Allstate makes massive diversity push

Allstate makes massive diversity push | Insurance Business

Allstate makes massive diversity push

For its latest bond sale, Allstate has hired only banks owned by minorities, women or veterans – making the sale one of the largest corporate deals ever managed exclusively by diverse firms.

A filing revealed that Allstate has hired the firms Loop Capital Markets, Academy Securities, Samuel A. Ramirez & Co., Siebert Williams Shank & Co., AmeriVet Securities, Cabrera Capital Markets, C.L. King & Associates, Penserra Securities and R. Seelaus & Co. to underwrite its debt offering.

In addition to hiring the firms, Allstate said in a statement that it is committing to doubling volume with diverse firms next year for its $92 billion investment portfolio.

Bloomberg reported that this decision marks the marks the first deal of substantial size that diverse underwriters are leading without any bulge-bracket banks. Allstate borrowed $1.2 billion to help fund the $4 billion acquisition National General Holdings Corporation.

Read more: Allstate's $4 billion push into the independent space

“You can’t gain experience unless you actually get an opportunity,” said Loop Capital Markets head of corporate investment banking Sidney Dillard. “It gives credibility to the capabilities of our firms, and starts to move the needle on the traditional construct on Wall Street of who are the firms that can actually do these deals. It will get us more into the mix.”

Allstate CEO Tom Wilson told Bloomberg that he met with his financial chief, who mentioned that there were going to be more diverse firms in the bond sale process. They later agreed that they could increase diversity participation further by making the syndicate exclusively composed of diverse underwriters.

“We always knew they could pull it off and they did,” the chief executive said.  “What we’re hoping is that this shows other people that it can be done.”