Doley and Liberty Bank executives ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange

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Ambassador Harold Doley

NEW ORLEANS — In 1973, New Orleans-based Liberty Bank helped New Orleans native Harold Doley buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. Half a century later, Doley was honored by the exchange and joined by Liberty Bank executives as he rang the bell that ended the trading day. The event took place on Friday, February 2. 18.

Doley, a former investment banker, bought his seat on the stock exchange with funding from Liberty Bank and Trust Company, which had been established less than a year earlier. He and Liberty Bank Chairman and CEO Alden J. McDonald Jr. appeared on the Today Show that year to mark the occasion.

Coming from a prominent New Orleans family, Doley began his career in 1968. He worked for Wall Street firms before buying his own headquarters. According to Wikipedia, he is the only African American to have owned a seat in part because the exchange no longer sells individual memberships. In the 1980s, Doley earned the title of United States Ambassador when he served as the country’s representative to the African Development Bank and Fund. The AfDB is a development finance institution owned by the governments of 50 African countries and 25 non-African countries, with 800 employees and assets of $50 billion.

“Funding Harold’s seat was a no-brainer,” McDonald said in a press release. “Freedom was born to help bring African Americans into the mainstream of the economy. There’s nothing more ‘mainstream’ than owning a seat on the world’s largest stock exchange.”

Liberty Bank and Trust is a designated MDI (Minority Depository Institution) offering personal, business, mortgage, auto, real estate, and “freedom fast” loans to customers. Liberty has since grown its assets to over $1 billion and expanded to 10 states. More information at www.libertybank.net

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