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Assembly Approves Bill Requiring Use of Minority, Women-Owned Financial Institutions

(TRENTON) – In an effort to promote and support the development of minority and women-owned small businesses in the state, a bill requiring the Director of the Division of Investment in the Department of Treasury to attempt to use qualified minority and women-owned financial institutions for the state’s brokerage and investment management services was approved 73-4-0 Monday by the full Assembly. The measure was sponsored by Assembly Democrats John McKeon, Robert J. Karabinchak, Annette Quijano, Joe Danielsen, Joann Downey and Carol Murphy.

“Qualified minority and women-owned financial institutions have services that are as professional and on a par with any other, and we should always consider them for the state’s brokerage and investment needs,” said McKeon (D-Essex, Morris). “When given the opportunity, women and minority-owned businesses can thrive, excel and make significant contributions to our state.”

The bill (A-4415) defines a qualified minority and women-owned financial institution as a financial institution qualified to engage in state investment transactions and has a valid certification as a “minority business” or a “women’s business” as defined by state law.

“This is about access and opportunity,” said Karabinchak (D-Middlesex). “When businesses are given access to state programs and initiatives, it can open a world of new opportunities.”

“The more we level the playing field for our minority and women-owned businesses, the more they will flourish,” said Quijano (D-Union). “This is an exciting time for these businesses.”
Although the Division of Investment does not identify the number of minority and women-owned financial institutions providing brokerage and investment management services to New Jersey, the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst (August 2012) report identified Vista Equity Partners as an established and successful minority-owned private equity firm in which the New Jersey Division of Investment invested that year.

“This bill will help ensure that minority and women-owned businesses have the chance to offer their brokerage and investment services to our state,” said Danielsen (D-Middlesex and Somerset). “It will allow them to play a crucial role in New Jersey’s economic future.”

“Whenever we can create opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, it creates an environment where they can flourish,” said Downey (D-Monmouth).

“I am confident that this bill will help us uncover superb talent and services that we might not be aware of otherwise,” said Murphy (D-Burlington).

The bill was approved by the Senate in March. It now heads to the governor’s desk.