Investment Manager Diversity:
The Hardest Taboo to Break

A View from the Inside 

"...diversity is far more likely to enhance rather than detract from the talent and measurable success of an investment management firm..."


For the past 3 years as part of our SMART Investing initiative, we have used ABFE's advocacy platform to encourage greater diversity, equity and inclusion in the identification and selection of asset managers to manage foundation endowments. We are gratified that Dr. Emmett Carson, President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and former ABFE Board Chair, invited ABFE to distribute an insightful and candid account of his own experience with creating greater diversity among investment managers for the foundation.


This case study examines how one community foundation - Silicon Valley Community Foundation with assets under management of $4.7 billion - approached the issue of increasing investment manager diversity with its investment advisor - Colonial Consulting, which advises $30 billion of capital. These first-person accounts from the community foundation's CEO and the investment advisor provide candid assessments of how they addressed the issue of increasing investment manager diversity. The hope is that by sharing these observations other foundations and their investment advisors will find the courage to discuss and address the issue of investment manager diversity, The Hardest Taboo to Break.


We thank Dr. Emmett Carson and Michael Miller for sharing their experience.




Get Connected

For Managers:
  • List your firm in ABFE's Directory of Minority- and Women-Owned Investment Manager Firms. Click here to complete the online form.

For Foundations:

  • Use ABFE's Directory of Minority- and Women-Owned Investment Manager Firms to find prospective managers across all asset classes to share with your finance/investment staff, investment advisor, or investment committee for further research. Available in March!

For more information about ABFE's SMART Investing initiative or the Directory, please contact Erika Davies, Director of External Affairs, at or 443.765.4008.