J.P. Morgan expands Project Spark to support Veteran-owned alternative investment managers
J.P. Morgan Asset Management to make additional $25 million commitment to funds managed by Veteran VC firms
NEW YORK, June 2, 2022: J.P. Morgan Asset Management today announced a new initiative within its Project Spark program, aimed at providing capital to venture capital funds managed by emerging alternative managers that have served in the U.S. Military.
In collaboration with JPMorgan Chase’s Military and Veteran’s Affairs division, the mission is to use the firm’s capital and network to close the funding gap for underrepresented managers and to strengthen the veteran ecosystem in the alternatives industry.
As part of the new initiative, the firm intends to commit an initial $25 million to five or more funds across a range of sectors and specialties, to be overseen by the Project Spark investment committee, which is comprised of diverse senior executives across J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The investments seek to support firms managing venture capital and other eligible, private funds founded by U.S. military veterans.
To launch this new activity, the firm along with Vets-In-Tech (ViT), will gather prospects at its first VetVC Summit, hosted at its world headquarters, featuring panel discussions, networking sessions and guest speakers, including JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon.
“Through Project Spark we have demonstrated our desire to directly impact representation of diverse managers in the alternatives industry and I’m excited to extend this to the Veteran VC community,” said Jamie Kramer, Head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management’s Alternatives Solutions Group and the chair of the Project Spark Investment Committee. “Through our investments in funds managed by Veteran-owned VC firms, we’re not only providing a capital commitment, but also seeking to create a network between the Veteran community and the J.P. Morgan investment ecosystem.”
In 2011, JPMorgan Chase established its Office of Military and Veterans Affairs to promote veteran initiatives by weaving them into the fabric of how it conducts business. Focusing on careers, entrepreneurship and financial health, the firm supports veterans through both business-led initiatives like Project Spark, as well as philanthropic efforts and partnerships with top veteran service organizations around the world.
“This investment is a terrific example of how we are using the resources of our firm to lead the industry in creating access to venture capital for the veteran community,” said Mark Elliott, Global Head, Office of Military and Veterans Affairs, JPMorgan Chase. “When we leverage our partnerships across multiple lines of business and activate our global network, the economic opportunities we can create for the veteran community is so powerful.”
Another example of the firm’s commitment to veterans includes CEOcircle. In 2021, JPMorgan Chase Commercial Banking launched the year-long program for growth-stage businesses in partnership with Bunker Labs, a national nonprofit built by military veteran entrepreneurs with the mission of empowering other military veterans to become leaders in entrepreneurship and innovation. The program provides entrepreneurs with three key resources needed to help grow their businesses: targeted educational programming, peer-to-peer networking via monthly group meetings, and financial expertise gleaned from a ten-week mentorship with JPMorgan Chase advisors.
For the 2021-2022 program currently in session, Bunker Labs and JPMorgan Chase worked with 40 businesses with 2021 projected annual revenue ranging from $1.5 to $105 million. The businesses, which averaged $13.9 million in annual revenue, represented a diverse array of industries including healthcare, marketing, data and information technology, staffing and recruitment, and restaurants. The program is expected to double in size next year.
About Project Spark
In 2021, J.P. Morgan announced the launch of Project Spark to provide capital to venture capital funds managed by diverse, emerging alternative managers. Project Spark aims to help these minority-led, women-led and veteran-led managers in three ways: First, by investing the firm’s proprietary capital, as a limited partner, directly in their funds. Second, by allowing the managers to use the J.P. Morgan brand when capital raising as a reference and testimonial. Last, by providing access to our extensive J.P. Morgan network. To date, Project Spark has selected 17 venture capital funds for $69 million in investments out of J.P. Morgan’s total commitment of $140 million. Twelve fund commitments are closed and five are pending operational due diligence.
About J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives
J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives is the alternative investment arm of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. With more than 50 years as an alternatives investment manager, US$218 billion in assets under management and more than 700 professionals (as of March 31, 2022), J.P. Morgan offers strategies across the alternative investment spectrum including real estate, private equity, private credit, hedge funds, infrastructure, transportation, timber and liquid alternatives. Operating from offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, our independent alternative investment engines combine specialist knowledge and singular focus with the global reach, vast resources and powerful infrastructure of J.P. Morgan to help meet each client's specific objectives. For more information, visit jpmorgan.com/am.
J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives is committed to promoting diversity, with 41% of the group’s Operating Committee made up of people of color, women or LGBT+, and 52% of AUM managed by women or women-led teams. The Project Spark investment committee comprises members across J.P. Morgan Asset Management:
- Jamie Kramer, Head of Alternative Solutions
- Lisa Coleman, Head of Global Investment Grade Corporate Credit
- Megan McClellan, Head of Private Credit
- Brandon Robinson, Deputy Head of Global Alternatives
- Lee Spelman, Head of U.S. Equity
About J.P. Morgan Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with assets under management of USD 2.6 trillion (as of March 31, 2022), is a global leader in investment management. J.P. Morgan Asset Management's clients include institutions, retail investors and high net worth individuals in every major market throughout the world. J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity and liquidity.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading financial services firm based in the United States of America (“U.S.”), with operations worldwide. JPMorgan Chase had $4.0 trillion in assets and $285.9 billion in stockholders’ equity as of March 31, 2022. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing and asset management. Under the J.P. Morgan and Chase brands, the Firm serves millions of customers in the U.S., and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients globally. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the marketing name for the asset management businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and its affiliates worldwide.