Standing at 6ft 8in, former NBA player Hollis Copeland has become a veteran in another area – finance. Copeland is currently Head of Equity Capital Markets for Tigress Financial Partners, founded by Cynthia DiBartolo. At the 25th Annual Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Wall Street Project Economic Summit in New York City, deployment spoke with Copeland about his background in the world of finance and any advice he has for young black professionals looking to get into high-stakes business.
What did you think of the panel here at today’s conference?
I loved it, I thought it was awesome. There were very poignant questions and answers. I’ve been to quite a few of them in the past, and oftentimes they don’t get to the heart of the questions most people ask and don’t find ways to elevate some of these brokers and asset managers minority. So I thought it was quality. They answered all questions completely, and that’s what we need to take the next step and learn the pivot.
For a black person trying to expand their portfolio or work in financial services, what advice do you have?
You must be true to yourself. You have to ask the right questions. Don’t try to phrase your questions, so they can answer them and get away with some of the things you don’t necessarily need. You have to be true to yourself from the perspective that if you’re looking to get ahead in the world, you have to ask yourself the right questions, right? You must be there. You must be what you are looking for.
Who taught you the importance of financial literacy?
There are a number of people who I would say have helped me on my travels. Andy Monness was one with Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co., Inc. [Former Georgetown basketball player and private equity firm manager] Ron Blaylock, he was very instrumental. Chris Williams, again, gave me an opportunity. I worked with him for 19 years. So there are a large number of people who, through my life journeys, gave me the impetus to enter the financial sector and, once there, strive.
How can the black community help you?
Well, I guess it’s a game of reciprocity. I love helping the black community and in turn the black community will help me from the perspective that I work for a diversity company, a woman-owned diversity company. I think exposure is where it starts, and once we show them what we can do, they’ll give us some ideas of what we can do for them.