Williams Capital's Billion Dollar Deal - Black Enterprise

Williams Capital’s Billion Dollar Deal

Christopher J. Williams

In what is perhaps one of the few silver linings in the dark cloud that is the current financial markets, another black-owned financial services firm has landed a deal — this time to manage assets for a Wall Street giant.

Williams Capital Management LLC, a subsidiary of Williams Capital Group LP (No. 2 in taxable securities with $2.1 billion in lead issues on the BE investment banks list) was recently selected by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to manage $1 billion worth of U.S. treasury and government agency securities.

BE reported last week that Piedmont Investment Advisors LLC (No. 10 on BE Asset Managers list with assets under management of $1.831 billion) was selected with two other firms by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to manage a securities portfolio worth roughly $218 billion that the Treasury has purchased though its TARP Capital Purchase Program.

Williams Capital has provided investment banking for the financial services giant for more than five years, mainly underwriting Goldman’s corporate bond offerings. “Chris Williams came to us with a proposal in February and his proposal was in an area where he is very prominent, very well respected and has a very good track record and that is in government money market management area,” says Ed Canaday, a spokesman for Goldman Sachs. “The benefit to Goldman Sachs is that we’d be helping an important relationship and also he has a very conservative investment strategy that’s consistent with ours.”

For Williams, this deal could be the springboard to lead to other transactions with the financial services powerhouses. “In addition to the dollar amount, which is very meaningful, I think to have a major financial services organization, like Goldman Sachs, that certainly has the capability to manage the money themselves … to have them feel comfortable with our firm and performing this function is definitely a feather in the cap,” says Christopher J. Williams, CEO of Williams Capital.

Williams says his firm will invest the assets in treasuries, government agencies, as well as certain FDIC-backed securities. “It’s a wide range of instruments that have the backing of the U.S. government so you’ve effectively eliminated the credit risk,” says Williams. “You’re really just focused on making sure you’re preserving the capital, you’re maintaining liquidity so when the company needs it, that it can get it. And yet it can enable us to attract other investments from many of the other institutions that invest in this type of strategy.”