Private Equity Leads the Way on Puerto Rico Aid

Private Equity for Puerto Rico, formed by a group of leading private equity firms, including Clearlake Capital Group, Valor Equity Partners, StepStone Group, Palladium Equity Partners, and MoonSail Capital announced today an effort to raise significant funds from the private equity and financial communities to aid victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Private Equity for Puerto Rico seeks to raise $10 million for the hurricane-ravaged island by encouraging the diverse private equity network, including banks and advisors, to donate via its Classy page, at give.classy.org/peforpr. All funds raised will be donated to the Foundation for Puerto Rico, a vetted non-profit organization on the ground in Puerto Rico that is focusing all of its efforts and resources on relief, recovery and rebuilding efforts on the island.

Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) is a 501(c)(3) local non-profit organization incorporated in 2011 with over 15 employees. FPR’s mission is to transform Puerto Rico into a premier destination for the world by developing and implementing sustainable strategies that drive the visitor economy in the island. Due to the devastating impact hurricane María had in Puerto Rico, FPR has shifted its work to focus on relief efforts that will boost the recovery of the island and help those in need. For the time being, FPR’s work will focus on rebuilding the island.

The Fund has already raised $800,000, anchored by a commitment of up to $500,000 from Clearlake Capital Group and the Kwanza Jones and José E. Feliciano Supercharged Initiative (“KJSI”). Under the commitment, KJSI and Clearlake together will match all donations up to $500,000. Valor Equity Partners is also anchoring the Fund with a $200,000 commitment, and StepStone has committed $100,000. Funds will be given to the Foundation for Puerto Rico on a rolling basis as donations are received.

The Supercharged Initiative, founded by Kwanza Jones and José Feliciano, is a philanthropic organization focused on grant-making and strategic impact investing as well as policy and advocacy work. The focus of KJSI is education, entrepreneurship, equal opportunity and empowerment (www.kjsi.org).

Founding members of Private Equity for Puerto Rico include Clearlake Capital Group’s José Feliciano and Behdad Eghbali; Juan Sabater of Valor Equity Partners; José Fernandez of StepStone Group, Marcos Rodriguez and David Perez of Palladium Equity Partners; and Rafael Ortiz, Joseph Acevedo and Carlos Rodriguez of MoonSail Capital.

“In the face of so much anguish and devastation as a result of this unimaginable event, we wanted to find a way to assist the people of Puerto Rico,” said Jose Feliciano, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Clearlake Capital Group. “Our beloved island needs our help now and going forward in what will undoubtedly be a long path to recovery. As a native of Puerto Rico, I hope this donation from Clearlake and KJSI serves as a seed that helps us achieve our $10 million goal in collaboration with the Foundation for Puerto Rico and our friends in the private equity and broader financial community.”

“Many in the private equity industry have asked how they can help, and donating to PE for PR is just one easy way. The Foundation for Puerto Rico is already helping in cities and rural areas across the island. They are getting basic necessities, such as water and food, to those who are on the brink. They are also helping with energy and communication initiatives. We at Valor and I, as a proud Puerto Rican, are grateful for their work and we look forward to getting available funds to them as quickly as possible,” said Juan Sabater, Partner of Valor Equity Partners.

“This is a critical time for Puerto Rico, and getting funds to the island and a proven aid organization is the best way to help. Our goals are not only to eliminate the suffering, but to provide the backing that will enable a stronger Puerto Rico to emerge,” said José Fernandez, Partner and Chief Operating Officer at StepStone Group.

“While some assistance has arrived in the bigger cities, it’s important to keep the smaller municipalities in mind. Relief just isn’t getting there,” said Marcos Rodriguez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Palladium Equity Partners. “We’ve set up the Fund and the Classy page, and will be working with the well-respected Foundation for Puerto Rico to make it as easy as possible for firms and individuals to donate to this worthy cause. In just a few clicks everyone can help a little, and together, we can help a lot.”

“The devastation in Puerto Rico is widespread and much more help is needed. While today people require basic necessities to survive, the focus will ultimately move to reconstruction of this island that has endured more than $90 billion in damage. Together with the Foundation for Puerto Rico, we can help ensure safety, recovery, and the best future for Puerto Rico,” said Rafael Ortiz, Managing Director of MoonSail Capital.

© 2017 Private Equity Professional | October 12, 2017

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