Meet Kiko Davis, the only Black woman bank owner in the US

BY Preta Peace Namasaba January 16, 2024 1:10 PM EDT
Kiko Davis. Photo credit: The State of Women Institute

Kiko Davis is the majority stockholder of First Independence Bank headquartered in Detroit, making her the only Black woman to own a bank in the United States. First Independence Bank is the 10th largest Black-owned bank in the country and currently holds $296 million in assets.

“I always knew that I would be working in multiple capacities because I hold many interests. But I feel like the path that I am on right now chose me — I am blessed to have so many opportunities that have arisen,” Davis has said of her career path.

Davis owns the bank through the Donald Davis Living Trust where she serves as trustee. She is also the managing director of Groonvesville Production and Publishing LLC which controls the Grammy Award-winning music catalog of her late husband, Don Davis who was a record producer, songwriter, and guitarist. He served as chairman and CEO of First Independence Bank from 1970 until to 2014 when he died.

In 2016, Davis founded the Don Davis Legacy Foundation to promote the legacy building efforts and initiatives envisioned and developed by her late husband. She has extended her support to philanthropic efforts such as the Ronald McDonald House, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and other civic organizations. Davis also served on the board of the Lawrence P. Doss Scholarship Foundation for three years.

“Courage is my superpower. I have the ability to take fear and use it as a tool to conquer adversity and challenges, no matter how insurmountable they may seem. The more substantial the obstacle, the stronger I become,” Davis on how she overcomes challenges.

She credits her sucess to having a relationship with God, being unafraid of failure, and surrounding herself with like-minded, successful women and mentors. Davis is motivated by her children who inspire her to to model excellence for them. Shirley Chisholm, the first Black congresswoman and the first major-party Black candidate to run for president in 1972 qnd Black women who wield power inspire her to be fearless.

Likewise, Davis hopes to inspire and have younger Black women learn lessons from her path. She encourages them to take risks, learn from mistakes and create a winning strategy. Davis opines that to lead people effectively, one must make the effort to understand them.