Sorenson Seeds $150 Million Fund to Invest in Overlooked America
Real estate moguls, banks and money managers are rushing to capitalize on a new U.S. tax break rewarding investments in poor communities. Now, one of the biggest names in impact investing is aiming to prove the perks are about more than profits.
Jim Sorenson, a prominent Utah entrepreneur, investor and businessman, plans to announce Monday that Catalyst, a private equity firm he helped found, is raising $150 million to invest in opportunity zones. The group’s first fund, which Sorenson is seeding with $10 million, will focus on developing real estate with an eye toward delivering both market-rate returns and measurable social good.
Sorenson, 68, was an early backer of the incentives tucked into the 2017 U.S. tax overhaul. Since its passage, though, a debate has broken out about whether the benefits will turn out to be a handout to the wealthy. Nothing in the law requires investors to promote social good with their investments. Some of the more-than 8,700 zones selected are already on the upswingand attracting private capital.