Knight Diversity of Asset Managers Research Series: Philantropy

Posted by Knight Foundation on October 26, 2021

The Knight Foundation has released the latest in a series of studies that examine the diversity – or lack thereof – of U.S. asset managers handling endowments of the country’s top 55 charitable foundations. The study, 2021 Knight Diversity of Asset Managers (KDAM) Research Series: Philanthropy shows modest progress and a huge opportunity for philanthropy to do better.

The study was completed in partnership with Global Economics Group. It updates our previous efforts and reports that:

  • 30 of the nation’s 55 top charitable foundations invest a total of $11.07 billion (16.6% or $1 out of every $6) of their U.S.-based financial assets with diverse-owned firms. We are unable to determine the manager mix of the other 25 foundations because they declined to disclose their data.
  • Five new foundations participated in this year’s study.
  • Foundations that participated in both studies demonstrated a gradually increasing assets with diverse-owned firms, increasing their investments by 1 percentage point, or $1.37 billion in additional assets.

In a full-page Washington Post ad, we congratulated the transparency and achievement of the foundations that did participate, honoring them as the Circle of Transparency.  We believe greater transparency is key to charting a more equitable approach to investment manager selection and hope to see the Circle grow larger next year. We’re committed to continue studying the diversity of managers of philanthropic endowments and asset management as an industry.

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