7. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors L.P.

Smith, Graham & Co. Investment Advisors L.P., founded by Gerald B. Smith in 1990, is one of the nation’s largest African American-owned fixed income and equity investment managers. The Houston-based investment firm manages $2.8 billion assets and specializes in domestic and international equity investment strategies for its clients worldwide.

In February 2009, the company expanded its product line and client base by acquiring New York-based Ark Asset Management firm. By taking control of Ark’s assets, the firm gains five new investment professionals, increases its assets under management to $6 billion, and extends its reach in the Taft-Hartley market.