Christopher J. Williams - The Leader
Equality and entrepreneurship are perhaps the two most important “E” words in the
United States – words with special meaning for those facing cultural and institutionalized
inequities. From the top ranks of young business leaders who are emerging from
communities of color is Christopher Judson Williams. Williams’ modest beginnings as an
electrician’s son instilled the values of hard work, determination, and faith in capitalism and
democracy. Those values seem to be the corner stone of one of the Williams Capital Group.
In fact, Black Enterprises ranked Williams Capital Group as the largest minority owned
investment bank in both the June 2002 and June 2004 issues. The Williams Capital Group
was started in Mr. Williams’ Park Avenue office in 1994 and has since grown into one of the
top 15 most active underwriters of corporate debt, according to Thomson Financial.
Fortune Magazine selected Mr. Williams as one of the most powerful blacks in
corporate America in 2002, and commended him again in 2004 saying Williams Capital “sets
itself apart in the investment banking patch” by being consistently profitable during down
markets. Crain’s New York also lists Mr. Williams as one of the top 100 minority business
leaders in 2003 and reported that his understanding in the field of derivatives and emphasis
on customer service have attributed to his success.
Mr. Williams and his wife, Janice Savin Williams, also started the Allen L. Williams, II
Memorial Scholarship to honor his father’s service in the United States Marine Corps. He
serves on the Board of Directors of Caesar’s Entertainment Operating Company, the Lincoln
Center for the Performing Arts, and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Wal-Mart and its Board of
Directors has recently come under scrutiny over bribery allegations in Wal-Mex, its largest
foreign subsidiary. Mr. Williams received overwhelming support from the shareholders’ vote
this past May to continue his role on both the Executive Committee and as Chairperson of the
Audit Committee, receiving 86.74% of the vote.
Mr. Williams holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University and an M.B.A. from
the Tuck Business School at Dartmouth. He is featured in two academic textbooks on using
financial derivatives in capital markets. Before he founded Williams Capital Group he was
employed at Lehman Brothers in New York, working in its derivatives department.