Civil rights leader the Rev. Al Sharpton last month asked Harvard University to disclose whether it has any Black asset managers on its $40.9 billion endowment fund, reported the university’s newspaper The Harvard Crimson.
In a letter to Harvard president Dr. Lawrence S. Bacow, Sharpton asked the university to issue a report disclosing these details as well as information about any African-Americans in direct management or senior leadership positions at external management firms the institution may work with.
“While the systematic exclusion of people of color and women from the management of endowment assets has been a question of social justice over time, today it is for me a question of fiduciary responsibility,” Sharpton said in his letter. “Study after study shows very high performing women and people of color, yet those same studies show under-utilization by asset allocators.”
Harvard Management Company (HMC) spokesperson Patrick S. McKiernan said in an emailed statement to the Crimson that the firm is proud of the diversity in its team.
“When considering the diversity of an external manager, we do not limit our view merely to the leadership level, but also try to consider their entire team,” McKiernan said.