The Government Accountability Office will be asked to look into why asset managers for federal retirement plans and endowments are not more diverse, Pensions & Investments has learned.
Several members of Congress are preparing to send a letter Friday to GAO Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, asking for a review of current practices and obstacles. “We remain deeply concerned that high-performing diverse firms have been virtually excluded from meaningfully participating as managers and brokers in federal plans,” House Financial Services Committee Ranking Member Maxine Waters, D-Calif.; Rep. Gregory Meeks, D-N.Y.; and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. said in the letter.
“While state, local and private-sector retirement plans and endowments have aggressively pursued diverse manager and broker-dealer programs, federal plans have inexplicably failed to do so,” the group said in the letter, which asks 16 questions regarding the selection process, outreach efforts and policies for tracking and reporting ownership of external managers and brokers.
The group is also asking for investment performance and selection criteria used for current federal money managers with repeat commitments, which they said is unclear.
In correspondence with senior investment officers from a number of federal plans, “their explanations for the lack of diversity and inclusion for external managers and brokers have been equally unclear,” they said.