Why diverse asset managers matter to investors

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[Sabrina Bowens-Richard] You likely have considered your portfolio's diversification in terms of asset class exposures and investment strategy. But have you thought about the diversity of the people who manage those assets?

At Truist, we are committed to bringing more diversely owned and led investment solutions to our clients, with portfolios led by women, racially and ethnically diverse individuals, those identifying as LGBTQ+, the uniquely abled and veterans. We're enabling you, our clients, to have access to investments that support your values and beliefs, and at the same time, the communities we serve.

A typical portfolio may include 6 to 12 asset managers, each delivering a specific investment strategy, such as the US large-caps or core bonds to help diversify the portfolio. But asset managers led by diverse individuals like women and people of color are largely underrepresented in portfolios and control only a fraction of US investments, despite performing as well as or better than less diverse managers, according to surveys by the Knight Foundation and others.

The Knight Foundation cites that just 1.4% of assets in an 80-plus trillion-dollar industry are managed by women and people of color, for example. And the needle hasn't moved much over the past decade.

Data is still evolving, but we see that teams with people who have different backgrounds and differentiated viewpoints and networks or who approach problems from a unique lens have the potential to provide favorable outcomes in investment decision-making. So investors can really miss out on an opportunity to access this pool of untapped diverse talent, bringing innovative solutions, and oftentimes, differentiated strategies largely due to inherent biases.

We have provided access to diverse asset managers at Truist for more than a decade. But as investment fiduciaries, we believe it is necessary to be fully intentional about widening the opportunity set to ensure that we are considering strategies that meet our standards of diversity. That means teams that are led by women, racially and ethnically diverse individuals, those identifying as LGBTQ+, the uniquely abled, and veterans.

Our investment scope includes firms that are at least substantially-owned or strategy-led by all of these individuals across the global investment landscape, including equities, fixed income, alternatives and private investments.

Today, we have a dedicated practice within our investment advisory group that gives our clients access to a broader opportunity set of investment choices that may reflect their own values and beliefs. At the same time, we at Truist believe we're a reflection of the communities in which we live and work, and our investment solutions should reflect those communities we serve. We have more than 80 differentiated solutions that are classified as diverse that are at least 25% owned or strategy managed by those who meet our definition of diversity that I've already discussed. Those investment solutions span 30 different asset classes, enabling our clients to consider these investments from a total portfolio standpoint.

As our team expands, we are further enhancing our capabilities through more investment opportunities, content creation and education and fostering industry partnerships as a leader in the national dialogue around promoting, supporting and engaging diverse asset managers.

We realize this work is a journey, with our willingness to invest in this work and through the support of our board and executive leaders, we remain focused on creating economic opportunity for diverse communities, while also bringing purpose to our clients' portfolios. Our investment team stand ready to partner with you and your advisor on this exciting journey. So we invite you to explore with your advisor how you can further reflect your values within your portfolio.

Sabrina Bowens-Richard

Senior Investment Solutions Specialist of Diverse Asset Managers
Truist Advisory Services

Diverse asset managers are underrepresented, but they’re not underperforming. See how they can help your investments reflect your community and interests.

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