NATIONWIDE — Today, an unconventional coalition of leaders in finance, tech, culture and media announced a new partnership and the launch of Known, a company committed to uprooting the predatory financial structures that incentivize short-term thinking and unjust outcomes. Focused on the New US majority and the multi-trillion dollar market they power, Known will advance a system in which Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other prioritized communities increase their power and opportunities to create wealth in the 21 century economy.
The coalition forming Known was founded last year by 4sbay Chief Investment Officer Jim Casselberry, EBCF CFO Valerie Red-Horse Mohl, impact investor Nathalie Molina Niño, and former VP of Technology for Rockefeller & Co. Ushir Shah.
“The U.S. economy devalues businesses owned and operated by people of color and empowers the privileged legacy majority who have access to trillions in capital and financing,” said Jim Casselberry. “We will invest in and build businesses owned and operated by the New Majority. We are building Known to be a beacon in an emerging economic movement – one where people of color can purchase a house with a mortgage from a Latinx-owned brokerage, start a retirement account with a Black-owned investment advisor, and purchase goods designed and manufactured by Indigenous people with a credit card from a bank owned and led by people from their own community.”
“For too long, financial institutions have locked communities of color out of countless opportunities for economic advancement,” said Valerie Red-Horse Mohl. “That’s why we have convened to build Known — because we want to flip the script on the investment industry and reimagine what true inclusive capitalism can look like. We are excited to break down the barriers that have historically excluded Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other prioritized communities from building generational wealth, and look forward to the difficult but critical work ahead that will embolden a new wave of entrepreneurs to upend business as usual.”
“Changing the outdated mindsets that have caused investors to underestimate talented entrepreneurs and dismiss massive market opportunities will require a completely new approach,” said Nathalie Molina Niño. “With our combined networks of change-makers across design, culture, entrepreneurship and finance, we will help create a new generation of businesses focused more on how they build and scale than what their product or service is.”
As part of its mission to build multi-generational wealth, Known will create a community of funders and founders while deploying builder capital to ensure the long-term success of financial service companies, funds and startups led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other prioritized communities. Known is also driven by an open source methodology, committed to sharing founder insights and learnings with the broader industry.
Known will focus its efforts initially on supporting entrepreneurs and investors of color in four verticals:
- Known Holdings: A growth platform structured as a holding company serving individual verticals that support BIPOC asset allocators, fund managers, and entrepreneurs. This support includes investment, consultancy, and shared services such as back-office functions to support scalability, business development, and marketing.
- Known Lab: The Lab invests in and collaborates with ecosystem players, like startup studios and incubators, focused on building and growing entrepreneurs of color who have previously been locked out of funding sources, networks and support.
- Known Wealth: Known Wealth supports growth-oriented wealth management firms in their efforts to advise wealth holders and asset allocators with a climate and racial justice lens, partners to be announced in June 2022.
- Known Growth: Known Growth invests in scaling up emerging investment funds led by Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other historically under-capitalized investors across all asset classes. First cohort to be announced in H2 2022.
Founders, wealth managers and fund managers of color can connect with Known at [email protected].
Known’s founding braintrust, consisting of advisors, investors and key leadership, include:
- Kojo Ako-Asare: Senior Director of Investments at Emerson Collective and the former Head of Corporate Finance at Google.
- Ibrahim Alhusseini: Founder and Managing Partner, FullCycle Climate Partners and CEO of The Husseini Group, a socially and ecologically focused family office investor.
- Rania Batrice: Nationally recognized advocate for progressive change, public relations specialist, experienced conflict resolution, mediation, and organizational development leader.
- Jim Casselberry: Chief Investment Officer at 4S Bay Partners, LLC. Jim has over 30 years of experience in investing, impact investing, investment management and investment consulting.
- Kat Cole: Executive, investor, board director and formerly President of Cinnabon and COO & President at Focus Brands.
- Deniese Davis: President/CEO at Reform Media Group Co-Founder at ColorCreative, Producer on HBO’s Emmy-nominated A Black Lady Sketch Show, Co-Executive Producer on Emmy-nominated comedy series Insecure.
- Katie Longmyer: Former Managing Director + Partner at Mother New York.
- Kimberly Marshall: Early stage investor, senior advisor to Goldman Sachs’ Launch with GS $1B investing strategy, founding board member of Black Angels Miami.
- Judith Erwin: Founder, former CEO of Grasshopper Bank and longtime veteran of the startup banking sector.
- Miguel McKelvey: Co-founder of WeWork with over a decade of experience in startups and international business.
- Nathalie Molina Niño: Nathalie is an investor (builder capitalist), author of LEAPFROG, the New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, educator, and global tech entrepreneur.
- Valerie Mosley: Former Partner at Wellington Management Company, a trillion dollar investment management firm. On the boards of Draftkings, Envestnet, Groupon, & Eaton Vance’s family of funds. Founder of BrightUp.
- Natasha Müller: Founder of Kokoro and CEO of NM Impact Ltd. Natasha is a Next Gen impact investor, philanthropist, and mental health activist.
- Priya Parrish: Partner and Chief Investment Officer at Impact Engine and Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business
- Qiana Patterson: Founding COO for Edlio an LA-based K12 edtech company, Chairwoman of the PledgeLA alliance with the City of Los Angeles and the Annenberg Foundation.
- Nikki Pieratos: Co-Founder of Harvest Nation, Inc. Nikki has over a decade of experience in community development finance and shifting the way capital moves to Indigenous communities.
- Andre Perry: Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and columnist at the Hechinger Report. Author of Know Your Price, Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities
- Valerie Red-Horse Mohl: CFO of East Bay Community Foundation. Val has over 30 years of experience as a securities professional, and founded the first Native American owned investment bank.
- Michel Rojkind: Founding partner of Rojkind Arquitectos, an innovative Mexican architectural and design firm with more than 25 years of experience in the creative industry.
- Joe Sanberg: Progressive entrepreneur and investor. Joe is Co-Founder of Aspiration, Inc, a leading sustainable services platform.
- Ushir Shah: Founder/CEO of fintech startup Namu. Ushir has over 20 years of experience in technology and wealth management and led technology for Rockefeller & Co.
- Rossie Turman III: Chair of International Finance at Lowenstein Sandler LLP, Rossie was formerly partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and Affiliates.
- Luz Urrutia: Chief Executive Officer at Accion Opportunity Fund, the nation’s leading nonprofit providing small businesses with access to capital, networks, and coaching.