Friday, November 25, 2011

Pantheon of Pioneers: Travers J. Bell, Jr.

Founder of First Black Firm on the New York Stock Exchange

With only $175,000 in capital, Mr. Bell formed Daniels & Bell Inc., a securities firm on Wall Street, in 1971
The late Travers J. Bell Jr. co-founded investment bank Daniels & Bell, which in 1971 became the first black-owned investment bank on the New York Stock Exchange. In addition, Bell structured the first leveraged buyout completed by an African American when his DanBell subsidiary acquired Cocoline Chocolate, which was included among the nation’s largest black-owned companies.
Mr. Bell grew up in a housing development on the South Side of Chicago. His father worked in the operations department of the Chicago office of Dempsey Tegler & Company, and was able to get his son a messenger's job. Mr. Bell, who obtained degrees from Washington University in St. Louis and from the New York Institute of Finance, ascended quickly, eventually to vice-president of the firm.

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