Co-Founder, Public Finance
Mr. Walter D. Lewis is a co-founder of Benchmark and leads the Firm’s public finance department out of the Moody, Alabama office. Originally from Brewton, Alabama, he attended the University of Alabama via a football scholarship in 1980. While playing as quarterback under the legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, he led the team to one of its many Southeastern Conference titles. Immediately following graduation, Mr. Lewis played football professionally, spending time with the Memphis Showboats of the United States Football League, the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, and the New England Patriots of the National Football League.
Mr. Lewis’s first position after college was as a research engineer for Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) Contractors. Mr. Lewis entered the securities industry in 1988 with Progressive Capital Inc. in Memphis, as a securities representative. His duties included assisting in structuring limited partnerships in the airplane surplus parts business and in the growing catfish market, where he assisted in structuring catfish farm purchases. In 1989, Coach Bill Curry at the University of Alabama offered Mr. Lewis an opportunity to become an offensive backfield coach for the team, which later led to a Southeastern Conference title.
After his rewarding career in college football, both as a player and coach, he decided to rejoin the securities industry in 1992 with a position at Compass Bank’s public finance department in Birmingham, Alabama. He learned various technical skills relative to structuring municipal finance and participated in more than 33 underwritings totaling more than $500 million. In 1996, Mr. Lewis joined Gardnyr Michael Capital, Inc., as their Senior Vice President responsible for marketing and public finance activities in Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. He further expanded his experience with over 300 municipal financings totaling over $17 billion.
Mr. Lewis has B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alabama. He holds FINRA Series 22, 52 and 63 licenses.