Starting this month, Meketa Investment Group will require all the asset managers it evaluates to answer a series of questions on diversity and inclusion, focusing on measurement and reporting of staff diversity as well as policies for inclusion and retention.
The new questionnaire, which managers will be asked to complete annually, was designed to help Meketa “more thoroughly evaluate and rate asset managers’ efforts to ensure diversity and inclusion within their organization,” the consulting and outsourced-chief investment officer firm said in a statement Tuesday.
“For many years, Meketa has been a market leader in evaluating and recommending diverse managers for a wide variety of institutional asset owners,” Meketa co-chief executive officer Stephen McCourt said in the statement. “While we are proud of these efforts and believe they continue to move the broader institutional investment industry toward equality, we also believe they are not enough. Therefore, we are implementing this new questionnaire and rating system to more fully encourage diversity and inclusion in all its forms, which we believe strengthens organizations and outcomes for clients.”
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Meketa’s decision to provide more rigorous diversity and inclusion research is the latest in a series of diversity initiatives launched by major investment consultants in the last couple of years. In late 2019, Boston-based consulting firm NEPC introduced a new diverse manager policy focused on recommending more diverse managers to clients, including increasing the representation of diverse managers to 10 percent of its placement list by the end of 2021. The year before, Wilshire implemented a series of changes including a requirement that consultants include at least one woman- or minority-owned firm in every manager search conducted for public securities mandates.
Most recently, consulting and OCIO firm Verus partnered with asset management data firm eVestment to question managers on team and firm-wide diversity statistics, as well as their policies for supporting diversity and inclusion.
“Many in the investment management industry have been positive actors in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within their organizations,” Meketa co-CEO Peter Woolley said in a statement. “We believe it is time to encourage many more to join in advancing our industry toward a more equitable future for all.”
Meketa said its new questionnaire is designed to evaluate managers on three areas of diversity and inclusion: transparency and reporting, policies and initiatives, and outcomes. The consultant will consider diversity efforts such as the annual reporting of staff demographics, commitment to pay equity standards, and establishment of inclusive recruiting practices.