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Our Team

William Fisher, Chief Executive Officer
Cristal Baron, Chief Financial Officer
Emory Dawson, Chief Credit Officer
Gayle Davis, Chief Administrative Officer

Vikas Dayal, Credit Officer

 

 

Will FisherWilliam Fisher
Chief Executive Officer

Email Mr. Fisher

Mr. Fisher was named CEO of Rice Capital Access Program, LLC, in 2009.  In this role, he serves as the Designated Bonding Authority for the U. S. Department of Education’s HBCU Capital Financing Program.

Mr. Fisher is a graduate of Howard University and provides investment banking services to higher education clients nationwide. He served as the original Designated Bonding Authority for the HBCU Capital Financing Program from 1996–1998 during his tenure with Pryor, McClendon, Counts, processing several of the first HBCU loans under the program.   During his career Mr. Fisher has participated in transactions for more than 20 different HBCU issuers totaling $1.5 billion.  The numerous HBCU institutions he has served as senior managing underwriter include Morehouse College, Tuskegee University, and Howard University. Mr. Fisher also oversaw a $66 million swap transaction for Jackson State University and has provided financial advisory services to Jackson State and Grambling State University. He has also served Clark Atlanta University and Tuskegee University as structuring agent and financial advisor in connection with HBCU loan programs.   The HBCU issuers to which Mr. Fisher has provided investment banking services include the following:

Benedict College
Bennett College for Women
Bethune-Cookman University
Central State University
Claflin University
Clark Atlanta University                  
Delaware State University
Dillard University                 
Fayetteville State University
Florida Memorial University
Grambling State University
Hampton University
Harris-Stowe State University
Howard University
Huston-Tillotson University
Jackson State University
Johnson C. Smith University
Lane College
LeMoyne-Owen College
Lincoln University
Meharry Medical College
Mississippi Valley State University
Morehouse College
Morgan State University
Norfolk State University
Philander Smith College
Saint Augustine
Shaw University
Spelman College
Stillman College
Talladega College
Texas College
Texas Southern University
Tougaloo College
Tuskegee University
University of the Virgin Islands
Virginia Union University
Voorhees College
West Virginia State University
Wilberforce University
Wiley College


In earlier positions, Mr. Fisher was an advisor with Public Financial Management (PFM) and a manager for M. R. Beal & Company.   He holds a BBA from Howard University.


Cristal Baron
Chief Financial Officer

As Chief Financial Officer of Rice Capital Access Program since its inception in 2009 and of Rice Financial Products Company since July 2002, Ms. Baron is responsible for the overall financial management and integrity of both firms.

Prior to joining Rice, she was a Vice President at the JPMorgan Private Bank from April 2000 to June 2002, where she worked with high net worth individuals and their families primarily in the areas of investment management (including publicly traded securities, hedge funds, and private equity investments), managing concentrated stock positions utilizing derivative products and other strategies, and trust and estate planning.

Her prior experience includes seven years (1993-2000) as a banker at Merrill Lynch, where she ultimately served as a Director in the Municipal Markets division, responsible for (i) marketing, structuring, and executing various types of derivative structures, and (ii) designing, establishing, and maintaining swap programs to assist clients in actively managing liability portfolios. She served as primary banker on more than 50 derivative product transactions totaling over $2 billion and managed the legal, quantitative, and administrative details on more than 70 derivative product transactions totaling more than $1.4 billion. During her municipal derivatives career, Ms. Baron utilized the following products, or combination of products, to create the optimal financing strategy for existing or potential clients: tax-exempt, taxable, and hybrid interest rate swap and option products; tax-exempt and taxable fixed, floating, and inverse floating rate debt instruments; interest rate hedges vs. a specified bond index or an anticipated debt issuance by a specified credit; inflation-indexed swap and bond products; and equity swaps.

Ms. Baron received her BA from Howard University and her MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Emory Dawson
Chief Credit Officer

Veteran credit analyst Emory Dawson joined Rice Capital Access in 2010.  Mr. Dawson has 33 years of experience in municipal credit analysis, most recently with HRF Associates, a New Jersey based financial services consulting firm.  In a previous position, he was Director of Municipal Underwriting at American Capital Access (ACA).

Mr. Dawson began his career at Moody’s Investors Service, serving as a Review Analyst for seven years.  In this role, he supervised the review and analysis of and assigned credit ratings to transactions for all types of major issuers, including major airports, public power agencies and large water and sewer issuers.  Later positions included Director of Municipal Research at Marine Midland Bank (four years), Managing Director at Union Bank of Switzerland (8 years), Director of Municipal Underwriting at American Capital Access (10 years) and Senior Vice President at HRF Associates (one year). 

At ACA, he syndicated and reinsured virtually all transactions underwritten at the company over a 10-year span, including private colleges and universities, private K-12 schools, transportation facilities, ports and airports, sports facilities, bio-mass and thermal energy facilities, and health care facilities, among others.  He marketed credit enhancement products, sourced high yield transactions worthy of credit enhancement, and credit underwrote and managed the documentation and booking of high yield transactions for the company’s portfolio of municipal, project finance, and not-for-profit taxable and tax-exempt securities.  Over the course of his career at ACA, he sourced 33% of the company’s $7 billion book of high yield municipal and project finance business and was responsible for 30% of the company’s total booked premium ($400 million).  He also created and executed reinsurance agreements meeting state insurance and rating agency guidelines for the syndication of all exposure above ACA’s single risk limit. 

Mr. Dawson received a BA in political science from Morehouse College and a master’s degree in regional planning from Syracuse University.


Gayle Davis
Chief Administrative Officer

Ms. Davis is Chief Administrative Officer of Rice Capital Access Program, LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia, providing analytical and client management services to HBCU institutions nationwide. Previously, Ms. Davis was an Associate for another investment bank where she worked on senior managed transactions for Morehouse College, the City of New Orleans, and the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority (Zoo Atlanta). Prior thereto, she was an Analyst and Loan Servicing Manager in the Municipal Bond Department of Goldman, Sachs & Co. where she concentrated on Federal Housing Administration municipal finance transactions and the management of 13 mortgage loans.

Ms. Davis earned a BA cum laude in economics from New York University.


 

Vikas Dayal
Credit Officer

Vikas Dayal joined Rice Financial in October 2009. Mr. Dayal was formerly employed with JPMorgan as an analyst where he provided analytical support and transactional execution for over $1 billion of senior managed municipal bond and swap transactions for higher education and non-profit clients. Before joining Rice Financial, Mr. Dayal worked at a financial advisory/project development firm as an Associate responsible for working with businesses and governments in emerging markets seeking funding for potential projects and expansion.

Mr. Dayal received a BA degree in economics from the University of Michigan.