Currently, university endowments represent over $600B in assets under management. These assets, which generate millions in individual wealth per year for firms, have been and continue to be managed by a population that remains white and male. The exclusion of people of color from the management of these assets has expanded the wealth gap and perpetuated negative stereotypes about the ability of managers of color to produce returns.
This diversity dearth will not be solved overnight. But progress has been made. Over the past year, more and more universities have reported data on the demographics of their endowment managers. And this year, a survey conducted by the Diverse Asset Managers’ Initiative collecting demographic information at the nation’s leading Investment Consulting firms received more responses than ever before.
To continue this progress, the asset management industry must commit to tracking and reporting their diversity metrics publicly and increasing the level of accountability in the field. Before we can determine where we are going, we must be open and honest about where we are and the work that needs to be done to effect real change within asset management.
With that in mind, the Diverse Asset Managers’ Initiative has created EndowmentWatch, a website dedicated to uplifting colleges and universities that have made a commitment to investing with diverse-owned firms and tracking and reporting the demographics of those they invest with publicly.
If you want to join us in this fight to increase the assets under management for people of color and women owned firms, we ask you to commit to the following:
- Publicly provide the demographic data for the US based asset managers who oversee your investments broken down by race and gender
- Commit to increasing the number of and total assets under management for diversely owned firms
- Commit to working with asset allocators that prioritize diversity within their searches
- Commit to regularly reporting your organization’s progress in investing with diverse and women-owned firms
Contact Justin Wilson at [email protected] for more information.