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Beyond the “Mirage” to a Predictive Investment Manager Ranking System 
FIS introduces their findings findings from a 5-year research effort to evaluate the efficacy of various quantitative manager selection methods with the goal of refining their own quantitative screening methodology to be more predictive. Next year, they plan to provide a complete research report on this methodology. FIS believes that this methodology (which they are currently implementing into their own process) is more predictive of future manager success and stake their reputation on its efficacy. Click HERE to view the PDF.

The Power of Domestic Impact Investing Article Written by NASP Member at AFL-CIO Housing Trust

NASP member Lesyllee White, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Defined Benefit Marketing and her colleague Thalia Lankin, Chief Business Development Officer at AFL-CIO Housing Trust have written an article on domestic impact investing in the October issue of 
Benefits Magazine, published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
According to the article, which cites The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment’s report,2016 Impact Investing Trends, “the size of the sustainable, responsible, impact investing market has grown from $4.8 trillion in 2012 to $8.1 trillion as of the end of 2016.”
The article explores how investments in products that focus on creating jobs, building affordable housing, and supporting local economic development may help Taft-Hartley and public pension plans achieve competitive returns while also serving other interests of their participants. Click
HERE to view the article.

Donna Sims Wilson Discusses Directed Brokerage Programs for ABSIP Conference

A video presentation by Donna Sims Wilson, President, Smith Graham & Co. and NASP Chair-Elect was screened at the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) 2nd Stockbroking Industry Transformation Summit  in August 2017.  Based in South Africa, ABSIP is the organization for black professionals in the securities and investment industry founded in 1995 as a platform to address the aspirations of those in the industry and to create a forum for black professionals to exchange information and ideas. In the video, Ms. Wilson provides an overview of public pension funds' directed brokerage programs and their significance in achieving equity, inclusion and growth for African-American owned firms in the U.S. capital markets. She also discusses the importance of connecting broker-dealers in the U.S. with their South African counterparts. Click HERE to view the video.

Shundrawn Thomas Named New President of Northern Trust Asset Management

Shundrawn A. Thomas, currently executive vice president and head of funds and managed accounts group at Northern Trust Asset Management, will succeed Stephen N. Potter as president of Northern Trust Asset Management on Oct. 1, spokesman Doug Holt said in an email. "Shundrawn's experience in developing long-term strategies, creating differentiated products, and developing and retaining talented professionals will help us continue to attract some of the largest, most sophisticated individual and institutional investors in the world," said Frederick H. Waddell, chairman and CEO of Northern Trust Corp., in a news release announcing the leadership change.

P&I reports that Mr. Thomas' ascent to one of the top positions at Northern Trust, one of the world's largest asset managers, also makes him one of the highest-ranking African-Americans in the asset management industry. Mr. Thomas received a B.S. degree in accounting from Florida A&M University and an MBA degree from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and currently holds multiple FINRA licenses. Click 
HERE to view the article in P&I.

NYSCRF MWBE Report Issued for FY 2016-2017

The New York State Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) Asset Management and Financial Institution Strategy (Chapter 171, Laws of 2010) was enacted to codify and replicate best practices for providing MWBEs that are asset managers, investment banks and financial and professional service providers with the opportunity to offer services to fiduciary-controlled entities established by New York State law. The law authorized the State Comptroller, as the Trustee of the New York State Common Retirement Fund (CRF or the Fund), and other fiduciary-controlled entities (i.e., the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) and the New York State Deferred Compensation Plan (NYSDCP)) to establish an MWBE Asset Management and Financial Institution Strategy (the Strategy). State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli has formulated and implemented the Strategy in accordance with the law. Under the Strategy, the Fund has developed guidelines for the certification of MWBE firms that are conducting investment-related business with the Fund or seeking to do so.  In accordance with the Strategy, the Fund submits this report to the Governor, the Legislature and the Chief Diversity Officer of the State of New York. The data included in this report reflects the Fund’s utilization of MWBEs as of March 31, 2017. Click HERE to view the report. 

Knight Foundation Publishes Report on the state of diversity in the asset management industry

The May 2016 report is based on a study led by Harvard Business School Professor Josh Lerner and Bella Research Group, which the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative conceived conceptually and the Knight Foundation commissioned.  The report sheds light into just how few diverse-owned firms are utilized by institutional investors, despite the solid number of successful diverse-owned firms. Read the coverage in the Washington Post here and read the full report here.  

Smith Graham & Co Acquires Five Mile Capital's Residential Mortgage Team

On March 21, 2017,  NASP Corporate Partner Smith, Graham & Co. Investment Advisors announced the acquision of the residential mortgage team from alternative investment manager Five Mile Capital Partners. The unit has been rebranded as “mortgage and real estate debt alternatives.”  Donna Sims Wilson, President of Smith, Graham & Co. and NASP Chair-Elect, noted “We thought it was important to expand the capabilities of our firm to meet the needs of our clients and prospects in a low-yield environment." To read the full press release, please click HERE.

Siebert Brandford Shank Announces New Partners & Ownership Structure

On November 9, 2015, Sibert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC, the nation’s #1 ranked MBE municipal finance firm and a Top 5 ranked MBE corporate underwriting firm, announced a realignment of its ownership structure to create the preeminent black, Hispanic & woman owned firm on Wall Street.

Joining the ownership are Hon. Henry Cisneros, a former mayor of San Antonio and former HUD Secretary; Hon. William C. Thompson Chief Administrative Officer and Managing Director of Siebert Brandford Shank, and former New York City Comptroller; Sean Duffy, SBSCO’s Managing Director of Institutional Sales, and Victor Miramontes, previously CEO of North American Development Bank.

Co-founder Suzanne Shank willl become majority owner of the firm and hold the title of Chairwoman and CEO. Since its founding in 1996, SBSCO has transacted more than $2 trillion for significant infrastructure financing across the country as well as bond and equity transactions for major corporate clients. The company’s product and service offerings include municipal bond underwriting, corporate debt and equity underwriting, investment banking and execution services for many of the largest  Fortune 500 companies.

The firm was founded in 1996 by the late Muriel Siebert, the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, together with Suzanne Shank and now retiring chairman Napoleon Brandford III.The transaction will include the acquisition of Siebert Financial Corp.’s (SIEB) ownership interest in SBSCO. 

Read the full press release by clicking HERE.

Congratulations to Loop Capital Markets on Surpassing the $1 Trillion Mark in Municipal Finance Underwritings 

Since its founding in 1997, Loop Capital has participated in transactions with more than 2,500 state and local governments, higher education institutions, transportation and housing agencies and public power and utility clients across 49 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

"This is truly a very exciting time for our business," says Jim Reynolds, Loop Capital's Chairman and CEO. “We have reached a level of excellence and scale in our businesses that will propel our firm to substantial growth as we move forward. Within the next three years, I fully expect to exceed the accomplishments that took us over a decade to achieve. Every single business unit is experiencing substantial growth and we are moving into several new businesses that will compliment that growth. Our clients, our outstanding personnel and our strategy have all come together to help ensure Loop Capital continues to deliver a high level of service to all of our clients.”

View the full press release by clicking HERE.

NASP Offers CFA Institute Clartias Investment Certificate Program Giveaway - Winners to be Announced at NASP 26th Annual Conference in Chicago

The Claritas Investment Certificate is a global self-study education program and exam designed to give anyone working in financial services a clear understanding of the investment industry and their professional responsibilities within it. The winner will receive a complimentary voucher to allow the participant to register for the Program at no cost. 
Before you complete the online entry form, you must visit:
Three winners will be chosen at random during the conference - two winners during the NASP Institute and one winner during the Professional Development Series and Africa Summit combined luncheon. 
If you are not present at the time of the drawing and you are selected, NASP will contact you to coordinate acceptance. You are not required to be physically present during the drawing at the conference to win however your name will be announced at the event and included in a future communication such as the NASP newsletter or e-blast and the NASP website. 
This promotion is open to all NASP conference attendees and members of NASP. The promotion submission deadline is June 11 at 3 p.m. EDT.


Time Sensitive: Tax-Efficient Distribution of Retirement Income RFP From Nationwide

Key requirements of this particular RFX include the following:

  1. Educate advisors (Nationwide associates who work in investment, financial planning, etc) and their clients on the impact of taxes on their retirement nest egg and income.

  2. Help Nationwide associates who work in investment, Financial Planning, etc understand how to take taxes into account when working with clients on their investments and financial plan for during both accumulation and decumulation period of their life.

  3. Show how to take advantage of different types of accumulation and distribution products and strategies.

  4. Optimize retirement income savings and draw-down strategies so they can make their portfolio last longer and meet other goals they have.

To submit your information, please click HERE and complete the form.  

Nationwide will contact you directly with next steps and RFP submission instructions. 

To view the RFP click HERE.

Kudos to  NASP Corporate Sponsor Northern Trust on the Firm's Continued Commitment to Business Diversity 
In an October 31, 2014 press release, Northern Trust announced its selection of 11 firms owned by minorities, women and disabled veterans for its list of equity and fixed income broker-dealers. Congratulations to NASP Corporate Partners and Sponsors CastleOak Securities, Loop Capital Markets, and Williams Capital Group who were selected on a number of quantitative and qualitative criteria including performance, execution capabilities, and technlogoy platforms. The firms were selected by Northern Trust executives from a group of 32 broker-dealers that responded to a request for information.

Read more at:

Donna Sims Wilson, NASP Board Member and Chair, NASP Legislative Committee Joins Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors, LP as President
In an October 10, 2014 press release, Smith Graham & Co. announced that Donna Sims Wilson joined the firm as President. Smith Graham & Co. is one  of the nation's largest minority-owned institutional investment managers with approximately $6 billion in assets under management. Mrs. Wilson will become a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and, in addition to her other duties, she will work with the Chairman and CEO on developing short and long-term initiatives for the firm. Prior to joining Smith Graham, Mrs. Wilson was Executive Vice President of CastleOak Securities, L.P., a leading New York-based boutique investment bank where she served on the Management Committee of the firm. To read the full press release, please click HERE.

Progress Investment Management and Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) Issues Paper: "Who Manages the Money? How Foundations Should Help "Democratize Capital"

This case study highlights the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's intentional efforts to align its business practices with the ideals that drive the organization. The paper draws upon interviews with key Kellogg decision makers, including: La June Montgomery Tabron, President & CEO; Joel Wittenberg, Chief Investment Officer; and Roderick Gillum, Trustee. Published in September 2014,  the paper argues that it is time for foundations to apply principles of equity not only to their grantmaking strategies and leadership, but also to their own professional services. Click HERE to view the paper.

Holland Capital Management Named Financial Services Company of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine, June 2014
Congratulations to Monica Walker, CEO & CIO, Holland Capital Management for being named Financial Services Company of the Year by Black Enterprise Magazine. In the piece, Ms. Walker shares the story of the firm and important management advice.  Valerie King, Director of Marketing at the firm is a NASP Board Member and in the article discusses the emerging manager and MWBE firm space. Click HERE to read the the full article.

Sturdivant Launches Proprietary Guidance System for Equity Strategy Performance

Sturdivant & Co., Inc., a boutique investment firm, today announced the recent launch of Polaris, a proprietary guidance system for equity strategy performance which leverages Sturdivant & Co.’s research platform. With the launch of Polaris, Sturdivant continues its mission of providing innovative and differentiated, client focused research that is a value-add to its clients.

Click HERE for the full press release from Sturdivant & Co., Inc.

Read Recent Research Paper by FIS Group entitled "Is Active Equity Management Alpha on Permanent or Temporary Disability?" 

FIS Group conducted research examining the cyclical and structural factors that drive alpha – weighing in on the active versus passive management debate. The research, authored by Tina Byles Williams, CIO/CEO of FIS Group includes contributions from members of the Investment Strategy team Jay Womack, Vice President, Investment Strategy and Xiaofan Yang, SVP, Portfolio Construction. Click HERE to read the full research paper.  

Survey by Prudential The African American Financial Experience


According to Prudential’s 2013 "African American Financial Experience" study, the African American community is continuing to make financial progress and to feel confident about the future, with a confidence score significantly higher than the general population. But this community is still facing significant challenges, including debt, competing financial priorities, and greater support of family. CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL RESEARCH.

Financial Progress

The African American community is a growing economic force fueled by an increasingly powerful middle class.
  • Middle Class and Affluent Continue to Grow
    • Approximately four in 10 surveyed have an annual household income of $75,000 or more, and nearly 25% earn six figures.
    • About one-third (35%) of African Americans surveyed have $50,000 or more in financial assets, including savings, investments, and employer-sponsored retirement accounts.
  • Personal Progress Made in Difficult Economic Times
    • Despite feelings that the U.S. economic downturn is still ongoing, primarily due to high unemployment, half of African Americans feel better off financially than a year ago, while only 19% feel worse.
  • More Confidence and Preparedness than General Population
    • Forty-six percent of African Americans compared with 35% of the general population feel very well prepared to make financial decisions.
    • Compared with the general population, African Americans feel significantly more confident (42% v. 30%) and optimistic (30% v. 21%) when making decisions about their money. Consistent with this confidence, African Americans feel less uncertain (22% v. 31%), anxious (18% v. 28%), and intimidated (5% v. 10%) about financial decisions.
  • Financial Challenges

The emerging middle class shares many of the financial challenges of the larger community, including debt reduction, supporting more family members on a single income, and achieving retirement security.  
  • Reducing Debt
    • African Americans are significantly more likely to have some type of debt (94%) compared with the general popula­tion (82%). Credit card debt, student loan debt, and personal loans are all significantly higher in the African American community.
    • Non-mortgage debt, particularly student loan debt, is significantly higher than the general population. College-educated African Americans report student loan debt at a ratio of nearly 2:1 compared with all college-educated Americans.
    • One in four African Americans has felt anxiety or depression as a result of debt.
  • Supporting Family Members
    • African Americans are more likely to live in female-headed households. Two-thirds of African American women surveyed are working compared with 58% of women in the general popula­tion. African American women are less likely than the general population to have a spouse or partner present (60% v. 74%), and thus more likely to carry the financial responsibilities of the household on a single income.
    • Multi-generational households–with parents, adult children, and grandpar­ents–are more common among African Americans. Moreover, African American families are also particularly likely to provide support for extended families regardless of whether they live under the same roof. About six in ten African Americans provide financial support to someone else. They are significant­ly more likely than the general popula­tion to financially support parents and other relatives.
    • The so-called “sandwich generation”–those supporting both younger and older family members–is especially promi­nent in the African American communi­ty. One-third of African Americans are financially supporting children under 18 or grandchildren, and 9% are supporting parents or grandparents–both higher than the general population (25% and 4%, respectively).
  • Achieving Retirement Security  
    • One in five African Americans says that concern about their ability to retire keeps them up at night, and one in four is worried about the future of Social Security.
    • On average, African Americans expect to–and do–retire earlier than the general population, despite lower retirement savings. One in four non-retired African Americans expects to retire before age 60, compared to one in five of the general population. The expectation of an earlier retirement aligns with the experience of the current retirees surveyed; the average retirement age for African Americans (56) is significantly lower than for the general population (59).
    • Nearly half of African Americans have a workplace retirement plan, such as a 401(k), and eight in 10 eligible to contribute are doing so. Yet, many continue to contribute less than their employer match or take loans from their plan.

“The African American Financial Experience” survey was conducted March 7 - 19, 2013. We surveyed 1,153 Americans who identify as African American or Black and 471 general population Americans on a broad range of financial topics. All participants met the following criteria: 
  • Age 25 - 70 
  • Household income of $25,000 or more 
  • Some involvement in household financial decisions
The findings are representative of the population described above, subject to a margin of sampling error of +/- 5% for African Americans and +/- 6% for the general population.