The University of Maryland Medical System is committing a portion of its investment portfolio to companies and funds focused on addressing economic development, food insecurity and other disparities in the communities the system serves
The first tranche of commitments includes $14 million in 11 equity and fixed income investments to investees that all have a strong presence in the state and employ a diverse workforce. More than half are Baltimore-focused and 75% are either Black-led or Black and woman-led and represent a mix of mission-driven Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and private equity firms.
These new investments follow the awarding of $2.3 million in community grants announced last month and $1.2 million in food insecurity grants announced in the summer of 2021. Along with strategic community impact grantmaking, social impact investing is a strategy that UMMS is employing to grow assets while also growing wealth in the communities served by the System and dismantling barriers to health equity, safety and wellness.
In support of its mission, UMMS is a member of the national Healthcare Anchor Network (HAN) – an organization that brings together values-aligned hospitals and health systems from around the country. UMMS is one of 13 HAN members that have committed to directing a portion of their investable assets toward place-based investments that address racial, economic and environmental disparities.
One of the UMMS investees is Baltimore Community Lending, which will use funds to make loans to vendors at the new Lexington Market project, which is helping revitalize downtown Baltimore, starting in October 2022.
The other nine investees, who will receive amounts ranging from $500,000 to $2.5 million each, include Conscious Venture Fund, Enterprise Community Development, Ignite Capital, Momentus Capital’s Impact Investments Program, Obran Acquisitions, Propel Baltimore, RBC Access Capital, The Reinvestment Fund and UpSurge.
Brown Advisory, in its capacity as the System’s investment management and strategic advisory partner, will help UMMS monitor both the community impact and financial return of these investments.