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  1. Aug 16, 2022 · Alexander Karp is one of the richest black billionaires in the world. He has a net worth of $1.1 billion (2.1 in 2021). Alex inherited a sizeable amount of money from his father and invested in...

  2. Mar 14, 2019 · However, out of the 607 Americans featured on the list, just four were black. Here’s a list of the handful of African American billionaires. David Steward World Wide Technology Founder and...

  3. Mar 29, 2021 · In this article we are going to list the 7 richest black people In America and their stock picks. Click to skip ahead and jump to the 3 Richest Black People In America and Their Stock...

  4. › legendary-black-investorsLegendary Black Investors

    • These 10 men and women are helping blaze a trail for future Black investors
    • Robert Smith
    • John Rogers J
    • Daymond John
    • Travers Bell J
    • Suzanne Shank
    • Mellody Hobson
    • Kevin Cohee
    • Mark Mason
    • Russell Goings

    Black individuals, in the United States as well as in other countries, have long faced significant hurdles when it comes to investing—and to finance in general. These hurdles include lending discrimination in the U.S. and racism in the insurance industry, among others, which have held back people of color. Yet, despite these difficulties, there has also been a long line of inspiring Black figures in finance and investing.

    Some are legendary for their extraordinary achievements within the industry, while others are legendary for their groundbreaking accomplishments when few Black people worked in finance. All are notable for their expertise and influence, both within the industry and in the outside world.

    In 2000, Robert F. Smith founded Vista Equity Partners, which invests in technology and software companies that aim to improve economic justice. 1

    Smith’s unique approach to investing—which blends a strong social conscience with rigorous risk management —has seen Vista Equity Partners grow to manage more than $93 billion in assets. Vista invests exclusively in enterprise software and data and technology-enabled organizations, and it has invested in more than 80 companies. 2 3

    Smith was born in 1964 in Colorado and studied chemical engineering at Cornell University before earning an MBA from Columbia Business School with honors. He joined The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ( GS) in 1994 and was initially assigned to mergers and acquisitions before striking out on his own in 2000. 1

    Smith has a keen eye for publicity. He made national news in 2019—and simultaneously boosted Vista Equity’s profile—by promising to pay off the student debt of Morehouse College’s graduating class. According to Forbes, Smith has a net worth of more than $6.7 billion and is the richest Black person in America. 4 Smith is the first African American to sign the Giving Pledge, which is a commitment to contribute the majority of one’s wealth to philanthropic causes. 1

    John W. Rogers Jr. is the founder and chairman, co-chief executive officer (CEO), and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments. With $17.8 billion in assets under management (AUM) as of March 31, 2022, Ariel Investments is the largest minority-run mutual fund firm in the U.S. 5 6

    According to Rogers’ biography, his passion for investing began at age 12, when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. After majoring in economics at Princeton University and working as a stockbroker for two years at William Blair, Rogers founded Ariel Investments in 1983 to focus on value investing in small- and medium-sized companies. 7

    Daymond John came to success the hard way. He was born in New York City in 1969 into very modest circumstances and struggled with dyslexia. 8 John started early (as did many of the Black investors on this list) with a few moneymaking ventures when he was in elementary school and high school.

    In 1992, at age 23, John and three childhood friends founded hip-hop-inspired clothing brand FUBU (an acronym for “for us, by us”). The brand was very successful, due in no small part to John’s unusual marketing strategy: He offered clothes free to musical artists—such as LL Cool J, NSYNC, and Snoop Dogg—and leveraged the popularity of the videos and paparazzi shots in which they appeared. As of June 2022, FUBU is a global brand that has grossed more than $6 billion worldwide, but after more than a decade of success, the popularity of the clothing line began to wane, and John started to look for other opportunities. 9

    Travers J. Bell Jr. was a visionary investor whose short life was filled with financial achievements. Born in 1941 into a poor but ambitious Chicago family, Bell studied for many hours a day from a very young age. He eventually earned degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and the New York Institute of Finance at a time when few Black people attended these prestigious institutions.

    Bell got his start at Dempsey-Tegeler & Co., a Midwestern brokerage, where he worked as a messenger and ascended to the role of vice president before striking out on his own. 11 He co-founded Daniels & Bell, the first Black-owned investment firm on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), in 1971. When its work began, the firm had just $175,000 in capital, but this figure grew rapidly as a result of a series of successful (and sometimes ruthless) investment decisions. 12

    Suzanne Shank has almost singlehandedly revolutionized the world of municipal bond underwriting. Like other investors on this list, Shank didn’t start out in finance but initially studied STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), completing a B.S. in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology before earning an MBA in finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

    After graduating from Wharton, Shank gained experience at a number of Wall Street firms before starting her own business. In 1996 she co-founded Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., which experienced a meteoric rise, becoming the first minority- and/or women-owned business enterprise (MWBE) to be a top 10 U.S. municipal bond underwriter. 16

    Mellody Hobson seems to have been marked for greatness from a young age. After an impressive early academic career, she attended Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs and graduated with flying colors. Since then, alongside her business career, she has been a frequent and devoted columnist for a number of industry publications, most notably Black Enterprise, to which she has contributed numerous articles. 18

    Hobson rose rapidly through a number of managerial positions in tech and entertainment firms and served as chair of the board for DreamWorks Animation until the company’s sale to NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast ( CMCSA ). This position, and her prominence in the world of investing in general, led to Time magazine naming her one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2015. 19 20

    Kevin Cohee is that rare breed—an investor with a genuine social conscience and a belief in the power of the market to lift disadvantaged people out of poverty. Cohee’s career stands as proof of what can be achieved in that regard.

    After working as an entrepreneur and an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Cohee purchased a majority share in Boston Bank of Commerce and became its CEO in 1996. At this point, however, it was clear that he wanted to create a new type of banking institution—one as focused on social capital as on its shareholders.

    During his tenure at Boston Bank of Commerce, Cohee acquired several community banks around the country. He chose these banks specifically for their ethical approach to lending and incorporated them fully into the management structure. Next, he rebranded his new institution as OneUnited Bank and gave it a new mission: to ease access to capital in disadvantaged communities. 24

    Cohee’s model has proved successful. OneUnited Bank is now the largest Black-owned bank in America and has helped many thousands of Black-owned businesses gain access to capital that they otherwise would have difficulty obtaining. 25

    Mark Mason, chief financial officer (CFO) of Citigroup Inc. ( C ), came to wide public prominence in 2020 as one of the first power players in the finance industry to speak out publicly about the killing of George Floyd. His passionate and powerful post on the Citi blog spoke out against the injustice and deeply ingrained nature of racism in the U.S. 26

    Though this recent critique garnered Mason public attention, he has been a major figure in the world of finance for almost two decades. After graduating from Howard University, for which he now serves as a trustee, he earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. 27

    Like Travers J. Bell Jr., Goings was an early pioneer for African Americans on Wall Street. After joining Shearson, Hammill & Co., Goings made its Harlem investment branch the firm’s most profitable, while also becoming the first Black brokerage manager at an NYSE firm. Goings then purchased the Harlem branch, renamed it First Harlem Securities, and bought a seat on the NYSE for $250,000. 30

    Goings achieved all of this from relatively humble beginnings. He was born during the Great Depression to a family of six kids and, like Daymond John, struggled with dyslexia. After serving in the U.S. Air Force, Goings eventually earned a B.A. from Xavier University and played professional football before a knee injury ended his career and he became an over-the-counter trader at J.W. Kaufmann & Co. in 1960.

    • These trailblazers are helping other minorities make it to the C-suite
    • Top Black CEOs in 2022
    • Craig Arnold, Eaton
    • Rosalind "Roz" Brewer, Walgreens Boots Alliance
    • Thasunda Brown Duckett, TIAA
    • Marvin Ellison, Lowe’s
    • Janice Bryant Howroyd, ActOne
    • Paul Mola, Roswell Biotechnologies
    • Toni Newman, Black AIDS Institute
    • Jen Nwankwo, 1910 Genetics

    The vision and actions of a CEO permeate every aspect of an organization. Financials, customer service, and company culture reflect the goals and strategies of those in leadership positions. A recent shift toward expanding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives has created new opportunities for people of color in corporate settings.

    In a world where only a handful of companies have been led by people of color, minority representation in C-suite positions is slowly increasing. 1 In 2021, only four companies on the Fortune 500 listed a Black CEO. 2 The following year, the total rose to six. 3

    The CEOs on our list have overcome incredible odds to achieve business success at a very high level.

    The list includes Fortune 500 CEOs, up-and-coming CEOs to watch, and one Black CEO who has made history at the head of more than one Fortune 500 company.

    The CEO of power management company Eaton began his career at GE in the early 1980s. 4 Craig Arnold learned crucial digital transformation skills working in the industrial sector as computational technologies began to take over the industrial world.

    Since being appointed to his C-level role in 2016, Arnold has invested $8 billion in mergers and acquisitions of companies "towards our goal of building this high-growth, higher-margin company with more earnings consistency." 5 But the growth doesn’t stop there. Arnold has stated that one long-term objective of his is "building a new $2 billion to $4 billion eMobility business inside of Eaton." 6

    Rosalind "Roz" Brewer became the first Black woman to helm a Fortune 500 company (with Thasunda Brown Duckett, below, they became the only two Black women on the list) when she was named CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021. 9 She spent nearly 20 years honing her leadership skills at Kimberly-Clark before making corporate waves at Starbucks and Walmart. 10

    Before she stepped into her new position, Brewer's net worth was around $5 million from her stock trades and Starbucks salary. Prior to leading the popular coffee chain, she held numerous high-level positions at Walmart and then went on to Sam's Club as its first Black CEO. 11

    As only the fourth Black woman in history to lead a Fortune 500 company, Thasunda Brown Duckett took the helm at TIAA in May 2021, moving there from her position as chief executive at JPMorgan Chase Consumer Banking. 13 Duckett’s current net worth is unknown. She now earns about $10.4 million in salary. 14

    The company, more than a century old, was founded to create a sustainable retirement system for teachers; it is committed to helping communities build wealth through financial education. 15 (TIAA’s previous CEO, Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.—an economist and legendary Black executive who served as Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve from 1999 to 2006—has an estimated net worth of over $1 billion.) 16 17 18

    Last year, the famous home improvement conglomerate brought in $95 billion in revenue, and Ellison was paid in kind. 19 He earns a base salary of about $1.45 million as the CEO of Lowe’s but typically ends the year making $17 and 18 million with bonuses and other perks. 20

    He holds the rest of his wealth in various stocks. Based on the public disclosure of his stock trades, Ellison owns more than 529,000 shares of Lowe’s stock, adding up to another $8.2 million, and in the past, he’s sold at least $10.5 million in Lowe’s stock. 21 22

    Having led J.C. Penney as chairman and CEO before moving to Lowe's, Ellison is the only Black CEO who has led two different Fortune 500 companies. 23

    According to the Census Bureau, there are over 134,000 Black-owned businesses in the United States, with around 1.3 million employees. The total receipts for these businesses are over $133 billion. 24

    ActOne founder and CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd is a self-made inspiration for women of color. She lived in Los Angeles with only $1,500 to her name in 1978 when she started ActOne, her workforce solutions company. 25 Fast forward to last year, when ActOne’s estimated revenue tallied up to more than $3 billion. 26

    Operating in 19 countries with 2,600 employees and 17,000 clients worldwide, ActOne is the largest privately held female-owned and minority-owned workforce management company in the United States. 27

    Roswell Biotechnologies is a San Diego–based company that creates simplified and cost-effective DNA sequencing technologies. 29 As founder, president, and CEO, Paul Mola works closely with his long-time partner and now chief scientific officer, Barry Merriman, on their sequencing technology, as well as mergers and acquisitions. 30 Roswell's all-electronic chip platform is designed to transform drug discovery, next-generation sequencing, and molecular diagnostics. 29

    Roswell is on our list because of his novel technological contributions to DNA sciences. He has raised over $50 million in financing for more groundbreaking technologies in the coming years. 31

    When Raniyah Copeland abruptly left the Black AIDS Institute in 2021, the storied organization appointed trans woman and advocate Toni Newman as interim CEO. 32 BAI, based in Los Angeles, focuses on HIV education, prevention, and treatment among Black Americans, a group disproportionately affected by HIV. 33

    Newman’s commitment to her cause carries over into her commitment to her work. She oversees the budget and community programs for the esteemed San Francisco LGBTQ+ non-profit LYRIC, serving as the interim executive director. 34 She is also the chair of the board of directors at TransCanWork, an organization that assists disadvantaged members of the trans community. 35

    This rising star is both a founder and CEO of 1910 Genetics, a biotech company that focuses on decreasing the timeline of drug development so that doctors can distribute innovative therapies to patients in need. 37 Nwankwo's company combines biological automation and automated tools to advance drug discovery practices.

    The subject of her dissertation inspired Nwankwo to start 1910 Genetics. Sickle cell anemia affects Black people more than any other ethnicity. 38 39 As CEO, she seeks to increase the diversity of clinical drug candidates and create medicines that treat genetic diseases that affect minorities.

  5. Apr 15, 2021 · O.W. Gurley was one of the founders of the Tulsa, Oklahoma community known as “Black Wall Street” one of the wealthiest Black communities in American history. He was born on Christmas Day to...

  6. Nov 27, 2017 · There are 1.2 million households in the top 1% of net worth and over 96% are white (1,152,000). Only 1.4% of them are black (16,800). The top white 1% households have a median net worth of $8.3...

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