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SWS named IFR's Inaugural US Diversity & Inclusion House of the Year

We are honored to be named IFR Inaugural US D&I House of the year for 2021!

Momentum is building in the area of diversity and inclusion with an ever increasing number of companies hiring D&I firms for debt and equity transactions in 2021. Those firms are embracing the opportunity given to them, earning promotions to more senior roles and ad increasing share of the fees.

Black and women-owned Siebert Williams Shank was often the choice of companies that included a D&I component in their syndicates for the first time. Electronic Arts included SWS as the sole D&I firm – in a syndicate of 10 – for its US$1.5bn two-tranche bond and it was also the only D&I firm on Boston Properties’ US$850m green bond. Airbnb’s first visit to capital markets since its IPO was a US$2bn zero-coupon convertible bond in March, with SWS included as a co-manager, along with other D&I firms Academy Securities, Ramirez and Tigress Financial…


Under president and CEO Suzanne Shank’s leadership, SWS ranked as the top D&I firm in co-manager roles on US investment-grade transactions in 2021 after working on 173 deals, according to Refinitiv data…

As usual, SWS topped D&I US municipal bank rankings in 2021 as well.

“We are climbing the syndicate ladder and becoming more involved in a senior capacity,” said Jonathan Levin, head of corporate finance at SWS.

Indeed, the firm participated in four IPOs in 2019, which increased to 27 a year later and jumped to 66 in 2021. “This is a part of our business which has exploded,” Levin said.

One of the biggest deals for the firm was the US$2.7bn fundraising from ViacomCBS, which issued equity and convertible bonds to help fund investments in its streaming service Paramount+. SWS was a bookrunner alongside Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Mizuho, and ahead of 15 co-managers.

SWS also picked up a bookrunner role from Apollo Global Management for its US$300m NYSE IPO of SPAC Acropolis Infrastructure Acquisition, again the only D&I firm.

“We were the first diversity joint lead manager ever on any equity offering of size,” said Gary Hall, SWS’ national head of public finance and infrastructure.

SWS appearing in syndicates alongside only major banks shows how the firm’s reputation has grown to the point that it is winning mandates on its own merits, not just junior roles among many D&I firms – though as an emerging space the latter remain important.

IFR Awards 2021

Matthew Davies



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