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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Former NFL Player is Now a Corporate Banker Investing in Black Communities in South LA

Malcolm A. Johnson, former NFL star turned investment banker

Former NFL star Malcolm A. Johnson has made an interesting career shift. After playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers and the New York Jets for two years, he is now a corporate banker that prioritizes investing his local community. As the executive director of Community Development Banking at JPMorgan & Chase, he is helping to rebuild South Los Angeles one block at a time.
As a teenager, Johnson thought football was his key to success and he played from high school years to the NFL. Knowing that he wouldn't be playing all his life, he equipped himself with a marketing degree and MBA.

After his professional football career, he then entered the banking industry and became an internal consultant with PNC Bank and vice president at Bank of America Merrill Lynch before transferring to JPMorgan & Chase in the early 2000s.

Since then, Johnson led JPMorgan's initiatives to help residents, schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations in accessing the financial resources to improve their neighborhoods. He heads the company's new program that invests in affordable housing projects across the country, especially in the Black communities in South LA.

"One of the reasons that I decided to come to JPMorgan & Chase was because the bank said, 'We are committed to not just grow our business, but we are committed to growing our community.' They knew that I had been involved with the South L.A. community since becoming a banker and they wanted to support that scenario as well," explained Johnson.

Johnson, who specializes in real estate finance, has also underwritten and arranged $3 billion in secured and unsecured debt financing for real estate developers and investment firms in Los Angeles, mostly in the South LA area.

Moreover, Johnson also serves as an executive sponsor to one of JPMorgan's program, The Fellowship Initiative, that aims to assist Black young men from low-income communities in completing their education. He has particularly helped in securing sponsorships from JPMorgan for different schools in the area.

"No matter what you are doing in life, if you are doing something that helps another person achieve their dreams, then you will find a level of success. I get to live that every day as a banker because I provide access to capital and by investing in our communities; I see people's dreams achieved that way," he said.