There’s a new face in the top office of one of Richmond’s oldest financial firms.
Davenport & Company, a 150-year-old local investment banking and asset management firm, last week named I. Lee Chapman IV as its new chief executive.
He replaces Coleman “Coley” Wortham III, who had been at the helm since 1995. Wortham will remain as chairman of the board of Davenport.
“I’m 67, you don’t need a 67-year-old CEO,” Wortham said. He has been with the firm since 1969, following in the footsteps of his father, grandfather and a great-uncle.
“It’s certainly the right thing for the firm, and that’s really all that matters,” he said.
Davenport has been grooming Chapman, 43, for the top spot for some time. The first major step in that direction was to make him president and chief operating officer in January 2012.
“The change in title is more the completion of a transition that’s been in process over the last year to two years,” said Chapman, who joined Davenport in 1995 in its asset management division.
“It was never a goal of mine,” Chapman said of ascending the ranks to chief executive. “But I was happy to be asked.”
Chapman is UVA graduate who was raised in Richmond and previously worked at a broker-dealer in Atlanta that was a predecessor to Bank of America.
Davenport has 18 offices and more than 400 employees and manages more than $15 billion in assets. It’s also one of the last large Richmond-based investment banking firms that remains independent and has not sold to a larger buyer.
Wortham said stepping down as chief executive would allow him to spend more time with his clients and spend less time in the conference room.
“I don’t have to go to near as many meetings now, that’s the nice thing,” he said.
Wortham became president of Davenport in 1986 and was named chief executive nine years later.
“Since I’ve been in charge, we’ve never had a losing year,” Wortham said.
Although he wouldn’t share specifics, Wortham said the company brought in more than $100 million in revenue in 2012.