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Bank of America Merrill Lynch today announced a social impact partnership with New York State and Social Finance Inc. that resulted in a successful capital raise of $13.5 million to fund a new pay-for-success program. The offering proceeds provided by private and institutional investors will be used to fund a 5 ½-year program focused on comprehensive reentry employment services to 2,000 formerly incarcerated individuals in New York City and Rochester, N.Y.
Social impact partnerships provide an innovative way to finance social programs. These programs provide funding – often in the form of fixed income or private equity offerings (referred to generically as “social impact bonds”) – for selected nonprofits with a proven track record of success, and enable governments to save money and pay only for positive results. If a pay-for-success program meets identified success metrics, private and institutional investors have the potential to earn positive financial returns. Through these programs, the public, private and nonprofit sectors work together to achieve positive social outcomes.
“We are proud to join New York State, Social Finance and others in this landmark program. Through partnerships such as this, and the preferences of today’s investors, innovative social finance has truly come of age,” said Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “One of the most pronounced trends among our clients is for their investments to not only earn a return but also to help drive social change in their communities and in society. We’re unlocking the potential for this type of investing, enabling clients to direct capital to programs and organizations proven to produce positive outcomes, and taking an important step toward a scalable new marketplace.”
This new social impact investment opportunity was available only to qualified high net worth and institutional clients of Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust*, as well as other investors identified by Social Finance. The proceeds of the project will finance programs delivered by the Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO), a world-class provider of training and employment service programs to formerly incarcerated individuals in New York.