CEO: Wall Street Discounted Me Because of My Black Skin

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[Eddie C. Brown\Brown Capital Management]
Brown: "I founded Brown Capital Management in Baltimore, which now employs predominantly African-American professionals...no amount of wealth, education or prestige has distracted me from the discrimination, prejudice and segregation of opportunity."
Photo: Twitter

Black CEO Eddie C. Brown says Wall Street discounted him because of his Black skin.

I was raised in the Jim Crow South, when the railroad tracks separated whites from Blacks and African-Americans were considered second-class citizens.

Raised by common laborers who worked hard in Florida’s citrus groves, I had my world widened by weekend excursions to Orlando, where seeing white men in suits and ties behind desks left an impression. It was there where possibility was seeded.

I began my investment career as the first African-American portfolio manager at T. Rowe Price in 1973, not because of some quota or the good graces of white executives, but because the meritocratic model made me visible and managers were supportive. After 10 years in the business, I became an entrepreneur.

I founded Brown Capital Management in Baltimore, which now employs predominantly African-American professionals and manages more than $14 billion in client assets. Alongside my business partner Keith Lee, Brown Capital intentionally hired a diverse staff to gain broader perspectives and insight, purposely interviewed talent in non-finance professions and unabashedly approached Black college graduates at conferences and job fairs, looking for well-rounded team players with ambition, intelligence and versatility.

But over the years, no amount of wealth, education or prestige has distracted me from the discrimination, prejudice and segregation of opportunity that America’s communities of color endure. In my years on Wall Street, I have been doubted, discounted and judged reflexively on the basis of my skin color. The past few months have exposed our societal failures even further. We must heed the call to dismantle the inequality that makes careers such as mine the exception — rather than the rule.

For the rest of this Washington Post story log on to: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/07/08/im-black-ceo-ive-been...

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