Other black investment banking firms echo that statement. “Any time one of our firms is named as some form of lead on any kind of transaction, it’s meaningful,” says Christopher J. Williams, CEO of The Williams Capital Group L.P. (No. 2 in taxable securities with $1.846 billion in lead issues on the be investment banks list). “To me, it represents a continuation of the gaining of access to significant roles for minority firms.”
The talent acquired during the turmoil in the financial markets enabled Loop Capital to beat out the big names. It showed that given the opportunity, David can slay Goliath. Liu is quick to point out that this was not a minority set-aside but an open competition in which the best team’s proposal won. “There were 10 companies that returned proposals. They were all evaluated objectively and in the end, Loop Capital came in on top,” says Liu, whose office examined the proposals with Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Management and Budget. “Their proposal yielded the largest savings for city taxpayers.”
Loop Capital has come a long way since its first bond underwriting, a $499 million issuance for Chicago Public Schools in 1997. And with the New York City deal now on its résumé, the firm is even better positioned to continue to pursue larger, more complex, and lucrative underwriting transactions. “It shows our ability to go head to head with some of the large, global firms and come up with the best ideas,” says Rorke. All thanks to a CEO and management team that was able to identify the opportunity within the financial crisis.