Veris Wealth Publishes New Report on Investing in DEIB
Veris Wealth Partners, an impact-investing wealth management firm, recently released its report on multi-asset-class investing in support of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB): “Investing in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging: 2023 Report from Veris Wealth Partners.” Veris also detailed an original DEIB framework the firm has developed and implemented for use in its selection of third-party asset managers—and has committed that newly selected managers will rank in one of the tool’s top tiers.
CEO Stephanie Cohn Rupp said, “Investors have a powerful opportunity to help close the wealth gaps in the United States and create a more equitable economy and society by investing in communities that have historically faced exclusion. Wealth management firms, meanwhile, can use DEIB factors in selecting asset-manager partner firms—thereby aligning their clients’ values not only with underlying investments but with the management firms themselves.”
The report is broken into two parts:
Part 1 – highlights specific investment themes—across a wide range of asset classes—that Veris has identified as DEIB aligned and investable. These are enabling capital to flow to solutions that Veris believes are addressing inequality and wealth creation in under-resourced communities. The report includes several case studies highlighting funds that are focused on communities of color in both the public and private markets.
For example, the report highlights wealth disparities between Black and White Americans and points to specific policies that inhibited equitable access to credit and home ownership. It then highlights three investable opportunities that are helping extend access to home ownership and affordable housing to minority borrowers.
Part 2 – shares Veris’ own multifaceted, intersectional approach to investing for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB)—including its tool for third-party manager selection.
The lead author of the report, Veris Partner and Managing Director of Research Roraj Pradhananga, said, “Our research shows that the financial services industry has played a significant role in perpetuating inequality and that diversifying who sits at the decision-making table will be critical to closing the wealth gaps and building a more equitable economy and society.”
The report details Veris’ Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Manager Identification Framework, which includes the categories “EDI Watchlist,” “EDI Aspirational,” “EDI Firm,” “EDI Investment Process,” and “EDI Manager.” The full report includes a graphical display showing how Veris sees these categories progressing and interrelating.
“As managers have worked through this process, we’re hearing from them ‘thank you for helping us improve,’” said Cohn Rupp. “Our investment approach takes into account diversity at all levels of an organization, implementation of EDI commitment as well as integration of equity, diversity, and inclusion in the investment process to help us identify investment strategies that are advancing systems level change. This is designed to prevent our EDI due diligence process from becoming a ‘check the box’ exercise.”
To read the full report, visit the Veris Wealth Partners website.
About Veris Wealth Partners
Founded in 2007, Veris Wealth Partners is an independent, majority woman-led firm that serves as investment consultants for endowments and foundations and as wealth managers for high-net-worth individuals and families. Veris aims to help their clients achieve their financial goals while aligning their portfolios with their values and mission.
With deep knowledge of the sustainable investing landscape and relevant financial, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues, Veris structures diversified portfolios that aim to drive positive change while bringing rigor and discipline to the investment process. The firm operates on the belief that investing in companies committed to sustainability and ESG principles can deliver competitive market performance while mitigating risk and that investors can have positive social and environmental impact across asset classes and strategies through ESG integrated investing, shareholder advocacy, and thematic impact investing.