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Joyce Foundation Expands Racial Equity Investing

New initiative to seed next generation of investment managers

The Joyce Foundation is launching an initiative to help seed the next generation of investment managers by expanding its partnership with race and gender diverse financial management firms.

The Foundation has made it a strategic imperative to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion in its investment portfolio, currently representing roughly 15 percent of Joyce’s over $1 billion in assets.

The new investment initiative, representing $100 million within five years, will add another dimension to the Foundation’s inclusive approach by directing capital to early stage founders of race and gender diverse firms, which often face a pronounced funding gap.

Nationally, diverse firms have been significantly underrepresented in the field. They control a tiny fraction of assets under management in the multi-trillion-dollar industry, despite performing on par with the industry as a whole.

“Too often talented investment managers and strategists lack access to early-stage capital sources to help them achieve lift off, especially in the institutional investing space.” said Nickol R. Hackett, the Foundation’s Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer.

“We know that by activating this segment, we not only benefit from differentiated strategies for our portfolio, but we participate in the benefits of human capital development and economic reinvestment consistent with the Foundation’s mission of advancing economic mobility,” Hackett said.

Cambridge Associates, retained recently as the Foundation’s investment consultant, will assist in developing the initiative.


The Joyce Foundation is a private, nonpartisan philanthropy that invests in public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region. It supports policy research, development, and advocacy in arts and culture, democracy, education and economic mobility, the environment, and gun violence prevention and justice reform. Its grant making is focused in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The Foundation has budgeted 2020 charitable distributions of $52 million.