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James W. Merli ’83

The Margaret and Herman Sokol Award for Alumni Achievement and Civic Engagement recipient takes time to give back to his alma mater.

Posted in: Alumni Profiles


Alumnus Jim Merli hadn’t returned to campus for close to 20 years after graduation, but he has become quite a force since he has been back.

Jim was awarded the Margaret and Herman Sokol Award for Alumni Achievement and Civic Engagement at the Annual Scholarship Dinner held on March 3. He is an adjunct professor at the Feliciano School of Business, a member of its Business Advisory Board, an executive in residence and a donor. He and his wife, Sandy, recently made a gift to the School to name the James W. Merli Executive Conference Center.

“The more I get involved, the more I like the idea of giving back and seeing the benefits of that,” says Jim.

After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance and Marketing, Jim launched his Wall Street career at Shearson, prior to the Shearson / Lehman Brothers merger, and remained at Lehman Brothers Inc. for more than 25 years. Post Lehman, he joined Barclays Capital as Head of U.S. Primary Market Syndication and then joined Nomura Securities International as Global Head of Debt Syndication and Head of Global Finance for the Americas, retiring from Nomura in 2015.

Jim’s Montclair State degree served him well throughout his Wall Street career, and he is now helping to develop the next generation of business leaders through his service and financial support for the Feliciano School of Business.

“Montclair State provided me with the tools necessary to compete in the highly competitive field of global finance,” says Jim. “I feel that it is even more important today than ever that students have an opportunity to obtain a high-quality, affordable education and I feel very fortunate to be in a position to help them achieve that.”