Commonfund begins the New Year with the exciting prospect of continuing to build out our diverse manager commitments. In 2023, we hit a milestone, reaching 10.9 percent of assets under management invested with diverse-led managers.1 While this rate well surpasses the 1.4 percent of total diverse led assets under management in the United States as measured by the Knight Foundation’s 2021 study, we believe there is much more diverse talent to uncover.
Where are we invested?
Commonfund has diverse manager investments in every asset class in which we invest, with the majority invested in both actively and passively managed public equities. Private market allocations across private equity, venture, private credit, real estate, natural resources, and emerging markets comprise about 36 percent of allocations. Smaller allocations to fixed income and diversifying strategies are a reflection of the concentrated nature and constrained portfolio construction methodologies of those asset classes.
From a diversity perspective, approximately 30 percent of assets are invested with Black/ African American managers, 32 percent with Asian managers, 23 percent with managers of two or more races, 11 percent with white women, 3 percent with Latinos, and 1 percent with managers who identify as LGBTQ+. In addition, we are especially pleased that we have 47 percent of diverse manager assets invested with women of color, arguably the manager cohort most under-represented within financial services.
How do we find them?
While Commonfund sources diverse managers from many avenues, one of our key sources has been through our annual invitational Diverse Manager Day, from which we have sourced roughly 10 percent of our diverse managers to date. This year, we are pleased to hold our fifth annual invitational Diverse Manager Day on May 15th, 2024. As in past years, managers will be selected based on new submissions, and updated submissions, to Commonfund’s dedicated Diverse Manager Portal. The portal will accept submissions until February 29th, 2024.
What do we look for?
Managers frequently ask for the selection criteria for invitation to the Diverse Manager Day. Commonfund uses the same due diligence process for diverse managers as for all other managers with which we invest and selection criteria are also influenced by the expected needs of client portfolios for the coming year.
- As of December 31, 2023. Diverse managers are defined by Commonfund as firms led by women, African American/ Black, Asian, Latino, Indigenous, people with disabilities, veterans and others not captured by this list. They must have at least 25 percent diverse leadership and additionally, have at least 25 percent diversity within the investment team.