How Banks Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap with Robert E. James, II and Stephen H. Gordon
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In this episode of Weird Finance, Paco talks to Robert E. James II and Stephen H. Gordon about the role banks play in closing the racial wealth gap, the importance of minority depository institutions (MDIs) in underprivileged communities, the need for increased financial education and skills in underserved communities, the value of diversity and inclusion in the banking industry, and the historical context and impact of the racial wealth gap in the United States.
Robert E. James II
Since October 2020, Robert James has served as Chairman of the National Bankers Association, the leading advocacy group for the nation’s minority banks. Robert leverages his experiences in banking, law, real estate development, and consulting to lead America’s only Black-owned multibank holding company, Carver Financial Corporation, and its operating subsidiaries, Carver State Bank in Savannah, GA and Alamerica Bank in Birmingham, AL, which was acquired in 2021. Robert, who was named to his current role with the holding company in 2021, has led the 95-year-old institution to several accomplishments over his fifteen-year tenure.
Robert graduated from Harvard Law School in 1995 and from Howard University in 1992. He is father of one teenage daughter, a member of the Alpha Lambda Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, and enjoys cooking and travel.
Stephen H. Gordon
Stephen H. Gordon is the Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Bank, a member of the National Bankers Association. Mr. Gordon has nearly 40 years of financial industry experience, including serving as Founding Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President of Opus Bank; Founding Chairman and CEO of Commercial Capital Bank and its holding company, Commercial Capital Bancorp, Inc; as well as Chairman and CEO of Fremont Investment and Loan and its holding company, Fremont General Corporation. Additionally, Mr. Gordon served as a Partner at Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., a New York based investment banking firm, now Piper Sandler, and joined the firm at its founding in 1988.
Genesis Bank is a California state chartered commercial bank, organized by Mr. Gordon. The Bank focuses on serving the financial needs of small to mid-sized businesses and owners, and investors in income-producing multifamily and commercial real estate located primarily in the diverse majority minority markets of Los Angeles and Orange counties, California, as well as the western portions of the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino counties). Genesis Bank is designated by the FDIC as a Minority Depository Institution (MDI), and is only the second diverse, multi-racial MDI in the U.S. The Bank’s products, services, and solutions primarily include traditional commercial business, Small Business Administration (SBA), income property, and owner-occupied commercial real estate loan and deposit products, as well as treasury management services and solutions. Genesis Bank is headquartered in Orange County California.
This episode also features a segment called Stock Watch with Amanda Holden (@dumpster.doggy). In this segment, we’ll follow a stock-picking competition between a dog named Henry, a cat named Hugo, and a human baby. If you’d like to learn more about investing from Amanda, sign up for her online course, Invested Development.
Thank you to Jess Rona and Ramsey Yount for lending your voice for our special PSA.
A special thanks to the talented and generous Ramsey Yount for producing, editing, and sound designing this episode.
The theme music was written and performed by Andrew Parker, Jenna Parker, and Paco de Leon.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.