Black History Month Spotlight: Christopher J. Williams

Who is this person?

Christopher J. Williams is Chairman, CEO and founder of The Williams Capital Group, L.P. and Williams Capital Management, LLC.  A 1984 graduate of the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, Williams began his career on Wall Street working for Lehman Brothers where he assumed senior management responsibilities in debt capital markets, over the counter derivatives, and taxable fixed income trading.  Chris later left Lehman Brothers and formed a derivatives division of Jefferies & Company before he ultimately started the Williams Capital Group, L.P. in 1994.  He is a proud and dedicated husband and father of two lovely children and a very visible member of the New York City society.

Why does he inspire me?

There are many reasons why Christopher Williams inspires me but the most top-of-mind reasons are his tenacity, his brilliance, and his generosity.  As my classmate at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Chris showed that he had the courage and vision to do what few people of color thought to do at that time and that was to start an investment banking firm on Wall Street and to actually compete with the titans who had dominated the financial markets for centuries.  Once he made the commitment to start his firm he quickly moved to leverage his extensive experience in the fixed income, equity, and derivatives markets to direct the firm’s strategic efforts in investment banking and asset management. Both Fortune magazine and Crain’s New York Business have recognized Mr. Williams for his leadership in the financial services industry.  To see my classmate and friend chase his dream and make it real, is both uplifting and motivating to me and my family.

What can we all learn from this man?

Christopher J. Williams has successfully modeled for our community the power and the opportunity of the convergence of high morals, new economy innovation, entrepreneurship, and “financial engineering.”  Mr. Williams has successfully lived out the old adage, “Do well and do good.” Throughout his career and despite his impressive financial success, Chris has mentored and provided professional opportunities to a host of young people who dream of making their success on Wall Street and following in the steps of Christopher J. Williams.  Not only has he help nurture young professionals in their financial careers but he has often paved a path and navigated the way for women and minority entrepreneurs, who are striving to tap into the Wall Street storehouse of capital to grow their businesses.  He is generous with his time, his financial blessings, and his unwavering commitment to humanity.  As a country and as a community, we are blessed to have Christopher J. Williams as one of our leading financial minds.