Fannie Mae's ACCESS Program Celebrates 30 Years of Supporting Diversity in Capital Markets
In 1992, Fannie Mae launched a pioneering effort to expand the involvement of minority- and women-owned broker-dealer firms in our business.
In the following years, the ACCESS® Program has enabled a generation of diverse broker-dealers to grow and thrive. Now three decades old, ACCESS has become one of Fannie Mae's proudest accomplishments.
Today, our ACCESS Program includes 20 firms owned by women, African American or Black, Latino or Hispanic, and service-disabled veterans. It is a core part of Fannie Mae's commitment to diversity, equity, and economic inclusion. ACCESS also complements our ongoing efforts to build a diverse workforce, support diverse suppliers and vendors, and bring diversity to our industry.
ACCESS member firms transact in Fannie Mae debt securities, Mortgage-Backed Securities (MBS), and Credit Risk Transfer (CRT) securities. In addition, Fannie Mae has included ACCESS firms in more than 350 syndicated transactions and numerous other fixed-income trades. These diverse firms collectively have expanded our investor base in every product they have participated in over time. In the program's early years, ACCESS firms supported the sale of Fannie Mae's debt products, and in the past decade, they have expanded to additionally support the sale of Connecticut Avenues Securities® (CAS) as well as our Guaranteed Multifamily Structures (Fannie Mae GeMSTM). More recently, the firms participated in offering select HomeReady® pools to investors, backed by Fannie Mae's flagship affordable product for first-time homebuyers.
The broker-dealers in the program consistently strive to enhance the value that they provide their investor clients, their issuer clients, and their communities, and Fannie Mae is committed to contributing to that effort.
By design, the ACCESS Program helps these diverse firms build their franchises. By providing a comprehensive suite of Fannie Mae products ACCESS firms transact in, we enable them to support their investors, build their businesses, and give back to their communities. And, through our partnership, our ACCESS member firms share new ideas about managing our products and programs. These ideas can enable them to increase their distribution of our securities in the capital markets.
Fannie Mae's dedicated ACCESS Program Management Office engages in several ways to support our ACCESS member firms and advance diversity in the industry. Our ACCESS Program management office consults with other corporations as they seek to partner with diverse broker-dealer firms in the capital markets or develop programs like ACCESS.
Members of our ACCESS Program also benefit from Fannie Mae's participation in joint meetings with investors, and educational sessions on economics, housing, and the capital markets. Additionally, the firms are connected to Fannie Mae senior management and unique Fannie Mae programs, such as our Future Housing Leaders initiative, to expand access to careers in the housing industry for individuals with diverse backgrounds.
While ACCESS has helped support diversity in the financial markets, there is still room for the market to do more. Research has shown that the financial services industry has a long way to go before it looks more like the nation it serves.
Although our business model has evolved over the past 30 years, our commitment to diversity and inclusion remains firm. So, as we celebrate this milestone, here is our message to the securities industry: If you are an investor, consider an ACCESS firm for your next trade. If you are an issuer, reach out to diverse-owned firms to learn more about their capabilities. In doing so you can do your part to champion a more diverse and successful financial services industry.
Visit our ACCESS webpage to learn more about our ACCESS member firms.
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The ACCESS Program's 30-Year Milestone overview can be found at: https://capitalmarkets.fanniemae.com/media/document/pdf/access-program-30-year-timeline.pdf.
Sonja Beaubien is Fannie Mae Vice President of Investor Relations & Marketing and the Executive Sponsor of Fannie Mae's ACCESS Program.