Black Professionals in Private Equity & Finance - Dealmaker Spotlight: Tamika Tyson

March 1, 2022

The following series features interviews with Black dealmakers and trailblazers in the private equity and finance community. To help us spotlight professionals making a difference in their career pathways, please email Greg Kilpatrick at gkilpatrick@mcguirewoods.com and Gerald Thomas at gthomas@mcguirewoods.com.

Tamika Tyson

Q: What attracted you to PE?

Tamika Tyson: Whereas the COVID-19 crisis affected small businesses across the board, women- and minority-owned small businesses faced structural challenges that underscore the underlying economic fragility of underrepresented groups. Although neither the COVID-19 pandemic nor the killing of George Floyd caused the inequities in the United States, they highlighted the racial and gender disparities in business ownership. I started to ask myself what I could do to help solve these problems so that weeks, months or years from now, we won't still be at the same place.

This served as a catalyst for me to start my fund, TGC Impact Growth Fund. I believe that if we're going to see our country change and start to shift the narrative around these issues, we'll need to do it by shifting the landscape of the people making capital decisions. I saw an opportunity to help bring a capitalist solution to a social issue.

Q: Why do you actively support providing capital to Black entrepreneurs?

TT: I recently read a study where the data suggested that if the number of Black businesses matched the population size and if the average revenue growth from those same businesses matched the revenue of non-Black businesses, there would be an increase in revenue of more than $5 trillion dollars. If you look at the same businesses from a jobs perspective, it would create 19 million jobs.

Another study showed that Black businesses are more likely to hire residents in the communities where they live and work. Additionally, Black business owners had 12 times the median net worth of the Black non-business owner. Therefore, an investment in a Black entrepreneur is an investment in Black communities and narrowing the wealth gap.

Q: What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Black entrepreneurs?

TT: Capital, that's no secret, and access to networks — networks that help to facilitate large dollar, multiyear contracts. You're starting to see the private and public sectors, through supplier diversity programs and federal contracting, try to do their part to create more opportunities.

Q: Who is an example of someone who inspired you in PE and why?

TT: There was no single individual. What inspired me was a desire to be part of the solution concerning many of the social issues we see today, part of which I think is the economic fragility of underrepresented groups.

Q: Why do you believe Black professionals will be able to influence the PE industry?

TT: If we had an environment where the capital decision-makers, the dollars invested and the support behind them reflected our society, we would have a more equitable society and better returns.

Q: What are your goals for TGC?

TT: My near-term goal is to close on fund one and start putting those proceeds to work to help companies realize their full potential; to use some of the tools I've been able to gain from my corporate and investment experience; and to help companies and guide them through the process of growth and all the challenges associated with it.

Ultimately, it's about looking at and working toward a future I want to see and investing in it.

Q: What is something few people know about you?

TT: I am an avid reader and obsessed with puzzles. I once completed a 1,000-piece puzzle in one day. With puzzles, I look at each piece and try to figure out how it fits the bigger picture. This is fundamentally what I have done in my vocation, which is all about putting the pieces together in a way that reflects the results we want to see.

About Tamika Tyson

Tamika Tyson is the co-founder of TGC Impact Growth Fund, a fund that invests growth capital in diverse and women-led or -managed companies in the Southern region. Prior to cofounding TGC, Tyson was the global head of credit at Noble Energy. During her tenure, the company sustained zero credit losses and improved risk-adjusted returns despite the increase in the portfolio's risk profile.

Tyson has over 20 years of risk management experience and started her career underwriting small business loans. She has worked with entities ranging from small businesses to multinational enterprises in a cross-section of industries. She is known for her pragmatic approach and authentic management style while driving highly strategic business initiatives and leading risk strategies to support business transactions and growth.

She has an MBA and bachelor's in business administration with an emphasis in finance and economics from Sam Houston State University. Tyson is a past board member of the International Energy Credit Association, served on the advisory board for the Kayo Energy Summit, is a non-resident scholar for the Insurance Information Institute, is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Tyson has one son, Christopher, and spends her free time exploring the world.

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