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Casting a Wider Net: Increasing opportunities for minority and women owned asset managers in institutional investments

Although research shows that diversity yields positive performance and returns in capital markets, minorities remain underrepresented in this industry. A new joint report from The ReFund America Project, Roosevelt Institute and Service Employees International Union finds opportunities for investment consultants to both promote minority asset managers and create long-term financial value for institutional investors. The report also find that investments consultants are failing to promote minority men and women to management roles.

This report summarizes a 2016 survey designed to assess several aspects of diversity with regard to pension fund consultants, including: the representation of traditionally underrepresented staff at their firms; any policies or practices in place to promote emerging manager/MWBE firms; and challenges to implementing those policies or practices.

At the core of this report are:

  • A summary of the performance and views that investment consultants have on recommending minority and women owned asset management firms to institutional investors.

  • A set of recommendations investment consultants and other stakeholders can do to boost their internal workplace diversity and their ability to recommend more MWBE asset managers.

  • A set of diversity questions for institutional investors to ask their investment consultants

This report serves as a performance snapshot on how investment consultants see their role in helping to diversify capital markets. Now, investment consultants have an opportunity to innovate with new strategies that both promote minority asset managers and create long-term financial value for institutional investors.



Talia L. Schank

Talia Schank has worked in community activism for 20 years, starting as a community educator and trainer. This led to student and political organizing, where she worked on a number of electoral campaigns, both candidate and issue-based. Following this, she transitioned into non-profit fundraising, focusing on individual donor development. She has worked with, among others, Planned Parenthood of WI, the Sierra Club, Dēmos, and Community Voices Heard. Her range of experiences working toward social and economic justice led her to pursue her masters’ degree in Employment and Labor Relations at Rutgers University, which she completed in 2016.


You can download the report here (PDF).


The Roosevelt Institute

The Roosevelt Institute reimagines America as it should be: a place where hard work is rewarded, everyone participates, and everyone enjoys a fair share of our collective prosperity. We believe that when the rules work against this vision, it’s our responsibility to recreate them.

We bring together thousands of thinkers and doers—from a new generation of leaders in every state to Nobel laureate economists—working to redefine the rules that guide our social and economic realities. We rethink and reshape everything from local policy to federal legislation, orienting toward a new economic and political system: one built by many for the good of all.

The ReFund America Project

The ReFund America Project tackles the ongoing impact that the financial crisis has had on the financial health of America’s cities and states and provides a dedicated campaign team to help local organizations restore the balance of economic power from Wall Street to Main Street.

Roosevelt Institute

570 Lexington Ave #501

New York, NY 10022


Contact: Saqib Bhatti

(312) 860-9917

Service Employees International Union

SEIU is an organization of 2 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide, dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families, and creating a more just and humane society. These members participate in more than 50 state, county, and municipal pension funds and 19 private Taft-Hartley funds with more than $1 trillion in assets. SEIU is deeply committed to ensuring that the pension funds in which our members participate meet their fiduciary obligations to provide retirement benefits to plan participants[m1] .

The SEIU Capital Stewardship Program was created to facilitate a more active partnership between SEIU and the trustees, administrators, advisors and investment managers of our members' pension savings in the pursuit of prudent, responsible, and financially sound investment policies.

SEIU Capital Stewardship Program

1800 Massachusetts Avenue

Washington DC, 20036

(202) 730-7000

Contact: Renaye Manley

(312) 596-9395

Updated Oct 26, 2016