COLUMBUS, OH—Dennis Swann, 41, the sole black executive at Brooks Capital Management, was once again prominently displayed Monday by the Columbus-based investment firm.

A Brooks Capital Management promotional photo showcasing sole black executive Dennis Swann.

"Dennis is a real asset to the company," said Brooks Capital Management advertising director Blair Katzeff, who used Swann in a newly unveiled print campaign. "Brooks is not the same old investment firm: We've got heart, but we've also got soul."

The ad, which praises Brooks Capital Management as "Committed To Helping You Design Your Future," features Swann strategically positioned among members of the all-white board of directors.

Swann said he was surprised when Katzeff asked him to appear in the ad.

"I'm just the associate manager of the underwriting department, so it's not like I'm among the company's top brass," said Swann, who earned an MBA from Ohio State University in 1991. "But Blair insisted I was perfect for the ad, so who was I to argue?"

Though Swann has not received a promotion since joining the Brooks Capital Management team in March 1996, he has enjoyed other benefits. Last year, he was given a glass-walled office with a clear view of the client waiting area, and he has appeared in the company newsletter 37 times since being hired. And this June, he was chosen to represent the company at the 1999 Midwest Investment Professionals Association (MIPA) conference in Indianapolis.

Swann has also been "strongly encouraged" to attend the firm's upcoming company picnic, at which footage will be shot for use in a new employee-orientation video.

"[Company president] Nathan Modano said he was dying to meet my wife and kids, so I should make sure to bring them along to the picnic," Swann said. "When I told him that Angela and I don't have children, he told me to bring along some of my nieces and nephews instead."

"When the public thinks of the Brooks name, we want them to think of a company that's doing away with conventional boundaries," said Modano, posing with Swann for a photo for the company's 1999 annual report. "Here at Brooks Capital Management, we offer a wide range of services, including investing, underwriting and management of municipal securities, not to mention municipal, corporate and leasing transactions. Now, that's diversity."