Little Known Black History Fact: Suzanne Shank

Suzanne Shank is considered to be the first African-American woman to lead a publicly traded financial institution, along with being one of the most powerful women on Wall Street period. As the CEO of two large financial firms, Shank has overseen over $1 trillion in transactions for state and local government agencies.

Shank, a native of Savannah, Ga., attended Georgia Institute of Technology and obtained a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering.After a brief stint as an engineer, Shank earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Since 1996, Shank has been the President and CEO Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., L.L.C., the year the company began. Working closely alongside Wall Street legend Muriel “Mickie” Siebert, Shank credits the late “First Woman of Finance” for a large part of her success. In 2013, Shank made headlines after she was named acting CEO of the Siebert Financial Corporation. It is a publicly traded holding company for Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. Shank was tapped to run Siebert Financial after the death of its longtime leader in August 2013.