Personnel note: Daniel Coleman named President of Birmingham-Southern College

Daniel Coleman
Daniel Coleman [Photo courtesy of Birmingham-Southern College]

Aa Birmingham resident with more than three decades of experience in finance, has been named president  of Birmingham-Southern College, a small, liberal arts school located in Birmingham, Ala.

College officials announced Daniel Coleman as the new president, Thursday, Nov. 15.

Coleman, who was CEO of the global financial services firm KCG Holdings until its 2017 sale, has been a member of the college’s Board of Trustees and is currently an adjunct professor of finance at the college. He said he wants Birmingham-Southern College to continue to expand its educational reach as it builds for its second century in Birmingham and to solidify its longtime role as “the intellectual heart of the city.”

“I feel like the best way for me to have a positive impact on the city is to help Birmingham-Southern thrive,” Coleman said. “It has always been a special place here in Birmingham, and has such a history of and culture of service to the community.”

Coleman, 54, who will take office as president on Dec. 3, has played a leading role in the evolution of automated trading in global financial markets. Until its 2017 sale to Virtu Financial, New York-based KCG was a leader in the securities and financial services industry, Before KCG, Coleman was CEO of GETCO, a privately-held automated trading firm based in Chicago. Prior to that, he worked for 24 years for UBS and its predecessor firms, ending up as global head of equities for UBS Investment Bank.

“We are fortunate to have someone with such a thorough understanding of the college and broad experience shaping and growing complex organizations,” said BSC Board Chair Denson N. Franklin III ’85, who introduced Coleman to the campus at an event Thursday afternoon. “His love for Birmingham-Southern is apparent, but more than that, he brings an incredible skill set and perspective and impressed us with his ideas for moving BSC forward.”

Coleman’s credentials

Coleman earned his B.A. in English at Yale University and an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago. Coleman said his own background and work experience has epitomized the value of the kind of personalized liberal arts education that BSC provides.

“I started my career in finance on a trading floor, but now, those jobs are almost all gone,” said Coleman. “When I think about college, I think about that kind of rapid professional evolution that’s happening in every field. We need to make sure students have jobs when they graduate, but we also have to make sure they have the ability to adapt so they have careers decades later. That’s something the liberal arts does like no other form of education.”

Coleman replaces BSC President Emerita Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith, who retired from Birmingham-Southern earlier this semester due to health and family reasons.