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February 20, 2023 / 2023 Power 50

2023 Power 50: 17. JoAnn H. Price & Laurence C. Morse

PHOTO | CHELSEA MARRIN JoAnn Price and Laurence Morse, co-founders and managing partners of Fairview Capital in West Hartford.

JoAnn H. Price and Laurence C. Morse founded in 1994 what is now one of the largest minority-owned private equity investment management firms in the United States.

Price and Morse are co-founders and managing partners of West Hartford-based Fairview Capital Partners, which is headquartered in Blue Back Square and has an office in San Francisco.

Fairview, which has managed about $10 billion in committed capital since its inception, recently landed a $50-million investment from billionaire Steve Ballmer – former CEO of Microsoft Corp. and current owner of the Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball franchise – and his wife, Connie.

The money is part of $400 million the Ballmers committed to Black investment managers and Black businesses last November, with the goal of increasing capital to underserved markets.

Fairview will match the Ballmers’ investment with $50 million from other portfolios it manages. Between 80% and 100% will be invested in early-stage venture capital funds, and up to 20% in later-stage growth equity funds.

Price grew up in North Wales, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Howard University, becoming a legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania. She was president of the National Association of Investment Companies in the early 1990s.

Before co-founding Fairview, Morse worked for TSG Ventures, Equico Capital Corp. and UNC Ventures. He graduated from Howard University, spending his junior year at The London School of Economics. He then received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Princeton University, and has been a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.

“We founded Fairview to bridge the gap between institutional sources of capital and exceptionally capable investment professionals who could deploy those resources profitably in environments that support a broad spectrum of entrepreneurs,” according to Morse. “To spark true change, we create opportunities for as many gifted people as we possibly can. One can't ignore any repositories of talent if we’re going to build the kind of society that we all say we want. We don't care about your packaging or what you look like. We’re looking for the quality of your mind and character and the impact you ignite with those tools. That’s what matters for the future.”

Find out who else is in the 2023 Power 50.

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