WILTON, CT (August 24, 2020)— Commonfund, a prominent asset manager for endowments, foundations and public pension investors, announced today the re-opening of its online Diverse Manager Portal (“The Portal”). Originally launched last year, The Portal was designed to broaden clients’ access to diverse investment talent through the receipt and review of due diligence materials from diverse managers investing in equities, fixed income and credit, real estate and hedge funds.
After a successful initial phase that attracted submissions from 124 diverse managers – who are defined as firms with 33 percent or more ownership by women, people of Black, African American, Latino, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander descent, veterans and/or people with disabilities – Commonfund has expanded submission criteria and eligibility to include new asset classes, namely private equity, venture capital, natural resources and real assets and sustainability.
“Today, Commonfund is opening its Diverse Manager Portal on a permanent basis” said Mark Anson, Commonfund’s CEO and CIO. “Our initial implementation of the Portal was so successful that Commonfund needed to build additional infrastructure to support the Portal on a permanent basis. The re-opening of the Portal comes at a critical time for our country and the Asset Management Industry as we push for greater representation across race, color, ethnicity, gender, and national origin. We view the Portal as an outlet to ensure that more diverse managers are included in our client portfolios.”
Following the re-opening of the Portal, in early 2021 Commonfund plans to replicate its inaugural Diverse Manager Day from January 2020, when select diverse managers were invited to make presentations to the Commonfund investment team in New York.
Diverse managers interested in submitting their data to The Portal will be asked to submit a strategy overview, monthly or quarterly performance since inception and a standard AIMA due diligence questionnaire. Commonfund pledges to conduct a quantitative and qualitative review of all submissions received through The Portal, and managers who submit their materials by November 30, 2020 will have their submissions reviewed by the appropriate investment team at Commonfund by December 31st.
Launched in 2018, Commonfund’s Diversity and Inclusion Office was created with the mission to intentionally promote and foster inclusion and equity across Commonfund and its investment process, thought leadership and professional and organizational development. The initial launch of the Diverse Manager Portal in 2019 followed the development of a dedicated Diverse Manager Database and was a crucial step in the expansion of that database. The Office serves as a resource and clearinghouse of information for diversity in the broader asset management industry and reaffirms Commonfund’s belief that diversity is a crucial component in both developing a dynamic workforce and constructing robust investment portfolios.
Complete guidelines and submission details for diverse managers are available on the Portal.