offers a universe of publi
cly held minority businesses in which shareholders can invest. Moreover, he has identified a large pool of privately held minority companies that he says are ripe to go public.
Chapman isn’t the only person who believes the time has come for African Americans to generate and build wealth. Beal, who also co-chairs the Securities Industry Association diversity committee, says a 1997 SIA study found that the number of African American households with incomes above $100,000 has tripled to 259,000 during the past decade. Furthermore, African Americans have over $400 billion in income.
Backed by those figures, Chapman Holdings may represent a”pure play” on the vitality and economic prospects for African American businesses. “We could well be the catalyst to African American economic development in this country,” he says.
And make no mistake, while Chapman has lofty goals for minority-owned businesses in the U.S., he has equally ambitious objectives for his own firm. In particular, he’s on the prowl for suitable acquisitions. He’d like to buy other African American investment banks in a bid to build one large, full-service firm that could boast expertise in everything from money management to trading stocks and bonds to corporate finance work.
Sound like a pipe dream? Not by a long shot, says Chapelle, who has long advocated consolidation among minority-owned firms to help solve many woes created by a lack of capital. And Chapman says he’s ready to put his money where his mouth is–by offering what he calls “generous compensation packages, considerable equity in the firm and management responsibility.”
Says Chapman: “The challenge is, as minority professionals, can we do it? Can we come together? I believe we can.”