CHICAGO (Nov. 17, 2009) - An Exelon executive received an industry award for consistent leadership in partnering with minority and community banks. The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners' Ad Hoc Committee on Utility Market Access Partnership (UMAP) on Sunday presented the award to Chaka Patterson, Exelon vice president and treasurer, noting his personal commitment to fostering minority and community bank relationships.
"Chaka Patterson has set the standard for sustainable business partnerships between utilities and women-, minority- and disabled veteran-owned enterprises," said Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon of the California Public Utilities Commission.
Commissioner Harold D. Williams of the Maryland Public Service Commission, who chairs the Utility Market Access Partnership, said, "Our committee is working actively to promote diversity in the utility industry, and Chaka Patterson has demonstrated that achieving that goal is not only possible, but also makes good business sense."
Wendell F. Holland, former chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission added: "The changing nature of the capital markets is a strong argument for diversifying sources of funding. There are now fewer financial institutions and a smaller pool of capital available. If utilities look to borrow from a more diverse funding pool, they might find themselves in a stronger financial position. Reaching out to local community banks or diverse firms, as Exelon has done, is a good strategy, and a viable option for regulators to encourage."
Last month, Exelon and its subsidiaries ComEd and PECO entered into new credit agreements with 26 minority and community banks in Chicago, Philadelphia and other regions that Exelon serves. Seaway Bank and Trust Company, Riverside Community Bank and the United Bank of Philadelphia arranged the credit agreements, with JP Morgan Chase serving as the administrative agent.
The agreements, totaling $67 million, provide the companies with an additional source of credit, while offering minority and community banks the opportunity to grow their relationships with Fortune 500 companies. Patterson played a key role in expanding Exelon's reliance on minority and community banks.
Since Patterson became Exelon's treasurer in February 2009, Exelon has increased its spend with minority- and women-owned investment banks by five-fold, spending nearly $5 million with those banks in 2009 compared to a little more than $1 million in 2008.
"We are very proud of Chaka's work in fostering these relationships, which are unique in the utility industry and have broken new ground in terms of lender diversity," said Ruth Ann Gillis, executive vice president and chief diversity officer, Exelon. "These credit agreements are part of Exelon's ongoing efforts to invest in the communities we serve, demonstrate our commitment to diversity and inclusion in all our business relationships, and provide greater opportunities for minority and community banks to participate in major transactions."
Today, the UMAP committee also honored Exelon with its Utility Leadership Award in recognition of the company's efforts in supplier diversity, advocacy and leadership in the utility industry.
Exelon's total spending with minority- and women-owned enterprises was $455.2 million in 2008.