For Immediate Release: June 14, 2018
Contact: Donald Gatlin,email@example.com, 202-587-2871
Ryan Daniels,firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-414-7621
African American Mayors Association Commends Unanimous Vote for Public Pension Changes
The U.S. Conference of Mayors agree to support increased recruitment of diverse asset managers
(Washington, DC) This week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) voted unanimously to support an initiative aimed at ensuring diverse-owned asset management firms have a greater opportunity to manage public funds. The measure follows a similar resolution adopted by the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) last year.
Diverse-owned firms exhibit strong returns, but are dramatically underrepresented in the asset management industry. Studies that have analyzed the utilization and performance of diverse-owned asset management firms reveal that their performance is on par with, or even better than, their non-diverse counterparts. Despite their high performance, a recent study commissioned by the Knight Foundation found that diverse-owned firms manage just 1.1 percent of $71 trillion in assets under management in the U.S.
Last year, then AAMA president, Mayor Toni Harp of New Haven, CT called for a nationwide change in inadequate asset manager hiring practices, after she successfully implemented an effort to dramatically increase the use of diverse-owned asset management firms who service New Haven. Under Mayor Harp’s leadership, the New Haven City Council passed a measure that guides city investors to consider “emerging managers” among the firms they hire to manage the city’s pension fund.
She challenged all of her fellow mayors in the AAMA to introduce similar language into their pension investment policies, calling upon trustees to consider allocating assets to diverse-owned firms, as well as firms that have less than $3 billion in assets under management, or shorter track records.
“As mayors, we are committed to ensuring that municipal policies reflect the diversity of thought and experiences that make U.S. cities dynamic places to live and work,” said Mayor Oliver Gilbert, President for the African American Mayors Association. “It is our responsibility to continue to advocate for practices that level the playing field for diverse entrepreneurs, asset managers and businesses.”
The USCM and AAMA resolutions support the efforts of the Diverse Asset Managers Initiative (DAMI), a partnership of financial services professionals; institutional investors; corporations; labor unions; university and philanthropic endowments; investment consulting firms and investment industry organizations; committed to raising awareness about the benefits and opportunities of investing funds with diverse-owned asset management firms.
“Central in all that we do as mayors is to secure and promote the hopes and dreams of the people who built the foundation we stand on today. One of the ways we do this is by protecting their wealth and the wealth of their children’s children” said Mayor Steve Benjamin, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.