Suzanne Shank is the founder of Siebert Williams Shank & Co. (SWS), the nation’s largest woman and minority-owned non-bank financial firm. Following a merger with Williams Capital Group in 2019, SWS became the largest finance firm.
In 2010, the firm was ranked among the top ten senior managers of negotiated transactions. According to siebertwilliams.com, the firm has consistently ranked among the most active underwriters of publicly traded equity, investment grade corporate debt, and municipal debt offerings since then.
“She is a visionary when it comes to growing our firm,” said Gary Hall, a partner at Siebert Williams Shank. “She’s a wonderful listener, extremely competitive and driven, but also very empathetic. I’ve learned from her more about the use of honey versus the use of lemon,” Hall added.
Shank was recently inducted into The Bond Buyer Hall of Fame, which recognizes and celebrates trailblazing individuals who have made an indelible mark on the municipal finance industry and the people and places it represents. Shank was one of five living honorees chosen for the inaugural induction, with two others being honored posthumously.
“These individuals are standard-bearers, innovators, trendsetters,” said Michael Scarchilli, Editor in Chief of The Bond Buyer in a news release. “People who have had an indelible impact on the industry they’ve dedicated their professional lives to.”
In a statement, Shank praised her dedicated and hardworking staff for making her journey possible. “I am truly honored for this induction – alongside some remarkable industry peers – into the inaugural Bond Buyer Hall of Fame class,” she said.
Shank worked as a Design Engineer for General Dynamics’ Electric Boat Division prior to founding SWS. She moved to Wall Street after earning her MBA, working at several boutique firms before founding Siebert Williams Shank in 1996. Shank holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well.
Shank serves on several prominent boards, including CMS Energy, Rocket Mortgage, Spelman College Board of Trustees, Wharton Graduate Advisory Board, The Kresge Foundation, and The Skillman Foundation, according to siebertwilliams.com. Aside from being named one of USA Today’s Women of the Century in 2020, the Black woman CEO was recently inducted into the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni and received the Savannah College of Art and Design Women of Vision Award.