NEW YORK – The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) today announced the formation of a groundbreaking, nonprofit investment partnership to exponentially expand the industry’s capability to help close the racial wealth gap and drive upward mobility in communities of color.
The nonprofit investment partnership will support community development with a focus on sustainable, affordable housing.
ACLI Chairman Scott Davison, President & CEO of OneAmerica, and ACLI President & CEO Susan Neely, unveiled the investment partnership at the DEI: Expanding Opportunities in Insurance conference.
“ACLI and America’s life insurance companies are committed to harnessing the capital strength of the life insurance sector to enhance impact investments and help make housing affordable and sustainable in underserved communities,” Davison said.
“Our aim is to establish an investment ecosystem that empowers life insurers to partner with philanthropy, private capital and government-sponsored entities to meet fundamental needs of underserved communities, especially communities of color, beginning with affordable housing,” he said.
“This investment partnership was born through ACLI’s Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity (EERE) initiative, launched in 2020," Neely said. "We said then that the fight to end racial inequity would be an ongoing effort. Economic conditions in underserved communities will not be remedied overnight. This partnership demonstrates we’re in this fight for the long run.
“What life insurers bring is our well-established expertise in making longer term investments, with all our due diligence, in a way that makes a difference for people and communities,” she said.
The partnership will be an ACLI affiliate making high quality investments that align with state regulations governing life insurance company investments to generate competitive market rate returns.
“The partnership will provide a way for companies already investing in communities and affordable housing to amplify their efforts. It will also provide a way for companies that have wanted to invest in positive social change but have fewer resources in this area to invest powerfully and profitably,” Neely said.
“With an inadequate supply of affordable housing, we are laying a strong foundation for significant, long-term contributions to advancing racial equity in America,” Davison added.
FOUNDING PARTNERS (36)
New York Life
INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP FACT SHEET
- Life insurers have for many years been engaged in Impact Investing to help underserved populations of people. The investment partnership initiative is designed to enhance these efforts.
- The investment partnership initiative aims to be a “force multiplier,” where community and housing investments grow more significant through life insurance industry partnership with philanthropy, private capital and government-sponsored entities.
- Additional partners in investment partnership from outside the life insurance industry will continue to be solicited throughout the year.
- Specific community and affordable housing projects for investing will be identified in the coming months and years. No exact financial target will be set for partnership initiative investments.
- The investment partnership will be a non-profit ACLI affiliation.
- The affiliate Board of Governors will be independent from ACLI and will include life insurance companies and prominent leaders from foundations, community support organizations, and former government officials relevant to the affiliate's mission. The Board of Governors will be responsible for setting and implementing mission goals that align with ACLI’s Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity (EERE) initiative.
- Investment opportunities will likely include fixed rate, investment grade, long-term life insurance company general account products focused on affordable housing asset classes, from multi-family rental properties to homeownership. Although affordable housing plays a key role in advancing racial equity, some flexibility will accommodate related asset classes that address the needs of underserved communities and generate opportunities for upward mobility. Additionally, investment structures will also accommodate shorter-term equity investments that facilitate efficient capital stacking and enhance scale.
Everyone deserves a future they can count on and a plan to get there. Having a safe, affordable place to live is a powerful first step. Housing is a pathway to upward mobility that can endure for generations. That’s why America’s life insurance companies have joined together to create the industry’s investment initiative focused on strengthening communities through affordable, sustainable housing.
We will pair the life insurance industry’s long-term investment strategies with on-the-ground expertise from community partners who know what families and communities need to thrive.
For more than 175 years life insurers have done more than protect policyholders. The $572 million we invest in communities every day drives job growth and strengthens economies. We will act on the industry’s commitment to leverage its strength, stability, and long-term perspective to spark lasting progress. Together, we can help more families plan for the future and lead healthier, more financially secure lives.
SUPPORT FOR THE INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP
Kimberlee Cornett, Director of Impact Investments, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation:
“As an impact investor eager to see more capital reach communities that have been structurally excluded from opportunity, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is pleased to see ACLI and its members move decisively forward to bring more capital for housing and community development. We look forward to future co-investments with insurers that will give all Americans the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible.”
Roy Swan, Director of Mission Investments for the Ford Foundation:
"I am thrilled to see the American Council of Life Insurers expand their commitment to communities of color and closing the racial wealth gap. Impact investing is a powerful tool for business leaders to meet shareholder needs while advancing a more sustainable form of capitalism."
Priscilla Almodovar, President and CEO, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.:
“The life insurance industry represents a unique, collective force for good in capital markets. I’m delighted to join in this conversation about how leaders across this industry can make strides in helping to close the racial wealth gap by investing in affordable housing across the nation. Creating and preserving affordable homes is the most powerful lever we have to improve the lives of lower- and middle-income families; we’re eager to explore how the life insurance industry can play a leading role in advancing the economic well-being of all Americans.”
Lisa L. Glover, CEO, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC):
"We are excited to see ACLI and its members launch this initiative to invest in the well-being of families, communities and local economies. By assembling new capital for affordable housing and other critical local needs, ACLI can help bridge gaps in health, wealth and opportunity so that more people can thrive."
Rey Ramsey, CEO, Centri Capital and Chair of Centri-Tech:
“This is a historically significant moment for the affordable housing and community development moment. It is a rare occurrence when a large business sector comes together to support the fundamental needs of low and moderate-income people. The life insurance industry is uniquely positioned to deploy both its financial human and financial capital to a growing American housing crisis”
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) is the leading trade association driving public policy and advocacy on behalf of the life insurance industry. 90 million American families rely on the life insurance industry for financial protection and retirement security. ACLI’s member companies are dedicated to protecting consumers’ financial wellbeing through life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, reinsurance, and dental, vision and other supplemental benefits. ACLI’s 280 member companies represent 94 percent of industry assets in the United States.
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