New York – Citi announced that it worked exclusively with five 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.Building on Citi’s long-standing commitment to increasing affordable housing, the proceeds from the bond will finance the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of quality affordable housing for low-and moderate-income populations in the United States
In November, Citi and the Citi Foundation announced that one year into a three-year commitment, the Action for Racial Equity initiative had already invested $1 billion in strategic initiatives to help close the racial wealth gap and increase economic mobility in the United States. Citi is on track to far exceed its original $1.1 billion commitment which 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.
“Safe and affordable housing is an important platform for financial stability and economic mobility, yet it is scarce and too expensive in many urban areas across the country,” said Mark Mason, Chief Financial Officer of Citi. “Citi has been the #1 affordable housing development lender in the United States for the past 11 years and this bond issuance is reflective of our commitment to increase the availability of affordable housing units within the communities we live and work. Dr. King had a tremendous influence on the passage of the Fair Housing Act and I’m proud that Citi continues to leverage our business capabilities to help achieve equity in the housing market.”
The $2.5 billion dual tranche transaction priced on January 18 and settled on January 25. For this transaction, Citi hired five Black-owned financial firms to underwrite and distribute the bonds to investors, in addition to Citigroup Global Markets Inc. The firms included Blaylock Van, LLC; CastleOak Securities, L.P.; Global Oak Capital Markets, Loop Capital Markets LLC and Security Capital Brokerage, Inc.
“Security Capital is proud to have been part of this transaction,” said Nathan L. Lewis, President and CEO Security Capital Brokerage. “We truly appreciate the opportunity to partner with Citi in supporting affordable housing and look forward future opportunities to work together.”
“This bond issuance is a win-win for Citi. Through our partnership with these minority-owned firms, we further enhance our best-in-class capital market distribution capabilities, while also financing affordable housing projects,” said Michael Verdeschi, Treasurer of Citi.
Since 2015, Citi has worked with over 30 firms owned by underrepresented minorities, women and veterans totaling more than $150 billion in bond issuance.