Donna Sims Wilson


Donna joined Smith Graham as President in October, 2014. She is responsible for Smith Graham's Business Development, Marketing, Client Relations, and New Product Development. She works in conjunction with the Chairman and CEO on short and long-term strategies for the firm. She serves on the firm's Executive Committee, Investment Policy Committee, and is a member of the Board of Directors.

Prior to Smith Graham she was Executive Vice President and served on the Management Committee of CastleOak Securities, L.P., a leading New York-based boutique investment bank. She also was President of M.R. Beal & Company, a Founder and Managing Director of Loop Capital Markets and worked as a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she sold mortgage-backed securities. Donna started her career as an analyst in corporate finance at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb.

Donna currently serves as Chair of the Legislative Committee of the National Association of Securities Professionals, Immediate Past Chair of the Kohl Children’s Museum of Greater Chicago and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the John G. Shedd Aquarium. She was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the CFA Society of Chicago. Appointed by the Governor of the State of Illinois, Donna is also a member of the Budgeting for Results Commission and the Governor’s Export Council.  She is a member of The Economic Club of Chicago and The Executives’ Club of Chicago.  She is a former Board Member of the Bond Market Association, currently known as the Securities Industry Financial Management Association (SIFMA), and a former Member of Fannie Mae’s National Advisory Council.  Mrs. Wilson has also served as Chairman of the Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Board of the Export Import Bank of the United States.

Donna has received numerous industry awards including the 2012 “Women of Wall Street Industry Trailblazer Award” by Traders Magazine and the “Joyce Johnson Award” by The National Association of Securities Professionals.  She was named “One of the Most Powerful Women in Business” by Black Enterprise Magazine and an “Influential Black Woman in Business” by The Network Journal, all in 2010. Donna was also a Chicago United 2009 Business Leader of Color.  She is a frequent speaker at financial services industry events, has testified before the U.S. Congress on laws relating to diversity and has often moderated issue forum “Brain Trusts” for the Congressional Black Caucus. She has spearheaded the enactment of legislation that increased business opportunities for minority- and women-owned financial services firms and appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box and C-SPAN discussing issues of diversity and inclusion in the business of the economic recovery 

Donna received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Yale University.