Black Enterprise magazine's list of the most powerful blacks on Wall Street includes 75 executives and financial professionals this year, among them 30 top-tier professionals, 33 entrepreneurs and 18 private equity executives.
In addition, 11 women are on the list, including Michelle L. Collins, formerly principal of William Blair and now co-founder of private equity firm Svoboda, Collins LLC, and Amy Ellis-Simon, head of multiproduct sales for Merrill Lynch.
Also on the list is Merrill Lynch chairman and Chief Executive Stanley O'Neal, who is scheduled to be deposed in a racial discrimination suit filed against the firm by an African-American broker.
"African American movement within the industry has seen slow and steady progress, with incremental increases in minority recruitment," commented Michelle Holton, manager of inclusion at Edward Jones, and chairwoman of the Securities Industry Association's Diversity Committee.
Movement in the pipeline to senior management has remained inert, says the magazine. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, representation of African American officials and managers is highest in the areas of banking/credit (7 percent) and lowest in the securities industry (4.4 percent).