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California celebrates 20 years of sustainable, impact investing helping underserved communities and the environment

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: August 17, 2016
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California celebrates 20 years of sustainable, impact investing helping underserved communities and the environment
COIN program is one-of-a-kind national model for socially responsible investing

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — At a summit marking the 20th anniversary of the founding of the California Organized Investment Network (COIN), California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones lauded the milestone by recognizing the impact investments made by insurers in underserved communities to help create more jobs, affordable housing, community centers, schools, health clinics, and improve the environment through green investments.

COIN, a government entity within the California Department of Insurance, plays a critical role in inter-mediating the flow of capital from insurance companies to affordable housing developments, small or sustainable businesses, and community facilities that benefit rural or underserved communities within the state of California. It does this through a tax credit program and the identification and sourcing of socially responsible investments in these areas.

“The strong partnership California has had with insurers over the past two decades in building the nation’s leading investment program for socially responsible impact investments demonstrates how our program can be replicated to further benefit cities and states across the country struggling to redevelop communities, create permanent jobs, and boost green technology to protect and improve our environment,” said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. “We need to make more insurers aware of this program and follow the lead of companies already participating in COIN in investing in California communities.”

Jones recognized several insurers for participating in COIN including:

  • Largest percentage increase in COIN Qualified Holdings – Great-West Lifeco Inc., from $62M in 2013 to $306M in 2015, an increase of almost 5 times
  • Most First-Time COIN Qualified Investments - American Financial Group, $91M initial COIN Qualified investments in 2015
  • Most COIN Qualified Holdings in 2015 by Health Insurance Company– Anthem Inc. $67M
  • Most COIN Qualified Holdings in 2015 by Property Casualty Insurance Company – Liberty Mutual $499M
  • Most COIN Qualified Holdings in 2015 by Life Insurance Company – MetLife $2.8B
  • Largest COIN Bulletin Investor 2015 – TIAA $20M
  • Largest COIN Bulletin Investor 2014 – Prudential Financial $6M

“Insurers recognize the value of COIN sourcing and structuring impact investments, and have tripled their COIN holdings from the beginning of 2011 through the end of 2015,” said Stacie Olivares-Castain, Managing Director of COIN.

The COIN summit brought together more than 200 insurance, community, and financial leaders from across the country to discuss the benefits of tax credit investments, insurer evaluation of COIN investments, performance of investments through the COIN program, and the opportunity to partner insurers with investment opportunities in environmental programs and underserved communities.

Panels included speakers discussing impact investing and the insurance industry, risk and return of impact investments, COIN’s impact, and green investments.

Since the inception of the COIN Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Tax Credit Program in 1997, more than $239 million has been invested into COIN Certified CDFIs throughout California. Investments made through the program include green energy, affordable housing, clean water, healthy foods, and education projects. CDFIs use investment dollars to provide much needed capital to low-income and rural communities.

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Media Notes:

Just within the period of 2011 through 2015, COIN has delivered significant social and environmental impact, particularly within low-to moderate-income (LMI) communities across California, by facilitating investment opportunities that offer a competitive financial return to insurers and other investors. These include:

  • COIN facilitated the investment of $237.5 million into 34 organizations, which in turn deployed $505.7 million of pooled funds into projects and businesses that benefit underserved communities across the state of California;
  • The creation of 985 new permanent jobs and supported 2,300 existing permanent jobs throughout underserved areas of California, primarily through the financing of real estate projects and small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, 3,230 construction jobs have been created;
  • The development of over 12,000 units of affordable housing across California for 18,184 residents, two-thirds of whom are very low income individuals earning less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI);
  • Financial support for 212 small businesses that employ 884 individuals. Approximately 68 percent of these businesses are minority-owned or controlled;
  • The construction or expansion of 22 community facilities including healthcare centers for the medically underserved, childcare centers and facilities offering social services. These facilities serve over 210,000 individuals, over 40,000 of whom live in rural communities; and
  • Construction of nine water treatment facilities, water access projects and desalination plants, which provide 2,765 households and businesses with safe drinking water.
  • COIN is an initiative to provide leadership in increasing insurance industry investment in underserved and rural communities throughout California. COIN sources and structures community development investments for insurers that yield competitive financial returns for companies while at the same time, providing numerous social and environmental benefits for Californians.
  • Visit the COIN website to learn more. 
  • Photos from the event can be viewed on CDI's Flickr.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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