Diversify Gets New Meaning at State Treasurer's Office
The state pension fund invested more than $2.8 billion with diverse managers last year, raising the total amount allocated through a program designed to further strengthen diversity and inclusivity in its own workforce and the larger investment industry to more than $9 billion.
MassPRIM announced last week that about 10 percent of the assets in its roughly $93 million Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) fund are now handled by diverse managers as part of its FUTURE Initiative. That ranks MassPRIM at seventh among the largest 200 funds in the United States for assets managed by diverse managers, which the agency said is "far above our rank in size."
"The FUTURE Initiative has taken important steps to address inequities while still ensuring a focus on maximizing returns. This is real and tangible progress that will reduce barriers and expand opportunities for diverse investment managers," Treasurer Deborah Goldberg said. Goldberg foreshadowed the announcement in her third inaugural speech last Wednesday, highlighting the initiative's progress to that point and adding, "we're just getting started, I know there's an announcement to come soon."
A provision tucked into a sprawling 2021 economic development law dictated that "it shall be the policy of the PRIM board to use minority investment managers to manage PRIT Fund assets, encompassing all asset classes, and to increase the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of PRIT Fund investments to the greatest extent feasible, consistent with sound investment policy."
The same economic development law also included annual reporting requirements to ensure compliance and established a goal for the PRIM board that "not less than 20 percent of investment managers be minorities, females and persons with disabilities." PRIM said that the state auditor's office found "no significant instances of noncompliance" when it looked into PRIM's progress in that area.
PRIM Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Michael Trotsky added that, "while these numbers are encouraging, we will continue to work tirelessly to find new, diverse-managers, who help us meet our rigorous equity goals as we advance our reputation for excellence." - Colin A. Young/SHNS | 1/23/23 11:37 AM