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Manhattan West Asset Management launches ESG fund

Manhattan West Asset Management has added an ESG (environmental, social and governance) focused private equity fund to its offerings.

Roberto Barragan (pictured), former CEO of VEDC (Valley Economic Development Center), joins as shareholder and senior managing director to oversee the fund.
The new fund will provide financing and credit solutions for minority owned businesses across the US.
"Access to capital severely limits the establishment and expansion of minority-owned businesses. By focusing on credit and debt structures with collateral ranging in size from USD500,000 to USD2,000,000, we will seek to eliminate those access barriers," says Barragan. "My business lending experience and extensive relationships with financial institutions nationwide will allow our team at Manhattan West to deliver impactful CRA and ESG investments to our institutional clientele."
Barragan led the VEDC to national prominence as a highly regarded and industry leading small business lender originating millions annually in small business loans to minority borrowers. Under his leadership and innovation, the VEDC increased its assets by over 700 per cent in the last six years and lent millions to women and minority business owners. Additionally, he redefined how African American and Latino entrepreneurs can access capital through partnerships with financial institutions and corporations and launched numerous business programmes including Business Opportunity Funds in Chicago and New York, the National African American Small Business Loan Fund, the Women's Small Business Risk Mitigation program, the National Micro Finance Fund, and many others.
Barragan expanded VEDC's portfolio to a national platform with loan funds in Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Reno, Salt Lake City, Miami and the New York Tri-State area. Under his direction and leadership during a 21-year career, the VEDC helped thousands of businesses succeed.
"Roberto's arrival at Manhattan West signifies our commitment to a strategic imperative of the firm," says Lorenzo Esparza, Manhattan West Asset Management CEO. "One of our main objectives is to deploy investment capital for causes that will have a profoundly positive social impact. We are excited to welcome Roberto to Manhattan West where he will purposefully advocate the vision we set forth."
Manhattan West is a Latino owned financial service firm, one of the few in the country providing full service investment management for private clients and institutions.

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