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Leyline Renewable Capital Announces Investment to Support Minority-Owned Local Bank


Funding from Leyline will expand M&F Bank’s resources to help underserved communities in North Carolina

Leyline Renewable Capital, the leading provider of development-stage capital for renewable energy projects, announced a deposit with M&F Bank, the only minority-owned bank and community development financial institution in North Carolina. Leyline’s deposit in M&F Bank’s Empower Share Class Fund, also known as an ESC Fund,  bolsters M&F’s mission to support underserved communities through lending, investing in technology and providing financial literacy programs.

“One of our core values at Leyline is to forge sustainable communities. We seek to identify and fill the gaps in our system to advance both environmental and social justice,” said Erik Lensch, CEO of Leyline. “Leyline’s investment in M&F Bank is an investment in our shared commitment to a more equitable future for our local community and beyond.”

M&F Bank’s ESC Fund is a facet of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Empower share class, an initiative that began in February 2021 to create an avenue for institutional clients to invest in minority and diverse-led financial institutions. The Empower share class aims to support institutions like M&F Bank in delivering ongoing positive change to underserved communities—thanks to investments like Leyline’s, the  M&F Bank’s ESC Fund is approaching $800 million in assets under management.

“I want to thank Leyline for this significant deposit to our ESC Fund. As two local Durham-based companies focused on the economic development of our communities, this investment will expand our reach helping more under-resourced populations across the state,” said M&F Bank President and CEO James Sills.

Credo ESG Solutions, an advisory firm providing forward-thinking environmental, social and governance solutions to private-equity firms, guided Leyline in identifying the opportunity to invest in M&F’s ESC Fund.

“We were established to advise thoughtful companies like Leyline on environmental, social and governance matters by helping them find opportunities to do well financially, while also doing good in their communities,” said Brad Ives, CEO of Credo. “We connected Leyline to this opportunity to work with M&F Bank, because of the companies’ shared dedication to equitable development.”

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