Cleaver, Kennedy Demand Diversity Among University Endowment Asset Managers

Jul 10, 2020
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – United States Representatives Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) and Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) today raised concerns about the lack of diversity among asset managers of university endowments. In a letter to the twenty-five universities with the largest endowments, Cleaver and Kennedy demanded answers about their equal opportunity practices and firm selection processes.

Citing a study showing that firms owned by women and minorities manage just 1.3 percent of the assets in the $69 trillion asset management industry, the lawmakers pushed the universities to prioritize women and minority-owned asset management firms.

“Colleges and universities have long advertised themselves as bastions of inclusion, while most have failed to invest a single cent of their enormous endowments with asset management firms that reflect the same diversity of their campuses,” said Congressman Cleaver. “We believe these twenty-five institutions have an opportunity to be leaders in changing the culture of this $69 trillion industry. As our nation seeks to dismantle systems of injustice, the time has come for them to really put their money where their mouth is.”

“Universities that tout diversity among their student body should prioritize investing their massive endowments with diverse asset manager firms,” said Congressman Kennedy. “Entrusting minority and women-owned firms with tens of millions of dollars isn’t just about empowering and elevating those firms, it’s about hiring firms with a proven record of success. These twenty-five universities hold more than $200 billion in endowments and can change the face of asset management if they choose to do so.”

The letter was sent to the following universities: Harvard University, The University of Texas, Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Pennsylvania, The Texas A&M University, University of Michigan, University of California, University of Notre Dame, Northwestern University, Columbia University in the City of New York, Duke University, The University of Chicago, Washington University in St. Louis, Emory University, Cornell University, University of Virginia, Rice University, Johns Hopkins University, The Vanderbilt University, University of Southern California, Dartmouth College, and The Ohio State University.

You can read the official letter from the lawmakers here.


Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri's Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee; Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy; member of the Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress; member of the Committee on Homeland Security; and a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Matt Helfant at 202-590-0175 or A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.