4. Blaylock Robert Van L.L.C.

Founded in 1991, Blaylock Robert Van LLC is the largest black-owned boutique investment firm on the West Coast. BRV was formed when Blaylock & Company founder Ron Blaylock and Robert Van Securities founder Robert Van Standifer merged in 2007.

The Oakland-based firm specializes in debt and equity capital markets, underwriting, institutional sales and trading, financial advisory, as well as asset management.

In an effort to extend its reach in the Mid-West, the company opened an office in Chicago in November 2008.  Former Jackson Securities CEO Dudley Brown heads the expansion project.