Alts GPs lag public markets managers on DE&I in Maryland pension’s portfolio

Maryland SRPS's DE&I consultant finds the pension's credit and real assets fund managers are the the lowest-scoring for diversity.

Managers of alternatives strategies skew less diverse than managers of liquid strategies, if one pension fund’s portfolio is anything to go by. Private equity, credit, real estate and real assets managers scored lower marks for diversity than public equity and fixed income fund managers in Maryland State Retirement and Pension System’s portfolio, a DE&I consultant reported to the $63 billion pension system.

Lenox Park Solutions generates a score between 0 and 10 based on women and people of colour in ownership, leadership and the entire workforce for each fund manager. Lenox Park presented the results to Maryland SRPS’s investment board meeting last week. The mean score across Maryland SRPS’s entire portfolio was 1.82/10.

Maryland’s diverse and emerging manager programme for public equity had the highest mean score at 3.35/10, while the main public equity programme’s mean score was 2.31/10. The venture capital programme scored a mean of 2.95. Fixed income’s mean score was 1.89/10.

Maryland’s credit fund managers are the least diverse, with a mean score of 1.03/10. Real assets managers’ mean score was 1.27/10, real estate managers’ was 1.35/10 and private equity managers’ was 1.55/10.

There are greater disparities based on ethnicity than gender for senior leadership and total workforce roles among all of Maryland SRPS’s fund managers. 40 percent of fund managers’ total staff and 20 percent of leaders and managers are women, Lenox Park’s survey found, while 36 percent of total staff and 13 percent of leaders and managers are people of colour.

Lenox Park is used by some of the largest institutional investors into private funds. Other clients include California Public Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System of The State of Illinois, Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management, New York State Common Retirement Fund, State of Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, according to a 2022 press release from the firm. It bills itself as a software data company, having developed a platform to aggregate and benchmark investment firms’ DE&I data anonymously.