The people who handle Knight Foundation’s endowment should reflect the diversity of the communities we support. That guiding principle, along with our core belief in engaged, equitable and inclusive communities, fuels our work to identify and retain diverse-owned asset managers.
Our 10-year journey and intentional focus in this critical area began when our CEO was asked how much Knight invests with firms owned by women or minorities. When we pinpointed the number, we were disappointed and committed to do better. Today, more than one-third of our endowment is managed by women or minority-owned asset management firms.
We began commissioning research, recognizing the need to better understand and raise the profile of the important topic. We continue to share our research to encourage others to be transparent in their endowment management and to use more diverse owned firms and firms that practice diversity in hiring asset managers.
Woman- and minority-owned firms currently manage 39% of the Knight Foundation endowment
Since 2010, Knight Foundation has intentionally sought diversity in the ownership of the asset management firms where it invests. As of December 31, 2019, the foundation had invested $875 million with firms that are substantially- or majority-owned by women or minorities, representing 39 percent of its endowment.
Diversifying Investments: A Study of Ownership Diversity and Performance in the Asset Management Industry
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 struggle with a lack of diversity. […]
Research shows firms owned by women and minorities manage just 1.3 percent of assets in the $69 trillion asset management industry, though their performance is not statistically different from the industry as a whole, Knight Foundation’s chief financial officer Juan Martinez told the U.S. House Finance Committee’s Subcommittee on Diversity and Inclusion. In fact, a […]
Women- and minority-owned companies manage more than a third of the Knight Foundation’s endowment. It’s paying off. Several years ago, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation decided to start investing portions of our multi-billion-dollar endowment with firms owned and managed by women […]
In our 2018 Diverse Asset Management Study (found here), we show that the asset management industry is characterized by extremely low levels of diversity in ownership. Overall, diverse-owned managers – defined as asset managers with significant female or ethnic minority ownership […]