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US capital markets start to tackle decades of racial inequity

Black-owned broker-dealers have largely been excluded from the mainstream of corporate debt and equity capital raising. The bulge-bracket banks are now working to correct this, inviting firms owned and staffed by racial minorities, women and veterans to lead their own deals and showcase their capabilities to corporate clients.

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Why did the death of George Floyd have such an impact? He was not the first black man to be killed by US police officers or, sadly, the last. But this homicide in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 was caught on video when Americans were locked down at home, not travelling, working at their kitchen tables. They watched in horror, reflecting anew on racial injustice and what they could do about it.

Plenty of people on Wall Street were watching too and their reaction could yet prove significant for the financial services industry, the capital markets and the economy.

The most recent example, on March 10, is Goldman Sachs committing $10 billion in direct investment capital and $100 million in philanthropic capital over the next decade to address the dual gender and racial biases that black women have faced for generations and which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

The

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Peter Lee is Editorial Director. He joined Euromoney straight from Oxford University in 1985, and has written about banking and capital markets ever since, being appointed editor in 1999. He became editorial director of Euromoney in May 2005.
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