Meet Eric Standifer, CEO and President of Blaylock Van LLC, Wall Street’s oldest continually operating Black-owned investment banking firm. Recently, the company served as one of four exclusively Black-owned broker-dealers to syndicate Citi’s $2.5 billion bond issuance. Blaylock Van also completed a $14 billion new issue debt transaction with Apple as one of five minority-owned underwriting managers.
Blaylock Van offers best-in-class expertise in debt and equity underwriting, fixed income sales and trading, and financial advisory services. The company is becoming more and more successful as an increasing number of corporations and municipalities across the country have recognized the value of doing business with Diverse Business Enterprises (DBE), particularly in the financial service industry.
In fact, many U.S. companies have committed to further diversify their boards and overall business relationships following the killing of George Floyd in 2020. One result has been the shifting of more business to Black-owned investment banks. With a focus on bolstering internal policies and practices, Citi, for example, continues to expand its core business activities with minority-owned broker-dealers. As more companies focused on attracting both institutional and individual investors who also champion diversity, participation by minority-owned firms in underwriting debt of U.S. investment-grade companies reached an all-time high of nearly 30 percent in 2020. In 2021, the top 10 firms with diverse ownership have already underwritten more than $136 billion in new capital market transactions, according to Refinitiv.
Beyond Apple and Citi, Blaylock Van’s slate of notable recent deals includes companies such as Alphabet, AT&T, Bristol Myers, Comcast, Ford, General Dynamics, IBM, Nasdaq, Qualcomm, T-Mobile, Toyota Motor Credit, and Wells Fargo, with a significant new joint venture deal to be named in the second quarter.
“To deliver the best in diversified investment banking solutions, it helps to be a diversified company in both service offerings and leadership,” said Eric Standifer, CEO and president of Blaylock Van. “As the world continues to recover from the events of last year, Blaylock Van remains incredibly proud of our innovative and customized services and strategic insights that have helped companies coast to coast meet and exceed their financial goals.”
Serving corporations, municipalities, investment managers and pension funds, Blaylock Van is 81 percent Black-owned with a diverse employee base. Blaylock Van is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise by the State of New York, the State of Wisconsin, the City of New York and the National and Minority Supplier Development Council. In addition to delivering in-house compliance and regulatory standards expertise, Blaylock Van promotes supplier diversity and diversity & inclusion efforts for both investors and capital market clients.
Blacklock Van is committed to important efforts beyond financial services. Through its community service programs, the company provides hands-on experience to African American males in the San Francisco Achievers program with scholarship grants and internships.