John Rhea, former head of the New York City Housing Authority, has joined Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co. as president of its corporate finance and capital markets division, the firm announced on Tuesday.

Rhea, 51, is a senior advisor to the Boston Consulting Group and founder and managing partner of RHEAL Capital Management LLC. He will lead the corporate banking, sales and trading teams and continue the expansion of SCSCO’s corporate finance business.

“It is rare to be able to bring on someone with John’s talent, vision, depth and range of experience and managerial expertise,” said SCSCO CEO and Chairwoman Suzanne Shank. “His substantial corporate investment banking experience at several bulge bracket Wall Street firms and leadership roles in the private and public sectors will allow SCS to continue to grow and expand both our substantial client base and the depth of our services. I am so excited to have him on board.”

In 2014, SCSCO acquired Siebert Capital Markets from Siebert Financial Corp. and has worked to increase its corporate financing activities. Since then, the capital markets group has financed over $330 billion in global corporate bond issuance and more than $22 billion in global equity offerings.

In the first quarter of this year, the firm’s corporate transaction volume more than doubled to $62.5 billion from $25.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016.

John Rhea
John Rhea

“SCSCO is already doing phenomenal work in the capital markets arena and I know we can take it to new heights,” Rhea said. “We will not only continue to grow but become a trusted advisor to more corporations by continuing to put our clients’ needs first and developing more efficient strategies to access capital to help them achieve their growth objectives. I am ready to hit the ground running and I can’t wait to see how much more we can accomplish together.”

Rhea aims to expand the company’ corporate finance business to match or exceed its municipal finance activity, which ranks in the top-tier of Wall Street firms.

He will advise corporate clients on accessing debt and equity capital markets and build on the strong foundations established in corporate bond underwriting, IPOs, secondary equity offerings, and share repurchases.

From 1997-2009, Rhea was a managing director and investment banking group head at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and later Barclays Capital (formerly Lehman Brothers), where he advised on more than $100 billion of transactions. Earlier in his career, he worked at PepsiCo Inc. as a manager of corporate strategy and development; the Boston Consulting Group as a management consultant; and PaineWebber as a public finance analyst and associate.

“With John on board, we are truly a national capital markets powerhouse, filling out a senior leadership team that includes top experts in the fields of housing, municipal finance, large-scale public infrastructure financing and now an expanded footprint on the corporate side,” said SCSCO Chief Administrative Officer and partner William C. Thompson, the former NYC Comptroller. “We can compete on any deal, coast to coast, often coming in ahead of competitors many times our size. We achieve that level of success because of the talent of our people, which I would put up against anyone in the business.”

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Rhea as chairman and CEO of NYCHA, the nation's largest public housing authority, in 2009. He served at the $3 billion agency until 2014. During his tenure, Rhea spearheaded investments exceeding $2.5 billion and the development of more than 2,000 affordable apartments.

“Having John join SCSCO to lead our corporate finance and capital markets effort is a major win for our firm,” said Henry Cisneros, Principal and Chairman of the Executive Committee. “John brought private capital to public infrastructure at a crucial time, and it’s that type of financial innovation we know he will bring to SCSCO’s corporate clients as well.”

Rhea, a native of Detroit, is also a principal in an investment group that in 2015 purchased the historic Fisher and Albert Khan buildings in Detroit, two iconic commercial properties that are central to that city’s ambitious redevelopment plans.

He serves on the Board of Directors of Invitation Homes and has a long record of non-profit service, including his current roles as a trustee of Wesleyan University and a director of Red Cross Greater New York, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, and the University of Detroit Jesuit High School & Academy.

A recipient of numerous honors and awards, Rhea was named one of the 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate and 75 Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street.

A graduate of Wesleyan University and the Harvard Business School, Rhea lives in New York City with his wife and two children. He will be based at SCSCO’s offices at 100 Wall Street.

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