Diversity & Inclusion Annual Status Report
A Strong Year with Many Achievements
Every year, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) submits a report to the Federal Housing Finance Agency on its efforts and achievements around fostering diversity and inclusion throughout its business. The FHLBNY makes these efforts not just because it brings positive impact to the bottom line and culture, but also because it is quite simply the right thing to do.
2019 was another strong year for diversity and inclusion initiatives. In addition to hiring, developing, promoting and retaining a workforce that mirrors the communities it serves, the FHLBNY continues to create an inclusive experience for its suppliers, prospects, members, and business partners. Below are highlights from various areas of the report including: Workforce (Employment), Procurement, Financial Transactions (Capital Markets – Funding & Investments) and Housing and Community Investment.
D&I was included in the FHLBNY’s 3-year Strategic Plan (2019-2021)
The Strategic Plan includes Aspirational Targets (Targets) and Yearly Checkpoints (Checkpoints) for Capital Markets, Procurement, and Employment activities to help the FHLBNY on a “best efforts basis” to measure progress towards achieving our objectives.
We maintained or exceeded most of our 2019 Checkpoints in these three areas. Where Checkpoints were not met, plans are in place to help achieve the Targets.
Workplace Inclusion Committee
A Workplace Inclusion Survey was sent to all employees in 2019 to ask for their definition of workplace inclusion.
As a result, a Workplace Inclusion Committee (Committee) was established with the goal of identifying proposed objectives to help enhance inclusion efforts at the FHLBNY. The Committee members volunteered their time and are made up of employees from various departments, ranks, tenure, gender, race and office locations.
The Committee proposed objectives that included:
1) establishing a formal mentoring program for all employees;
2) exploring the establishment of Employee Resource Groups;
3) identifying Holidays/Heritage Months to be recognized and/or celebrated by the FHLBNY; and
4) providing additional inclusion training for all employees.
Since establishing these objectives, the Bank has begun planning and implementing these suggestions in a phased approach.
Our commitment to diversity and inclusion means seeking out the best mix of talent available, eliminating artificial barriers to growth within the Bank, and providing opportunities and incentives to unlock the full potential of a diverse workforce. We consider diversity a core asset, essential to building and maintaining a competitive edge which can be a key to success both now and into the future.
During 2019, the FHLBNY employed 343 regular employees, 42% of whom are women, and 58% are men. The diversity of the FHLBNY’s workforce is also very strong: 69% of the FHLBNY’s employees were diverse* and 31% were non-diverse. Even though the FHLBNY’s employee headcount increased year over year, the FHLBNY’s demographics remained relatively the same.
*Diverse includes minorities, women, and disabled as defined by the Minority and Women Inclusion Final rule.
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Here are highlights of the outcomes in 2019
The FHLBNY hosted the first-ever “Building A Diversified Network with the FHLBNY” in September 2019. This event was the first by the FHLBNY that was designed with the objective of creating a brand as an employer of choice. Attendees learned about the future needs in finance, risk, and technology from a panel of executives that discussed the skills needed to keep candidates relevant as they navigate their careers.
Attendees were able to:
Listen and learn from a certified international executive coach regarding personal branding;
Observe a panel featuring FHLBNY C-suite executives and Board members; and
Meet and network with peers from various industries and with executives from the FHLBNY.
In 2019, the FHLBNY established a relationship with the Computer Science Co-Op Program at the City College of New York. The FHLBNY hosted two interns through the course of six months and hired one diverse student to the Software Quality Engineering Team.
Supplier Diversity (Procurement)
FHLBNY total annual spend among Minority, Women, and Disabled-Owned Businesses, which have been trending higher since 2017, reached $22.11 million.
The FHLBNY is committed to establishing strong relationships with our business partners and actively promoting opportunities for certified Minority, Women, and Disabled-Owned Business (MWDOBs). We see diversity as a competitive strength that helps us leverage our differences to be the best. Partnering with MWDOBs helps us to grow our pool of suppliers, provide opportunities to diverse businesses, and to fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations.
Here are highlights of the outcomes in 2019
In 2019, the FHLBNY entered into 623 relationships with all vendors. Of those relationships, 160 (26%) were awarded to MWDOBs for the purchase of goods and services. The total relationships with MWDOBs increased from 154 in 2018 to 160 in 2019
In 2019, the FHLBNY had 972 active vendors, and recorded expenditure with 547 vendors, of which 46 were MWDOBs. The total spend with MWDOB’s for 2019 was $22.11 million. This was a decrease of $4.71 million from 2018 expenditures of $26.82 million.
The Bank’s total annual spend for 2018 was approximately $63.42 million; an increase of approximately $9.22 million from the 2017 spend of $54.19 million and the 2016 spend of $31.67 million. This increase is largely due to cost related to the design and construction efforts for the New Jersey office and an increase of rent and operating expense.
While there was a decrease in spend in 2019, the FHLBNY is still above its annual Checkpoints and is making progress in achieving its Procurement Targets.
In addition, the FHLBNY continued to promote MWDOB activities and its brand among the diverse vendor community by attending expositions and networking events, partnering with diverse councils and organizations, and updating the FHLBNY’s website and vendor portal.
Financial Transactions (Capital Markets – Funding & Investments )
FHLBNY achieved extensive increases in execution of business with MWDOBs across both the liability and asset sides of the balance sheet since 2017
The FHLBNY had another strong year of building and strengthening relationships as well as executing business with MWDO Broker/Dealers in 2019 on both the liability and asset sides of the balance sheet. The 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Plan called for the FHLBNY to make specific efforts in several areas related to Capital Markets, including governance, outreach and education, opportunities, and reporting.
Highlights of the outcomes during 2019 include the following items
During 2019, the FHLBNY entered into 380 transactions of negotiated bond and Discount Note (“DN”) issuance with 16 MWDO Broker/Dealers. The total discretionary Consolidated Obligation issuance and the DN Window trades increased to $24.1 billion in 2019 from $9.6 billion in 2018. Bond investments decreased with ten trades among three MWDO Broker/Dealers for a total of $1.125 billion of securities in 2019.
Fees paid on an overall basis increased, despite the reduction in concession for DN executed in the DN Window, as the FHLBNY increased its volume and the System paid fees to the MWDO Broker/Dealers on the syndicated issuance of Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) floaters.
Bond investments decreased with ten trades among three MWDO Broker/Dealers for a total of $1.125 billion of securities in 2019.
Mortgage Backed Securities investment activity, though greater than in 2018 in terms of notional and number of firms, was depressed as the FHLBNY forwent purchasing bonds associated with LIBOR and thereby decreasing the number of available trade opportunities. In 2019, activity included sixteen trades with nine MWDO Broker/Dealers for a total of $142 million.
2019 witnessed an increase in the number of firms involved and in the notional of the trades.
The FHLBNY continued to build on previous years’ successful outreach through constant reinforcement of the commitment to allow access to MWDO Broker/Dealers into our daily Capital Markets’ activities. The FHLBNY maintained its practice of giving MWDO Broker/Dealers access to its day-to-day funding and investment needs, and sought ways to provide the MWDO Broker/Dealers additional information and tools to allow them to potentially grow their businesses through the FHLBNY. The FHLBNY reinforced contact with MWDO Broker/Dealers through phone calls, emails, Bloomberg messages, in-office visits and outings with several MWDO Broker/Dealers and lobbying outside firms to include MWDO Broker/Dealers in a number of deals. As co-chair of the Capital Markets Sub-group of the FHLB System OMWI Council, the FHLBNY worked closely with the other Federal Home Loan Banks to share information and ideas concerning the activity with the MWDO Broker/Dealers, particularly in the area of Debt Issuance programs.
Affordable Housing and Community Lending Programs
FHLBNY’s multi-faceted approach to promoting affordable housing and community lending included special efforts to deepen relationships with Native American tribes and continued its initiative to respond to the District need for more supportive housing for people with special needs. Additionally, the Community Investment programs offer opportunities for diversity and inclusion beyond the direct beneficiaries or the residents. For example, the Homebuyer Dream Program® (HDP) generates business for local lenders as well as the real estate industry in general.
The FHLBNY’s Second District is one of the most diverse in the country in terms of ethnicity, race, and economic status. The major cities in New York State (New York City, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse) and New Jersey (Camden, Elizabeth, Newark and, Trenton) are prime examples of this diversity. The District also includes the rural areas of Upstate New York, northern and southern New Jersey, and the central parts of Puerto Rico – areas where the population’s needs are quite different from those in the urban centers. By virtue of their design and eligibility criteria, the FHLBNY’s affordable housing and community lending programs have a direct impact on very low- and low-income residents.
In 2019 the Community Investment Group continued its outreach to the Native American communities in the District, including leading a workshop for tribal housing leaders on capacity-building at a conference for Eastern tribes in Bar Harbor, Maine. Over the course of the year, the Community Investment Group met with key stakeholders to understand ways the other products and programs, besides the AHP, could serve tribal communities.
The FHLBNY also continued its initiative to respond to the district need for more supportive housing for people with special needs. The Community Investment Group met repeatedly with experts from the New York and New Jersey networks for supportive housing prior to the debut of the AHP scoring category for supportive housing in the 2018 round. In 2019, the Community Investment Group attended conferences for these organizations and met in small-group discussions with their member organizations.
The Affordable Housing Program identified, interviewed, and selected three women to join the Affordable Housing Advisory Council (AHAC) that will advocate for their areas of expertise and geography. One of these women was subsequently elected vice-chair of the AHAC for a term set to begin in 2020. Now, more than 60% of the AHAC is comprised of women.