J.P. Morgan Asset Management is launching a new initiative to provide capital to diverse emerging alternative managers, including minority- and women-owned venture capital and other private markets funds.
The new initiative, named Project Spark, will begin with a total of $25 million in investments in five or more such funds, spokesman Sam Wallman said in an email.
The initiative will be governed by an investment committee chaired by Jamie Kramer, managing director and head of the alternative solutions group at J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
"Despite increasing dialogue across the alternative investment industry on the need for more diverse managers, there is clearly still a long way to go, which is why we are committed to making a difference by providing capital to diverse emerging managers through Project Spark," Ms. Kramer said in the news release Monday announcing the initiative. "Through our investments in funds managed by women and diverse managers, we're not only providing a capital commitment, but also seeking to create a network between our newly established Project Spark investment committee and the diverse managers in which we invest."
According to the news release, JPMAM's first investment in a women-led venture capital fund has already closed. JPMAM did not disclose the name of the fund.
The other members of the Project Spark investment committee are Lisa Coleman, head of global investment-grade corporate credit; Megan McClellan, head of private credit; Brandon Robinson, chief financial officer, global alternatives; and Lee Spelman, head of U.S. equity.