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Frank Savage

Maker interview details

Profile image of Frank Savage


  • May 7, 2014
  • May 5, 2014



  • Born: July 10, 1938
  • Birth Location: Rocky Mount, North Carolina


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Investment banker Frank Savage was born on July 10, 1938 in Rocky Mount, North Carolina to Grace Savage and Frank Savage, Sr. When Savage was six months old, his mother and his twin sister, Frances, moved to Washington, D.C., where Savage’s mother opened up a beauty salon. In 1961, Savage earned his B.A. degree from Howard University, and in 1964, he received his M.A. degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University.

In 1962, Savage joined Crossroads Africa where he was assigned, along with two hundred and fifty other students, to build tennis courts at an all-boys school in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Upon earning his M.A. degree in 1964, Savage joined Citibank, as the first African American in its international division, and worked in the Middle East and Africa. In 1970, Savage joined Equitable Life Insurance as president of Equico Capital Corp., the largest Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Corporation in the United States. In 1973, Savage joined TAW International Leasing as executive vice president. He then went on to become vice chairman of the board and head of international operations for Equitable Capital Management Corporation; and, in 1987, he was named senior vice president of The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (now the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company). In 1992, Savage became chairman of Equitable Capital Management Corporation, where he spearheaded the firm’s global investment management business. Following the merger of Equitable Capital Management Corporation and Alliance Capital Management International in 1993, he served as chairman emeritus of Alliance Capital.

In 1998, Savage became a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2001, he resigned from Alliance Capital to form the Africa Millennium Fund. After the events of September 11, 2001, Savage delayed his plans for the Africa Millennium Fund and started Savage Holdings, where he serves as CEO.

Savage is chairman emeritus of the SAIS advisory board and of Howard University’s board of trustees. He has also served on the boards of Bloomberg LP, New York Academy of Medicine, Lockheed Martin, Qualcomm, and the New York Philharmonic. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Hofstra University and an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Howard University. In addition, Savage won the Lord Nelson Trophy as part of the 2003 Antigua Race Week Regatta, the premier sailing event in the Caribbean.

Savage is married to Lolita Valderrama Savage. They have six children.

Frank Savage was interviewed The HistoryMakers on May 5, 2014.