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A low-profile financial firm in Portland, Maine has achieved almost Zen-like mastery over the art of using an obscure federal tax credit program to spur private investment in economically distressed communities. CEI Capital Management LLC is today the nation’s largest seller of so-called New Market Tax Credits, using them to finance 76 projects across the country and create nearly 12,000 jobs in places that desperately need them.
Founded a decade ago, company combines social and environmental responsibility with hard-nosed financial analysis and a strategy that focuses on markets with few competitors. To date, CEI Capital has allocated more than $850 million in new market tax credits to ventures ranging from a eucalyptus plantation in Hawaii to a green hotel in Maine’s remote potato country.