WKKF has used its assets to invest in firms and strategies where people of color and women have significant decision-making power. More than 26% of the U.S. based assets in the WKKF Trust's diversified portfolio ($4.4 billion in the full portfolio as of Sept. 2021) are invested with majority diverse-owned firms in the U.S.
For WKKF, an investment firm is “diverse” when at least 20% of the firm is owned by people of color (Black, Latinx, Asian or Native American) or women. If your firm meets this requirement, and you are interested in sharing more about your firm, you are welcome to submit the requested information by clicking on the survey link.
“This moment calls for a different type of leadership. That means investing in diverse managers. True to the foundation’s DNA, we continue to use our expertise and influence to advance racial equity, diversity and inclusion in the investments industry.”
– Carlos Rangel, vice president and chief investment officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
- Systemic underrepresentation. There is a systemic under-representation of people of color and women in asset management in senior decision-making positions.
- Investment opportunity. We believe compelling returns are possible by investing in diverse managers due to the following:
- Diverse experiences. A commitment to investing in diverse managers can lead to differentiated views on existing opportunities and/or completely new opportunities.
- Untapped potential. A structural inefficiency in the investment industry exists for accessing untapped and/or underutilized talent. People of color and women account for more than two-thirds of the U.S. population, yet investment firms that are majority-owned by people of color and women represent approximately 1.4% of assets under management in the investment industry. 1 Lack of representation of people of color and women is most acute at the senior levels of the financial services industry. 2
- Changing narratives. By defying the stereotypes of who should be in senior decision-making investment roles, largely held by White men, we can create role models for children and greater opportunities in the investment industry for future generations.
WKKF’s assets are managed in two pools: a Trust and an internal WKKF endowment led by a majority racially and ethnically diverse investments team at the foundation. Both the Trust and the endowment have its own governance structure. The Trust, established by Mr. Kellogg in 1931 to solely fund WKKF, contains the majority of the assets that support the foundation. The Trust makes monetary distributions to WKKF, which uses these for grantmaking to advance WKKF’s mission.
As one of the largest private foundations in the U.S., we focus our racial equity, diversity and inclusion (REDI) work in four key areas:
- Grantmaking: Core to our mission, we provide grants and other resources to support long-term REDI efforts in the investment industry. Specifically, we have deployed more than $9 million in grant funding focused on this effort since 2017.
- Mission Driven Investment (MDI) Program: Our MDI program launched in 2007 as a private market double-bottom line investment pool aiming to reduce racial wealth inequality in the investment industry, through an investment practice that is closely aligned with the foundation’s mission of supporting vulnerable children. We have dedicated $100 million of our endowment to market-rate, mission-related investments (MRIs) and manage a portfolio of program-related investments (PRIs) where we can provide more flexible terms to optimize access to capital and drive impact. The MRI portfolio composition of women and managers of color is far outpacing the industry with 43% women in leadership and 36% managers of color (as of Dec. 2021). Since inception, the MDI program has committed more than $250 million in MRIs and PRIs.
- Diverse Managers Program: Since 2009, our Diverse Managers Program has focused on investing with diverse-owned and diverse-focused firms. We see this as a catalyst for increasing the pipeline of and investments in women and people of color across the industry. This is based on the belief that long-term growth of diverse managers starts with more women and people of color being promoted to senior decision-making roles.
- Expanding Equity Program: Launched in 2020, our Expanding Equity program equips companies and corporations from multiple industries with the tools and human-centered approaches they need to advance racial equity in their organizations. More than 60 companies have participated in the program across financial services & private equity, consumer goods, retail/restaurant and more.