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Showing posts from February, 2020

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On Citigroup's Impact Investment Fund. Comments by Jalil Boulahssas, Impact Investing Intern, University of Richmond

Citigroup, in continuing its efforts to focus on impact investments and societal issues, has launched a $150 million venture capital fund with a specific focus . This fund, issuing up to $10 million to qualified companies, looks to uplift firms run by women and minorities as well as firms assisting their employees in societal challenges such as training, housing, and overall personal development. William Michael Cunningham, the CEO of Creative Investment Research, highlights the fact that big banks have not effectively invested in black-owned businesses. However, a growing number of impact investment funds offering equity capital could have a significant effect on the sector. According to Citi’s head of global public affairs, Ed Skyler, this fund falls in line with several of Citi’s “Pathway to Progress” initiatives in promoting impact investment and financial inclusion. As the only bank to use its own balance sheet in a fund of this nature, it has already begun working with its o

Citi tries new tack to push its social agenda: Venture investing. American Banker Newspaper. By John Reosti February 10, 2020, 4:09 p.m. EST

Citigroup operates a big foundation that focuses on philanthropic priorities such as workforce development, financial inclusion and sustainability. Now, the banking giant is building on these commitments by launching a venture capital fund that will invest in private-sector firms that are developing solutions to improve worker training, increase consumers' access to the financial system, improve access to transportation, health care and affordable housing, and address issues related to sustainable energy and water use. Citi is calling the impact fund the largest ever involving a bank using its own capital. Investments could be as large as $10 million in more established companies, said Ed Skyler, Citi's vice president for global public affairs. Citi is also setting a portion aside for earlier-stage seed investments. Seed funding will be allocated exclusively to investments in businesses led or owned by women and minorities. The bank plans to manage the fund largely in-

Containing the Coronavirus: Chenyue Zhu, Impact Investing Intern, Georgetown University

On Monday February 10, 2020, the Hudson Institute and the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense hosted a panel discussion on the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and how the United States can respond to the growing outbreak effectively. The virus has become more than a national security threat for China, as the number of the infected has exceeded 43,000 (64,000 as of Feb. 13), worldwide according to the latest data from the Nature. However, the proliferation of the epidemic in a short period should not only be attributed to its contagious characteristics. To avoid tragedy, it is essential to understand how public health regulation and management fails when faced with an unexpected outbreak of disease. In the panel discussion, five guest speakers provided thoughtful insights on risk management and the establishment of a rapid response system. As Dr. William Karesh mentioned, precautions are necessary because it will be too late to take action once the epidemic spirals out of control.

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