Savannah’s own Suzanne Shank, widely recognized as one of the most powerful women on Wall Street, received the highest honor of the Municipal Forum of New York at its annual award dinner in New York City last week. The event was attended by top municipal investment bankers, attorneys, and influential state and local government officials, including New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio and Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier.
A Johnson High School alumna, Shank is a 29-year veteran of the fi- nancial services industry and founding owner of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., LLC, formerly known as Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC. During her tenure as CEO, Siebert Cisneros Shank has grown from a start-up firm in 1996 to one which has completed over $1.2 trillion in financings for municipal issuers and $1 trillion in corporate bond and equity transactions. The firm holds the distinction of being the top ranked minority and woman owned municipal bond underwriter for 18 years and the first to be ranked in the top 10 among all firms as lead manager. The event, held annually by the Municipal Forum of New York, was its annual Awards and Urban Leadership Fellows Fundraising Dinner. Ms. Shank received the organization’s highest honor, the Austin Koenen Career Achievement Award. The award was presented to Ms. Shank by the Honorable Denise Nappier, treasurer for the State of Connecticut, and the first African American woman to be elected to that position in the United States. In her remarks, Suzanne recalled the positive examples of her parents, Roger and Mary Shank, and credited her teachers and counselors at Johnson High School, for pushing her to strive for an undergraduate engineering degree from Georgia Tech. After graduating and securing a job as an entry-level engineer, Shank credited a cousin with encouraging her to further her education by pursuing an MBA, which led her to the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a career in public finance. Prior to her financial services career, Ms. Shank was a Structural Engineer for General Dynamics, Electric Boat Division, working on noise mitigation projects. While there, she served as an interface with the United States Navy, assisting with negotiating contracts with General Dynamics’ top client. Ms. Shank has won numerous awards and honors throughout her career. She was the recipient of the “2016 Freda Johnson award for Trailblazing Women in the Public Sector” by The Bond Buyer in December of 2016. Ms. Shank was also named one of the “100 Most Influential Women in 2016” by Crain’s Detroit Business. Ms. Shank received the “Whitney M. Young Jr. Service Award” by the Greater New York Council of the Boy Scouts of America in October, 2014. In April, 2014, Ms. Shank was inducted into the 2014 Academy of Distinguished Engineering Alumni at Georgia Institute of Technology. Ms. Shank has also been named to NBC’s “Grio 100” list, which honors African American leaders nationally, has been recognized by U.S. Banker Magazine as one of the “Top 25 Women in Finance”, by Essence Magazine in their Power List, by Black Enterprise as one of the “50 Most Influential Black Women in Business” and one of the “75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street”, and by Women in Public Finance as “She’s Our Hero”. Ms. Shank was also selected by the Wharton School of Business from among 100,000 graduates as one of its “125 Influential People and Ideas”. She has also appeared on Wall Street Week, CNBC and Bloomberg TV promoting the strength of the municipal bond market. Ms. Shank is a leading financial services industry advocate highly active in various industry and civic organizations and actively serves on several boards, including the Spelman College Board of Trustees (Audit Co-Chair, Investment, Development Committee) and the Georgia Tech Advisory Board to the President, Bipartisan Policy Center Executive Council on Infrastructure, SIFMA Board of Directors, New York Citizen’s Budget Commission, Invest Detroit Board of Directors (Audit Committee), Wharton Graduate Board of Trustees, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Audit and Finance, Development) and is a member of the International Women’s Forum, among others. Ms. Shank is a graduate of The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania with a Masters of Business Administration degree in Finance, and the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. FINRA securities registrations held include the Series 7, 24, 52, 53, 63 and 79.