7 Black Women in Finance Making Strides Across the WorldJan 22, 2024 10:00AM ● By Boitumelo Masihleho
These personal finance gurus, coaches, and trailblazers are just the inspiration needed to help you manage your money. Black women have been blazing a trail in the financial world for decades. From Maggie Lena Walker, the first woman ever to start a bank, to Lilla St. John, the first Black woman to pass the New York Stock Exchange exam in 1953 at age 25, the legacy is vast—and filled with numerous firsts.
Whether you’re trying to improve your credit or make retirement plans, these seven Black women personal finance experts can help show you the way.
Kiko Davis is the trustee of the Donald Davis Living Trust, the majority stockholder of First Independence Bank, the 10th largest African-American-owned bank in the United States and she is the only African American, female bank owner in the United States. She’s also the founder and president of the Don Davis Legacy Foundation, established in 2016 to perpetuate the legacy-building efforts and initiatives envisioned and developed by her late husband, Donald Davis.
Her philanthropy extends to the support of multiple great causes and organizations. A respected investor, highly sought national speaker, and passionate mentor, Kiko has received numerous accolades for her work including the Michigan Chronicle's Women of Excellence Award, Café Mocha's Salute THEM: Business Legacy Award, and the prestigious Ebony Magazine Power 100 Honor. She recently completed the Women's Executive Leadership program at Yale School of Management and continues to speak across the nation with a special focus on empowering women in business.
As the former CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, a division of JP Morgan, and a member of the board of directors of Nike, Thasunda Duckett oversaw a network of more than 5,300 branches and 47,000 employees. Hailed as one of "the most powerful women in banking" by American Banker, Ducket advocates for inclusion in finance. Duckett is an American businesswoman who serves as the president and chief executive officer of TIAA. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Houston and an MBA from Baylor University.
In addition, Duckett is an appointee to the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), The Business Council Executive Committee. She founded the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation in honor of her parents to recognize and reward people who use ordinary means to empower and uplift their community in extraordinary ways, and the Committee for Economic Development. She also serves on the board of Business Roundtable.
“Financial literacy, economic empowerment, and wealth-building are going to be the last leg of the civil rights movement. Because one step towards financial literacy takes you two steps t... Read More »
Graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a minor in statistics, Simmons originally aspired to go into genetic counseling. She decided to put that on hold. In 2017, at 23 years old, Lauren Simmons became the youngest full-time female trader at the New York Stock Exchange and the second Black woman in 226 years. She was named to Ebony's Power 100 list in 2018 and was also awarded the 2018 Women of Impact by Politico. She has been referred to as the "Wolfette of Wall Street".
Simmons has since left her trading role behind and is now a public speaker and entrepreneur, and is producing her biopic. As of 2021, Simmons is the host and producer of the upcoming web series Going Public, which helps viewers invest in companies that are preparing to release an IPO. She is an advocate for the financial sector to take steps to increase diversity and inclusion.
Valerie was born in Zimbabwe to a family of five children. She is a founder and Director of eCOMM Merchant Solutions, a fast-growing fintech company she established with her husband in 2014. She previously set up another fast-growing fintech company called PFS, which she and her husband sold in 2019. Over the years, her analytical mind and suave management style have helped to put her companies on the global Financial Services map.
She was named the wealthiest Black woman in the UK in 2019, and the only Black woman to have appeared in the Rich List’s 31 editions. She oversaw the donation of the equivalent of 200,000 school meals to hungry children in Mali in West Africa, in cooperation with Mastercard and the United Nations World Food Program (WFP).
Whether you're managing your student loan debt, searching for a better way to budget, these 7 Black women have the financial know-how to help you improve your finances. Read More »
Mariame McIntosh Robinson
Mariame McIntosh Robinson is a global financial services leader with 20+ years experience as a P&L leader, investor, board member and advisor to leading companies in the US and the Caribbean. McIntosh Robinson is in the exclusive league of the very few Black women running financial institutions in the world. She is the President & CEO of First Global Bank based out of Jamaica. She began her career as a consultant for McKinsey & Company after finishing her Masters Degree in Economics from the University of Oxford in the UK.
She then proceeded to get an MBA from Harvard Business School and continued her consulting career at Bain & Company after graduation. After distinguishing herself in consulting, Mariame spent 7 years in private equity at Portland Private Equity, the largest private equity fund management company focused on the Caribbean region, successfully managing portfolios numbering in the US$100s of millions.
Tonya Rapley is an internationally recognized millennial money expert and consultant. She created the award-winning site, My Fab Finance in 2013, catapulting her to the forefront of millennial money matters. She is a financial education pioneer who grew a startup from $0 to $3 million+ in revenue. With her fierce financial knowledge and savvy, she's on a mission to help others break free from the shackles of living paycheck to paycheck and start living the life they truly love. She's not just any expert, but a trailblazer who was named the “New Face of Wealth Building” by Black Enterprise Magazine.
She is the creator of the #BanishTheBalance challenge, a debt elimination challenge that helped over 4,000 participants pay off more than $200,000 of debt in sixty days. Tonya is also the co-founder and CFO of a Chicago-based FinTech app, FOAM, that is changing the way students experience and pay for college.
Natasha Bansgopaul is a serial entrepreneur and technologist focusing on the intersection of emerging technologies and traditional infrastructure. She is the Co-Founder and COO of VegaX Holdings, an award-winning financial technology platform building cryptocurrency index technology and automated portfolio rebalancing infrastructure solutions for traditional institutions and investors. She is a leader in global fintech with experience in emerging technologies, artificial intelligence, and interagency cooperation. Bansgopaul is an experienced financial technology, marketing, research, and M&A professional with more than 10 years of demonstrated leadership through key strategic roles at Fortune 100 companies.
With the rise of digital technology, African financial services are undergoing a radical transformation. Read More »
Here are a few fast-growing and well-established Black woman-owned businesses you can support to keep our wealth-building efforts growing. Read More »
Boitumelo Masihleho is a South African digital content creator. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rhodes University in Journalism and Media Studies and Politics and International Studies.
She's an experienced multimedia journalist who is committed to writing balanced, informative and interesting stories on a number of topics. Boitumelo has her own YouTube channel where she shares her love for affordable beauty and lifestyle content.
Read more from Boitumelo Masihleho:
For the last few hundred years Mount Gay Rum distilleries in Barbados, like many others have had a long line of men filling these shoes. Read More »
Tamar Huggins and her 13-year-old daughter Talia Grant created a new generative AI platform called Spark Plug. Read More »
"Local is Lekker” is a common South African phrase meaning the things close to home are often the best. Read More »