Quincy Alegría-Gambrell is a contemplative and adaptable financial services executive with over 17+ years’ experience driving large scale business transformation and efficient risk solutions for several global investment banks, multinational corporations, and micro-finance institutions. In late 2019, he founded Simaran Advisors in Brooklyn, NY to leverage all of his accumulated skills and knowledge in order to assist in the current work to find solutions to access to capital for economically disadvantaged communities. Simaran Advisors work is a roadmap of Quincy’s journey through a slice of the current financial inclusion and economic development field. In the advisory’s short time, leveraging the founder’s Coro Leadership NY training and network, it has secured over USD 750K in funding for several small business clients, improved the financial forecasting and business planning services for a successful person of color-owned East Coast retail and lifestyle brand, inspired by a failed employment attempt, advising on a shared ownership model conversion for a leading NYC vintage record retailer, assumed management of an multi-family affordable housing experiment that has already seen a tenant move to homeownership, and designed a short-term funding and savings digital product to address the lack of accessible low-cost borrowing for low to moderate income individuals.
Quincy sees his journey to a National Urban Fellowship as a direct product of being a New Yorker. Like many of us, it began with his maternal grandparents leaving South Carolina in the 50’s on the Great Migration and his father being displaced to NYC during the US-backed Torrijos regime of Panama. Those seemingly divergent forces and experiences coalesced in NYC and resulted in a curious child, armed with an incredibly loving and resourceful (frankly magical…) Mother/Family, who nurtured and indulged that curiosity with all the resources that NYC had to offer. By the age of 10, Quincy was an accomplished piano, violin, drummer and trumpet player via the PAL, award winning equestrian and angler via his Fresh Air Fund originated godparents, performed with the Boy’s Choir of Harlem via an introduction by the music program at PS-125, made the Upper Manhattan Little League All-star team, and converted to Buddhism after spending 2 years visiting a related temple in Union Square. His intellectual curiosity was further honed due to a lucky and hard fought (Forever Thankful for Ms. Kaminsky!) admission into De La Salle Academy, an incredible Franciscan founded community of high achieving and extremely talented young men and women of color. DLS lead to becoming an Albert G. Oliver Scholar and his matriculation to St Paul’s School, the best independent HS in the nation at the time. The racial, socio-economic, and environmental balancing that he had to employ as he shuttled between boarding school and his family in late 1900s NYC, germinated a strong interest in economic development.
After stints at other Jesuit influenced institutions, Boston College and studying Economic Development Sociology at Sophia University in Tokyo, an Americorps chance placement with Accion NY, a micro-lender, gave Quincy his first foray into economic development where he designed the schema for a mobile loan officer force and worked on the development of an innovative risk-based pricing model that shortly increased loan origination by an estimated 17% with a less than .02% increase in default rates. Unfortunately, he experienced a significant life event which made it in his best interest to prioritize his family’s financial well-being and, subsequently, pursued opportunities in other areas of Finance. Nevertheless, his goal was to always accumulate the requisite skills and deep knowledge of capital markets so that he could return, better equipped, to help. Leading electronification of the multi-trillion dollar in notional value CDS market and managing the credit event onslaught of the early 2000s at Lehman Bros to providing risk analytic support for over USD 300 bn in trading, investment banking, and other esoteric financing activities, his corporate finance career has taken him from consumer beverage plants in the Midwest to deal tables in London, Mexico City, Tokyo, Berlin, and Beijing.
In the next part of Quincy’s journey as a National Urban Fellow, he’s looking to further legitimatize himself in the economic development field as a change maker and will be pursuing areas related to leveraging data science and behavioral insights to create better outcomes for development initiatives that target economically disadvantage people of color communities.