These days, it can be challenging to identify and leverage real economic opportunities. As our interconnected world continues to grow more and more complex, so does risk, especially against a backdrop of economic uncertainty. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still major, important – and yes, obvious – opportunities out there, ready to be seized. In this context, Savoy recently attended an event where we heard from Moody’s Corporation about their commitment to pursuing, and helping others to pursue, one of the biggest opportunities around.
Diverse financial institutions are the economic engines of underserved communities across the country. The “on-the-ground” eyes and ears, they understand their local markets and customers in ways that go beyond conventional analysis, providing more effective support to businesses and families. As such, they can help super-charge a faster-growing, more inclusive, and more sustainable overall U.S. economy, but they often face obstacles in the form of well-known systemic barriers. That’s why the Moody’s CORE initiative engages, empowers, and invests in these institutions, by offering access to the type of data, solutions, and capital that larger companies can often take for granted.
The second annual CORE Solutions Summit was held earlier this fall. Under its theme, “Empowering Diverse Businesses, Fueling Growth,” Moody’s brought together minority depository institutions (MDIs) and community development financial institutions (CDFIs), diverse asset managers and private equity firms, think tanks and foundations, sector organizations and consulting firms, nonprofits and NGOs. The full-day conference’s remarks, panels, product demonstrations, and networking sessions explored what diverse institutions need to advance and scale their businesses – everything from traditional partnerships and tools to more cutting-edge possibilities. For instance, nothing is hotter right now than Generative AI. Why shouldn’t these institutions be involved in its development in its current early stages? What could they do with their non-traditional insights into the underserved parts of the economy with the support of this type technology?
“Closing the information gap goes hand-in-hand with closing the wealth gap,” said Rob Fauber, Moody’s President and Chief Executive Officer, “and as a global integrated risk firm, Moody’s, through CORE, is helping key market actors navigate this era of exponential risk – and opportunity.”
Beyond the Summit, the CORE initiative has had a busy and successful 2023. Moody’s brought their cumulative direct financial deposits to diverse financial institutions to a total of $16 million, and also made their products and solutions more accessible to 15 new participating companies and organizations. They’ve provided data for research on MDIs, held events on events on cybersecurity risk, and partnered on and sponsored numerous activities with organizations such as the National Bankers Association, National Association of Securities Professionals, Trident, the Economic Opportunity Coalition, the Community Development Bankers Association, Inclusiv, and the non-profit arms of the Black and Hispanic Congressional Caucuses.
Turning to 2024, Moody’s is setting up an ambitious year for CORE, bringing in new participants, new partners, and expanding what it can offer to both. “We believe that greater transparency, more-informed decisions, and fair access to information open the door to shared progress,” said Chief Administrative Officer Tameka Alsop. “Moody’s remains committed to CORE as a business opportunity, and as a way to grow our economy and support our communities. Please reach out to us if you are interested in learning more, as the momentum from the Summit takes the initiative through the rest of this year.”