UNCF Host Asset Management Conference

Category: General


UNCF will host a virtual summit for college students of color interested in asset management from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. (ET) on Saturday, Nov. 6. The digital event is part of UNCF’s new Lighted Pathways Program, a pilot effort with a goal of increasing the number of African Americans in the asset management industry.

Keon Holmes, CFA, managing director, Cambridge Associates, co-chair for UNCF New England’s Leadership Council said, “African Americans make up less than 2 percent of all Asset Management roles in our country. We need to do better. We will never eliminate the wealth gap for African Americans unless we have more professionals in the industry that can positively impact their communities.”

Earlier this year, in partnership with the CFA Society of Boston and nearly 30 investment management firms in Massachusetts, UNCF launched its Lighted Pathways initiative to identify African American students interested in asset management as a career path and help provide them with insight into the industry by connecting them with prominent Black leaders in this sector.

The new Lighted Pathways Program began with a “Summer Series” of informational classes in July and August for students to learn more about the industry and the importance of asset management in everyday life. More than 500 students enrolled in the program with an incentive of receiving one of 37 $5,000 scholarships to be awarded or one of 30 paid internships with the additional coverage for travel and housing in Boston for the summer of 2022.

Kezia Williams, interim director, UNCF’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which is giving leadership to this initiative, said, “young people will be what they see. For that reason, it is imperative that they see professionals who look like them in a variety of industries including Asset Management. By elevating Black leaders in this industry, this program will light pathways for future wealth creators in this field and in their communities.”

The Nov. 6 virtual summit will include a keynote fireside chat, “Shining a Lighted Pathway for Others,” to be moderated by Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, president, Spelman College. Scheduled panelists for the fireside chat are Thasunda Brown Duckett, president and chief executive officer, TIAA, and Ryan Williams, co-founder and chief executive officer, Cadre.