Xerox Corp., and Howard University. He also serves on the international advisory board of Barrick Gold Corp.
William H. Hayden. Senior Managing Director. Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. New York, NY. Age: 65. “I’m a Yankees fan,” says Hayden, with a heavy Boston accent that would suggest an affinity for the Bronx Bombers’ archrivals. “Because when I grew up in Boston, we were Brooklyn Dodger fans and the Red Sox had no blacks and no Hispanics and the black kids had nobody to root for.”
Hayden, who grew up about an hour outside of Boston in New Bedford, Massachusetts, has long been an advocate for diversity. Starting out on Wall Street in the early 1970s, there were virtually no other African Americans in investment banking. But a combination of smarts and know-how helped him rise up the ranks. While he secured loads of business because of his acumen, he also got a little help here and there. In 1977, he was named senior banker of a $305 million offering used to finance construction of what is now Hartsfield/Jackson Airport in Atlanta after then-mayor Maynard Jackson insisted that black bankers be part of the city’s bond offerings.
At 65, he’s long been a mainstay on Wall Street. After all, he’s helped fund billions of dollars in construction projects over his 30-plus year career. As senior managing director for Bear, Stearns & Co., Hayden oversees and develops ways of financing large government projects. His career highlights include developing financing strategies to construct the U.S. Open Stadium in New York and the Atlanta Hawks’ arena for Time Warner-Turner Broadcasting.
While those were high-profile transactions, it’s not as well known that the 1962 graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is an avid African art collector. “I arrived here in New York almost 30 years ago. A friend, Eric Robertson, quit being a lawyer and went to Africa and brought back some art that I bought from him,” Hayden recalls. “And over the years he became one of the most well-known black African art dealers in the world.”
Hayden is no slouch in the art world either. In fact, he’s had his works displayed in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Guggenheim. When he auctioned off roughly half of his 70 pieces, it was the first time an African American’s art collection was sold at the prestigious Sotheby’s. Much of his collection hails from the Yoruba people of West Africa. — Alan Hughes
William E. Kennard. Managing Director The Carlyle Group Washington, DC. Age: 49. Bottom Line: Carlyle is the largest and one of the most successful private equity firms in the world. Kennard, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has helped orchestrate multibillion dollar transactions involving Dex Media Inc., one of the nation’s leading phone directory publishers; Casema Holdings BV, one of the Netherlands’ leading cable operators; and Insight Communications, America’s ninth-largest cable company. He was also instrumental in Carlyle closing on the $1.5 billion deal to acquire Hawaiian Telcom in 2005.