Businesshala News Exclusive | Firm Run by Adviser to Obamas Gets Backing From BDT

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Investment gives merchant bank non-voting minority stake in Pendulum Holdings

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The investment, which gives BDT a non-voting minority stake in Pendulum, follows a similar infusion from Bank of America. Corporation

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Last year, which has not been reported before. It could not be ascertained how much was invested by any firm.

BDT specializes in advising and investing in family and founder-led businesses. Its founder, Byron Trott, formerly belonged to the Goldman Sachs Group. Inc.,

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Known as the favorite banker of the famous investor Warren Buffett.

Mr Robinson, best known for advising Mr Obama and his wife Michelle on their personal finances, met Mr Trott at Goldman, where they worked together for several years. In 2009, he left the bank to help Mr. Trott build BDT.

Robinson eventually decided that there should be an organization like BDT that catered to Black founders and other colors. He launched the Los Angeles-based Pendulum in 2019.

Mr. Robinson serves as Chief Executive, while Mrs.
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Robinson, a former chemist, civic leader and entrepreneur, is Chief Operating Officer.

“Being an entrepreneur of color these days can be a lonely journey,” said Mr. Robinson. “People are excited to be part of a platform that feels like it was made for them.”

He said businesses founded by people of color fail with greater frequency, often due to lack of capital. Even those with access to capital often receive advice that is transactional rather than strategic.

“These are high-quality businesses and skilled entrepreneurs who just don’t get the same kind of support,” said Mr. Trott, who was already personally investing in Pendulum’s fund.

Robinson said Pendulum wants to invest in companies that appeal to consumers who are driven by their values.

The investment arm of the firm, which has raised a $200 million vehicle, has supported 12 different businesses so far. Among them is Ultro Inc., an app that helps users build their credit profile by tracking their spending; Fast-casual restaurant platform Fieldtrip and mobile electric-vehicle-charging network SparkCharge.

In addition to Obama, Pendulum’s advisory business includes NBA point guard Chris Paul and Jerry Lorenzo, founder of the luxury-streetwear brand Fear of God.

Credit: /

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