New York Life has announced the launch of a $1 billion impact investment initiative aimed at closing the racial wealth gap.
Over the next three years, the insurance giant will invest in underserved and undercapitalized communities, with a focus on small businesses, affordable housing, and community development, and will partner with asset managers, community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and other mission-driven organizations to amplify their efforts on the ground. As part of the initiative, the Fortune 500 company will partner with Fairview Capital to place $150 million with diverse and emerging fund managers and expects to make fifteen venture capital and equity limited partnership commitments, each of which will support dozens of businesses.
"The societal events of the past year have stirred an urgency to address America's racial disparities, which the COVID-19 pandemic has only made more glaring. Now, more than ever, is the right time to make impact investments that drive change," said New York Life chief investment officer Tony Malloy. "We are focused on investments that seek to not only deliver meaningful societal impacts, but also provide the potential to generate market returns to help build and sustain positive economic outcomes in underserved and undercapitalized communities over the long term."
"Small businesses are the lifeblood of most communities and must thrive for those communities to prosper. Venture capital and private equity investments generally provide a gateway to entrepreneurship, especially for minority entrepreneurs who are often held back by limited access to funds," said Fairview Capital co-founder and managing partner Laurence Morse. "Institutional investors like New York Life who share our values, goals, and vision help fill the gap by partnering with up-and-coming diverse asset managers who often support a higher proportion of companies with diverse ownership and leadership teams."
(Photo credit: Jason via flicker)