Popular Bank Named Among First Investors of NWK FAM Fund
$100M Fund to Economically Empower Black and Latinx Business Owners
NEWARK, NJ and NEW YORK, NY – October 13, 2020 – Popular Bank, a subsidiary of Popular, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP) and one of the nation’s premier banks, has been named a seed investor for the Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund (NWK FAM Fund). The new investment vehicle aims to economically empower Black and Latinx business owners throughout the City of Newark.
NWK FAM Fund Seeks to Narrow the Wealth Gap in New Jersey.
According to a recent study, the state experiences one of the worst racial wealth gaps in the nation. Most recently, New Jersey, reported that the median net worth of white families is $309,000, while the median for New Jersey’s Latinx and Black families is just $7,020 and $5,900, respectively.
NWK FAM Fund aims to drive economic wealth among Black and Latinx populations in Newark by leveraging invested capital, public subsidies and public assets to enhance the value of Black and Latinx-focused small businesses and real estate development.
“There are vast wealth disparities in our nation, state and city between white-owned businesses and Black and Latinx-owned businesses, clearly worsened by the pandemic,” said Newark Mayor Ras Baraka during a special event officially announcing the launch of NWK FAM Fund on Monday, September 15th. “We need to empower our entrepreneurs of color so that they can compete at increasingly higher levels. The Newark 40 Acres and a Mule Fund will bring pride and prosperity to our city as a whole and to our Black and Latinx business community in particular.”
Backed by prominent Black and Latinx investors, NWK FAM Fund aims to raise $100 million total in investible capital. The fund additionally announced its plans to raise $10 million by year end. Popular Bank will serve as an initial corporate partner alongside organizations including AT&T, Panasonic and New Jersey Community Capital. Seed investors additionally include former professional basketball players Shaquille O’Neal and musician Carlos Medina.
“We believe that we have created a national model where financial institutions, corporation donors and local economic development corporations partner to create a holistic investment platform that provides Black and Latinx businesses with access to the business contracts, patient capital and technical assistance necessary to grow despite the current pandemic and social unrest,” Baraka Added.
Popular Bank COO Manuel Chinea will Join the NWK FAM Fund Advisory Board.
As part of Popular’s continued commitment to the Newark community, Popular Bank Chief Operating Officer Manuel Chinea will additionally serve as a founding member of the NWK FAM Fund Advisory Board. He joins other corporate, and philanthropic leaders to further the fund’s vision of ending systemic racism with a systemic response.
“We are very proud to serve the NWK FAM Fund as both a seed investor and as an advisor,” said Chinea. “We remain committed to serving our customers, communities and partners throughout New Jersey. The NWK FAM Fund will catalyze change and growth especially needed given the devastation COVID-19 has had on businesses. This initiative will further small businesses growth and sustainability throughout the Newark area in a greater and more meaningful way.”
Additional Board members include:
Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation
Partner, Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP
Executive Vice President, RWJBarnabas Health
CEO and President, African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
CEO and President, Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
Chairman, BCT Partners
Chairman, Montclair Capital Group
Vice President-Legal, Innovative Cosmetic Concepts
About Popular Bank
Popular Bank is the mainland subsidiary of Popular, Inc. (Nasdaq: BPOP), which ranks among the top 50 U.S. banks by assets. Popular, Inc. brings more than 125 years of success in banking, driven by integrity and values. Popular Bank leverages its financial expertise to enable customers to focus on what matters most. Leveraging its institutional depth, Popular Bank works side-by-side with business and retail customers delivering competitive business and retail offerings including Retail and Private Banking, Commercial Lending, Mortgage Services, Association Lending, Healthcare Financing, and Middle Market banking. Popular Bank has branches in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, and provides 24/7 digital banking solutions and access to 55,000 ATMs through the Allpoint network.1
Popular Bank and its affiliates are not affiliated with ATM National, LLC. Allpoint is a registered Trademark of ATM National, LLC.