Our Clients

Nurturing Inclusion and Building Futures

 

TIME TO READ: 3.5 MINUTES

In 1996, three trailblazing pioneers — Muriel Siebert, Suzanne Shank and Napoleon Brandford III — joined forces to create a groundbreaking municipal finance firm based on financial industry prowess, shared values and the vision to champion belonging and inclusive representation as well as greater economic opportunity throughout the United States.


Two years prior, another like-minded industry innovator, Chris Williams, founded the investment banking firm The Williams Capital Group to leverage his expertise in corporate finance. From the outset, Chris Williams understood that a capable and dedicated clearing house partner would be critical to success. In the team at BNY Mellon's Pershing, he found exactly that.

 

“The clearing relationship between Pershing and Williams Capital proved to be pivotal,” says Chris Williams. Becoming a Pershing client supported Williams Capital’s growth and that growth continued, deepening the relationship and expanding the collaboration between the firms.

 

Joining forces to amplify impact

 

Suzanne Shank, President & CEO of Siebert Williams Shank (SWS), and Chris Williams, Chairman of SWS, made transformational growth, integrity and impact key priorities as the two independent firms came together. Each firm came from a position of strength, excelling in its respective sector, and saw that a merger would create the scale needed to have a multiplier effect on business growth and community impact. To facilitate aspects of the merger, both firms looked to the team at Pershing.

Highlights

  • Siebert Williams Shank (SWS) is the #1 MWBE investment bank in the United States based on its rankings in municipal finance and corporate finance, and touts 74 of the Fortune 100 as clients

  • SWS’ mission is to exceed expectations through value-added results and to leave a lasting impact on its clients and communities

  • SWS was a founding member of BNY Mellon’s Minority Business Enterprise Council and remains an active member

  • SWS has served as joint bookrunner on three groundbreaking bond issuances for BNY Mellon since 2022

  • BNY Mellon’s Pershing and SWS collaborate on a growing list of business areas, notably commercial paper, secondary trading and buybacks

“They were very, very mindful as they talked about what this merger would look like,” noted James Roundtree, Pershing managing director. “And how they protected the flank of the employees who might otherwise in other types of mergers just be a number.” Equally important was business continuity for clients – and here, Williams Capital’s preexisting clearing relationship with Pershing played a crucial role in ensuring the seamless settlement of trades, keeping things running smoothly and keeping growth on track.

Our two firms merged in 2019 and continue to leverage the guidance and support of BNY Mellon’s Pershing.

— Suzanne Shank, President & CEO, Siebert Williams Shank

The creation of Siebert Williams Shank realized its founders’ vision to build an organization that could maintain its strength and set the stage for a new era of growth – through bigger transactions and an expanded range of services. And importantly, supported by the team at BNY Mellon, create a firm that had even greater reach and influence to advance its mission. The success of the merger allowed the firm to launch the Siebert Williams Shank Foundation, its philanthropic arm, and the Clear Vision Impact Fund (CVIF). Both initiatives are committed to advancing equity. CVIF is an investment vehicle that provides much needed loans to sustainable minority-owned businesses, businesses that work in underserved markets and businesses that foster inclusive growth.

Howard University logo

Client Since

1994

Headquarters

New York, NY and Oakland, CA

Number of Employees

140

Having deeply committed support from BNY Mellon helps our firm run efficiently and profitably. Allowing us to win more business and devote more to social initiatives.

— Suzanne Shank, President & CEO, Siebert Williams Shank

SWS and Pershing’s joint commitment to belonging and inclusion was further solidified when, in 2022, SWS joined BNY Mellon’s Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) Council as a founding member. A recipient of the 2022 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award for its efforts, the MBE works to represent the voices of diverse clients – and amplify them, as it looks to support the success of MBE broker-dealers and registered investment advisors (RIAs) in the marketplace.

 

SWS’ long and successful track record in fixed-income underwriting and its value-added collaboration with the MBE council paved the way for SWS to be appointed by BNY Mellon as a joint bookrunner* on the BNY Mellon $1.7 billion debt issuance in April 2022 and then again in May 2023, as a joint bookrunner on the first BNY Mellon all minority-led $500 million bond issuance. “BNY Mellon has shown leadership in terms of the inclusion of diverse-owned firms in the bank's underwriting and financing activities," Williams said of the impact of the relationship. "When we are able to leverage our expertise, knowledge and investor relationships as a joint bookrunner, our focus is to work closely with the bank to achieve its objectives and to deliver a successful outcome.”

We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the BNY Mellon Minority Business Enterprise Council.

— Chris Williams, Chairman, Board of Directors, Siebert Williams Shank

Ongoing success, enduring legacy

 

Working together with BNY Mellon’s Pershing enables SWS to clear and settle corporate buybacks with ease. “Pershing provides us with the platform to seamlessly establish accounts for our corporate customers so that doing business with our buyback desk is as effortless as with a larger, self-clearing broker,” says Sobani Warner, co-head of Corporate Finance, Siebert Williams Shank.

 

SWS has continually proven its prowess, consistently ranking as the #1 MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprise) in municipal finance and corporate finance. Notably, in an era marked by frequent staffing reductions, the firm has grown its headcount – and with it, its capabilities – significantly. In 2023, SWS underwrote its largest corporate bond commitment in firm history. And in October 2023, based on the prior track record of success, BNY Mellon again appointed SWS as joint bookrunner on its $2 billion multi-tranche bond issuance, further underscoring the importance of the SWS and BNY Mellon relationship.

 

SWS’ growth and momentum are testaments to the power of partnership in breaking down barriers and shaping a future where opportunities are not limited to a few. Across the financial landscape and the many communities throughout the United States that they serve, the evergreen and unwavering commitment of SWS to integrity, partnership and impact ensures those barriers will continue to fall and opportunity rise.


*What is a Bookrunner?

In investment banking, a bookrunner is usually the main underwriter or lead-manager/arranger/coordinator in equity, debt or hybrid securities issuances.  The bookrunner usually syndicates with other investment bankers in order to lower the risk.

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