THIS WAS THE FREE-MARKET MODEL OF CAPITALISM----THERE MUST BE RESTRICTIONS TO KEEP MONOPOLY AND POWER FROM DOING JUST WHAT CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA DID----
While PRETENDING to be free-market in building these DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS for jobs, jobs, jobs----these structures actually created a crony, selective, subsidized, stagnant economy that chose winners and losers with only 1% coming away as winners.
NO FREE-MARKET WITH DEVELOPMENT CORPORATIONS AND THEIR COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS CONTROLLING ALL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
While Johns Hopkins and its Board of Executives are the 5% to the 1% citizens-----so too is the Wall Street Baltimore Development. The Hopkins board if filled with business executives----Baltimore Development is filled with banking, investment, and real estate executives.
Below you see the people who wait patiently for the Johns Hopkins Board and global investment firms, Wall Street banks, and the global corporate executive of businesses Hopkins wants to partner TELL THEM WHAT TO DO. So, they come to these meetings for a continental breakfast----listen to a Federal Reserve speaker----have a catered lunch----listen to a Brookings Institute speaker----and then take a vote on policy approved by Hopkins and Wall Street. THIS IS ALL THEY DO.
Without coincidence-----these board members work for or own the small percent of businesses allowed to be funded that are not global corporations.
I used to have to testify at public Baltimore City Hall meetings where Bill Cole sat as chair of a committee showing complete distain for the citizens protesting city hall's capture by Wall Street Baltimore Development and filled with fraud and corruption----now he is President.....not a leader, but a SHOW ME THE MONEY AND I WILL DO ANYTHING YOU SAY GUY.
THESE ARE THE BUSINESSES FEELING THEY SHOULD WORK AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF 99% OF CITIZENS IN BALTIMORE BY BEING ON THIS BOARD.
William H. Cole IV
President and CEOWilliam H. Cole is the President and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), which serves as the economic development agency for Baltimore City.
Kimberly A. Clark
Executive Vice President
Kim Clark is the Executive Vice President of the City of Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC). In her capacity as EVP she oversees business retention and attraction, land assemblage and redevelopment, capital budgeting, commercial revitalization, urban design and planning, and the Inner Harbor Coordinator. Among her achievements at BDC, Kim helped structure public private partnership financing for several major redevelopment projects, including several Tax Increment Financing (TIF) projects; the redevelopment of Belvedere Square, all parcels at Inner Harbor East, Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOTS) for several major developments, including the Westside and the several grocery store projects.
The problem with TIFs and Pilots is this-----we do not want them going to global corporate campus development. We don't want global corporate campuses period. Even when they PRETEND they are going to send these TIFs to communities---it is not the tax breaks we want----IT IS A DIRECT REVENUE STREAM FOR BUILDING LOCAL ECONOMIES IN EACH COMMUNITY----
Published on Feb 28, 2016
The Chicago Teachers Union organized a protest and march in downtown Chicago over TIF fund money, which should have gone to the public schools, going instead to property development for the Mayor's rich friends. On Feb. 25, 2016 the protest began in front of City Hall, then marched over to the river, targeting the glittering new River Point Plaza skyscraper, owned by Rahm's friend Larry Levy, who got $30 Million of TIF funds from the city to help the project along. This, while very damaging cuts to schools are planned. The schools should have received the $30 Million instead.
Chicago Teachers Union member Georgia Waller was there and talked about the devastating cuts. "We have special needs students that are loosing services: nurses, psychologists, social workers...our children need to have these services in the school. We have children that see horrific things. Psychologists would be needed in our schools, or social workers, because some of our children are suffering economic stress...And our nurses. Nurses do more than put bandaids on wounds. Nurses help children with hygiene. They help children will all kinds of illnesses to be prepared on how to deal with their illnesses. Those things are important. And the classrooms. Classrooms don't have resources."
CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey, before leading a march to River Point Plaza, told the protesters that they were there "to talk about the connection between the savage cuts coming to the schools, including layoffs, including unilateral 7% pay cuts in the middle of a school year, also layoffs that have already come, on top of the cuts in special education funding that have already come, and we're here to draw the connection between those cuts and the Tax Income Finance program. TIFs are very much a slush fund for rich developers and their politically connected politicians that are doled out to their friends and donators."
Pointing across the Chicago river to where the new, lavish River Front Plaza skyscraper stood glistening as the sun set, Sharkey said: "$30 million dollars of school TIF money at work on this highrise, and they say Chicago is broke and can't afford good public schools. No way!" Larry Levy, the developer, has given thousands in donations to Rahm and (Governor) Rauner.
Sharkey warned that "if they cut our pay 7% and make an illegal, unilateral cut we will respond. That threat will not be taken lying down. We consider that an unfair labor practice, and our union could respond in that situation with an unfair labor practice strike. But for right now we're saying that this is a solution that doesn't require that. This is a solution where we can avoid cuts and do the right thing for our schools in marching over and asking wealthy developers like Larry Levy to give back this money."
Please make a Donation to Labor Beat (Committee for Labor Access) and help rank-and-file tv:
The Baltimore Development Corporation posts announcements related to its Board of Directors and any Board meetings on the Board Announcements page.
BDC Board of Directors
Mr. Arnold Williams, CPA
Ms. Christine Bivens
Minority & Women-Owned Business Development
Mr. Greg Cangialosi
Chairman, Co-founder, Betamore, Inc.
Co-Chairman, Baltimore Angels
Mr. Augie Chiasera
Ms. Armentha “Mike” Cruise
President & CEO
The Aspen Group, Inc.
Mr. Clinton R. Daly
Head of Sales
Mr. Gilberto de Jesus, Esquire
Board of Directors
Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Ms. Deborah Hunt Devan
Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin, & Gibber, P.A.
Mr. Jeffrey Fraley
Vice President of Operations
Mr. Paul T. Graziano
Dept. of Housing and Community Development
Mr. Kenneth V. Moreland
Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
T. Rowe Price
Mr. Henry Raymond
Department of Finance
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke
University of Baltimore
Mr. Colin Tarbert
Office of Neighborhood and Economic Development
Mr. Brian K. Tracey
Senior Vice President
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Tax Credit Investments
Mr. Michael W. Walton
Tower Hill Atlantic Enterprises, LLC
Ms. Christy Wyskiel
Senior Advisor to the President
Johns Hopkins University
We do not intend to be mean or disparage any one individual ----we simply acknowledge that EVERYONE IN THE CITY OF BALTIMORE KNOWS BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT IS FRAUDULENT AND CORRUPT. So, if you or your business is appointed to this board------you then become the face of Baltimore's fraud and corruption.
A researcher will not find a document or account of the year after year after year after year findings of fraud and corruption in Baltimore's City Hall and Baltimore Development because the people finding and reporting it are never the officials tasked with protecting Baltimore citizens from A TAMMANY HALL few decades. While other states and cities still have a semblance of public justice, state's attorneys that work on white collar crime, and courts that are not too corrupt to find those doing fraud and corruption guilty---Maryland and especially Baltimore does not. This is why you do not see Baltimore in national headlines as the most fraudulent and corrupt city in America.
"The corruption of the best things gives rise to the worst."
-- David Hume
By A.F. James MacArthur
Agitator In Chief
On Twitter: @BaltoSpectator
MACARTHUR INDEPENDENT NEWS SERVICE
Few statements besides the quote above so readily sums up all that's wrong with Baltimore. With each week's new stories about wanton waste, fraud and outright criminal corruption in city government, any reasonable person can become exhausted by it all, wondering when will it end.
Recently we've been hearing rumblings about how the much vaunted CitiStat program has basically fallen apart, and ceased to accurately serve it's intended function. In a word, it's become a failure.
Could this be because the mayor's CitiStat Director, Mark Grimes, who earns $124,000-a-year also has a million dollar contract with the state to do something else entirely?
Grimes is guaranteed his city salary, whether he performs or not, but he actually has to document his work hours with the state.
The Baltimore Sun recently shared with us the following:
"A Baltimore Sun investigation has found that Grimes' private practice that he runs with his wife has charged the state thousands of hours on hundreds of cases since it landed a contract with the Maryland Department of Human Resources in August 2013 — five months before he started the $124,000-a-year CitiStat job.
Grimes' dual roles raise questions about how he has been able to juggle a private practice while working for taxpayers, especially as the CitiStat program has come under fire for failing to hold regular meetings and produce reports, even as its budget has doubled to $1 million under the mayor [Stephanie Rawlings-Blake].
No other Cabinet member lists other employment or a business that is still operating on their disclosure forms.
"It is understood that agency heads are presumed to be dedicating their total work time to the agency," said City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who is convening a hearing to examine CitiStat's operations and Grimes' outside work. "It requires that kind of commitment."
This place has serious problems. The worse part is no one ever seems to be held accountable. No matter how many millions are lost without any accounting, there are never any criminal charges. In the private sector these types of inexcusable actions would most certainly amount to charges of misappropriation, embezzlement or theft. At the very minimum an immediate dismissal. But not in Baltimore. Not at city government. Is this part of the "charm" in Charm City we hear so much about?
I love this city and the people of this city, but talk is cheap. I'd rather my actions speak for me beyond mere words
Words must be followed with work if there is to be any improvement.
So, it is our Maryland State's Attorneys like Elizabeth Embry----our Baltimore City Attorney Mosby-----our MarylandBaltimore OIG----the FBI white collar and government corruption unit----the Mayor's lawyers and Board of Estimate's legal teams----AND YES, THIS FIRM BELOW.
When Baltimore City Hall PRETENDS to do an audit---these CPA corporations are brought in to do a cursory overview of whether forms are here-----without checking the data. So, if we all know the dealings between government and most of these public private partnerships entail fraud and corruption-----this would be the first line of defense. He was appointed by Mayor Rawlings-Blake to affirm all is well in these PROPRIETARY DEALS DONE BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.
Two years from now when an outside audit by Federal or independent agencies find all this fraud and corruption---we will be told it was not meant to be criminal. We are saying to Mr Arnold Williams and his corporation----
WE KNOW THIS BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM IF RIFE WITH FRAUD AND YOU ARE THE ONES TASKED WITH STOPPING IT.
WE KNOW THE ENTIRE STRUCTURE OF TIFs and PILOTs are full of fraud and corruption---------more so in Baltimore
.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Two Chicago Real Estate Executives Indicted On Federal Fraud Charges Involving City Tif Notes And Bank Loans
CHICAGO — Two executives of a prominent Chicago real estate development company were indicted today on federal fraud charges alleging that they lied about and concealed unpaid property taxes, the double-pledging of public financing notes issued by the City of Chicago, and the company’s default on those notes so they could secure credit extensions and payments from the city at a time when they knew their firm was having serious financial difficulties. The defendants, LAURANCE H. FREED, and CAROLINE WALTERS, are, respectively, the president and vice president/treasurer of Joseph Freed and Associates LLC (JFA), best known for its role in the development of Block 37 in Chicago’s Loop.
Mr. Arnold Williams, CPA
Abrams, Foster, Nole & Williams, P.A. (AFNW) is a minority-owned certified public accounting firm that was founded in 1983 to provide growth and development opportunities for African Americans in the accounting industry. Today, AFNW has grown into a diverse regional firm that serves the needs of companies and individuals throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Our capabilities include accounting, auditing, tax and business advisory services for a variety of challenging clients. Currently, AFNW serves individuals and families, nonprofit and religious organizations, federal, state and local government entities, and privately-held companies throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region.
At AFNW, we believe that our clients always come first. No matter what engagement challenges may arise, our talented professionals will be there working the hardest with and for you to deliver valuable solutions. We take pride in delivering premiere services as we understand that it is central to the success of the firm. Through personalized attention from our industry experts, we effectively address our clients' business and industry needs.
Our leaders possess a wide range of professional experience in a variety of industries. This experience gives AFNW a depth and breadth of knowledge necessary to assist all types of corporate and individual challenges. Our commitment to provide value-added services ensures that we understand your industry challenges and have the business and financial knowledge necessary to address your short and long term goals. AFNW brings technical skill, business acumen, creative ideas, and timely solutions to all engagements. By assigning the right staff to each engagement, we are able to provide optimal solutions to meet and exceed client expectations.
Arnold Williams, CPAManaging Director
Mr. Williams is a founding partner and currently the Managing Director. He brings a rich background in the health care industry to the firm and takes particular pride in serving nonprofit organizations within the region.
Gerald Abrams, CPAFounding Director
Mr. Abrams is a founding partner of the firm with a background in the education and local government industries. His expertise includes tax, accounting, advisory and consulting services for companies and individuals.
Alicia Foster, CPAFounding Director
Ms. Foster is a founding partner and has a diverse professional background. Her expertise is providing audit and assurance services for varying clients ranging from commercial corporations to nonprofit organizations.
Audrey Askew, CPAAudit Principal
Ms. Askew has more than 20 years of auditing experience primarily for state and local government entities and educational institutions. She is a single audit compliance specialist and frequent speaker on the topic.
Sheila Scott, CPAAudit Principal
Ms. Scott is an Audit Principal with more than 15 years of experience. Her professional expertise is providing audits for a variety of clients in the state and local government, nonprofit, education and commercial industries.
Steven Davis, CPATax Principal
Mr. Davis is the head of the Tax Dept. which currently serves individuals, private companies and public organizations. For nearly 20 years, Mr. Davis was the CFO for several for-profit and nonprofit organizations.
Bridget LydayOffice Manager
Ms. Lyday is responsible for the financial, accounting, and human resources functions of the firm. She has more than 20 years of accounting and management experience with nonprofit organizations, state & local governments, REIT’s, property management companies, and manufacturing firms.
Mission, Vision & Values
For more than 30 years, AFNW has cultivated and maintained lasting relationships through a passion for industry expertise and a dedication to serving clients. Our mission, vision and values distinguish us from the rest. They inspire us to persistently achieve more and serve as the guiding principles for how we operate now and into the future
MissionAt AFNW, we are committed to:
- Providing quality services and innovative solutions that facilitate personal, professional and financial growth for our clients.
- Fostering a diverse, challenging and rewarding environment for our talented professionals to enhance their careers.
- Enhancing our communities through thought leadership, educational advancement and philanthropic initiatives for a better place to work and live.
To be a trusted partner for our clients' business and financial growth, and the premier choice for quality professionals to grow and develop.
Our professionals live by the philosophy – Quality with Distinction. Everything we do is fueled by our desire to perform services in a manner that provides value to our clients, deserves respect and acknowledgment, and has the ability to help our clients grow and prosper right along with us. To continuously perform at this level, AFNW adheres to the following core values summarized in one worthy acronym – MERIT:
Methodology – our service methodologies are performed from the top-down, focusing on efficiency and effectiveness through collaboration and proactive communication.
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Trust – we take pride in our longstanding relationships with our clients, our employees and our business partners because they were founded on reliability and integrity.
AFNW is involved in several industry related associations, including the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants (MACPA), American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Maryland Government Finance Officers Association (MDGFOA), National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) and National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). We understand the importance of these memberships is rooted in professional growth and development and enhancing the communities in which we live and work. AFNW is committed to the accounting industry and our professionals continuously seek to refresh and expand upon their knowledge and technical skills to better service our clients.
AFNW personnel also serve on the Board of Directors of several nonprofit organizations, health care organizations and educational institutions. They have been teachers, speakers and trainers since the inception of the firm, spreading knowledge that will help our clients, colleagues and employees grow. AFNW offers charitable donations for admirable causes when possible and hosts and encourages employees to engage in or continue their volunteer activities in and around Baltimore. AFNW is committed to the accounting industry and our professionals continuously seek to refresh and expand upon their knowledge and technical skills to better service our clients.
The two primary Wall Street subprime mortgage fraud perpetrators were Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. We understand the Hopkins' endowment soared from the transfer of profits from this fraud from AIG----but that does not mean we want these banks as our downtown anchors OR ESPECIALLY ON OUR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION BOARDS for goodness sake. It's like watching a Bank of America local executive running for Mayor of Baltimore-----Guttierez----telling us HE is the one with experience to audit a corruption public agency for fraud.
This would be the person installed in a US city deemed International Economic Zone----being told by global investment firms how they can milk the Baltimore taxpayers for all they can and win deals as partners in huge development plans. The goal of these development investment firms is to accumulate the most tax credits at Federal, state, and local level without actually doing anything of public interest tied to them. We know these tax credits are corrupt----we have demanded complete audits for decades----and we do not want executives with Wall Street banking history filled with fraud on our Baltimore Development Corporation Board.
CITIZENS OF BALTIMORE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE INSTILLED WITH CONFIDENCE OUR FIDUCIARY INTERESTS ARE BEING PROTECTED BY THE SAME WALL STREET PLAYERS ON OUR BOARDS?
Mr. Brian K. Tracey
Senior Vice President
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Tax Credit Investments
Yet the latest litigation centers on Bank of America’s own homegrown mortgage operations. And the loans at issue were represented as prime jumbo mortgages — at the time, 2007, loans of more than $417,000 for a single-unit dwelling — rather than subprime mortgages, which were at the heart of the mortgage crisis.
Those new elements were woven into a familiar narrative as the Justice Department’s lawsuit portrayed the bank’s mortgage operations as emblematic of Wall Street’s reckless practices in the heady days before the financial crisis.
Under pressure to generate profits, the lawsuit said, Bank of America pushed employees to churn through mortgage evaluations. The instructions for slipshod standards emanated from the upper echelons of the bank, the lawsuit said.
One employee, according to the lawsuit, said that her job was to “basically validate the loans,” rather than to comb through them to spot flaws. The goal, the employee said, was to get through mortgage applications swiftly. She was told by her superiors, prosecutors said, to “keep her opinions to herself.”
In the end, the prime mortgages turned out to be far more dangerous than investors were led to believe, the lawsuit contends. Bank of America misrepresented the quality of the loans, and five investors lost about $100 million, the government said.
Merrill Lynch: No WE’LL Be The Ones Worst Affected By Subprime Losses
By Bess Levin
/ Mar 29, 2007 at 11:36 AMGretchen Morgenson may have a new punching bag and her name is Merrill Lynch. Bloomberg reports that subprime losses could make Merrill bonds riskier than debt issued by Bear Stearns.
Merrill may have the most potential for losses from so-called collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, that repackage bonds backed by mortgages, analysts led by Jeffrey Rosenberg wrote in a research note this week. “The relative exposure to Merrill is likely understated,” Rosenberg said. Underwriting data “suggest Merrill Lynch has the most exposure of the brokers to subprime through the origination of CDOs,” his team wrote.
Merrill arranged $46 billion in structured-finance CDOs last year, according to data in the BofA report. Citigroup was second, with $21.3 billion, and Bear was 10th, packaging $9.4 billion of the deals.
If a citizen wants to follow either Baltimore Board of Estimates bidding contract awards or Baltimore Development partnerships and deals city hall makes it as hard as they can. They refuse to post meeting minutes and decisions right away----they often take weeks and sometimes months to post publicly what revenue transactions occur.
When we say Baltimore is a pay-to-play corporate plantation throwing a few millions of dollars to a selected few while sending the hundreds of millions and billions to global corporate campus development-----below we see one of those avenues.
WHO GETS THESE LOANS AND HOW DO THEY RATE GETTING THEM?
This is just one meeting from a year or so ago but we see here an award to a business in Cockeysville----NOT BALTIMORE----and individual awards improving a business' capital. I was standing outside Baltimore City Hall when a young man came out very happy that he had been awarded $165,000 ----
This is of course the power Baltimore Board of Estimates with the Mayor and President of City Council Jack Young ----or these directors of Baltimore Development have---a mayor appoints all members of Baltimore Development who then have the power to send out loans and grants to whomever.
THE FDR SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC MODEL OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CREATED A SMALL BUSINESS ASSOCIATION SBA-----WITH A MISSION TO LEND MONEY TO ANYONE MEETING REQUIREMENTS AND THAT TRUST WAS FUNDED ADEQUATELY WITH HIGH-SUCCESS IN NEW STARTUP BUSINESSES BECAUSE THEY WERE SIMPLE SMALL BUSINESSES IN EACH COMMUNITY SELLING PRODUCTS CITIZENS NEEDED.
i. The committee met on April 13, 2015 and the March 9, 2015 minutes were approved.
ii. A loan to S&H3, Inc. t/a Streets Market & Café was approved, BDC’s EDA Revolving Loan Fund to reopen 222 N. Charles Street, (formerly the Fresh & Greens). Funds will be used for additional improvements.
iii. A loan to Berman’s Automotive was approved, BDC’s EDA Revolving Loan Fund. The funds will be used to improve and expand to its building located at 5720 Reisterstown Road.
iv. A loan to GPT, LLC t/a as Café Spice was approved, BDC’s VLT-Revolving Loan Fund. Funds will be used for purchase/improvements of a building located at 10768 York Road in Cockeysville for catering and special events space for existing restaurant. It was noted that fifty percent of these funds have to be loaned 10 miles outside of the casinos, thus these funds could be made available to this business.
v. Williams reminded the group that the Loan and Audit Committee has the authority to approve loans at the committee level; once approved, the committee informs the entire Board of Directors of their decisions. Pillas reviewed the various funds available through BDC for the group.
'DEFINITION of 'Vulture Capitalist'
1. A slang word for a venture capitalist who deprives an inventor of control over his or her own innovations and most of the money the inventor should have made from the invention'.
When our Baltimore Development Corporation promotes more of the high-risk----low-success rate Wall Street funding that leads our US economy to the boom and bust cycles as the primary economic model for a US city----that city is in trouble.
Again, it is not the individual ---it is the model they represent as to the outlets Baltimore citizens will have to having a business or job. I met Mr Cangialosi and asked what Betamore, Inc does---he says it searches for foreign businesses to bring to Baltimore. Here we see Baltimore Angels.....basically, global hedge funds responsible for the tens of trillions of dollars in fraud never recovered are now creating venture capitalist/ANGELS as almost the only small business lending to be had by our citizens. Rather than simply apply for a SMALL BUSINESS LOAN----with the only attachment being you pay it back with some interest----these venture capitalist/ANGEL investors are OFTEN found to be predatory because that is the nature of these high-risk financial deals. I shout over and over STARTUPS ARE NOT A VIABLE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY----
THEY ARE NOT MEANT TO BE. WALL STREET IS ONLY USING THIS AS THE ONLY WAY FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO HAVE A BUSINESS LOAN WHILE THEY ARE BUSY NEXT DECADE BUILDING GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUSES AND GLOBAL FACTORIES IN US CITIES.
In many cases these INVESTMENTS IN STARTUPS come with a price. The rights to the business if successful are heavily weighted to the ANGEL----they get a major share of a startup that is successful. So, a citizen works for two years building a business---everyone knows people earn almost no money in this stage----if the venture capitalist does not see a success ---they stop funding and that startup crashes. If they do see success they use their majority shareholder control to profit----by selling this startup to mostly global corporations. You spend two years working hard earning nothing----and the venture capitalist/ANGEL sells it out from under you pocketing much of the profit.
THESE FINANCIAL MODELS ARE YET ANOTHER LAYER OF HIGH-RISK FINANCING GEARED TO BE PREDATORY TOWARDS SMALL BUSINESS STARTUPS.
Mr. Greg Cangialosi
Chairman, Co-founder, Betamore, Inc.
Co-Chairman, Baltimore Angels
Below you see this is a global Wall Street neo-liberal financial model and we already know high numbers of people tied to these lending models are losing.
This is a long article---please just glance through to see these policies are being installed in all International Economic Zones all designed to be predatory.
Venture Funding Options for Singapore Companies
In equity financing, you sell partial ownership of your company in exchange for cash. The investors assume all the risk i.e. if the company fails, they lose their money. But if it succeeds, they typically make much greater return on their investment than interest rates. Compared to debt financing, equity financing is far more expensive if your company is successful, but far less expensive if it isn’t.
The rise of Asia is rapidly spurring the birth of new startups and private equity players in Singapore. In recent times, the Singapore government has been actively encouraging more private investors to invest in the country’s numerous start-ups by introducing timely tax incentive schemes. According to a news report, Singapore accounted for almost 52% of all private equity investments in Southeast Asia between 2005 and 2010. The country is also considered to be the fourth attractive market for venture capital and private equity firms. This spells good news for start-ups that are looking to raise capital through equity financing.
This guide provides an overview of the private equity financing options for start-ups in Singapore.
What is Private Equity Financing?
One of the major challenges that start-ups face in their early stage is access to capital. Many new business ventures are funded with informal capital often sourced from the founders, or their family and friends. However, often to fund their growth or to build out their infrastructure, informal sources of funding no longer suffice. This is where private equity financing can play a role in addressing the gap.
Private equity financing refers to capital from private investors who are looking at capital gains and possibly dividend returns in return for their investment in a firm. Private funding is an attractive source of start-up funding especially for businesses that do not have sufficient collateral for traditional loans. In order to have a good chance of securing equity capital in Singapore, you need to have a comprehensive business plan, a clear exit strategy, reasonable financial projections, an experienced management team, and strong growth potential. Determining the stage of your business life cycle is key to finding the right investor. Venture capitalists and business angels are the two major sources of private equity capital. Other sources of private equity capital include banks, investment companies and financial institutions.
- Angel investors are wealthy individuals who generally invest in high risk, early stage business ventures in exchange for a share of the business. In other words, business angels are private investors who invest their business skills and capital in start-ups and early-stage businesses in exchange for equity in the investee company. Business angels can operate independently or can be part of an angel network. They are usually interested in investing in start-ups that have high growth potential and that belong to business sectors that they are familiar with. Some business angels play an active role in the business in offering guidance, and mentor-ship to start-ups while some act as sleeping partners. The best source of private equity capital for start-ups in the seed or early-stage are business angels.
- Venture capitalists are professional investors who play a very active role in your business. Like most business angels, venture capitalists not only offer funding, but also advise you on how you can enhance the profitability of your business. Venture capitalists look for a higher rate of return from the company they invest in, usually 25% and above. Most venture capitalists prefer to invest in start-ups that are at advanced stage and are in high growth sectors such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, or IT.
- Private funds are the third source of equity financing for startups. Banks, financial institutions, and investment companies are the main sources of private funds. Managers of private funds are not interested in playing an active role in managing the business. Their main purpose is to receive an attractive return on their investment. Such funds are only suitable for those businesses that are already established, are generating revenue, and have a high growth potential and not start-ups in the early-stage of growth.
- Angel investment is a significant source of raising capital in Singapore.
- Angel investors are typically successful businessmen with an appetite for start-up companies with higher risk.
- Usually, business angels offer early-stage investment to start-ups.
- Angel investors tend to invest in start-ups that have a certain competitive advantage in the market. This could include innovative technology, exclusive marketing and distribution relationships or a strong brand or access to scarce raw material, etc. The business idea should demonstrate that it will generate returns for the investors.
- Start-ups that have a high growth potential win the favor of most business angels.
- Angel investors not only provide funding but also offer mentorship and strategic guidance to the companies they invest in.
- According to research conducted by the National University of Singapore, business angels in Singapore tend to invest in the retail, hospitality and business services sectors.
- Typically, individual business angels invest anywhere between S$25,000-S$100,000, while angel groups invest much larger sums in the range of S$250,000-S$750,000.
- Angel investors often form angel networks or groups in order to pool their resources and capital. Angel networks are often a good source of capital for those seeking early-stage or seed funding. The networks help match entrepreneurs with appropriate business angels. Some of the popular angel investment networks in Singapore are listed below in the article.
- The venture capital industry in Singapore is relatively new and small as compared to the US and Europe.
- The Singapore government plays an active role in attracting foreign venture capital firms to set up their regional base in the country. Today, there are more than 100 venture capital firms in Singapore.
- Venture capitalists in Singapore not only provide financing but also offer mentoring to start-up companies. Most entrepreneurs turn to venture capitalists for both financing as well as to gain access to professional management skills and expertise.
- It must be noted that most venture capital firms in Singapore tend to focus on “late-stage expansion financing” and investment in late-stage startups or mature companies, rather than early-stage financing in new start-ups. Certain venture capitalists prefer to invest in companies that are already making profits rather than investing in a potentially profitable start-up. However, some firms do offer financing for start-ups in their early stages.
- There are different types of venture capital firms in Singapore ranging from independent limited partnership venture capital firms to corporate backed venture capital firms. Due to attractive tax incentives and other beneficial government policies a number or cash-rich large corporations, government boards and high net worth individuals have setup venture capital funds in Singapore.
- Venture capitalists in Singapore pay a great deal of attention to the services industry, manufacturing industry, and the high-tech industry. In recent years a significant portion of venture capital investments were directed towards high-return sectors such as biotechnology, medicine, genetic engineering, etc.
- On an average, venture capitalists invest up to four to five times the net earnings of a company.
- Generally, venture capital investments last between 2-5 years.
- Businesses that are likely to turn into multi-million dollar companies in due course are most favored by venture capitalists.
- Venture capitalists expect an ROI of at least 25%-30% for each year of investment.
- Venture capitalists look for the following factors while investing in seed stage start-ups: A brilliant business idea that will have a competitive edge in the market such as a scientific breakthrough or IP; a top-notch team; business model innovations; and the economic and market benefits of the business plan/idea.
- The business team plays a key role in securing the favor of venture capitalists. More specifically, venture capitalists will look at how qualified the team is, what is the role of each team member, what are the technical skills they possess, etc.
- Venture capitalists assess the milestones that have been set for the business and how much capital will be required to achieve them.
- Venture capitalists assess the team’s understanding of the current market and competition.
- Venture capitalists are not interested in knowing long-term financial projections, unrealistic claims about how the company will grow and acquire a large customer-base in the short or long term, businesses that are solely seeking for funds without any guidance from venture capitalists.
- Private equity funds are setup by financial institutions, banks, or investment companies.
- Usually, private equity funds do not invest in early-stage or developing start-ups.
- Established start-ups that are already in operation and demonstrate high growth potential are preferred by private equity funds.
- Private equity funds do not offer management and technical expertise; they only provide funding.
- There are different types of private funds such as:
- Independent funds: Such funds are typically setup by wealthy individuals, cash-rich companies or families.
- Institutional funds: Such funds are setup by banks and financial institutions.
- Corporate funds: Large companies setup a separate fund in order to invest in smaller companies.
There are several networks in Singapore that help match start-ups with business angels and venture capitalists. The country also boasts of investment funds that invest in innovative companies. Some of these networks and firms include:
- Business Angel Network Southeast Asia (BANSEA): Matches start-ups in the seed stage of enterprise formation with business angels. BANSEA invests in companies that offer exceptional opportunities for high returns on investment. This usually implies early stage ventures with the potential to achieve high growth, strong market position and sustainable advantages. BANSEA invests in companies that have the potential to grow to more than S$50 million in annual revenue within five years. This should be either in a developing market or in an existing market with international scope.
- Angel Capital Network: Invests in entrepreneurs and companies in a variety of industries and stages of development.
- Business Angels Pty Ltd: Refers businesses to angel investors.
- Draper Fisher Jurvetson: DFJ invests in emerging technologies, from the Internet and life sciences to clean energy and nanotechnology.
- ENDEAVOR: Invests in all stages with a preference for late-stage expansion, joint venture and distressed investments.
- K1 Ventures Ltd: Invests across diverse industry sectors.
- Sirius Capital Holdings Pte Ltd: Is a boutique venture capital and entrepreneurial finance firm, focused on small and medium-sized companies in Singapore and overseas.
- Upstream Ventures: Focuses on early-stage venture creation by providing funding, expertise and networks to emerging companies
- Singapore Investment Network: Provides access to one of Singapore’s largest databases of angel investors who are regular investors in various industries across Singapore.
- Angels Den: A UK based angel network that has recently set up shop in Singapore. Business Angels primarily look for a profitable return on their investment within three to five years.
- 3V Source One Capital: Focuses on growth to late-stage companies with an Asian link or growth strategy.
- Extream Ventures: Is an early-stage venture fund focused on Asia-based technology driven companies in the areas of Internet (enterprise, consumer, retail), IDM (interactive digital media), mobile & wireless (applications & services), security & biometrics, and semiconductors (fabless design) It typically targets Singapore-based early stage companies with significant regional market opportunities. Extream Ventures assumes the role of lead investor in early stage companies, typically investing up to a maximum of S$3M per company as part of a Startup or Series A round of funding.
- Bio Veda: Invests in health-care companies in the developmental or expansion stage.
- Walden International: An international venture capital firm that provides seed and startup funds for emerging growth companies, as well as capital for expansion financing and acquisitions.
- Raffles Venture Partners: Invests in innovative start-up companies.
- OWW Capital Partners: Invests in service providers in infocomm technology, logistics, education/training, healthcare, financial services and consumer services sectors.
- BAF Spectrum: Focuses on Asia-based (preferably Singapore), early stage technology startups within digital media, internet and mobile consumer portals as well as R&D-intensive information technology.
- Azione Capital: An early stage venture capital investment company and startup business incubator that focuses on digital media, mobile communications (inclusive of the full spectrum of wireless technologies), energy and maritime industry startups that operate primarily within Asia.
- Enspire Capital: Invests at various stages of a company’s development, with a typical initial investment of US$1 million to US$3 million across a wide range of high tech industries, in Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) and Internet.
- Springboard Harper: Invests in technology businesses that are in various stages of development.
- The Carlyle Group: Invests up-to US$25 million in early stage companies.
- Adam Street Partners: Invests US$5-20 million in companies seeking venture capital or growth equity to accelerate their businesses.
- Fortune Venture: Focuses in high-tech investments, specifically in software, information technology, and the Internet, areas which Singapore companies have strong domain knowledge and core competency
- GIZA Venture Capital: Invests in seed and early-stage technology companies across industries such as ICT, cleantech, and life sciences.
- Grove International Partners: Invests in companies whose underlying assets and businesses are real estate or real estate related.
- McLean Watson: Invests in a wide range of technology companies that address large, changing or expanding new markets.
- Tembusu Partners: Invests in entrepreneur-driven companies that exhibit strong growth potential through scalability and the ownership of proprietary rights. Focuses on industry sectors such as education, green technology, oil & gas, resources and healthcare
- Vertex Venture Holdings: Invests in companies at various stages of development, be it seed or mezzanine investments, with deal size ranging from US$1 million to US$30 million.
- Singtel Innov8: SingTel Innov8 (Innov8), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the SingTel Group, is a corporate venture capital fund that invests in companies in all stages of development, from seed to early growth. SingTel Innov8 invests in ideas, technologies, products and services that are related to the Group’s business including those in adjacent spaces such as internet applications and new digital media.
- Standard Chartered Bank
- Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
- Development Bank of Singapore
- Oversea Chinese Banking Corporation
- United Overseas Bank
- GE Commercial Financing Singapore
- IFS Capital Limited
- Hong Leong Finance Limited
- Sing Investments and Finance Limited
- Singapura Finance Limited
ON A FINAL NOTE
Private investors are increasingly turning their attention towards the Asia-Pacific and are relocating their offices, investing capital, and executing transactions in the region. With Singapore’s ascendancy as Asia’s entrepreneurial hub, more and more private equity investors are heading to the country in search of growth rates and opportunities that are currently hard to come by in more developed economies. Singapore government hopes to bring in angel investments to the tune of S$600 million by 2015. This is undoubtedly an advantage to start-ups that choose Singapore as their operational base.
If there is policy deemed a failure or predatory---then Baltimore City Hall and Wall Street Baltimore Development is EMBRACING IT----
'Silicon Valley's culture of failure … and 'the walking dead' it leaves behind'
As global corporations get all the cold hard cash------citizens in US cities deemed International Economic Zones get taken. Baltimore Development Corporation makes its economic platform for citizens centered on startups. The Baltimore Urban League -----the Greater Baltimore Development-----Obama and Congressional funding all drives technology startups as the only WAY. We have known since the 1990s economic crash under Clinton that technology startups almost always end as a flash in the pan. Millions of citizens forced to design the next APP-----
We discussed how global corporations will take all the high-speed internet frequency and space for online businesses such that small technology businesses will not be able to afford the access it needs---or they will not be allowed access AND BALTIMORE IS GROUND ZERO FOR ALL OUR HIGH-SPEED INTERNET SPACE TO BE TAKEN BY GLOBAL CORPORATIONS----HOPKINS/AMAZON/UNDERARMOUR.
The Mayor of Baltimore does not choose who to appoint to our Baltimore Development-----the Hopkins executives do and they are the ones making these decisions as to what our financial economy will look like. Every step of the way the citizens of Baltimore are left bound to criminal Wall Street global financial instruments and every time they are filled with fraud and corruption. So, just as our Baltimore citizens were sold on for-profit higher education corporations as their step to higher education knowing this industry was systemically fraudulent leaving citizens with large student debt and no viable college degree-----these startup policies are now aimed at our college grads LEFT UNEMPLOYED BY A DELIBERATELY STAGNANT US ECONOMY------and these citizens will find themselves FLEECED again by Wall Street Baltimore Development.
START UPS ARE YET ANOTHER PATHWAY TOWARDS FREE LABOR ENDING WITH GLOBAL CORPORATIONS ENFOLDING ALL SUCCESSFUL PRODUCTS.
Silicon Valley's culture of failure … and 'the walking dead' it leaves behind
Though tech startups rely on origin myths and mantras like 'Fail fast, fail often,' the psychic toll of unrelenting failure simmers just beneath the exuberance
Shikhar Ghosh, a Harvard lecturer, says venture capitalists 'bury their dead very quietly'. Photograph: Image Broker / Rex FeaturesRory Carroll in San Francisco
Saturday 28 June 2014 13.00 EDT Last modified on Saturday 28 June 2014 13.25 EDT
This article is 2 years old It is probably Silicon Valley's most striking mantra: “Fail fast, fail often.” It is recited at technology conferences, pinned to company walls, bandied in conversation.
Failure is not only invoked but celebrated. Entrepreneurs give speeches detailing their misfires. Academics laud the virtue of making mistakes. FailCon, a conference about “embracing failure”, launched in San Francisco in 2009 and is now an annual event, with technology hubs in Barcelona, Tokyo, Porto Alegre and elsewhere hosting their own versions.
While the rest of the world recoils at failure, in other words, technology's dynamic innovators enshrine it as a rite of passage en route to success.
But what about those tech entrepreneurs who lose – and keep on losing? What about those who start one company after another, refine pitches, tweak products, pivot strategies, reinvent themselves … and never succeed? What about the angst masked behind upbeat facades?
Silicon Valley is increasingly asking such questions, even as the tech boom rewards some startups with billion-dollar valuations, sprinkling stardust on founders who talk of changing the world.
“It's frustrating if you're trying and trying and all you read about is how much money Airbnb and Uber are making,” said Johnny Chin, 28, who endured three startup flops but is hopeful for his fourth attempt. “The way startups are portrayed, everything seems an overnight success, but that's a disconnect from reality. There can be a psychic toll.”
It has never been easier or cheaper to launch a company in the hothouse of ambition, money and software that stretches from San Francisco to Cupertino, Mountain View, Menlo Park and San Jose.
In 2012 the number of seed investment deals in US tech reportedly more than tripled, to 1,700, from three years earlier. Investment bankers are quitting Wall Street for Silicon Valley, lured by hopes of a cooler and more creative way to get rich.
Most startups fail. However many entrepreneurs still overestimate the chances of success – and the cost of failure.
Some estimates put the failure rate at 90% – on a par with small businesses in other sectors. A similar proportion of alumni from Y Combinator, a legendary incubator which mentors bright prospects, are said to also struggle.
Airbnb 'started as two guys with an air-bed' and is now a global rival to hotel chains valued at $10bn. Photograph: Ole Spata/Corbis
Companies typically die around 20 months after their last financing round and after having raised $1.3m, according to a study by the analytics firms CB Insights titled The RIP Report – startup death trends.
Failure is difficult to quantify because it does not necessarily mean liquidation. Many startups limp on for years, ignored by the market but sustained by founders' savings or investors.
“We call them the walking dead,” said one manager at a tech behemoth, who requested anonymity. “They don't necessarily die. They putter along.”
Software engineers employed by such zombies face a choice. Stay in hope the company will take off, turning stock options into gold. Or quit and take one of the plentiful jobs at other startups or giants like Apple and Google.
Founders face a more agonising dilemma. Continue working 100-hour weeks and telling employees and investors their dream is alive, that the metrics are improving, and hope it's true, or pull the plug.
The loss aversion principle – the human tendency to strongly prefer avoiding losses to acquiring gains – tilts many towards the former, said Bruno Bowden, a former engineering manager at Google who is now a venture investor and entrepreneur.
"People will do a lot of irrational things to avoid losing even if it's to their detriment. You push and push and exhaust yourself."
Silicon Valley wannabes tell origin fables of startup founders who maxed out credit cards before dazzling Wall Street, the same way Hollywood's struggling actors find solace in the fact Brad Pitt dressed as a chicken for El Pollo Loco before his breakthrough.
“It's painful to be one of the walking dead. You lie to yourself and mask what's not working. You amplify little wins,” said Chin, who eventually abandoned startups which offered micro, specialised versions of Amazon and Yelp.
That startup founders were Silicon Valley's “cool kids”, glamorous buccaneers compared to engineers and corporate drones, could make failure tricky to recognise, let alone accept, he said. “People are very encouraging. Everything is amazing, cool, awesome. But then they go home and don't use your product.”
Chin is bullish about his new company, Bannerman, an Uber-type service for event security and bodyguards, and has no regrets about rolling the tech dice. “I love what I do. I couldn't do anything else.”
The comedy Silicon Valley lampoons the culture of tech entrepreneurs and also highlights their attendant failures. Photograph: HBOVenture capitalists and angel investors tolerate failure only up to a point, said Bowden. "You won't get funding unless you're credible. One previous failure can be OK but multiple failures will make it impossible to get funding."
Shikhar Ghosh, a lecturer at Harvard who has studied startup mortality, noted that “VCs bury their dead very quietly.”
Many founders are confessing anxiety in public for the first time via anonymous gossip sites like Secret and startupsanonymous.com. “My biggest mistake was trying to be an entrepreneur when I should have continued on with my current job,” confided one.
“I’ve got this month to pull something off, otherwise I’m screwed and looking for a job. I’m scared as hell that I can’t do it,” wrote another.
Common threads are fear of failure and the stress of pretending everything is going well. “The time you send your monthly investor update and spend an hour trying to come up with positive shit to say,” wrote another.
Failure post-mortems by founders and investors – the tone ranging from philosophical to despairing – have proved a hit on the CB Insights blog. A Wired cover story about one startup's travails, titled No Exit, also set tongues wagging.
Tragedy struck last year when Jody Sherman, a 47-year-old serial entrepreneur, shot himself. A tattoo on his wrist said “I am awesome” but it emerged he had agonised over raising fresh funding for a startup, Ecomom, which he knew was floundering.
Some startups raise the white flag under cover of “aqui-hire” in which they are bought by established firms, allowing founders a graceful exit, but often it is a fig leaf to poach staff, especially programmers and designers.
Even if startups survive the stress can drain you, Justin Yoshimura, 24, a high-school dropout who founded three companies, most recently 500friends, an online retail loyalty platform, told the General Assembly, a business and technology speaker series.
“I'm not burned out but I don't want to be a founder or CEO anymore,” he said. “It's like running marathons back to back.”
Such cautionary tales, and fears of a bubble, are not denting exuberance. Silicon Valley remains in thrall to the success stories, none more so than Airbnb, which started as two guys with an air-bed and is now a global rival to hotel chains valued at $10bn.
“You need stars that inspire massive numbers of people to pursue their dreams,” said co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk, 30, seated on a sofa in the company's gleaming new headquarters.
Failure really does pave the way to success, he said. “I started coding when I was 12. A lot of things I did didn't pay off but it all went into my toolbelt. It takes a massive number of attempts to be successful.”