Diversity is Good for Business
“Using diverse investment firms is not only about creating growth and opportunity in our communities, but it’s integral to increasing our investment returns.”
-Treasurer Michael Frerichs
The Treasurer’s Office believes that our government should mirror the diversity in our state. And beyond that, diversity is good for business. Research demonstrates that diverse-owned companies are often well-situated to ascertain capital inefficiencies in the market, and as such, many are primed to outperform their peers. That’s why we’re focused on providing more opportunities to qualified Minority, Women, Veteran, and Disabled-owned (MWVD) firms.
- MWVD Broker/Dealers – Since 2015, the Treasurer's Office increased utilization of diverse broker/dealers from 1% to 88%. In FY 2014, total assets brokered with MWVD firms was $603 million. In FY 2019, total assets brokered with MWVD firms was $35 billion. That’s 58 times more utilization. Track these results on The Vault.
- RFP Process – All RFPs now provide points in the scoring process to MWVD applicants.
- Preference for MWVD Investment Firms – Policies and procedures establish uniform operating processes across investment divisions for the allowance of preference to qualified MWVD-owned broker/dealers, asset managers, and other service providers.
- Garcia Rule: Mandatory inclusion of MWVD Firms in Investment Searches – Require that for every search for an external investment manager, our consultants must include at least one diverse-owned manager.
- 360-Degree Review of Business Partners – All firms seeking to business with the Treasurer’s Office must disclose howtheir firm promotes diversity and equal opportunity. This includes a 360-degree assessment of diversity among its board, executive leadership,workforce, supplier network, and volunteerism.
- Corporate and Mutual Fund Board Diversity – Treasurer’s Office advocates for racial and gender diversity on corporate and mutual fund boards, which is a critical dimension of effective board performance.
- Diversity & Inclusion Disclosures – All firms seeking to business with the office must disclose how their firms promote diversity and equal opportunity.
- Enforcing Community Investment Standards – Treasurer’s Office reviews a financial institution’s record of commitment to its community when deciding whether to do business with that firm. Institutions with a rating below “satisfactory” are now ineligible.
- MWVD Business Liaison – Staff are specifically deployed to assist MWVD firms in doing business with the Treasurer’s Office. Contact MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov.
- Diversity Survey – The Treasurer’s Office conducts an annual survey wherein business partners are required to disclose information on diversity among their ranks as well as details on how their organization promotes diversity and inclusion.
Investment Services Sought
The Treasurer’s Office seeks a wide variety of financial services and products from MWVD firms, including, but not limited to:
Investment Management Services
||Cash & Cash Equivalents
|Custody and Safekeeping
|Cash and Check Processing
||Credit and Debit Card Processing
Other Investment Services
As set forth in Section 30 of the State Treasurer Act, 15 ILCS 505/30, it is an aspirational goal of the Illinois State Treasurer to use businesses owned by or under the control of qualified veterans of the armed forces of the United States, qualified service-disabled veterans, minority persons, women, or persons with a disability (“MWVD Persons”) for not less than 25% of the total dollar amount of funds under management, purchases of investment securities, and other contracts. Preference is accorded to qualified businesses that demonstrate or attest that (1) greater than 50% of the ownership interest of the firm is held by MWVD Persons, OR (2) greater than 75% of the firm’s senior managers are MWVD Persons.
As used herein, the following definitions apply: (i) “minority person” means a person who is any of the following: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; (ii) “woman” means a person who is of the female gender; (iii) “veteran” means a person who (1) has been a member of the armed forces of the United States or, while a citizen of the United States, was a member of the armed forces of allies of the United States in time of hostilities with a foreign country and (2) served under one or more of the following conditions: (a) served a total of at least six months, (b) served for the duration of hostilities regardless of the length of the engagement; (c) was discharged on the basis of hardship; or (d) was released from active duty because of a service connected disability and was discharged under honorable conditions; (iv) “person with a disability” means a person with a severe physical or mental disability that: (1) results from: amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, an intellectual disability, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, including stroke and epilepsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis, specific learning disabilities, or end stage renal failure disease; and (2) substantially limits one or more of person’s major life activities. Another disability or combination of disabilities may also be a disability if it is determined to cause a comparable degree of substantial functional limitations similar to the foregoing list of disabilities.
For non-investment related opportunities, including RFPs, RFIs, invitations to bid, and other related areas, please visit our Procurement Opportunities page.
Contact the Treasurer’s Investment Team
MWVD firms should contact MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov to provide an overview of their business capabilities and discuss available investment opportunities. MWVD firms should also download and submit both the Diversity Profile Form and Capabilities Questionnaire, which provides the Treasurer’s Office with a resource to be proactive in identifying business opportunities with MWVD investment firms. Submit completed questionnaires to MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov