Dee concludes his conversation with Warren Stephens, the Chairman, President and CEO of Little Rock based Stephens Inc., the highly regarded investment bank and private-equity firm. In part two, Warren talks about the company’s handling of the initial public stock offering for Walmart, why Stephens Inc. is a relationship-oriented firm, and the story behind Stephens’ decision to help finance the New Orleans Superdome, one of the largest and most innovative public finance deals of its kind.
About Warren Stephens:
Mr. Stephens is Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Stephens Inc., a privately owned diversified financial services firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas. A graduate of Washington and Lee University, he received his BA in economics and later received his MBA from Wake Forest University. Mr. Stephens was named President and Chief Executive Officer in 1986, succeeding his father, Jack Stephens. Warren was named Chairman in 2005.
Under his leadership, the firm has remained true to its mission of providing capital to middle-market and small-cap companies while expanding into major U.S. markets and opening offices in London and Frankfurt. Through its public finance arm, Stephens Inc. has been recognized for its integral role in revitalizing local economies, underwriting infrastructure and education projects around the Southeastern United States.
Mr. Stephens has been vocal in his belief that banks should remain modestly leveraged, pointing to his own company’s ability to weather the economic downturn of 2008 without government assistance. He is equally vocal in his support of capitalism. In 2017, Stephens Inc. launched a branded multimedia series titled “This is Capitalism,” which features stories about extraordinary individuals who have contributed significantly to the growth of the American economy and utilized the American capitalist system to better their lives and communities. In addition, Mr. Stephens frequently speaks around the country to industry associations, students, and business leaders about capitalism’s unmatched power to lift people out of poverty, create jobs, and stabilize communities.
He has served on the NASD District Conduct Committee, and ended his tenure as its chairman. Mr. Stephens currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dillard’s Inc. and is a former member of the Board of Trustees at Washington and Lee University, and he co-chaired the successful Capital Campaign that concluded in June, 2015.
Mr. Stephens is currently the chairman of the board of the Arkansas Fine Arts Museum, chair of the Arkansas Fine Arts Museum Board, co-chair of the Arkansas Fine Arts Museum Capital Campaign with his wife, Harriet C. Stephens, and chair of Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation Board. He is the former chairman of the Capital Campaign to renovate the current theatre for the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and served on the Board of Directors for the Central Arkansas Boys and Girls Club.
Born on February 18, 1957 in Little Rock, Arkansas, he and his wife have three adult children, Miles Stephens, John Stephens, and Laura Stephens.
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