Back in the 80s, the top 20 rising seniors from All Hallows High School in the South Bronx were given a tour of the Wall Street firm Salomon Brothers. Of those, only one received an internship. Also, as a student at All Hallows, you could compete for the Long Island University (LIU) Scholar program given to two high school graduates across the country that finished first or second in their class. A young Wayne Wright, now Managing Director covering Telecom, Media and Technology (TMT) in North American Banking, won both the internship and the scholarship in ways that would forever shape his career.
He secured the full-tuition award to LIU by keeping his grades sky high and staying top-of-mind with university staff. “I think I called the admissions office every week of my senior year to confirm that the scholarship was mine if I graduated in the top two of my class,” he laughs. “I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.”
And he didn’t leave anything to chance once at LIU or Salomon. “At college I made sure to clear the 3.4 GPA minimum by carrying a 4.0,” he says matter-of-factly. “And at Salomon, I made sure that I did the most menial tasks with enthusiasm and learned every aspect of the business. Eventually, I was given some analyst responsibilities and offered a full time job upon graduating.”
The experience carries through to today, where Wayne admits that he and his team are unabashed double, triple and quadruple checkers of details to be sure all is going according to plan and potential problems are prevented or blunted very early.
“The best compliment my team ever received was a client told me we were the easiest bank to deal with,” Wayne says. “When your business is to shape, sell and seal deals with so very many details and logistics, ‘easy to work with’ means we paid attention to the execution from start to finish.”
Most would call that customer service, but Wayne just calls it common sense. “We sell an experience,” he says.
A Team Effort
Our corporate and investment banking product is a cross-entity offering that spans the bank and securities. Wayne’s team works closely with the product partners across Mizuho, including the Debt Capital Markets group headed by Jim Shepard of the Fixed Income Division to win and execute bond deals for some of the biggest names in TMT.
In 2017 Mizuho co-lead the AT&T $22.5bn corporate bond deal, AT&T’s largest bond deal ever, and the third largest such deal on record, at the time.
As John Humphreys, Managing Director and Head of Mizuho’s North American Investment Banking, Advisory and Solutions practice said, “TMT, and technology in particular, is a key growth area in the build out of our investment banking business as it reaches across all industries and client sectors.” As such, it is a richly nuanced area with a lot of moving parts and tons of details.
In short, it is an arena where clients want a bank that leaves nothing to chance.
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