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Friday, December 13, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Business

Kalispel Tribe buys stake in investment banking company

The Kalispel Tribe of Indians is diversifying its business holdings by buying a stake in an investment banking company.

The partnership with African-American owned Blaylock Van LLC gives the tribe a foothold in the financial services industry, and will create opportunities for more Native Americans to enter the field, said Brandon Haugen, general manager of Kalispel Development.

Haugen declined to disclose the amount of the tribe’s stake in Blaylock Van, but said the 474-member tribe is a minority equity owner. The Kalispel Tribe also provided a small capital contribution that will help Blaylock Van expand its underwriting capacity, and the tribe may use the company’s financial services in the future.

Blaylock Van is headquartered in Oakland, California, and New York City, with offices in five others states. As part of the partnership, the company will provide internships and mentoring to members of the Kalispel Tribe and other Native Americans interested in a financial services career.

“We’d like Native Americans to have more opportunities to work in these industries,” Haugen said.

That’s a goal Blaylock Van also supports, said Eric Standifer, the company’s president.

“Our firm has always pursued opportunities to … train and support underrepresented finance professionals,” he said in a news release. “Involving and training Native Americans in financial services aligns well with our mission.”

More than half of the Blaylock Van’s employees are women and people of color, and company employees are encouraged to recruit others and mentor young people.

Standifer founded Robert Van Securities in 1991, which later merged with Blaylock & Co. The company’s clients includes corporations, municipalities, investment managers and pension funds, according to its website.

“They’re a great company, and one of the few minority-owned firms that operate in (this part) of the financial industry,” Haugen said.

The Kalispel Tribe employs more than 2,000 people in business ventures that include Northern Quest Resort and Casino, Kalispel Golf and Country Club, Camas Center for Community Wellness, a commercial laundry and an electric utility.

“By partnering with another minority-owned firm, we’re working together to find ways to improve our communities and opportunities for our people,” Haugen said.

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