Monday, August 31, 2020

The Emerging Managers Summit, to be held virtually on September 24th, highlights the benefits and opportunities for institutional and private wealth investors to invest in new, small, diverse, women owned, emerging, and boutique fund managers. The program seeks bring smaller diverse managers into the limelight as they have historically outperformed their larger peers. This event will take place entirely on Opal Group’s custom Virtual Event Platform, giving an opportunity for delegates from around the world to connect online. Key decision makers from family offices, endowments, foundations, and pension funds will be able to virtually interact with emerging managers, as well as share best practice ideas with peers. Hear from our panel of experts to stay up to date on the ever-changing emerging manager market. https://opalgroup.net/conference/emerging-managers-summit-virtual-2020/

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Response to Proposed Department of Labor ESG Rule


On June 23, 2020, "the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a rule that would 'update and clarify' the Department of Labor's investment duties regulation. According to the news release issued announcing this proposed rule,

"Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan," said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. "Rather, ERISA plans should be managed with unwavering focus on a single, very important social goal: providing for the retirement security of American workers."

Our 135 page response, filed on July 26, 2020, concerned the social impact of the proposed rule, and stated that:

"With this proposal, we believe the Administration and, by extension, the Secretary, have violated their oath to protect the public and should resign or be removed. Of course, we understand how committed these specific individuals are to self-promotion, as evidenced by their willingness to damage the public.

We will oppose this draft rule in Federal Court. As a recommendation from a Department headed by a person appointed by a president who conspired with foreign interests to win election so that he could damage the US, (as evidenced, once again, by this action) we believe any proposals put forward are illegal."

We provided a complete listing of all violations of law and custom that the Administration has committed over the past few years, including and leading up to 200,000+ deaths from the COVID 19 crisis.

The letter can be downloaded at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/126T-F0dwZLTdArOyduYZVcLD36Xtlqj_/view?usp=sharing

Thursday, August 27, 2020

The largest Black-Led (but not Black-owned) bank in the U.S.


Black-Owned Broadway Financial Corporation and “Black-Led” CFBanc Corporation announced a merger of equals that may lead to the creation of the largest Black-led (but not Black-owned) bank in the U.S. The resulting institution will have more than $1 billion in combined assets and approximately $850 million in total depository institution assets (as of June 30, 2020).

(Also see: BLACK BANKS MERGE TO CREATE NATION’S FIRST BLACK-LED BANK WITH OVER $1 BILLION IN ASSETS. https://www.blackenterprise.com/black-banks-merge-to-create-nations-first-black-led-bank-with-over-1-billion-in-assets/

Black-Owned Banks in LA, DC Announce Merger.
https://mynewsla.com/business/2020/08/27/two-black-banks-merge/

Merger of two Black-led banks aims to help break a painful cycle https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-08-27/black-banks-broadway-federal-bank-city-first-merger )

Broadway is one of the best Black banking institutions in the US, based on their longevity and positive impact on Black homeownership in the Los Angeles area.

The fact that the new institution will have a presence on both coasts is positive. It means the resulting bank will be able to present itself as having an impact in multiple geographies. This will allow it to get assistance from majority-owned banks on both coasts.

A number of questions remain:

Black-Led versus a Black-Owned. Being Black-owned implies a higher degree of control, and, thus, a higher level of concern for Black economic interests. As a Black-led, but not Black-owned financial institution, how well the partnership with CFBanc actually reflects Black economic interests remains to be seen.  In 2002, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. expanded the definitions of what constitutes a "minority bank" claiming the old definition "ambiguous." Now a bank that does not meet the ownership test can be designated an MDI (minority depository institution) if 51% or more of the directors on the board are members of those minority groups and the community the bank serves is primarily minority. This change did not lead to an increase in lending to the Black community on the part of Black banks. (See: https://www.americanbanker.com/opinion/minority-bank-designation-has-become-meaningless and https://www.blackenterprise.com/executives-working-to-create-black-owned-holding-company/)

Attitude and flexibility of the bank’s main regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). In addition, the bank will be listed on the Nasdaq. Will it be allowed use this platform to raise significantly more capital?

Impact Investors? With Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), Minority Depository Institution (MDI) and Benefit Corporation designations, the bank is positioned to take advantage of funding from impact investors to Black firms. How well the firm will use these designations and any resources that come about because of them is another question. The ability of the resulting institution to actually increase their commercial lending as opposed to simply increasing “capacity” will be critical.

Other transactions? The financial advisors are Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and  Raymond James & Associates, Inc.  Mega white shoe law firms Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP and Covington & Burling LLP are serving as legal counsel to the parties. These firms are the major financial institution transaction advisors in the US. They are also very expensive. We suspect they are engaged as part of their contributions to Black Lives Matter. This implies there may be other Black bank transactions in the works.

Cooperation and collaboration across ethnic lines. This crisis may force us to the realization, finally and literally, that we must "live together as brothers or perish together as fools." What would be of more impact and relevance would be cross ethnic group (Black and Asian, Black and Hispanic) mergers and cooperative agreements.

The one positive impact of centuries of racism may be to have exposed massive opportunities for cooperation and collaboration across ethnic lines. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Six (6) Companies Are 70% of Black Lives Matter Pledges


According to a new report issued by Creative Investment Research, as of August 3, 2020, $7.854 billion in corporate pledges have been made to facilitate efforts that support racial justice. Just six companies account for 70% of that total.


Also see: https://youtu.be/t7aqn7oGGj0 via @YouTube 

Creative Investment has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for the development of a BLM Corporate tracker: https://www.gofundme.com/f/tracking-corporate-donations-to-blm?rcid=r01-159828617213-f92f83fc925f4b9a&pc=tw_co_campmgmt_w&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet To donate directly, please contribute at paypal.me/cirm 

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

CRUZN COZY has started a kickstarter campaign

During quarantine, CRUZN COZY has started a kickstarter campaign in high hopes of getting business adjusted to the new norm for all of us worldwide.



Here at CRUZN COZY, we understand that everybody has been affected in some way by this quarantine period. Whether that be emotionally, physically, mentally, or socially. It's been hard for all us, but if you can find in your heart to give just a small token, that will be greatly appreciated. Any amount helps. No amount is too small or too big. A percentage of generated sales from merchandise or the campaign will be given to organizations who help people that are in need of shelter, food and clothes during quarantine. Any backer who gives $100 dollars or more will receive free merchandise from our new collection, and backers who give $200 or more will receive 2 VIP tickets to the SBFW New York Fashion Show Tour 2021. 

Thank you so much for your time. One small act of kindness can touch the hearts of many. 


Best Regards,

CRUZN COZY Team