|The Campos Capital Challenge|
|Major investment banks should commit to five deals annually with minority firms.|
|SEC Commissoner Roel Campos said his interview with Hispanic Business "caused [him] to think and go forward." He later communicated this to the magazine:
I'm going to issue a challenge – the Campos Capital Challenge. It's to the major investment banks – the Goldmans, Lehmans, the Merrills, and so forth.
Essentially, I'm saying that they fund at least five companies that operate in minority communities – Hispanic, African American, and others. I believe the Hispanic community definitely needs attention in those under-served neighborhoods, or [companies] owned by minority individuals, and that [investment banks] do five [deals] a year. That includes start-ups and existing companies needing second-stage capital.
The investment banks can get huge benefits by showing they are interested in creating capital, jobs, and opportunities. They can use it as a training vehicle for new investment bankers. Also, new investment bankers and members of generations X and Y are on record as wanting to contribute to the betterment of society. What better tool?
So I'm moving forward with this in my speeches and in letters to the major investment houses. Of course, this is not tied to any quid pro quo during my regulatory duties – it's just a challenge to do what's right.
I also want to establish a comprehensive register and database listing all investment bankers who have an interest in funding early-stage companies from minority communities. We also have to do a better job of identifying fundable business plans and businesses. The VC [venture capital] world claims that there are not enough good prospects, [but] I think that they are not looking toward minority communities and that often the ideas and businesses are not properly packaged for investment bankers. A good register that is continuously updated, in which major investment banks update and keep current the individuals looking for projects, would be a huge resource.