corporate giants such as Verizon, Nokia, Walt Disney, and John Deere. “We try to have companies invest not only in our funds but also provide strategic partnerships with our portfolio companies,” he adds.
Youngblood enjoys his job, but he is most passionate about his six children, who range in age from 10 to 26. His eldest daughter, Annina, is involved in fixed-income trading at Lehman Brothers.
– Carolyn M. Brown

J. Peter Thompson. Managing Partner Opportunity Capital Partners Fremont, CA. Age: 64. Bottom Line: Thompson is a seasoned private equity investor with a 35-year history of providing financing to minority- and women-controlled businesses. He has guided the firm’s successful positioning of its four private equity funds with capital under management of $135 million. Thompson directly manages several of the firm’s investments including Access 1 Communications Corp. and Bustos Media L.L.C. Opportunity Capital Partners, which seeks to make investments in the $3 million to $10 million range; has 20 companies in its portfolio; and invests primarily in media, communications,

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  • Debbie Autrey

    I would like a copy of this issue. Please lmk how I can do that75 most powerful men on wall street—2006

    DA

  • Walter Webb

    BLACK WALL STREET HAS EVOLVED FROM ITS RICH HISTORIC BEGINNING IN DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA, HARLEM, NEW YORK, AND OKLAHOMA. THESE STATES REPRESENT A FEW OF THE MANY WHICH HAS LEAD A NATIONAL MOVEMENT TO PUT AFRICAN AMERICANS CEO’S AND BUSINESS LEADERS TO THE FOREFRONT OF NATIONAL WALL STREET. CEO’S HAVE GONE FROM RUNNING AFRICAN AMERICAN COMPANIES TO MAKING HISTORY AS CEO’S IN NON-BLACK COMPANIES.
    COMPANIES RECOGNIZED IN THE HISTORY OF BLACK WALL STREET IN MENCHANICS&FARMERS BANK/NORTH CAROLINA MUTUAL LIFE INSURANCE (MFBP). COMBINED THESE TWO COMPANIES BROUGHT NATIONAL BLACK LEADER RECOGNIZATION TO NORTH CAROLINA’S DURHAM PARRISH STREET. FURTHER NORTH IN NEW YORK HAS CARVER BANK (CARV) HAS BEEN A PIONEER OF THE FAMED HARLEM RENAISSANCE
    MOVEMENT. THE MEDIA HAS BEEN A MAJOR FORUM OF EXPRESSION TO THE AFRICAN AMERICAN HOUSEHOLD. AND RADIO-ONE (ROIAK) PROGRAMMING OF RADIO AND TELEVISION HAS KEPT MANY BLACK HOUSEHOLDS IN THE CURRENT KNOW.
    REAL ESTATE AND LAND SECURITY WAS A MAJOR CONCERN FOR BLACKS EXPRESSING OWNERSHIP. AND ALONG WITH THE BLESSING OF THE BLACK BANKS HAS LEAD TO AFRICAN AMERICAN REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT FROM COMPANIES LIKE FORMER BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION LEAD ROBERT L. JOHNSON. HE FOUNDED THE ROBERT L. JOHNSON HOTELS AND REAL ESTATE FUND (RLJ)WHICH MANY AFRICAN AMERICANS FEEL IS AN EXTENTION OF BLACK PROMISE LAND. INVESTING IN HIS COMPANY ALSO GIVES BLACKS A MINORITY STAKE (WHICH HE OWNS) IN THE NATIONAL BASKETBALL’S CHARLOTTE BOBCAT FRANCHISE.
    OKLAHOMA’S BLACK WALL ” GREENWOOD HAS PRODUCED A RICH HISTORY OF ENTREPRENEURS AND SPOKESPEOPLE LIKE JOHN HOPE FRANKLIN, FAME EDUCATOR AND TEACHER AT NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL AND DUKE UNIVERSITIES. MR. FRANKLIN HARD WORK AND DECICATION BROUGHT BELOVEMENT AND AS A RESULT A DUKE UNIVERSITY BUILDING WAS NAMED IN HIS HONOR.
    A NEW MOVEMENT HAS USHERED IN A NEW BREED OF BLACKS OF WALL STREET. THESE CEO’S HAVE MADE NATIONAL HISTORY AS LEADERS IN NON-BLACK BLUE CHIP COMPANIES LIKE AMERICAN EXPRESS (AXP) KENNETH CHENAULT. HIS LEADERSHIP GOES BACK TO THE NINETEEN HUNDREDS AS A LEADER IN THE WORLD OF GLOBAL CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICERS. AND MAKING HISTORY ALONG WITH HIM IN TWO THOUSAND IS XEROX’S (XRX) FIRST AFRICAN AMERICAN CEO URSULA BURNS. MS. BURNS AND CATHAY HUGHES FROM RADION ONE HAVE PUT AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE-EURONEXT (NYX) WALL STREET. OTHERS INCLUDE RICHARD PARSON’S OF CITIGROUP (C). MR. PARSON COMPANY HAS BEEN A GLOBAL PLAYER IN THE WORLD OF FINANCE. AND HAS BEEN RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPPORT HISTORICALLY BLACK COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WITH STUDENT LOANS. BRINGING COMPETION FROM AFRICAN AMERICAN CEO STANLEY O’NEAL OF MERRIL LYNCH (BAC).
    WE CAN LOOK FORWARD TO THESE AFRICAN AMERICANS AND INCREASINGLY MORE BECOMING A PART OF THE OLD AND NEW BREEDS OF WALL STREET.

    FREELANCE WRITER
    DURHAM, NC