The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) discussion has become increasingly important and not a check the box exercise for alternative asset managers and the financial services industry as a whole. Institutional investors want and need more diversity in their manager ranks when speaking to their underlying stakeholders but are unsure as to where to begin and what they can do next. Additionally, asset managers must foster a culture that is in tune to ensure all talent, across ethnicities, gender and experiences, is poised to contribute and thrive, allowing them to operate at a competitive advantage, improve investment performance and manage risk in an evolving workplace. Yet, like their underlying investors, many asset managers do not know where to begin in sourcing diverse talent, creating an inclusive culture and executing a thoughtful and measurable DEI program for the long term. As aptly pointed out by the Toigo Foundation “If you invest in recruiting diverse talent, but not growing and retaining that talent into leaders, your investments—measured in time, energy, resources—will never be fully realized. Your competitive difference among all stakeholders will erode.”
Come join us in this insightful conversation as three prominent DEI thought leaders share their best practices, lessons learned and tactical insights on how asset managers and investors can foster a culture of inclusion, creatively focus on diverse talent and sourcing, and build a winning organization and investment strategy.
Participants must register by NOON on May 23rd to receive details on joining the discussion. The Zoom link will be sent out 24 hours before the event.
Please note that no refunds will be issued.
Managing Director, Private Equity Investments, GCM Grosvenor
Mr. Howard is co-head of the firm’s private equity diverse manager practice and also serves on the ESG Committee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. He focuses on client portfolio management and private equity fund investments and co-investments. Prior to joining GCM Grosvenor, Mr. Howard was an Associate in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Howard was also a Manager of Deal Analysis at Walt Disney Pictures and Television and a consultant for Turner Broadcasting. He began his career in the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Howard graduated with high honors from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University with his Bachelor of Business Administration. Mr. Howard currently serves as a member of the board of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and he recently completed a nine-year term on The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board.
CEO, Girls Who Invest
Katherine Jollon Colsher is the CEO of Girls Who Invest, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing gender diversity and inclusion in investment management with a focus on growing the pipeline of women in frontline investing positions.
Before joining Girls Who Invest, Katherine was a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and the National Director of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, the firm’s largest-ever philanthropic initiative to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity by providing access to education, capital, and business support services. Prior, Katherine was the Director of Organizational Development and Effectiveness at ONE, an advocacy organization co-founded by Bono and other activists to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, and a Manager in the government practice at Accenture. She currently serves on the board of the Center for American Entrepreneurship.
Katherine earned a BA in English, magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Richmond. She is also a graduate of the 2016 Presidential Leadership Scholars Program.
Director of Engagement, Toigo Foundation
Nerissa Johnson joined Toigo in 2003; she currently serves as Director of Engagement. A member of the Foundation’s management team, Nerissa is focused on connecting future and current supporters to the Toigo programs, services, and events that will transform their organization and highlight their commitment to inclusion. Before joining Toigo, Nerissa worked as an administrator in the special education sector. Prior to that, she was the Development and Marketing Coordinator at the UCLA Alumni Association and a property manager at Spieker Properties. Nerissa completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA.
Hemali Dassani (MBA ’99) is an experienced fundraiser and investor relations professional within the alternative investments space and is currently a placement agent and consultant to multiple Private Equity funds. Hemali was previously Director of Investor Relations for Argand Partners and Castle Harlan, middle market private equity funds. Hemali was also a Managing Director with Old City Investment Partners, a multi-family office dedicated to finding high quality investments for the firm’s clientele of family office investors. Ms. Dassani has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University. She was President of the Harvard Business School Club of Greater New York and currently sits on the Board of the Club and Chair’s its racial equity task force. Previously she sat on the Board of Governors for the Harvard Business School Real Estate Alumni Association and the Steering Committee for the Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association.
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