- September 2008: Vol. 20 No. 9

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Diversity Is Delightful: Performance Is Paramount The Investment Industry Aims to Achieve Both

by Rachel Speirs

Public pension funds at both the state and local levels are being encouraged — and sometimes required — to commit capital to women- and minority-owned firms. Those firms, while still few and far between, are proving that they, too, can offer significant upside.

In 2006, California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) asked industry professionals to share their views on diversity. The survey results seemed to qualify what many believed already — that the investment industry was predominantly male and predominantly white.

But over the past several years, a handful of minority and women-owned firms have made significant headway in the commercial real estate investment space and a cadre of up-and-coming firms are following in their wake.

“There seems to be growth in the marketplace,” says Ravi Deo, CIO of Altura Capital, a New York City-based

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