On February 27, Baker Hughes, an energy technology company, announced a $50 million investment to support Houston-based Unity Bank, Texas’ only Black-owned banking institution, citing the move as part of its commitment to supplier diversification and advancement of racial equity. The investment, made through a $50 million deposit in J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Empower share class, will support Unity Bank, a minority depository institution program. The Empower share class aims to support institutions in delivering ongoing positive change to underserved communities.
“We have a responsibility to improve and support the communities in which we live and work,” says Nancy Buese, chief financial officer at Baker Hughes, which is also headquartered in Houston. “As part of our commitment to increase supplier diversity and create lasting and sustainable change, this investment will enable Unity Bank to increase its offerings and drive meaningful impact within the communities it serves.”
“Unity National Bank is honored and enthusiastic about our collaborative relationship with Baker Hughes via Empowering Change, facilitated and led by our mentor and shareholder, J.P. Morgan,” says Kwame Nkrumah Cain, head of strategic initiatives and general counsel at Unity National Bank. “J.P. Morgan’s and Baker Hughes’ mentorship, guidance and partnership will assist us in transitioning our community development efforts for the next generation and enable us to enhance and support economic development in low- and moderate-income communities.”
The investment furthers Baker Hughes’ strategy of supporting organizations with shared values, demonstrated leadership, evidence of impact, financial soundness and the capacity to implement initiatives and evaluate their success. In 2022, the Baker Hughes Foundation announced $1 million in grants to four Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the 2022–23 academic year.
Established in 1985, Unity Bank operates banking offices in Houston and Missouri City, as well as Atlanta, Georgia.