U.S. Bank invests $20M in private equity to help close racial wealth gap

February 24, 2022

Investments in FVLCRUM, Advantage Capital/Business Consortium Fund will provide technical support, capital access for growth.

U.S. Bank announced today it has invested $20 million in two private equity funds to support businesses owned by people of color and help bridge the racial wealth gap. The investments are $10 million each in the FVLCRUM Fund and a fund created by Advantage Capital and Business Consortium Fund.

“Investing in these private equity funds helps us expand the way we as a bank are working to help close the racial wealth gap and build wealth in communities of color,” said Zack Boyers, chief executive officer of U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation (USBCDC), the bank’s community investment and tax credit division. “We are focused on finding opportunities to create more access to capital for minority-owned businesses, and private equity allows us to do that in a different way than we have before.”

USBCDC is a leader in tax credit investing and patient capital financing to community organizations, with a commitment to projects that focus on racial equity and help close the racial wealth gap. It’s been exploring additional ways to boost access to capital, and these are its first private equity investments. Both investments also support U.S. Bank Access Commitment, the company’s long-term approach to help build wealth while redefining how the bank serves racially diverse communities and provides more opportunities for diverse employees.

The private equity investments are:


U.S. Bank is making a $10 million investment in FVLCRUM Fund. It will invest in minority-owned businesses, helping them succeed and build wealth, with a goal to close the racial wealth gap. Helping companies with sustainable competitive advantages grow and reach their potential will create generational wealth and boost median incomes, as well as create jobs and build communities. The fund is administered by Lake Forest, Calif.-based Clearinghouse CDFI, a long-time USBCDC customer.

“Clearinghouse CDFI, as a general partner of the FVLCRUM Fund, is excited to be part of this effort to create jobs and drive wealth creation, one business and one community at a time,” said Douglas J. Bystry, Clearinghouse chief executive officer. “These dollars target middle‑market, minority-owned businesses benefiting low‑income communities. I applaud U.S. Bank for recognizing this unique opportunity to bring substantial investments to historically marginalized and disadvantaged persons and communities.”

Advantage Capital and the Business Consortium Fund private equity fund  

U.S. Bank is making a $10 million investment in a new fund with Advantage Capital and the Business Consortium Fund (BCF) dedicated to investing in and supporting minority-owned business enterprises (MBEs). The fund’s mission is to help close the racial wealth gap by investing in entrepreneurs of color who are building the products and services of the future. It will provide flexible risk capital to small and medium minority businesses throughout the course of their lifecycle, providing technical support for sustainable growth and creating wealth in low- to moderate-income minority communities. Advantage Capital is a long-time customer of USBCDC. BCF is a subsidiary of the Minority Supplier Development Council, which will provide a primary pipeline to minority-owned supplier companies in its network.

“After the social unrest that ensued in the summer of 2020, my partners turned to me as the chief impact officer to guide our firm’s response,” said Sandra M. Moore, managing director at Advantage Capital. “I knew that we needed to continue to do what we do best—deploy capital to businesses in capital starved markets—but with a laser focus on supporting MBEs to provide them with the readiness tools to support sustainable growth and create wealth in minority communities.”

Regulatory changes enacted in 2020 now allow financial institutions to invest in private equity funds that meet the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s definition of public welfare investments – those that help finance community development activities and provide capital for affordable housing, small business development and other community needs.

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