Profile: James Reynolds '82
keeps going ... and going
vision and diversity reign at James Reynold Jr.’s ’82
Loop Capital Markets
Reynolds Jr. ’82, founder, chairman and chief executive
officer of five-year-old Loop Capital Markets, LLC, is an
astute judge of talent — black, white, brown, and male
not interested in hiring a top bond salesperson or equity
trader unless the person is a team player. Michael Jordan,
he points out, scored 60 points per game while the Chicago
Bulls were losing.
when he really became a team-oriented player, they got six
championships out of him,” says Reynolds, 48, recently
named one of the 50 top black executives on Wall Street by
Black Enterprise magazine. It also ranked his firm fifth among
the nation’s African-American investment banks.
with six regional offices in addition to Chicago, specializes
in corporate and public finance, financial advisory services,
equity research and security sales and trading. The firm since
1997 has handled about $350 billion in financings. Among its
clients are the State of Illinois, City of Chicago, General
Motors and General Mills.
industry known for its male- and white-dominated managerial
culture, Reynolds has made Loop Capital a laboratory for a
high-energy, professional, successful — and diverse
you came here, you’d see more diversity than you’d
see at any major firm,” he says. “You don’t
have to compromise anything to achieve those goals.”
About half of Loop Capital’s 60 employees are African-American,
and half are female.
successful bond salesman with major financial firms, Reynolds
started Loop Capital with six employees after serving as director
at Merrill Lynch & Co. in Chicago. He saw a niche opportunity
in the bond market, which initially compromised 95 percent
of the company’s sales. (Equities now comprise 50 percent).
graduate of the Kellogg School, where he earned an MBA in
finance, Reynolds says he learned about teams “really
for the first time” while enrolled at Kellogg. Reynolds
also has a bachelor’s degree in political science from
the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. Both degrees almost
did not happen.
his senior year at Chicago Vocational Trade High School, where
he studied radio and television repair, his mother asked him
look at her broken television. “I saw a bunch of things
I had never seen in my shop class,” says Reynolds. Fortunately,
he quips, the LaCrosse school had a rolling admissions policy
and he initiated his university career.
which specializes in service and research, has six regional
offices outside Chicago. It also sponsors 10 to 12 high school
and college interns each year, and disperses about $500,000
annually to charities — one of the firm’s largest
Bynoe, an attorney and long-time friend, praised Reynolds’
professionalism and work as president of Alliance of Business
Leaders and Entrepreneurs, which enhances opportunities for
energizes them, he energizes his own people,” says Bynoe.
“He’s the energizer bunny.”
energizes, among others, the boards of Illinois Economic Development
Board, Lincoln Academy of Illinois, Chicago State University,
Chicago Public Education Fund, the Chicago Summer Business
Institute, and is treasurer for the Chicago Urban League.