*Last week, Hewlett Packard launched a $15 Billion debt offering, the sixth largest bond offering of the year. Most significantly, five minority firms participated in the debt offering:
Blaylock Beal; MFR Securities; Loop Capital; Ramirez and Co., and Williams Capital.
Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “These firms were founded decades ago by minority entrepreneurs. Their success was built with sharp minds, hard work which earned them strategic key relationships with institutions.”
Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s PUSHTech2020 initiative has fueled minority participation in corporate debt offerings of tech companies.
Following Rev. Jackson’s appearance t the HP shareholder meeting in March of 2014, PUSHTech2020 convened several networking events with minority firms and HP, and opened up new avenues of access and opportunity.
Rev. Jackson, “HP leaders were responded positively and pro-actively. They took the time to meet with and learn the value that minority firms could bring to the marketplace, and HP built a win-win formula. They embraced the premise that “there is no talent deficit, there’s an opportunity deficit. They are to be commended.”
Why is minority participation in HP’s debt offering so significant? Rainbow PUSH’s research of 45 debt offerings issued by tech firms (Ebay, HP, Oracle, Apple, Google) from 2010-13, minority firms were included in just five. HP had conducted twenty offerings during this period. To its credit, Microsoft included minority firms in all 14 of its debt offerings!)
Since the PUSH Tech 2020 latest “push” begun 18 months ago, the tide is turning:
* Apple has included minority-owned firms in its two debt offerings conducted this year;
* Microsoft had four minority firms in its February $11 Billion debt offering;
* Qualcomm included three minority firms in their $10M debt offering in May;
* Intel followed suit by involving minority firms in its $7Billion offering in July.
* Etsy included minority owned investment banks in its recent IPO.
In prior years, minority investment banking firms participated in the IPO’s of both Google and Facebook, and sights are set on ensuring minority inclusion in the projected IPO’s of Square, Uber, and other “unicorns” that are on the horizon.
As HP splits into two new companies in November, HP’s also recently announced the appointment of two African Americans to each (four total) of the two new companies (HP-E and Hewlett Packard). HP is taking concrete, measurable action to make diversity and inclusion bedrock of the company.
That’s good news, and just last week, Apple appointed an African American, James Bell, to its Board of Directors.
Prior to 2014, Rainbow PUSH research showed that there were just 3 African Americans out of 189 total Board members of 20 tech companies. Since its PUSH, eight (8) African Americans now sit on tech boards. That’s real progress and change.”
Rev. Jackson: “Diversity and inclusion is not limited to the workforce. There is also an access to capital, “business dimension”– supplier diversity and procurement opportunities, access to capital for minority start-ups and companies, and inclusion of minority financial services firms in debt offerings, IPO’s and other transactions.
PUSHTech2020 is changing the flow of the river. We hope that other Silicon Valley technology companies will follow open up new business opportunities for minority firms. It’s good business; when there is inclusion, there is growth and when there is growth, everybody wins.”