In 2013, Fort Greene Partners (FGP) provided advisory services to Beneficial Life on the sale of a minority stake to RMA Watanya, a leading African financial conglomerate based in Casablanca, Morocco. Beneficial is one of the leading independent insurance companies in Sub-Saharan Africa with operations in Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Togo. The Brown family, who founded Beneficial, were looking for some liquidity on their 20-plus year investment and a strategic partner to help them expand across Africa. FGP worked with Beneficial’s local financial and legal advisors and served as a trusted advisor to the Brown Family in their negotiations with RMA Watanya.
In 2014, Fort Greene Partners provided consulting and research services to TIAA-CREF with regards to minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs), including drafting a white paper, “Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises: A $681 Billion Market Opportunity.” FGP held detailed discussions with leading MWBE investment firms, public plans, corporate plans, foundations and endowments to ascertain both the short-term and the long-term demand for MWBE investment firms. FGP’s research also indicated that both traditional and alternative MWBE investment firms can generate much needed alpha for institutional investors in search of yield.
In 2015, Fort Greene Partners was involved in the launch of TRUE Africa, www.trueafrica.co. TRUE Africa’s vision is to champion young African voices all over the world through new technologies. TRUE Africa is targeting a young, ambitious and upwardly mobile demographic in Africa and the Diaspora and was launched by TRUE 212, an award winning content-marketing agency based in London. FGP has been providing advisory services to TRUE Africa and advising the company’s founder on discussions with potential strategic and financial partners internationally.
In 2016 and 2017, FGP advised FIS Group (FIS) on its its strategic alternatives, including the acquisition of Piedmont Investment Advisors (Piedmont). FIS is one of the leading women and minority-owned asset management firms in the USA with $5 billion in assets under management (AUM). Following the Piemdont acquisition, which was announced in April 2018, FIS will have $10 billion in AUM across a suite of investment products to offer to existing and new clients. FIS is at the forefront of innovation and diversity in asset management. In addition to launching unique fintech products, FIS has been nationally recognized as delivering best-in-class performance for its emerging manager, Non-US Small Cap Equity and Frontier Markets Equity strategies. FIS was founded in 1996 by Tina Byles-Williams.
In 2018-2019, FGP was retained by Goldman Sachs to identify potential investments in minority and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) nationally. Goldman is one of the world’s leading investment bank and financial services companies. FGP was working with Goldman’s Special Situation Group (SSG) to support the growth and development of MWBEs. SSG is the primary center for Goldman’s middle-market financing and investing activity. The group lends and invests Goldman’s capital directly to mid-sized companies.
Since 2018, FGP has advised Genesis Companies on its strategic alternatives, fundraising and long-term strategy. Genesis was founded by an African-American entrepreneur from the South Bronx, Karim Hutson, whose work experience includes Goldman Sachs and General Atlantic and whose academic credentials include Dalton, Amherst and Harvard Business School. Genesis is a specialist in developing and managing affordable housing in the New York and New Jersey area for underserved communities and Genesis’ financial partners include leading institutions like Morgan Stanley and National Equity Fund (NEF).