NYSIF, New York State’s largest workers’ compensation carrier, hosted its 12th Annual Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBE) Investment Symposium and strengthened its commitment to expanding opportunities for participation in all areas of its investment portfolio. At the event, held Tuesday, March 1, in New York City, NYSIF announced it far exceeded its established annual MWBE participation goal of 35% for State Fiscal Year 2020-2021, and will continue to recruit MWBE financial firms to further increase their participation in 2022 and beyond.
“NYSIF continues to be a leader in meeting and surpassing the goals of the state’s MWBE initiative,” said Kenneth Theobalds, Chairman of the NYSIF Board of Commissioners. “But we must reaffirm our commitment and strive to do even better so that our values of encouraging diversity and inclusion continue to reflect in the pursuit of our core mission, delivering superior financial returns and value to NYSIF’s customers.”
For State Fiscal Year 2020-21, NYSIF allocated nearly 44% of dollars paid to asset management firms and financial institutions to MWBE-certified firms. In all, 54% ($1.9 billion) of the $3.6 billion in NYSIF’s externally managed assets were under the management of MWBE firms, including 100% of NYSIF’s equities portfolio.
“NYSIF’s commitment to identifying opportunities for diverse MWBE firms is foundational to our strong support for New York businesses,” said Gaurav Vasisht, Executive Director and CEO, NYSIF. “As the state reemerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, NYSIF will redouble its efforts to utilize a variety of outreach programs in order to cultivate relationships with MWBE firms, boosting innovation and benefiting New York State employers.”
Now in its 12th year, NYSIF’s MWBE Investment Symposium is a forum to further spark statewide job growth and expand investment opportunities to a diverse group of financial firms. This year’s event was held in a hybrid format to accommodate both virtual and in-person attendees. It featured programs and panel discussions that addressed a wide range of topics, from informative conversations on increasing diversity in capital markets and the pros and cons of being a woman-owned firm, to transforming environmental, social and governance impact in the financial sector.
The MWBE Investment Symposium is one of several events that NYSIF participates in to attract MWBE vendors in all categories and helps to advance the organization’s commitment to hire MWBE asset managers to invest a portion of NYSIF funds.
NYSIF’s efforts in financial services participation are governed by Workers’ Compensation Law § 87-i, which establishes NYSIF’s MWBE Asset Management and Financial Institution Strategy. This strategy includes investing assets with MWBE asset managers, conducting trades of public equity securities with MWBE financial institutions, conducting trades of fixed-income securities through MWBE financial institutions and recruiting other MWBE financial services firms.