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BISNOW: Opportunity Zones 'Full Steam Ahead' After Final Rules Debut January 7, 2020 link:

  • "For qualified opportunity zone businesses, The Pearl Fund Managing Partner Brian Phillips expects the guidelines to be a boon for investors looking to invest in businesses located in the zones.  
  • Phillips, who launched The Pearl Fund aiming to raise $25M, said there were a number of things that dramatically improve opportunity zone business investing for investors, businesses that existed prior to when the law was passed, and startups."
  • Phillips said the final regulations added a new provision that will benefit startups and applies only to the Opportunity Zone Venture Capital segment. "A 62-month provision was added to give startups more flexibility and time which, in turn, will encourage and facilitate more capital to flow into OZ businesses, which yield much higher returns both financially to investors and in their economic impact in the communities," Phillips said. 

Forbes: The Pearl Fund is selected as one of the top 10 Opportunity Zone Funds in the country December 12, 2019 


  • Powered by the Sorenson Impact Center, we are debuting the Forbes OZ 20: The Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts. 
  • Comprised of 10 trailblazing community organizations and 10 innovative OZ funds, the Forbes OZ 20 shines a light on the players harnessing the new tax policy to unlock transformative economic potential and create lasting change
  • While most current OZ bets centered around real estate, The Pearl Fund is thinking high tech. The New York fund is looking to back start-ups in OZ communities focusing on internet infrastructure, cellular coverage, and green tech. 

Opportunity Zone Magazine:  The Pathway for American Businesses to Access Opportunity Zones Equity Capital November 13, 2019  link:

  • The OZ capital marketplace features the following potential benefits for businesses:
  • • An innovative channel to increase the amount of private equity capital from tax-motivated investors willing to inject capital into well-managed businesses with strong business plans coupled with viable exits strategies after long-term investment periods;
  • • Expands the dialogue between investors, businesses, and their respective advisers to evaluate and strategize on the wide range of private business investment opportunities- including start-ups, early-stage venture capital, growth stage capital for proven businesses, and capital deployed in connection with strategic buyouts;
  • • Enables businesses to expand their capital base beyond the limitations imposed by self-financing, friends and family members; and
  • • Leverages on the preferences among OZ investors to achieve meaningful social and economic impacts within their investment strategies.

Opportunity ZonesDB Podcast: Oct 9, 2019 link:

  • Advantages and disadvantages to being a first mover in Opportunity Zone business investing.
  • Why business investing may be the best use case for Opportunity Zone investment, both in terms of investment return and economic impact.
  • Brian’s response to the August 31 New York Times article that was critical of the Opportunity Zone incentive.
  • The importance of diversification and balancing an investment portfolio between both business and real estate.
  • The coming Opportunity Zone business investment movement, or “second wave” of Opportunity Zone investing.
  • Best practices for structuring, capital raising, and timing Opportunity Zone multi-asset business funds.
  • The challenges that the Opportunity Zone tax incentive pose for venture capital investing

EIG’s OZ Webinar Series: What You Need to Know About Opportunity Zones and Operating Businesses Sept. 24, 2019 link:

"Presenters covered a host of topics; from structuring and managing Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs), to becoming a Qualified Opportunity Zone Business (QOZBs), to real-time insights on raising capital from Opportunity Zone investors, and more."  

  • Korb Maxwell, Shareholder at Polsinelli, then discussed the portfolio of work he is leading for his firm to structure transactions, saying “we are starting to make real positive change in communities and I think that is only going to continue to grow.”  
  • Brian Phillips, Managing Partner at The Pearl Fund, shared his experience as the first venture capital fund to have launched an QOF, including the challenges presented by the initial lack of regulatory guidance. With increased certainty, he spoke about the high potential of venture capital investing in operating businesses located in Opportunity Zones, calling the potential upside of the policy “unprecedented” and citing beneficial social outcomes through job growth and increased local spending. 
  • Anne Driscoll and Chris Schultz of Launch Pad then provided their insights and advice as an organization that recently became a QOZB, is in the process of raising capital, and is building the capacity of others looking to do the same. 

Bisnow: September 3, 2019 link:

"For real estate, you may get two times your money back, triple, maybe quadruple, but we don't even think about investing in an [QOZB] if we don't at least get a 10 times return on it. It's huge potential but it's also higher risk," said Phillips, who launched New York-based The Pearl Fund in May.... "That can yield much more significant return than you can in real estate investing and there is a much greater impact on the community," he said. "It's nice to have that double impact." 

Forbes: June 11, 2019 Link:

What Investors Need To Know About The 'Three Waves' Of Opportunity Zones:

"OZ venture capital has the potential to generate much better investor returns than OZRE. As with venture investing in general, the target returns for OZB investing should be at least 10 times the investment; the Holy Grail is to fund the next Apple or Google in an OZ. By comparison, average real estate investments target returns of two to three times the investment."

Pew StateLine: June 12, 2019 Link:

So Far, Real Estate Dominates a Tax Break Meant for Businesses:

"Venture capitalists and public equity firms still have a good pitch for investors. Phillips is looking for startups growing so fast they could increase his original investment 10 times over, or more.

“The relative tax benefits are actually better for investing in operating businesses, particularly those with heavy capital assets,” said Jonathan Tower, managing partner at Arctaris, an impact investment fund manager based in Boston.

INC Magazine: May 22, 2019 Link:

Why Investors Are Taking Big Bets on the Land of OZ:  The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act make "Opportunity Zones" an ideal place for entrepreneurs and investors to build thriving, growth-oriented companies of the future. "

"Venture capital might be more attractive for investors than real estate. While real estate can be the safer call, venture capital returns have more potential. Thompson Reuters Venture Capital Index has returned 31% over the last five years, compared to 7.9% by Vanguard's Real Estate index fund."

Business Insider: May 17, 2019   Link:  

"The next big venture-capital gold rush may be in Opportunity Zones'

"Venture capital might be more attractive for investors than real estate. While real estate can be the safer call, venture capital returns have more potential. Thompson Reuters Venture Capital Index has returned 31% over the last five years, compared to 7.9% by Vanguard's Real Estate index fund."

Crain's NY Business: April 22, 2019  Link: 2Uvt9TV

"We now have the confidence to fund a business and know they won’t be in violation of the opportunity zone rules,” said  Brian Phillips, an investor who plans to raise $25 million to back startups in the designated areas, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard. “It’s accelerating the start of our fund.”

Crain's New York Business: March 11, 2019  Link: 2D9wdzv

"...Brian Phillips, on the other hand, can't wait for the starting gun. A serial entrepreneur, he's looking to raise $25 million to put into opportunity zones and plans to launch an investment vehicle, the Pearl Fund, this month. His game plan is to set up shop in the Navy Yard to be close to scores of startups that could be interested in investors like him. "When people hear about opportunity zones, they say, 'You can do this? It seems too good to be true,'" said Phillips, whose enthusiasm is winning attention. After speaking at a January expo, he was invited to appear at a March 14 White House event to tout opportunity zones.

Press Releases:

The Pearl Fund Adds Colorado and Texas to New Network Designed to Spur Social and Economic Impact in U.S. Opportunity Zones Nov, 19, 2019 link:

"The Pearl Fund Network of Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds are pioneering OZ funds focused on delivering competitive returns from venture capital investments and a full suite of opportunity zone tax benefits to investors, while driving social and economic impact in opportunity zone communities through investment in entrepreneurship. The Pearl Fund Network of Qualified Opportunity Zone Funds, managed by the Pearl Fund Management Company, LLC, are committed to the highest standards in opportunity zone fund structure, legal and accounting compliance and oversight, and performance and impact metrics and reporting, and are supported by the leading OZB legal, accounting, and tax experts in the nation."

The First Venture Capital Opportunity Zone Fund Opens in the U.S. May 14, 2019 Link:

"There couldn’t be a more opportune or exciting time to launch our fund than now,” said Brian Phillips, founder and managing partner of The Pearl Fund, who brings more than three decades of experience as a serial entrepreneur and expert on emerging economies. “We will be working closely with our portfolio companies to ensure high returns for our investors who are seeking to diversify their portfolios at such an unprecedented time."

The Pearl Fund Adds Three New Advisors: April 10, 2019 Link:

"The Pearl Fund ( ), the first opportunity zone fund that is also a venture capital fund focused on spurring economic development in opportunity zones throughout New York and Pennsylvania—is pleased to welcome three new advisors. The team of highly-specialized, diversified and accomplished executives brings extensive leadership experience for multinational corporations and startups."