WASHINGTON -- A. Joseph Shepard has been appointed director of the Office of Investment at the Small Business Administration.
As director, Shepard will oversee the activities of the SBA's Office of Investment, which includes the Small Business Investment Company program. SBICs are privately managed venture capital funds that invest mezzanine, or long-term debt, and private equity into qualifying small businesses. As of Sep. 25, 2007, the SBIC program had a portfolio of 373 SBIC licensee funds with total committed capital of approximately $19.5 billion, according to SBA.
The investment office's activities include prospective SBIC outreach; assessment and licensing of new SBICs; initial and follow-on funding of existing SBICs; performance monitoring and portfolio reporting; regulatory compliance; and liquidation.
The SBIC program was created to stimulate the growth of America's small businesses by supplementing the long-term debt and private-equity capital available to them. Since the program's formation in 1958 through September 2007, it has invested approximately $51.4 billion in more than 103,000 small businesses in the United States, the SBA said.
NYSCUL, CUs Meet New Banking Superintendent
LATHAM, N.Y. -- New York State Credit Union League officials and representatives from state-chartered credit unions met with the newly installed superintendent at the New York State Banking Department, Richard Neiman.
The delegates traveled into New York City to discuss timely regulatory and legislative issues with their new regulator. The league reported that Neiman was receptive to the groups' agenda and demonstrated sincere interest in and a familiarity with credit unions and the credit union movement. He expressed his desire and commitment to make a difference for credit unions into the future.
One of his primary goals is to develop a competitive state charter, which he understood to be crucial to New York credit unions. Neiman asked about the number of state charters in New York, key operational differences between state and federal charters, and looked for suggestions on how to increase the number.
Neiman also raised the issues of economic development, the underserved, and safeguarding consumer rights. New York credit unions recently won a long battle for a wild card provision in their laws that permits state charters any authorities federals have. According to the league, Neiman and his staff expressed a desire to ensure those powers are utilized to the fullest.
"In all the years I've been meeting with individuals in Neiman's position, this was one of the most positive opportunities I've had to engage in dialogue with someone who truly understands what credit unions are all about," NYSCUL President/CEO Bill Mellin said. "He is open to what the League is trying to accomplish, from a regulatory and legislative standpoint, and we should feel optimistic about the future of our movement with Neiman at the helm."
SBA Debuts Outreach Program for Underserved Markets
WASHINGTON -- This fall, SBA Administrator Steve Preston will announce a strategic initiative designed to spur economic development through small business growth in underserved markets through partnerships with credit unions and banks.
A combination of agency-wide programs and activities will be launched, all designed to accelerate entrepreneurship in the inner city and rural communities, by improving and enhancing the delivery of SBA products and services, either directly, through lenders, or through new and existing resource partners, the agency said.
The programs and activities fall into four main tracks, designed to close gaps in product and service delivery to underserved communities that have been identified through research and analysis of current SBA programs. The tracks are:
-Improving entrepreneurial literacy and technical assistance in inner city
-Enabling access to capital across underserved communities;
-Advanced technical assistance to emerging growth companies in
underserved areas; and
-Improving access to government contracting opportunities.
The initial set of programs will be announced in a series of events this fall. The first program to be announced, Rural Lender Advantage, will help entrepreneurs in rural areas obtain access to capital by encouraging smaller community banks and credit unions to partner with SBA.
In addition to extending access to capital, the SBA said it is actively promoting entrepreneurial literacy and education activities, and enabling access to advanced technical assistance.
Details of the service, which will be tested in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, were scheduled to be unveiled by Preston at a Sept. 27 press conference at the North Dakota State Capitol.
Another upcoming program will be an entrepreneurial literacy and technical assistance pilot in Harlem, N.Y. Through a partnership with Operation HOPE Inc., SBA and its resource partners, the New York Small Business Development Center and SCORE, will deliver technical assistance to nascent entrepreneurs and small businesses needing free technical assistance.
A third program, which will encourage small business growth and success of emerging companies in America's largest inner cities, will be announced at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City's annual Inner City Economic Forum in Philadelphia on Oct. 18.
NCUA Announces Board Meeting Schedule for 2008
ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The NCUA Board recently released the schedule of its meetings for next year.
The agency welcomes credit union officials, trade groups, media and the general public to attend the open meetings for a better understanding of the decision-making process that affects many of the nation's credit unions and NCUA operations. Meetings, which are subject to change, are scheduled for:
The NCUA Board does not meet in August.
NASCUS Hosts Orientation for Four New State Commissioners
ARLINGTON, Va. -- Four new state credit union regulators visited the nation's capital last week for NASCUS' New Commissioner Orientation.
From Oct. 2-3, the commissioners met with NCUA Chairman JoAnn Johnson, Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Institutions Jeremiah Norton, and NASCUS management. Sarah Bloom Raskin (Md.), Steven Kaplan (Pa.), George Burns (Nev.) and Patricia Meadow (N.Y.), also participated in NCUA's Outreach Task Force Town Hall (See related story, pages 20-21) in Arlington, Va.
NASCUS' last orientation was in June and is held at least once a year.
SEC Commissioner Nazareth to Depart
WASHINGTON -- Securities and Exchange Commissioner Annette Nazareth announced Oct. 2 she will leave the agency to return to the private sector.
Nazareth served for nine years at the SEC as a commissioner and previously as director of the SEC's Division of Market Regulation. Under her tenure, she played a key role in the commission's efforts to modernize its national market system rules, which aimed to transform securities markets from primarily floor-based environments to more fully electronic venues, according to the SEC.
Nazareth has not set a date for her departure but has notified President Bush that she does not wish to be re-nominated, the SEC said. Her term ended on June 5, 2007 but SEC commissioners may remain in their positions for up to 18 months beyond a term's end, unless a successor is appointed sooner.