01.29.2021

Citi Hires Black-Owned Firms Exclusively To Distribute Bond

Collaboration with Minority-Owned Broker Dealers Reinforces Citi’s Commitment to Closing the Racial Wealth Gap in the U.S.

Citi announced that it worked exclusively with four Black-owned firms to syndicate a $2.5 billion bond issuance, reinforcing the firm’s commitment to increasing racial equity in the capital markets and broader financial services industry.

According to a Citi GPS report, if the key racial gaps for Black Americans in wages, housing, education and investment are closed today, $5 trillion could be added to U.S. GDP over the next five years. In September, Citi unveiled a multi-pronged $1 billion Action for Racial Equity initiative designed to help close the racial wealth gap in the United States. This comprehensive approach to advancing racial equity includes a goal to strengthen Citi’s own policies and practices, including the expansion of the firm’s own core business activities with minority-owned broker dealers and depository institutions.

“Minority-owned broker dealers, Black-owned firms in particular, have historically and largely been shut out of the capital markets. Yet, recent data shows that investing in these firms is good business and adds to the economy. As we continue to do the work to become an anti-racist institution and drive finance toward a more equitable and inclusive industry, we will do our part by engaging firms that reinvest into the Black community. Enabling equal opportunity is at the core of Dr. King’s dream, which we must strive to realize each day,” said Mark Mason, Chief Financial Officer of Citi.

For this transaction, Citi issued a $2.5 billion six-year non call 5-year fixed-to-floating rate note indexed to SOFR. Citi hired four Black-owned financial firms to distribute the bonds to investors, which priced on January 21. The firms included Blaylock Van, LLC; CastleOak Securities, L.P.; Global Oak Capital Markets and Loop Capital Markets LLC.

“Citi continues to proactively seek opportunities to partner with diverse syndicate groups for our bond offerings,” said Michael Verdeschi, Treasurer of Citi. “The successful execution of this transaction demonstrates the benefits of providing greater access to the capital markets to traditionally underrepresented firms.”

“Citi consistently provides a platform for MWVBE (Minority, Women, or Veteran Business Enterprise) firms, to be a major participant in the capital markets. We are extremely grateful for Citi’s inclusion of us as a Joint-Lead Manager in their recent transaction,” said Eric V. Standifer, CEO of Blaylock Van, LLC. “We look forward to working with Citi in the future and appreciate our long-standing relationship, throughout the history of Blaylock Van.”

Since 2015, Citi has worked with over 30 firms owned by underrepresented minorities, women and veterans totaling over $150 billion in bond issuance.

Source: Citi

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