TPG, a global alternative asset firm headquartered in Fort Worth and San Francisco, has announced a newly branded initiative that aims to back the next generation of diverse talent.
Called TPG NEXT, the program will provide growth capital and resources to seed, support, and scale underrepresented investors and entrepreneurs. That includes women, people of color, and LGBTQ+.
The intent is to introduce new and flexible avenues to strategic capital that is necessary for developing, launching, and propelling diverse-led businesses. TPG says it hopes to empower more people to become capital allocators, creating a “positive ripple effect” across the industry.
Overall, TPG NEXT aims to be an avenue for reshaping and expanding the alternatives marketplace.
“There is a self-selecting bias in the market that fundamentally disadvantages diverse talent,” TPG Co-CEO Jon Winkelried said in a statement. “These structural dynamics will continue unless we push ourselves to step outside of our traditional circles and invest behind people, ideas, and networks that are different.”
Winkelried believes TPG NEXT will help expand the “traditionally narrow path to success” in the investment industry. By providing the right combination of capital, operating resources, and expertise, TPG sees a way to create a differentiated category of diverse investing.
The TPG NEXT initiative will be overseen by Justin Nunez, a business unit partner in TPG Public Equity Partners, and Liz Stiverson, a principal and chief of staff in TPG’s executive office. Nunez and Stiverson will work with with a group of executive sponsors, including Winkelried, Jim Coulter, Kelvin Davis, and Anilu Vazquez-Ubarri.
The launch builds on the firm’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Founded in 1992, TPG has more than $91 billion assets under management and offices in Beijing, Fort Worth, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, and Washington, DC.
But within the vast global firm and its ecosystem is a mission to drive sustainable, long-term change across the industry.
Over the past three years, TPG has introduced a series of enhancements to its recruitment and talent processes. It has also invested in health and family benefits for parents, women, and LGBTQ+ employees.
For instance, in 2017 TPG launched an initiative to increase the gender diversity of its portfolio company boards—a move that led to its portfolio companies adding more than 100 female directors. At the end of 2019, TPG expanded that effort to include race and ethnicity and sexual orientation.
The introduction of TPG NEXT is accompanied by several new investments and partnerships that—together with Harlem Capital, a diversity-focused VC firm—form the initiative’s inaugural portfolio.
In 2019, TPG made a non-controlling strategic investment in Harlem Capital that provided working capital and access to its resources. By the end of the year, Harlem Capital had closed its inaugural fund with more than $40 million in capital commitments.
Also part of TPG NEXT, the firm partner with LandSpire Group and made a strategic minority investment in VamosVentures.
LandSpire Group is a Black-owned real estate firm that focuses on investment and development in secondary markets across the U.S. Its co-founders, Josh Childress and Justin Davis, and internal legal counsel, Treana Allen, will join TPG’s real estate team for the next year as TPG NEXT’s first investors-in-residence.
At the end of the residency, TPG will make a strategic investment in LandSpire and its flagship fund expected to launch in of 2022.
Founded in 2016 by investor and entrepreneur Marcos Gonzalez, VamosVentures is an early-stage venture firm that invests in companies led by diverse teams, with a specific focus on the Latinx community. To assist in growing and scaling the business, TPG will provide VamosVentures with access to additional working capital and operating resources.
In addition to the seed commitments, TPG has partnered with the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), the largest network of diverse-owned alternative asset managers. The organizations say they share a commitment to addressing the industry’s pipeline challenges, and plan to collaborate on curated events, training, and engagement opportunities.
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