Entering the second half of 2020, Mizuho Americas intensified our commitment in support of a corporate culture driving innovation and societal change through an appreciation for diverse life experiences and expertise. The momentum of employee-led initiatives and corporate policies resulted in two major internal and external developments in the first full week of July.

On July 6th Mizuho Americas acted as active bookrunner on a corporate bond for our parent company Mizuho Financial Group (NYSE: MFG). The $2.5 billion three-part bond deal included six minority-owned firms as co-managers. Media reported that the deal was a first for a Japanese Bank and perhaps the beginning of a new chapter of increased global access and financial opportunity for these kinds of firms and the communities they serve.

Our selection was based on previous experience serving on deal teams with the firms and an appreciation for their proven ability to deliver unique deal flow and forge new investor relationships. They include Black-owned firms CastleOak Securities, Loop Capital and Siebert Williams Shank & Co., a firm majority owned by a Black woman, Suzanne Shank. Other co-managers included service-disabled veterans’ firm Mischler Financial, woman-owned broker dealer R. Seelaus & Co., and Hispanic institution Samuel Ramirez and Co. 

“Over the past 25 years, we have gone from start-up to esteemed financial institution,” said Suzanne Shank, CEO of Siebert Williams Shank & Co. “But we can only continue to thrive when more companies follow Mizuho’s lead and expand the scope of their search to include minority-owned firms. We bring a lot of trusted partnerships to the table and are proud to have contributed meaningfully to the success of the financing."

Ron Quigley, Head of Mischler Financial Group’s DCM primary sales, recognized the transaction in his widely-read newsletter, lending his perspective on the deal.

“ESG or Environmental, Social and Governance issuance is all about helping investors find companies with values matching their own,” He said. “It will be interesting to say the least, to see what corporations lead the way in this new, healthy charge that will only more positively reflect Wall Street to Main Street. The trajectory is there for honorable corporations that see the light.”

“It’s incredibly exciting to see Mizuho take a leadership role at such a crucial time in our history,” said Annie Seelaus, CEO, R. Seelaus & Co., Inc. “We are so proud to be a part of this watershed moment for underrepresented groups in the financial services.”

“With this important step, Mizuho takes the lead in D&I initiatives among the Japanese banking community,” remarked Bob Hong, Managing Director, Capital Markets, at Samuel A. Ramirez & Company, Inc. “Including minority-owned dealers opens distribution to our Tier 2 and 3 investors, diversifying Mizuho’s investor base and facilitating the growth of our business and mission. It’s a win/win for everyone.”

"We are exceptionally proud of the partnership we have built with Mizuho over the years and applaud their thoughtful leadership in selecting diversity firms as co-managers on their hallmark offering,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of CastleOak Securities, L.P.

Sidney Dillard, Partner & Head of Corporate Investment Banking at Loop Capital Markets, also commented on the importance of this bond pricing: “It’s a significant moment for Loop Capital Markets to have been included in Mizuho’s inaugural D&I bond transaction. This helps our firm to maintain relevance with our investors by providing access to a broader range of financial issuers while enhancing Mizuho’s distribution.”

In the same week, we announced the hiring of Ronald Taylor as Managing Director, Head of Diversity and Inclusion. His hire represents a natural progression in Mizuho Americas’ longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Following a long and careful search, Ron was chosen for his 20+ years of success developing, implementing, and expanding diversity and inclusion initiatives. He will partner with stakeholders to advance and promote our firm-wide policy of workplace equity.

“Our diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the region continue to grow exponentially, generating momentum and opening new areas of opportunity daily,” said Teiji Teramoto, CEO & Chairman of Mizuho Americas.

Ron joins from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he served as Diversity Officer. Prior to that, he served as a diversity consultant to EisnerAmper, the Food Bank for New York City, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. He also held D&I leadership roles at Deutsche Bank, EisnerAmper, and KPMG.

“We are proud of our D&I efforts to date, but we also recognize we have a long way to go” said Jerry Rizzieri, President & CEO of Mizuho Securities USA LLC. “It’s important that Mizuho demonstrates, with authenticity, that we are committed to making the necessary changes needed to help rectify an injustice in our society. With Ron leading this area, we look forward to further strengthening our culture of inclusion and diversifying our workplace.”

Taken together, the two events serve as a springboard in our pursuit of an agenda of increased workplace satisfaction and global societal advancement.