Investment banker, entrepreneur and lawyer Marianne Camille-Spraggins was born in Harlem, New York. Her father, Roy Travers Spraggins, was a lawyer active in Harlem politics in the 1960s. Spraggins graduated from Boston University with her B.A. degree in English literature. She worked as a law clerk while attending New York Law School; where she went on to receive her J.D. degree. Spraggins also received her LL.M. degree in international law from Harvard Law School.
After receiving her LL.M., Spraggins was hired as an associate professor of law at the New York Law School and as the director of the school’s Urban Legal Studies Fellowship program. Then, in 1979, she was hired as an investment banker at Salomon Brothers, Incorporated, working in the Mortgage Finance Department. Spraggins was then promoted to vice president of the Municipal Finance Department in 1985. She would serve in that role until 1988, when she was hired as a first vice president at Prudential Bache Securities. Two years later, she was hired at Smith Barney in New York, where she became the first African American female managing director on Wall Street.
In the early 1990s, Spraggins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate and appointed by President Bill Clinton as the director of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation. In 1994, she signed on as co-chair and chief operating officer at W.R. Lazard, an underwriting and asset management business, where, following the death of Wardell Lazard, she worked to revive the company. In 1998, she was hired by the asset management company Smith Whiley and Company as a senior managing editor, and then, in 2000, as the chief executive officer of Atlanta Life Insurance Company Investment Advisors. Then, after briefly working as the president of the consulting company Buy Hold America, Spraggins was appointed a superdelagate of President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008. In 2011, she was hired by The BondFactor Company LLC, where she served as chief marketing officer.
Spraggins has served on a variety of national boards including FuturePac, Ft. Valley State College, Count-Me-In, and the Historic District Development Corporation in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also served on several governmental commissions including the DeWind Commission on Banking, Insurance and Financial Services, and Governor Cuomo's Task Force on Consumer and Mortgage Banking. Spraggins was a member of the Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee and co-chair of its Credentials Committee. She was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York Law School and the Apollo Theater Foundation, where she chaired the Restoration Committee.
Marianne Camille-Spraggins was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 20, 2013.