C. Peek

last updated 3/21/2018

C. Earl Peek

Founder and Managing Partner at Diamond Ventures LLC

Location:
191 Peachtree Street Suite 3300, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

General Information

Experience

Vice President - BB&T Corporation

AVP-Director Commercial Business Development - Industrial Bank

Senior Commercial Lender - Atlanta Economic Development Corporation

Affiliations

Board Member - Love Charities Inc

Board Member - Mission Of Love Charity

Senior Policy Advisor - Treasury Department

Chair, Access To Capital Committee - Local Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprises

Recent News  

Ga. private-equity firm scouting new deals in Baltimore

Diamond Ventures LLC sees Greater Baltimore, with its busy port, federal agencies and research coming out of universities such as Johns Hopkins, as prime ground for investment, said C. Earl Peek, the firm's managing partner.
Diamond Ventures plans to raise $100 million to invest in companies in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, Peek said. About $50 million will be invested through the SBA's SBIC program. Under the program, the SBA puts in $3 for every dollar a private-equity firm raises on its own. That means that if Diamond Ventures is approved for the program, its $50 million investment would be matched by an additional $150 million from SBA. Peek said he plans to talk to wealthy individuals, insurance companies and pension funds, including Maryland's state pension fund, about investing in Diamond Ventures' fund. He also plans to solicit investments from banks, which are obligated to invest in low-income neighborhoods through the federal government's Community Reinvestment Act. Peek said he hopes to close the fund by next June and start making investments before the end of 2011.

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SBA discrimination case could finally be headed for trial

In 2001, C. Earl Peek established a venture capital fund called Diamond Ventures to provide equity lending to an underserved market: minority businesspeople operating in inner cities with high concentrations of low-income residents.
He envisioned raising hundreds of millions of dollars in government and private funding to help minorities open retail chains, restaurants and technology firms. He and his partners sought licensing under a Small Business Administration program that uses private investment companies to distribute federal dollars to businesses in impoverished urban areas that traditionally don't get capital. But the SBA rejected Diamond Ventures, saying that the principals in the Washington- and Atlanta-based firm were not qualified. In response, Peek filed a racial discrimination lawsuit that he hopes could change the agency's criteria for licensing firms for its Small Business Investment Company program and open the door for many minority-owned venture capital funds to participate. "The SBA has treated minority applicants with an air of intimidation, antagonism and disrespect," said Peek, who is African American. The agency's criteria "exclude a broad group of people who would never quality." A spokeswoman at the SBA said the agency does not comment on pending litigation. Peek said that in 2001, he sought licensing under the SBA program. The venture capital funds, through public and private dollars, finance the businesses mainly through equity investments. But the lawsuit contends that the SBA rejected the application based on discriminatory criteria. The SBA, according to the suit, requires principals of firms receiving licensing to have five years' experience in the venture capital market. Peek is a certified public accountant and a former entrepreneur. Like the other principals, he has extensive experience in commercial lending and economic development. The lawsuit also alleges that the SBA granted licenses for numerous non-minority applicants with the same level of experience as Peek and with proposals similar to his.

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Maryland Business Law & Corporate Litigation Blog

Originally posted by the Washington Post By V. Dion Haynes Washington Post Staff Writer Monday, July 12, 2010 In 2001, C. Earl Peek established a venture capital fund called Diamond Ventures to provide equity lending to an underserved market: minority...

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