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June 06, 2022 | Tom Ballard

J.P. Morgan Asset Management commits $25 million to veteran-owned VC firms

Not quite three years ago, we had the opportunity to interview Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JPMorgan Chase & Co. when he made a visit to Nashville as part of Bunker Labs’ “Muster Across America Tour” (see article here).

One of the most memorable quotes from that day was what Dimon said about military veterans as they exit the service: “We give them a duffel bag and kick them out.”

With that background, we took note of this recent article about J.P. Morgan Asset Management, the brand name for the asset management business of JPMorgan Chase & Co and its affiliates worldwide. The firm has announced that it will commit $25 million to five or more veteran-owned venture capital funds as part of its “Project Spark” program. Started in 2021, the program supports diverse-owned emerging managers in alternative investments.

As described in this article from Institutional Investor, Mark Elliot, Head of Military and Veteran Affairs at JPMorgan Chase, said that veterans make good General Partners at venture capital firms because they are “very entrepreneurial in their thinking.” Veterans were required to solve complex problems during military services, which “dovetails well with being an entrepreneur and lends well to being a venture capitalist.” Helping veterans in venture capital is part of the bank’s effort to build a broader ecosystem for them to navigate different career possibilities, he added.

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