Oct 29, 2020 Press Release

Robin Hood's 8th Annual Investors Conference Sows Seeds to Diversify Asset Management

Robin Hood, New York City’s largest poverty-fighting organization is charting a path towards inclusion and racial justice this week at its annual Investors Conference on October 27 and 28, 2020, presented this year as a virtual forum. Among the conference’s 1,500 attendees are 66 students from historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs.

“The number of people of color, particularly Black people, in leadership roles within the world of high finance is still relatively small and shockingly disproportionate. There aren’t a lot of people on Wall Street or in the high echelons of corporate America who look like me,” said Wes Moore CEO of Robin Hood. “I wanted to identify a concrete way to help expose each of these remarkable HBCU students to a virtual, closed-door conference experience with 65 speakers representing over $5 trillion in asset management. I hope their participation alongside of industry titans who represent the best and brightest among hedge fund managers, tech innovators, finance leaders, real estate investors, and influential policy experts who are defining the landscape for global investing, inspire each of these students to both one day manage their own portfolio, but also know that they belong in these rooms. The industry, our nation’s economy, and local communities of color need their skill, passion, and drive.”

According to a 2019 Knight Foundation analysis that includes hedge funds, mutual funds, real estate funds and private equity funds, firms owned by white men manage 98.7% of the $69 trillion managed by the U.S. asset management industry.

“This conference is a tremendous opportunity for our students to experience, first-hand, the dynamics of discussions among industry executives in finance and asset management who direct many of the resources that shape the future of communities around the world,” said Aminta H. Breaux, president of Bowie State University. “I commend Robin Hood for opening it up to HBCU students, enabling students to begin to visualize themselves in these roles one day.”

Through a generous gift from D.E. Shaw & Co, students attending this year’s conference represented Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland, Clarke-Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, Coppin State University in Baltimore, Maryland, Howard University in Washington, D.C., Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida, and Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia.

“At the outset, I appreciate the generosity of D.E. Shaw & Co., as well as the Robin Hood organization. This conference provided a powerful opportunity for our students to be exposed to industry leaders who are shaping our nation. The experiential learning moment allows our students to better understand the significance of the role they must play in changing the world.” said Coppin State University President Anthony L. Jenkins.

Student participation in the conference is rare. This is the first year HBCUs have participated. There are 101 HBCUs in the United States, accounting for only 3% of the country’s colleges and universities, yet they enroll 10% of the nation’s Black college students and their graduates represent about 20% of all Black graduates nationally each year.

Robin Hood’s Investors Conference is one of New York City’s premier industry events for hedge fund and asset managers and venture capitalists. It is the only conference of its kind where 100% of its proceeds goes to fight against poverty.

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About Robin Hood

Founded in 1988, Robin Hood finds, fuels, and creates the most impactful and scalable solutions lifting families out of poverty in New York City, with models that can work across the country. This year, Robin Hood will invest nearly $200 million to provide COVID relief, legal services, housing, meals, workforce development training, education programs, and more to families in poverty in New York City. Robin Hood tracks every program with rigorous metrics, and since Robin Hood’s Board of Directors covers all overhead, 100 percent of every donation goes directly to the poverty fight. Learn more at www.robinhood.org.