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Bridging the wealth gap: Investing in broad based shared ownership

Greg Brodsky May 26, 2021

The burgeoning interest in shared ownership — be it employee ownership, cooperative ownership, and ESOPs — represents an untapped opportunity for mission-driven investors seeking financial and social returns. As this area of investing grows, investors are asking important questions.

The need for more distributive business models set-up to scale is pressing in response to the ever-widening wealth gap in the U.S. Understandably, mission-related investors are looking at alternative ownership models such as employee ownership, cooperative ownership, and ESOPs  as a possible solution but they’re raising an important question: Is the model scalable? What do returns look like?  What’s the impact in low-income communities and communities of color?  Three shared ownership investment funds managers are taking the challenge head on with a stated goal of democratizing corporate ownership.

Session Panelists

  • Phillip Reeves is the founder and principal of Apis & Heritage Capital Partners. (A&H) is a minority-owned sponsor that buys privately-held companies with large workforces of color from retiring founders and transitions them to 100% employee-owned firms. Philip’s background includes serving as the Manager of Small Business Technology and Innovation for the Government of the District of Columbia and working in corporate development for a growing government contractor where he was responsible for mergers and acquisitions, strategic partnerships and business development. Philip began his career on Wall Street in private equity at Lehman Brothers.
  • Joseph Cureton is the Chief Coordinating Officer at Obran Cooperative and Obran Search Fund. Obran’s unique holding cooperative structure allows it to find, acquire, and hold profitable small- to medium-size businesses and real estate on behalf of its worker-owners.  Joseph was a founding member of Core Staffing, Bmore Black Techies, and Tribe Works, all projects designed to overcome the challenges faced by modern workers. He is a software engineer and professional chef by trade.
  • Greg Brodsky is the Managing Director of the Equitable Economy Fund, a pilot equity fund designed to provide capital that accelerates early and growth stage cooperatively-owned and shared ownership companies. Greg is the co-director of the nation’s premier accelerator for shared ownership companies.  Prior to, Greg was known for launching the nation’s only purchasing co-ops for bicycle stores and for craft breweries, Greg was previously the board chair of the Cooperative Development Institute.
  • Moderator: Jessica Mason is Founder & CEO of The Social Impact Studio, a social innovation consultancy based in Boston with non-profit, philanthropic, and public sector clients across the globe. She is also faculty at Foster America and an Executive Education Instructor at Harvard University. A nationally recognized expert on social innovation Mason brings deep expertise in building the capacity of people and organizations to create social change. An impact investor herself, she is known for her ability to convene diverse groups and shepherd collective innovation.



Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing

  • Equity & Inclusion

  • Social Entrepreneurship


shared ownership, racial wealth gap, impact investing

Purpose and Desired Outcome

•Understand how emerging fund managers are investing in shared ownership to bridge the wealth gap broadly, and the racial wealth gap in particular. •Create a dialogue on how shared ownership models change corporate wealth distributions and governance frameworks. •Assess the real world impact on race and wealth creation Compare and contrast three different approaches to investment across start-ups, conversions and exits, and the resulting return profiles


  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Intermediaries (Financial Advisers, Investment Bankers)

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Asset Managers


  • NamePhillip Reeves
  • TitleFounder
  • OrganizationApis & Heritage Capital Partners
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameJessica Mason
  • TitleCo-Director
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameGreg Brodsky
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationEquitable Economy Fund
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameJoseph Cureton
  • TitleChief Coordinating Officer
  • OrganizationObran Search Fund
  • StatusConfirmed
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