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Errol B. Taylor

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor was born on November 24, 1955 in Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies, and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, received his B.A. degree in biology in 1977 from State University of New York at Oswego, and his J.D. degree in 1987 from New York Law School, in New York City.

Admitted to the New York State Bar in 1988, Taylor was also admitted to the bars of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He became a registered patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 1996, and a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York in 1997. He served as a patent litigation attorney, partner and member of the executive committee at the intellectual property law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1987 to 2003. Taylor joined as partner of the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP in 2003, where he led the firm’s biopharma patent litigation practice and served as chair of Milbank’s Diversity Committee.

Taylor represented biopharmaceutical companies in patent litigation regarding some of the world’s most prescribed medicines and was selected by The National Law Journal as one of the nation's top trial lawyers in 2003. He received an honorary Ph.D. degree (doctor of laws) from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2006. He was elected chairman of the board of trustees in 2004 for the Trenton, New Jersey-based Young Scholars’ Institute, a nonprofit learning center, which serves students in pre-K through 12th grade, and was President of the Princeton Chapin School Board of Trustees from 2008 to 2011. Taylor was named one of Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2015, which features the top partners from leading law firms and corporate counsels from Fortune 1000 companies. He was recognized in Lawdragon’s 2018 guide of the 500 Leading Lawyers in America. The annual guide is the company’s highest distinction, recognizing top practitioners across various practice areas. He was the recipient of the New York Law School Alumni Award in 2018.

Included in his affiliations and memberships: American Intellectual Property Law Association and Federal Circuit Bar Association. He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternities. Taylor has served as trustee on numerous boards, including the Board of Trustees of Clark Atlanta University and New York Law School, where co-chaired the advisory board for the Innovation Center for Law and Technology.

Errol B. Taylor was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 27, 2018.

Accession Number

A2018.086

Sex

Male

Archival Photo 1
Interview Date

4/27/2018

Last Name

Taylor

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

B.

Occupation
Schools

Brooklyn Technical High School

State University of New York at Oswego

New York Law School

Archival Photo 2
First Name

Errol

Birth City, State, Country

Kingston

HM ID

TAY18

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

Costa Rica

Favorite Quote

An Empty Barrel Makes The Most Noise.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

11/24/1955

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

Jamaica

Favorite Food

Caribbean

Short Description

Lawyer Errol B. Taylor (1955- ) named partner at the New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in 2003, previously served as a patent attorney and partner at the corporate and securities law firm Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto, in New York City from 1999 to 2003.

Employment

Squibb Corporation

Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper and Schinto

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy LLP

Favorite Color

Blue

Charles Phillips, Jr.

Corporate executive Charles E. Phillips, Jr. was born in June of 1959 in Little Rock, Arkansas. He attended the United States Air Force Academy, where he received his B.S. degree in computer science in 1981. Phillips served first as a second lieutenant, and then as captain in the United States Marine Corps, 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines from 1981 to 1986 at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He received his M.B.A degree from Hampton University in 1986 and his J.D. degree from the New York Law School in 1993.

In 1986, Phillips was named vice president of software for the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. He worked as senior vice president of SoundView Technology Group from 1990 to 1993, and senior vice president of Kidder Peabody from 1990 to 1994. Phillips then landed a job as a principal with Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Institutional Securities Division in 1994, and was promoted to managing director in 1995. Then, in 2003, Phillips was hired by Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California, as executive vice president of strategy, partnerships, and business development. He was appointed president and a member of the board of directors of Oracle in 2004, where he remained until 2010. In 2010, Phillips was named chief executive officer of Infor, an ERP software provider headquartered in New York City.

He serves on the boards of Infor, Viacom Corporation, Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York Law School, the American Museum of Natural History, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment Fund, and Posse Foundation. Phillips is also a board member of his family foundation, Phillips Charitable Organizations, which provides financial aid for single parents, students interested in engineering, and wounded veterans. In February 2009, he was appointed as a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board in order to provide U.S. President Barack Obama and his administration with advice and counsel in addressing the late-2000s recession.

Phillips was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine as the Number One Enterprise Software Industry Analyst from 1994 to 2003. He was also named by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the Top 50 African Americans on Wall Street in 2002.

Charles Phillips was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on April 11, 2014.

Accession Number

A2014.099

Sex

Male

Interview Date

4/11/2014

Last Name

Phillips

Maker Category
Middle Name

E.

Schools

United States Air Force Academy

Hampton University

New York Law School

First Name

Charles

Birth City, State, Country

Little Rock

HM ID

PHI07

Favorite Season

Late Spring

State

Arkansas

Favorite Vacation Destination

Madrid, Spain

Favorite Quote

Semper Fi

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

6/10/1959

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Paella

Short Description

Corporate chief executive Charles Phillips, Jr. (1959 - ) is the CEO of Infor. He also served as president of Oracle from 2004 to 2010, and is a founder and board member of Phillips Charitable Organizations.

Employment

United States Marine Corps

Bank of New York Mellon Corporation

SoundView Technology Group

Kidder Peabody

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter

Oracle Corporation

Infor

Favorite Color

Black

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106728">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Charles Phillips, Jr.'s interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106729">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. lists his favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106730">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106731">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's family background, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106732">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood experience with the U.S. Air Force and enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106733">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106734">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his mother's family background and how his parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106735">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106736">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory and his experience living in Madrid, Spain</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106737">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106738">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his childhood personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106739">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American schools abroad and his father's interest in current events</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105004">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105005">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the American school in Madrid, Spain and Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105006">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Lakeshore High School in Atlanta, Georgia and playing basketball</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105007">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his parents and brothers in Atlanta, Georgia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105008">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to enroll at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105009">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105010">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his interest in computers and computer programming, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105011">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. recalls his nomination by Nelson Rockefeller to attend the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105012">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes enrolling at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105013">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105014">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the student body population at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106740">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the challenges of increasing African American attendance at the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106741">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the pressure of attending the United States Air Force Academy in El Paso County, Colorado</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106742">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his decision to serve his commission in the United States Marine Corps</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106743">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about meeting his wife, Karen Phillips</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106744">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his experience in the United States Marine Corps</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106745">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes leaving the United States Marine Corps to attend an M.B.A. program at Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106746">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106747">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working in investment banking with a background in technology rather than in finance</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106748">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the progression of his career on Wall Street</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106749">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his success as a software analyst on Wall Street</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106750">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes technology analysts on Wall Street during the late 1980s and 1990s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106751">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about working with Mary Meeker and Frank Quattrone at Morgan Stanley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106752">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about becoming a managing director in Morgan Stanley's technology group in 1995</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106753">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the leading people and companies in the software industry during his time as an analyst</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106754">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his investment strategy during the dot-com bubble</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106755">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the development of technology in the United States and abroad in the early 2000s</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106756">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Stanford's University's role in Silicon Valley</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106757">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about technological innovation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106758">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about Morgan Stanley's merger with Dean Witter Reynolds in 1997</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106759">Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about leaving Morgan Stanley to work at Oracle Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105238">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105239">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about his acquisition strategy at Oracle Corporation, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105240">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his goals at Oracle Corporation and the difference between enterprise software and personal software</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105241">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the history and security of cloud computing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105242">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes becoming the CEO of Infor in 2010</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105243">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the importance of design and ease of use in Infor's software</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105244">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about moving Infor to New York City, New York</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105245">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/105246">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes the development of Infor's internal creative agency, Hook & Loop, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106760">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the growth of Infor since he became CEO</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106761">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes Infor's acquisition of Lawson Software in 2011</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106762">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the percentage of cloud business at Infor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106763">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the use of open source databases and operating systems at Infor</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106764">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the future of big data and automation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106765">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects on his career path</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106766">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the Phillips Charitable Foundation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106767">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106768">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Charles Phillips, Jr. talks about the legacy of the post-Civil Rights generation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/106769">Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Charles Phillips, Jr. reflects upon his legacy</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$2

DAStory

7$1

DATitle
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes starting his career at the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation on Wall Street
Charles Phillips, Jr. describes his father's opinion of the U.S. Air Force
Transcript
So this is your late twenties too, though.$$Yeah.$$You're still young. How do you end up with the Bank of New York Mellon [Corporation]? I mean, is that your first--$$That was my first job. I didn't know anybody in New York [New York City, New York]. Then, my mother-in-law was living in New York. My wife's [Karen Phillips] family is from the New York area. She said you just need to start applying and see what you can do. So all I did was start writing a bunch of different financial institutions like "I just got out of the Marines, I'd like to come live in New York, I don't have any financial experience but I'm a quick learner. I've learned engineering" and, to my view, it's harder than finance. I think I sent out 200 letters. I got like 190 rejections 'cause people didn't value the military experience at that time and the whole engineering, it just-- especially in New York without any military bases here, they hadn't been around it. It has changed some now, we respect it now. But back then--remember this is--remember this is '80s [1980] when--. People would tell me "You seem like you're so smart, so why would you go to the military if you're that smart?" I said, "Well, you can be smart--it's not oxymoron, people do things for other than money sometimes because they have a commitment," so I had to explain that. And so, it was looking pretty bleak actually and then the Bank of New York, I wrote the guy and said, "Will you meet with me?" He said, "Yes, let me know the next time you're in town." I came to town and had trouble pinning him down, but I finally badgered him into a meeting. I realized as soon as I walked into his office, I waited all day to see him. He had a name plaque on his desk with an eagle, globe, and anchor-- had his last name with an eagle, globe, and anchor next to it, which was the Marine Corp emblem, so I knew his dad was a Marine and that's why he met with me. Once I saw that, I was, "Okay, I know why I'm here. I know I'm going to get this job now," so we start talking and within twenty minutes, we're laughing and talking about everything. He said, "All right, I'll give you a shot." And I said, "That's all I'm asking for a shot, and let me get started, and if I fail, fire me in six months. You'll never hear from me again. I'll work for whatever you think it is. I didn't know what it was worth. You tell me. I'll work for anything. I just want a shot." And he gave it to me. And--$$And you were hired to do what, Charles?$$So he hired me into--they had a mini training program, so I went around to different departments and that lasted about six months. I worked in the credit department, analyzing financial statements, and then he assigned me in the research department for analyzing stocks because I like analyzing things. So I said, "I can do that. I'll figure that out." So I got there. And they weren't sure what to do with me. So I said, "The thing I know about is computers, why don't you let me follow computer stocks and I can tell you a lot about that?" But I didn't know about the stock market. I go, "I don't, but I know the products work and I know why people buy them. I know if they're good or not." That, what seemed to be important because everybody else was an accountant or had some finance thing they were really good at. I said, "Yeah, I'll get to learning the stock market," but none of them could tell you what the products--if the products--that's what I know. And that was the unique thing I had, so they said, "Okay, do that." And the computer industry stock market was just starting. That's when Microsoft [Corporation] was just becoming public. Oracle [Corporation] had just became public, so it was a little side industry, especially the area I specialized in, which was the enterprise area, the more complex software. There were very few people even paying--they were scared of those stocks because they didn't understand them, and they were small companies. No one paid attention to them, so I said, "I'm just going to do that, and I will explain the reason these companies exist, how it's gonna change, I think it's going to be a big industry. Computers are going to be more prevalent. I already knew all that from the last seven years working with the stuff that it was growing in importance, but I didn't how long it would take. But I knew it was going to be big at some point. And a lot of the ways they used to do things on the old, giant computers with the cards and all that stuff--all these new computers because I've been building them, are going to be more powerful and more efficient way to do it, and this is going to get big. And here are the software companies that are going to help automate that, and I'll just do that, and explain to people why that's going to happen, and the shift from mainframes to PCs [personal computers] and all that." And they said, "We don't understand a thing you're saying, but it sounds like you know what you're talking about, so go ahead and do that." So I started basically visiting those companies, writing reports about them, and explaining to investors why they should invest, and then eventually made it to the investment banking firm and started doing the mergers and acquisitions, and seeing how the industry worked. I knew everybody in the industry because that is all I was doing (unclear).$$Now you were at what investment bank firm?$$So I ended up at Kidder, Peabody [& Co.]--(simultaneous)--$$Kidder, Peabody--(simultaneous)--$$--and then to Morgan Stanley.$What, what rank does your father [Charles Phillips, Sr.] have, you know, what rank is he--?$$(simultaneous) He retired a Senior master sergeant [in the U.S. Air Force], which is, for the enlisted, the second highest you can go, so he did pretty well, but he was enlisted though, yeah.$$And so is he--do you ever hear discussions about him being frustrated at all, or, you know, is he of the generation that the service really opened up, you know, a lot of opportunities?$$He is grateful for the opportunity to serve his country and it gave him tremendous opportunities. So, there-- He told me a story that four years into the service, you have to decide whether you want to re-up, or reenlist, and continue; and he came home in his uniform, had some time off for a week. And one of the guys he went to high school with tried to talk him out of reenlisting and said, "Come back here to Clinton, Oklahoma," which really it's only 5,000 people, "and we'll open up a liquor store." And he said, "I thought about it, and I almost did it," and then said, "You know what, there's just gotta be better something. I haven't seen in four years, but there's--but I've seen enough to say, there's other ways of thinking and I want to learn more, and I decided against. I went and re-uped and went back and left." So he goes back, 10 or 15 years later, the guy actually did open a liquor store and, of course, is destitute, barely surviving, like a shack about to fall over, and selling liquor. He said, "You see, that would have been me if I had made that decision and said, "No, I just don't want to make that decision, no I don't want to do that, even though he was one of my best friends, I would have been stuck there for the rest of my life, you know." And so he views that, the fact that he got out through the military as a huge--so do I. I was so glad did. It changed his life. Nonetheless, the fact that that was his only choice is a function of many other things that he obviously not happy about. So it was just this dual feeling. On the one hand, I 'm grateful for this opportunity, and I want to serve my country because they gave me this opportunity; on the other hand, I should have had more opportunity like everybody else did and didn't like the way he was being treated, so--$$So this-- some of this you're hearing around the dinner table and at home.$$Yeah, this conflict and anger, and yet the appreciation of being part of the country, and yet "My country should have treated me better," all those things, you know. All those things were discussed and, you know, I'd tried to understand in a way because we grew up in an environment that I had never seen before and I tried to place myself there and see if I would be as angry, you know.$$So you're hearing a lot about, you know, this person, you know, I didn't get treated right, you know. And then the Marines are--they were still --the Marines were a hard place--you know, we had--well the Montford Point Marines [Montford Point Marine Association]. I think Navy was worse. Navy was worse as a branch of service.$$(simultaneous) Yeah.

Marianne Camille Spraggins

Investment banker 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.

Accession Number

A2013.263

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/20/2013

Last Name

Spraggins

Maker Category
Middle Name

Camille

Schools

Boston University

New York Law School

Harvard Law School

P.S. 46 Arthur Tappan School

J.H.S. 52 Inwood Junior High School

Walton High School

First Name

Marianne

Birth City, State, Country

New York

HM ID

SPR05

Favorite Season

Spring

State

New York

Favorite Vacation Destination

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Favorite Quote

Promise Little, But Do Much.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

11/2/1945

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Shrimp

Short Description

Investment banker Marianne Camille Spraggins (1945 - ) was the first African American female managing director on Wall Street.

Employment

Covington, Howard, Hagood & Holland

New York Law School

Salomon Brothers, Inc

Prudential Bache Securities

Smith Barney

Securities Investor Protection Corporation

W.R. Lazard

Smith Whiley & Co

Atlanta Life Insurance Company

Buy Hold America

BondFactor Company LLC

Favorite Color

Lime Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643551">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marianne Camille Spraggins' interview</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643552">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643553">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643554">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her father's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643555">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643556">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls how her parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643557">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her sister</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643558">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her earliest childhood memory</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643559">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643560">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her home life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643561">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her father's involvement in politics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643562">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes the Harlem community in New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643563">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643564">Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her early personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643565">Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her childhood role models</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643566">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her decision to attend Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643567">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her experiences of discrimination at Boston University</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643568">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her experience at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643569">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her father's encouragement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643570">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers living in Los Angeles, California</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643571">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her position with NBC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643572">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers her father's death</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643573">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls earning her degree from New York University School of Law</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643574">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers passing the bar examination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643575">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers developing an interest in finance</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643576">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers the mentorship of Russell L Goings, Jr.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643577">Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her interview with Salomon Brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643578">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her training at Salomon Brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643579">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643580">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643581">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about Lewis S. Ranieri</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643582">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her role at Salomon Brothers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643583">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her time at Prudential Bache Securities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643584">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers learning to close a deal</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643585">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers the African Americans on Wall Street</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643586">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers David N. Dinkins' mayoral campaign</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643587">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls joining Smith Barney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643588">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her experiences at Smith Barney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643589">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her role at Smith Barney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643590">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins compares her experiences at Wall Street firms</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643591">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her accomplishments at Smith Barney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643592">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her experiences on Wall Street</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643593">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers Wardell Lazard</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643594">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls her role at W.R. Lazard and Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643595">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers joining Smith Whiley and Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643596">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her involvement with Atlanta Life Insurance Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643597">Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her presidential appointments</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643598">Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her role at The BondFactor Company, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643599">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her work at The BondFactor Company, LLC</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643600">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about the history of African American financiers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643601">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon the legacy of Travers Bell</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643602">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643603">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her civic engagement</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643604">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about black politics</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643605">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about black entrepreneurship</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643606">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643607">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her interest in African art</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643608">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marianne Camille Spraggins describes how she would like to be remembered</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643609">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marianne Camille Spraggins reflects upon her career and legacy</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/643610">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marianne Camille Spraggins talks about her father's hopes for her career</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$3

DAStory

10$3

DATitle
Marianne Camille Spraggins remembers developing an interest in finance
Marianne Camille Spraggins recalls securing a placement at Salomon Brothers, pt. 2
Transcript
You liked law, then? Did you (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yes. It was a natural for me (unclear).$$Okay. And so, what courses did you gravitate to? That you sort of remember?$$The business law, the constitutional law, if I, if I practiced law, I'm sure I would have been a litigator. If I actually practiced.$$But you then come back to New York law school [New York University School of Law, New York, New York] and start as associate professor. But then, how long do you do that? You do that for a couple of years, and then how do you make the change?$$Make the transition? Well--$$Because, it just is like, you're on a track, and the next thing you know, you're at some, you know, at Salomon Brothers.$$Well, you know, there's a thread. When I was in law school, I took a seminar type course from somebody named Nicholas Deak, D-E-A-K [Nicholas L. Deak]. And there was something, a big foreign exchange operation called Deak-Perera in New York [New York]. And as it turned out, he was the Deak. And the course was international business transactions. And we used to go down to Wall Street, to Chase [Chase Manhattan Bank; JPMorgan Chase and Co.], to different banks and interview people and, and we had to do a paper for the course, rather than an exam. And I chose to do one on Swiss banks. Whereupon I learned that there was always something different about this Nicholas Deak. I think he was Hungarian. He was very suave, and there was something mysterious about him, and he always arrived with his driver and a different antique car, and I was just fascinated. Who is this, right? And I was always late for his class, and I would come in about ten minutes late, 'cause I was working [at Covington, Howard, Hagood and Holland, New York, New York]. And, and he would, and it was small, you know, maybe fifteen of us. And it was at, like ten o'clock in the morning, and he would stop what he was doing, and he would say, "Good afternoon, Miss Spraggins [HistoryMaker Marianne Camille Spraggins]." And I said, I came in like Loretta (Unclear) [ph.], "Oh, good afternoon." (Laughter) But anyway, I came to learn that he owned a Swiss bank. Well, that just knocked me out, right? Because I think the thread through it all for me is power. And, you know, I understood political power from this Harlem [New York, New York] vantage point of getting people in jobs and knowing city hall and getting people in judgeships. But I always knew there was something more. And when I took that course, and we went down into those bowels of Wall Street, I didn't know what they did, but there was a different energy, and just a, kind of like a veil being lifted for me. I didn't know what it was, but I knew it was really important and it was kind of a magnet. So when I realized that he owned a Swiss bank, that just took me to a whole other level and I just became very engaged in wanting to know more and about this whole world. Right? And so that is how my interest started, and then the more I was around it, which wasn't a lot, I really realized that this was the real seat of power. So going to Wall Street, I mean, naturally I wanted to make money, but that wasn't the driving force. It was the power that it represented, and knowing that this is a table that we did not sit at. And that we had to. So that's how I ended up going to Wall Street.$And he was from Georgia, by the way. He had run the Georgia office and had a horrible reputation in this regard. And so I, before I knew it, I was yelling, I was screaming, I was crying, and I was telling him. I said, "Let me tell you one thing." I said, "You can subject me to anything you subject everybody else around here to." I said, "That, and no more. Because you don't understand who I am." And I said, I said, "I am Roy Spraggins' daughter. That means nothing to you, but it means everything to me and it means everything to everybody who ever put anything into trying to make something out of me in this life. I will do that and no more, and do you understand?" Well he was like, "Nobody." One of the things that was my observation on Wall Street is that women, that men have done something that women typically have not done. They have been either in the [U.S.] military, or been engaged in some kind of active team sport, which means that, you know, I make this move, you make that move. You say yes, I say no. Right? All that. You go forward, I go back. To a woman, when you're confronted with a situation, really what you do is supply some kind of logic and common sense. So if somebody says something to me and it doesn't make sense to me, I don't just respond. I will ask why. And then typically, in certainly that environment, they really have no idea what to do with that. So that is what I was confronting at that moment. He was livid. He had never, he was purple, he was out of his chair, he was screaming at me. He had gone to a level I couldn't care less, and I said, "And everybody tells me I'm not supposed to cry, well, I don't care. This is what I do. I see those people out there and they cuss and swear and go to strip clubs and I cry. And if you don't like it, it's tough." This is how this was going, right? So he shut me up and he looks at me and he tells me, "You are gonna, you don't like it up there?" He goes, "You're gonna sit there." And he points to this desk outside his office. Okay? And he goes, "And you go there right now." So that's where he sent me. And so I went and I sat there, and I tried to get myself back together. And I said, "Marianne, this can't be happening, you know? Not like this, right?" So long story short, meanwhile, they had driven the other black woman out. And they didn't know I was around, that I heard them. One partner picked up a phone and called the other like, "Guess who's gone?" Like it's a game, a big joke, right? And I had said to myself at that time, "I'm leaving here one of two ways. Either I'm really gonna make it or they're taking me out on a stretcher. I am not going any other kind of way, period." So I gathered my things, and that next day, I went to the cafeteria. At Salomon Brothers, the cafeteria is a place where everybody comes to. You have your own private dining rooms, right? So that's where, you know, luncheons take place with customers and so forth. But as far as the firm goes, in the morning, partner, everybody comes to the cafeteria. So I set up my desk at a table right near the cash register. And had all my financial press, books, everything, and I said, "This is my office." I said, "Because one day," and I'd read everything cover to cover. I said, "One day, somebody is gonna have to say, 'Who is that black woman? Why is she sitting there every day reading the papers,' right? Reading books." And if anybody made eye contact with me, I went to their office. And I said, "My name is Marianne Spraggins [HistoryMaker Marianne Camille Spraggins], and I was in the last class." Meanwhile, another class has already started. "I was in the class and I didn't get placed. Do you have any work you need done?" Well, first of all, they were probably just so embarrassed and aghast and awkward, they didn't know what to do, right? I mean, I was, wasn't confrontational, I was just very nice, you know? "You need anything done?" And so, I guess they said, "Poor soul." They would give me something to do. And long story short, I did that a few times and I ended up working on some publication. I'll never forget, we were (unclear) write notes, and as a result of that, I got sent on another interview which led to me being placed in a job and it was in, with Lew Ranieri [Lewis S. Ranieri] who is the father of the mortgage securities market. It was at the very, very, very beginning of it and so that's where I started in an area that was completely brand new and made a way for myself. That's how I got started.$$So how long did it take you past that? You know, almost, you know from the time period that that happened, how long (unclear) (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Of that, which thing happened?$$You know, when, when you set up in the cafeteria. How long did that take afterwards?$$Months, a few months.