Kevin Cohee, a powerhouse in the financial services industry and a trailblazer for Black economic empowerment, stands at the helm of OneUnited Bank, the nation’s largest Black-owned bank. His journey embodies tireless advocacy, strategic leadership, and an unwavering commitment to financial inclusion.
Cohee, a former athlete, and Harvard graduate armed with a juris doctor, MBA, and bachelor of arts degrees, entered finance with a focus on community development. In 1995, he acquired a struggling institution, Boston Bank of Commerce, injecting vision and leadership that revitalized the bank and laid the foundation for future growth.
Teaming up with business partner Teri Williams, Cohee orchestrated strategic mergers to establish OneUnited Bank in 2007. The landmark deal united key Black-owned banks, creating the largest Black-owned and first Black-owned digital bank, with branches in Boston, Los Angeles, and Miami.
Under Cohee’s guidance, OneUnited Bank champions financial services for unbanked and underbanked communities, offering affordable products and accessible branches. Emphasizing financial literacy and homeownership initiatives, Cohee empowers communities to build lasting wealth and security.
Beyond managing finances, Cohee is a vocal advocate for financial justice and economic inclusion. He actively engages with policymakers, media, and business leaders to secure crucial resources for underserved communities.
Cohee’s impact extends beyond banking; he serves as a role model for aspiring Black entrepreneurs, challenging stereotypes and fostering greater representation in the financial sector. His commitment to social good is evident in his support for educational initiatives and non-profit organizations.
Cohee’s career is a testament to vision, dedication, and a profound sense of social responsibility. His influence transcends bank statements, reshaping the landscape of American finance and paving the way for a more equitable economic future.
Billionaires.Africa outlines seven companies owned by Cohee, showcasing his influential role in the various institutions so far.
- OneUnited Bank
OneUnited Bank stands as a testament to Cohee’s visionary leadership, unifying three Black-owned banks to create the largest Black-owned bank in the nation. Since its inception in 2007, Cohee has led the bank to impressive growth and profitability, with assets exceeding $600 million. OneUnited Bank is not just a financial institution; it’s a cornerstone for economic empowerment in Black communities.
- OneUnited Solutions
OneUnited Solutions, a digital banking platform, is a testament to Cohee’s commitment to community-centric banking. Launched in 2020, it operates independently yet synergistically under the OneUnited Bank umbrella, reflecting Cohee’s vision for innovative financial solutions that empower communities. This digital arm reinforces OneUnited Bank’s role as a pioneer in embracing technology for the benefit of its diverse clientele.
- Boston Bank of Commerce
Cohee’s impact on the Boston Bank of Commerce is nothing short of transformative. Acquiring a controlling interest in 1995, Cohee rescued the struggling bank from the brink of failure. His bold vision and strategic leadership not only saved the bank but propelled it into becoming OneUnited Bank, marking a significant milestone as the first Black-owned national bank in the United States.
- Military Professional Services, Inc. (MPS)
Cohee’s strategic turnaround of MPS exemplifies his business acumen. Acquiring the struggling company in 1989, he implemented a transformative plan, diversifying from credit cards to insurance and banking. This led to remarkable growth, ultimately resulting in a lucrative sale to First Chicago Corp. in 1991, providing significant financial resources for future ventures.
- Founders National Bank
Cohee’s vision revitalized Founders National Bank in 2001, transforming it into a larger and more stable institution. Through strategic investments and partnerships, he secured increased capital, expanded the bank’s offerings, and attracted new customers. In 2007, Founders National Bank played a pivotal role in the formation of OneUnited Bank, solidifying Cohee’s commitment to financial inclusion.
- Family Savings Bank
Cohee’s leadership in 2002 revitalized Family Savings Bank, prioritizing services for unbanked and underbanked communities. The bank, under his guidance, became a beacon of financial inclusion, offering affordable products, accessible branches, and championing financial literacy initiatives for effective wealth building and management.
- People National Bank
In 2004, Cohee’s financial services company, OneUnited Solutions, acquired a controlling stake in the struggling People National Bank. The subsequent merger in 2007 played a pivotal role in establishing OneUnited Bank as the largest Black-owned bank in the nation, expanding its reach and impact across communities nationwide.