Hooks to join Baltimore brokerage

April 14, 1993|By David Conn | David Conn,Staff Writer

Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks, who will resign this month after 16 years as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, will join a Baltimore-based investment banking firm, the company said yesterday.

Dr. Hooks, 68, will become a senior vice president at the Chapman Co., a brokerage and investment banking firm with offices in five cities, according to its chairman, Nathan A. Chapman Jr.

"He will work to coordinate activities as a part of the management team nationally," Mr. Chapman said. "We're pleased and proud to have him on board as a part of senior management."

Dr. Hooks was traveling yesterday and could not be reached for comment. He is expected to make an official announcement with Mr. Chapman today.

One of his first jobs when he officially joins the minority-controlled firm at the end of April will be to help start the company's sixth office, in his hometown of Memphis, Tenn., Mr. Chapman said. Because Dr. Hooks lacks the certifications to run a securities office or to manage clients' money, he instead will join in the company's management and strategic planning and help attract clients, Mr. Chapman said.

He declined to reveal Dr. Hooks' compensation except to say that "I'm a strong believer that those who are committed to the firm have equity."

"It's not unusual for people to make this kind of transition," from a nonprofit political organization to a private business, he added. Dr. Hooks, in addition to his law degree and his ordination as a Baptist minister, has had business experience, although not always successful.

He produced and was host of several television shows in Memphis in the early 1970s, and was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission by President Richard M. Nixon in 1972. In 1955 Dr. Hooks co-founded the Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association of Memphis, which he served as vice president and then chairman. And in 1968 he assumed the presidency of Mahalia Jackson Chicken Systems Inc., a Memphis-based fast-food chain, which went out of business two years later.

Mr. Chapman said his new employee will split time between Baltimore and Memphis.

The $2 billion Baltimore City employees' pension system is investing $10 million in the Chapman Co. in return for 30 percent of the stock.

"I think it's great news," City Comptroller Jacqueline McLean said of Dr. Hooks' move. "Certainly with the contacts that he has, I think it's wonderful for the company."

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