Statement on Title Insurance Ruling from the Partnership for New York City

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Today’s ruling from the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court that effectively bans title insurance companies from passing along lavish expenses to consumers is a victory for New York residents and businesses,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “The State Department of Financial Services, particularly outgoing commissioner Maria Vullo, has been diligent in protecting consumers against the excesses of the politically influential title insurance industry, for which she deserves a lot of credit.”

Statement on Governor Cuomo’s State of the State Address from the Partnership for New York City

Resource Type: News, Statements

“The business community shares Governor Cuomo’s frustration with the MTA. Its governance is structurally flawed with layers of bureaucracy and built-in political intervention that make good management impossible, no matter how talented its executive staff and labor force,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “We support the Governor’s call for MTA reform to achieve a more efficient and higher performing transit system. We also support congestion pricing in the Manhattan central business district with tolls dedicated to regional transit. Excess traffic congestion costs the region over $20 billion a year, so the combination of reduced traffic and better transit are a winning formula for New York.”

New York’s Businesses Support the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA)

Resource Type: News, Statements

Today, the Partnership for New York City issued a memorandum in support of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), introduced by Assembly Member Gottfried and Senator Hoylman. Gender variant individuals face discrimination ranging from housing to health care, as well as harassment and violence in many aspects of their lives. They deserve the same protections in New York that many employers and other states, including California, Connecticut, Iowa, Nevada and New Jersey, already provide. Safeguarding basic human and civil rights for gender variant individuals is critical to maintaining New York’s competitiveness as a global economic and cultural hub—one that thrives as a result of its diverse citizens and workforce.

To read the full memorandum, click here.

Statement from the Partnership for New York City on Mayor De Blasio’s Paid Vacation Proposal

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Mayor de Blasio’s proposal to force businesses in the city to give two weeks of paid vacation to every employee is another example of municipal overreach into the city’s private sector economy,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. “Most New York City employers are doing whatever they can to attract and keep good workers and do not need the government dictating their benefit policies. New York is already the highest cost city in the country, where entrepreneurs are struggling to survive. More than a third of the businesses that would be most threatened by this new mandate are owned by immigrants, a group that the Mayor champions. Many are struggling retailers, who are facing rising rents and online competition. This proposal sends a discouraging message to the entrepreneurs who are already contributing so much to our city’s tax rolls and employment opportunities and the City Council should reject it.”


Fintech Finance’s Power Players

Resource Type: Fund News, News

This article appeared in the November issue of Institutional Investor.

There is seemingly no end to the phenomenon that is fintech. At $57.9 billion in the first half of 2018, global venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions investments in the financial technology sector exceeded the full-year 2017 total by more than $10 billion, according to KPMG.

Simply put, this spells opportunity for the financiers and other transaction facilitators in Institutional Investor’s fourth annual Fintech Finance 40 ranking.


Maria Gotsch, President and Chief Executive Officer, Partnership Fund for New York City (Previously ranked: 13)

There were no Silicon Valley–like support systems for financial technologies when New York’s FinTech Innovation Lab started up in 2010. The pioneering ecosystem of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and financial institutions sprang from a proposal by Robert Gach of consulting firm Accenture and Maria Gotsch, president and CEO of the Partnership Fund for New York City. The fund, founded in 1996 by KKR & Co.’s Henry Kravis and headed since 2000 by Gotsch, is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, which in an earlier incarnation was the chamber of commerce.

Investing to promote growth in the local economy, the $160 million Partnership Fund is only partially deployed in fintech. And Gotsch, 52, oversees other initiatives, including a health innovation accelerator and a high-tech seed financing vehicle. But as far as New York’s financial community is concerned, the FinTech Innovation Lab is her claim to fame. The lab’s 58 alumni start-ups have raised $790 million in capital, and Accenture has launched similar programs in London, Dublin, and Hong Kong.

Executives from 25 major financial firms — including, for the first time, eight insurance companies supporting the New York lab’s new insuretech track — selected 11 start-ups for the 12-week intensive program leading up to the June 2018 demo day, when the entrepreneurs presented their work to investors and others in the financial community. The start-ups included Habit (behavioral data aggregation) and Virtualitics (machine-learning-driven data analytics).

See the full article here.

Statement on Amazon Coming to New York City

Resource Type: News, Statements

“Amazon is the first tech mega company headquarters to locate in New York City and, as such, it is a breakthrough event that will solidify the city ‘s future as a leader in the world’s fastest growing industry. The decision to locate in Queens is also an important statement about how our city economy is diversifying and expanding job opportunities across the five boroughs,” said Kathryn Wylde, President and CEO of the Partnership for New York City. 

New York City Council Testimony on a Pilot Program to Create More Basement Apartments

Resource Type: News, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Housing and Buildings on Int. 1004, which would establish a demonstration program to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings.

Thank you Chair Cornegy and members of the committee for the opportunity to testify on Int. 1004, a bill that would authorize a pilot program in East New York to facilitate the creation and alteration of habitable apartments in basements and cellars of certain one- and two-family dwellings. The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers. We work together with government, labor and the nonprofit sector to enhance the economy of the five boroughs of New York City.

The Partnership played a historic role in affordable homeownership development in communities across the five boroughs during the 1980s and 1990s. We understand community concerns about overcrowding, safety and excess demand on neighborhood services that are frequent objections to the legalization of basement apartments. This pilot project is an excellent way to construct a program that addresses those concerns and allows the city to develop a prototype that can be scaled to create thousands of new housing units and provide extra income for large numbers of homeowners, especially seniors who are struggling to maintain their homes.

We urge the Council to pass Int. 1004. With a vacancy rate of only 3.63 percent, New York City suffers from a shortage of housing. This is especially true for affordable housing. In 2017, the vacancy rate for low-rent housing was just 1.15 percent and one-third of households had to pay 50 percent or more of their income for rent. Many New Yorkers pay too much for illegal, overcrowded housing units.

New York City desperately needs to add new housing to address these problems and legalizing basement apartments is a promising resource. One estimate suggests that tens of thousands of basement apartments could be legalized with simple changes to codes. This would provide additional housing supply while also reducing the dangers caused by illegal and substandard housing. Other cities, including San Francisco and Boston, facing the same housing shortage and affordability problems are using this strategy.

The demonstration program that would be authorized by Int. 1004 is a good start. The Partnership urges the city to enact this law, to evaluate and learn from the pilot program and to use the experience to push for permanent changes that would encourage further development of these units on existing properties that are currently underutilized.

Thank you.

Digital Reasoning Brings AI To Wealth Management

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund

By Tom Groenfeldt, Forbes

Digital Reasoning provides artificial intelligence (AI) tools to detect fraud, improve compliance and monitor internal communications for potential violations of company policy or regulations.

Now it is also being used by wealth managers who want to understand what their clients are thinking, monitor advisors for effectiveness, help advisors allocate their time better, and review calls and complaints to reduce churn.

Click here to read the rest of the article on Forbes.

Commercial Rent Control Testimony

Resource Type: News, Testimony

Today, the Partnership for New York City submitted the following testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Small Businesses in opposition to commercial rent control.

The Partnership for New York City represents the city’s business leaders and largest private sector employers who seek to maintain the city’s position as the preeminent global center of commerce, innovation and economic opportunity.

The Partnership opposes Int. 737-A, which would create a new set of requirements around commercial lease renewals. We suggest that the Committee undertake more careful research into the causes of storefront vacancies and escalating commercial rents. Laws should not be enacted based on anecdotal evidence or emotional appeals, particularly when their passage could disrupt the city’s main source of tax revenue.

There is no citywide database that establishes the number, size and type of commercial properties in the city or the tenants and owner-occupants of that space. Without that data, it is impossible to determine whether this legislation, if enacted, would address the true causes of commercial vacancies and business closures in multiple local markets across the five boroughs. It is also impossible to calculate the economic and fiscal impact that Proposed Int. 737-A would have on the city or its neighborhoods.

Ironically, there have been many actions by state and local government over the past few years that have contributed to the challenges facing small businesses in our neighborhood commercial corridors. For example, small retail and service businesses have been hardest hit by the increase in the minimum wage, new mandatory benefits such as paid sick leave, and a general increase in compliance costs and litigation exposure.  Rising rents are only one factor that the Council should be considering if they want to promote small business survival.

We also object to Proposed Int. 737-A because it is an overly broad and complicated piece of legislation. Despite its stated intent to “help small businesses,” the legislation would substantially change the process for commercial lease renewals for all businesses, including large businesses and upper-story office space. It would mandate a poorly conceived arbitration process and would add substantial time and cost to the commercial leasing process.

We all sympathize with the Mom & Pop stores that are struggling to survive in the face of rising costs, changing consumer demands, and increasing competition from online retailers and national brand stores. But sympathy is not sufficient justification for city government to make a major change in public policy without much more research and consideration than this bill has received.

Thank you.


MTA and Business Leaders Launch Transit Tech Lab, A Digital Sandbox to Build New Transit Solutions

Resource Type: Fund News, News, Partnership Fund, Press Releases

Learn more at; Apply by November 30, 2018

Oct. 10, 2018 (New York, NY) – Today, leaders of the MTA and the city’s business community, represented by the Partnership for New York City, announced the launch of the nation’s first Transit Tech Lab. The Lab’s purpose is to identify and test promising new technology and other products that will accelerate modernization of New York’s public transportation network and contribute to improved services and a better customer experience.

Tech entrepreneurs who are developing products that could be useful to the MTA’s modernization plans find it difficult to navigate large public agencies. The Transit Tech Lab is one example of how the MTA is changing its internal processes in order to be more open to innovation. The Lab will provide a faster and less expensive way for the MTA to review new products and carry out pilot projects with the best transit innovators from around the world.

The idea for the lab came from a working group that the Partnership for New York City and the MTA established earlier this year, the Transit Innovation Partnership (TIP). This is a privately funded, nonprofit initiative that was developed in response to Governor Cuomo’s challenge to the business community to help address the needs of the regional transit system. It is led by Rachel Haot, Executive Director and the former Chief Digital Officer for both New York City and New York State, and an advisory board of civic and business leaders, chaired by Alan Fishman, Chairman of Ladder Capital Finance.

“The MTA is committed to exploring every avenue to ensure that we modernize our system for the next generation of riders,” said MTA President Pat Foye. “We look forward to working closely with the Partnership and making sure we’re doing everything in our power to embrace the sort of innovation that will move this organization forward. The entire MTA leadership team is deeply committed to incorporating new technologies throughout the system and I am excited about this new initiative.”

“The future of public transit will determine the future of New York,” stated Rachel Haot, Executive Director of TIP. “Thanks to the MTA’s leadership, we look forward to working with technologists from around the globe to pilot solutions that improve our public transit system.”

The first lab projects will be to identify technologies that can move buses faster and reduce the impact of subway delays. Submissions are being requested from teams that have products that are ready for beta testing with the MTA. Companies can learn more about the opportunity and how to apply before the November 30th deadline at

For the subway challenge, the Transit Tech Lab seeks technologies to better predict how long a subway delay will last and how it will affect trains and lines across the system, information that will be communicated to customers. Potential technologies to solve this challenge include analyzing historical subway data to find patterns that can be used to predict future disruptions, exploring tools for immediately communicating with customers, and using entirely new data sources such as social media that may provide fresh insights into subway incident impacts.

The bus challenge seeks technologies to help public buses move faster and more efficiently. The challenge welcomes a range of potential technologies, including sensors, cameras and software that can help identify obstructions and patterns, improve coordination of routes and transfers, alert enforcement agencies about vehicles located in bus lanes, and adjust bus activity to changing customer demand.

After companies apply, MTA specialists and private sector experts will review Lab proposals. Evaluators from the business community include:

  • Reilly Brennan, General Partner, Trucks Venture Capital
  • Shana Fisher, Managing Director, Third Kind Venture Capital
  • Maria Gotsch, President & CEO, Partnership Fund for New York City
  • Nick Grossman, General Manager, Union Square Ventures
  • Dylan Hixon, Principal, Arden Road Investments
  • Brian Keil, Managing Director, NYS Innovation VC Fund, Empire State Development Corporation
  • Linda Kirkpatrick, Executive Vice President, U.S. Market Development, Mastercard
  • Kevin Ryan, Chairman & Founder, Zola, Workframe, Nomad Health, Mongo DB

The most promising companies will be selected to participate in an 8-week accelerator program starting in February where they will be able to refine their products to more directly meet the needs of public transit. At the end of the program, the MTA will select successful companies for a 12-month pilot with the transit system. The pilot is unpaid but offers companies a unique opportunity to demonstrate their technology in the nation’s largest transit system and positively contribute to the future of New York City transit.

The Transit Innovation Partnership is a public-private initiative formed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Partnership for New York City with the mission to make New York the global leader in public transit. An advisory board of leaders from academia, business, civic organizations and government guides the Transit Innovation Partnership, which brings together diverse stakeholders to realize public-private projects that improve transit performance and customer service. Focus areas include technology and process innovation in infrastructure, data, operations, customer service and revenue generation. Learn more at

Iva Benson
Executive Vice President
Office: 212 843 8271
Cell: 917 497 3907