Diversifying Investments

Publication Date May 3, 2017

Note: An updated version of this report, released on Jan. 28, 2019, can be found here.

Research across a multitude of fields and industries has identified the potential economic and social benefits of diversity. Yet, the asset management industry continues to face challenges with a lack of diversity. Research studies and articles have consistently documented the low level of representation by women and racial/ethnic minorities among asset managers. Analyzing and exploring diversity in the asset management industry is vital given its sheer enormity and the wealth it generates ($71.4 trillion in assets under management and $100 billion in profits in 2015).

This report captures insights from a new study about the state of diversity in the U.S. asset management industry. Professor Josh Lerner (Harvard Business School) and Bella Research Group led the research. Whereas numerous studies have documented the lack of diversity among asset managers and asset management firm employees, this study contributes a new perspective by analyzing the diversity of ownership of asset management firms.

The research was commissioned by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a private grantmaking foundation. Beginning in 2010, Knight Foundation embarked on an effort to diversify its endowment holdings and now invests $472 million with diverse-owned firms (representing 22.5 percent of endowment holdings). Knight supported this study to inform the larger discussion unfolding about diversity in the asset management industry.

For the full report and set of findings, click here.

Read the press release, "New report reveals low levels of diversity in asset management industry, despite similar investment performance at women- and minority-owned firms," here:  http://kng.ht/2pXLnCW


Alberto Ibargüen commentary on CNBC

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit kf.org. To see Knight Foundation’s report on its endowment management, visit: https://www.knightfoundation.org/about/financial-info/

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