SageView Advisory Group helps form Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative
More than one dozen of the nation’s leading institutional investment consulting organizations have united to form the Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative (IIDC), a collective of institutional plan sponsors and institutional investment consulting firms.
The members of the Cooperative are issuing a joint statement calling for better transparency in disclosing diversity within investment teams at the product level, which eVestment is distributing to every manager that participates in its database.
The call to action for more robust data and a broader definition of diversity that led to the formation of the IIDC was made by Verus, an investment consulting and OCIO provider headquartered in Seattle, with the support of eVestment, a global leader in institutional investment data and analytics.
In addition to Verus, the founding members of the diversity initiative are: Angeles Investments, Aon, Canterbury Consulting, Ellwood Associates, LCG Associates, Marquette Associates, Meketa, Milliman Advisors, NEPC, SageView Advisory Group, Segal Marco Advisors and SEI.
The members of the IIDC are responsible for the stewardship of more than $4 trillion of assets held by their client institutions in retirement plans, employee health funds, endowments, foundations, operating funds and capital reserves, among others.
SageView Founder and Managing Principal Randy Long voiced his support: “When Verus first asked us to join the initiative, we immediately signed on. Diversity within all facets of our industry is of great importance to SageView and we are proud to be founding members. We look forward to all working together to support increased transparency and diversity.”
Together the IIDC is expressing a shared goal of ensuring greater diversity in the institutional asset management sector by advocating for access to data that would capture every dimension of diversity.
Verus President, Shelly Heier, was encouraged by the significant support for the initiative. “This is a critical issue for our industry,” she said, “and we had no doubt that our fellow consultants would rally behind a call for clarity and more useful data that would allow us to measure diversity beyond firm ownership.”
Heier said that consultants recognize the challenges that go with data collection and disclosure and intend to pursue a collaborative approach with managers. “Our philosophy is to ‘ask and listen,’” she said, “but by recognizing the need for better data on diversity all around, we’re off to a good start. We believe that diversity is multi-dimensional and that diverse investment teams – and viewpoints – enhance investment decision-making. We also believe that having more women and minorities in asset management roles improves the conversation, opens opportunities for all, and benefits the community at large.”
Also unveiled today was the new data questionnaire eVestment developed in order to gather the information on diversity that consultants and their clients are hoping to see. In addition to questions about race, ethnicity and gender, asset management firms will be asked the following:
- Does your firm have policies that are intended to increase the level of gender and ethnic diversity of senior leadership and investment teams?
- Does your firm have a mentorship program available for women/minorities?
- Has your firm undertaken a gender or ethnic diversity pay gap study?
The questionnaire will help managers articulate what their firms are doing to nurture a diverse talent pool.
For more information on the Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative visit iidcoop.org.