Princo embraces diversity and inclusion as a fundamental part of our mission and one of our top priorities. Among many reasons for doing so, academic studies and Princo’s own experience show that diverse teams have an advantage in solving complex problems like those common in investing. As a result, Princo is committed to being part of the solution to improving diversity within its own organization and its roster of external managers, as well as in the investment industry more broadly.
At Princo, we strive to create a welcoming environment that is comfortable for and inclusive of people of all backgrounds and identities. We seek diversity within our team across numerous dimensions, including gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Importantly, we are also highly focused on improving diversity within our manager roster, which we view as essential to producing the best possible investment performance in support of the University. For details about our efforts in this area, we encourage you to read this letter, written in response to inquiries from U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II and U.S. Representative Joseph P. Kennedy, III. This article, published by Bloomberg in 2019, provides further context on our approach.
Princo was an early participant in the 2022 report by the Knight Foundation on the diversity of asset managers for large public and private university endowments. The report noted, among other data, that 26.8% of the Princeton Endowment’s U.S.-based assets are managed by diverse-owned* firms, which compares favorably to the 15.4% average of the other eleven schools that fully reported data. The report also made a special note that 100% of the U.S.-based investment firms with which Princo initiated relationships in the 2021 fiscal year were diverse-owned. For context, Knight Foundation data on the overall U.S. asset management industry indicates that diverse-owned firms manage only 1.4% of assets from all investor categories.
As part of our efforts to improve diversity within the investing ecosystem, Princo has created a program called Princo Office Hours (formerly known as Mentor Moments). Office Hours provides selected applicants, who may find more information here, with one-hour discussion sessions with Princo’s senior leadership. In connecting through this format, we obviously hope to offer up helpful guidance, but as importantly, we seek to learn from different perspectives about our industry’s impediments to recruitment and retention of investors from underrepresented backgrounds.
*The Knight Foundation defines “diverse-owned” as 50% or more of a firm’s ownership held by women and/or people belonging to racial and ethnic minority groups.