Congressman Cleaver Calls on Federal Investment Firms to Hire More Minority- and Women-Owned Firms
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO), in support of fairness and inclusion, sent letters to several heads of major U.S. Federal Government Retirement boards urging them to interview at least one minority- or woman-owned firm when contracting for asset management opportunities. The letters can be found here.
“There’s a problem here. The government is missing out on lucrative investment opportunities simply by overlooking these particular groups,” said Congressman Cleaver.
A 2017 study, by the Knight Foundation, discovered that only 1.1% of the $71 trillion asset management industry are managed by women and minority owned firms. Congressman Cleaver urged federally administered retirement plans to adopt a mandate similar to the “Rooney Rule” which requires that at least one minority candidate be interviewed when screening for potential hires. The rule was developed by the National Football League in 2003 and is still in effect. Numerous corporations and organizations have since adopted this plan.
“Some public plan funds that take money from women and minority employees are sending funds to firms owned exclusively by white males. A federal- level Rooney Rule would direct federal investment firms to at least consider woman-and minority-owned firms, which they have been limited in doing in the past,” said Congressman Cleaver.
While a federal-level Rooney Rule would not dictate which firms will ultimately be hired, it will provide opportunities from a diverse pool and it will also help to reduce assumptions that minority- and women-owned firms are low-return investments. Studies show that diverse firms perform at or above industry norms.
“Whenever federal investment managers and appointed boards are looking for asset management, I want them to look at the minority owned firms that are just as qualified and capable of handling billion dollar assets,” said Congressman Cleaver.
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, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov.