Jim Baek Joins LOCUS Impact Investing as Executive Director of The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP)
Experienced Community Development and Housing Finance Practitioner Will Scale the Use of Guarantees to Help Lenders Unlock Additional Investment Capital
Richmond, VA —July 22, 2021—LOCUS Impact Investing (LOCUS) has announced that Jim Baek has joined The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) as Executive Director. LOCUS is a registered investment advisor, consultancy, and servicing organization that works with mission-driven organizations to accelerate investment that builds more equitable, prosperous communities. LOCUS is the program manager for CIGP, a first-of-its-kind platform that enables impact-aligned guarantors to unlock their balance sheets by pooling resources and sharing risk in financial guarantees to catalyze greater investment in structurally underserved or excluded communities. Mr. Baek reports to Sarah Stremlau, President of LOCUS, and will work closely with CIGP guarantors to refine and execute on the vision for the Pool.
Mr. Baek joins CIGP from Deutsche Bank where he served as Head of U.S. Community Finance as well as the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Officer. As Executive Director of CIGP, Mr. Baek will scale the guarantee program by attracting more guarantors to the pool and strategically deploying those guarantees around the country. To date CIGP has secured more than $38m of guarantee commitments from a dozen of the nation’s leading national and regional philanthropic institutions and health systems.
CIGP provides customized, unfunded loan guarantees to intermediaries throughout the United States in the affordable housing, small business, and climate sectors. These guarantees enable organizations to increase their lending capacity to more businesses and groups that have traditionally lacked equitable access to capital, in particular BIPOC- and women-led organizations. LOCUS became the program manager for CIGP in 2019.
“I am very pleased to welcome Jim to the CIGP team. Jim’s 20 years of experience working in community development finance and affordable housing, his deep transaction skill-set across the capital stack and knowledge of impact investing will be critical to building on the foundation CIGP has already established,” said Sarah Stremlau. “Jim brings a reputation as a changemaker as well as a demonstrated commitment to driving investment in lower-income and BIPOC communities across the country, an essential part of the LOCUS mission. He also brings a proven ability to foster a more equitable workplace, and we look forward to Jim supporting our efforts to embed DEI into our services and across the organization.”
LOCUS provides a range of consulting and investment services to current and potential impact investors through stakeholder education, investment strategy and policy development, strategic capacity building, community and economic development assessment, due diligence, fund aggregation, deal sourcing, and investment servicing, monitoring, and tracking. Clients include private foundations, community foundations, funder associations and collaboratives, fund sponsors, CDFIs, health systems and corporations. LOCUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit, Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a regulated, certified CDFI with over $500 million in assets under management.
Ms. Stremlau added: “Whether you’re a mission-driven organization curious about how impact investing can advance your community-oriented mission or you already have a robust program in place, LOCUS’ customized, one-stop approach meets you where you are on your impact investing journey. Because we are specialists in impact investing as well as experts in community development in both rural and urban communities, we have a unique capacity to help organizations find ways to accelerate investment that builds thriving, more equitable communities. At the same time, we continue to innovate and champion new types of investment solutions like Invest Appalachia and CIGP. We believe CIGP’s novel approach has the potential to increase the use of guarantees at the national and regional levels to drive systemic change, and ultimately to change perceptions of risk when it comes to lending to BIPOC and women-owned and led businesses.”
“This is an exciting time to join the LOCUS organization. I am already impressed with the entrepreneurial and innovative foundation the organization has established in community development, and we are ready to push the boundaries even further to build more resilient communities in underserved markets across the country,” said Jim Baek. “For CIGP to be situated at the unique confluence of LOCUS as a one-stop shop for impact investment and VCC as a leading CDFI is exciting as it expands CIGP’s ability to influence systems change across the marketplace for affordable housing, small businesses and climate finance solutions.”
At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Baek was head of the Community Development Finance Group and oversaw the bank’s lending, investing and philanthropy for community development and impact in the U.S. As the CRA Officer he was also responsible for the bank’s performance under the Community Reinvestment Act regulation. Prior to joining Deutsche Bank in 2007, he underwrote affordable housing and community facility loans for the Low-Income Investment Fund and structured mortgage revenue bonds for Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Baek is a graduate of Grinnell College (BA Political Science) and the University of Michigan (MBA). He serves on the board of IMPACCT Brooklyn, Restored Homes, and Project Rebuild, and is a former board member of Living Cities.
The Community Investment Guarantee Pool (CIGP) is a first-of-its-kind platform that enables mission-driven guarantors to unlock their balance sheets by pooling resources and sharing risk in financial guarantees to catalyze greater investment in structurally underserved or excluded communities. Created in 2019, CIGP currently pools financial commitments from a dozen of the nation’s leading philanthropic organizations and health systems including The Kresge Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The California Endowment, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, CommonSpirit Health, Gary Community Investments, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Phillips Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Seattle Foundation, Virginia Community Capital, and Weingart Foundation. Learn more about CIGP by watching this short video produced by The Kresge Foundation.
About LOCUS Impact Investing:
LOCUS Impact Investing is a registered investment advisor, consultancy, and servicing organization that works with mission-driven organizations across the country to accelerate investment that builds more equitable, prosperous communities. Our unique one-stop-shop model offers a comprehensive approach to community-oriented impact that includes stakeholder education, investment strategy and policy development, strategic capacity building, community and economic development assessment, due diligence, fund aggregation, deal sourcing, and investment servicing, monitoring, and tracking.. Ultimately we seek to increase the number of investors committed to community investing and to advance more effective, equitable investment practices that catalyze greater deployment of capital in lower-income and BIPOC communities across the country. LOCUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the non-profit, Virginia Community Capital (VCC), a regulated, certified CDFI with over $500 million in assets under management.
Communications Coordinator, LOCUS Impact Investing