New York, N.Y.
Unlike many other preachers’ children, Nailah Flake-Brown felt no parental pressure to choose a career in the pulpit. The daughter of the Rev. Floyd H. Flake, pastor of The Greater Allen Cathedral of New York and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives for the 6th Congressional District in Queens, N.Y., she and her three siblings were allowed to find their own way. “My parents always encouraged me to be my own person and to pursue my passions,” she says.
Flake-Brown spent her entire 15-year career at Morgan Stanley, first as a financial analyst and now as managing director and head of coverage for the Commercial Real Estate Lending Group in the Fixed Income Division. In 2014, she originated more than $2 billion in financing for clients. “I enjoy working in an area that allows me to combine my love for real estate and financial markets to provide capital to owners of commercial real estate,” she says.
Flake-Brown unwinds by going to spas or spending Sunday dinners with her family. Business is just one of two loves of her life, the second being dance. She pursued both, graduating magna cum laude from Spelman College with a bachelor’s degree in economics, while continuing to study dance as an extracurricular activity. In 2008, she opened the InnerVisions Theater Arts Center in South Jamaica, Queens, serving more than 200 people, mainly children, with fitness and dance programs. “I’ve always used dance as an outlet to express myself, and because I understand the positive impact my involvement in dance had on my upbringing, I have always wanted to share that with others,” she explains. “I don’t want to be just another successful Wall Street investment banker. My success would mean nothing unless I am able to give something back to the community.”