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DEI Thought Leader: Angela Outlaw-Matheny, Director of Investment Staff & Diverse Manager Equity, Crewcial Partners

Institutional Investor • 10 May 2023

Realizing Change

Institutional Investor’s DE&I Roundtable in Chicago has recognized 12 industry leaders for their commitment and leadership in forwarding diversity initiatives. Among those so honored was Crewcial Partners’ Director of Diverse Manager Equity, Angela Outlaw-Matheny. Below is the first part of our conversation with her.

Angela received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Baruch College and a Master of Public Administration & Public Affairs from the Metropolitan College of New York. Before joining the consultant, she held various roles across several companies, including the law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel. Her last role as Senior Training & Development Specialist started Angela on her current DEI journey.

She has been Director of Investment Staff & Diverse Manager Equity at Crewcial Partners since 2020. Since joining the firm in 2016, she has helped facilitate value alignment across processes, expanding and refining Crewcial’s sourcing efforts for diverse investment managers (defined as having greater than 50% equity ownership of their firms) across asset classes, geography, and gender.

Angela has also helped institute more equitable-friendly policies, such as eliminating the word “minority” in reference to diverse managers to build respect in the community and mitigate unconscious bias in the search for exceptional investment talent. At Crewcial, Angela has distinguished herself as a leader in diverse manager equity. She was appointed to her current position in January 2020.

Today, the firm manages over $30 billion for largely nonprofit organizations. As of the latest peak in 2021, clients had approximately $4.2 billion allocated to diverse managers. Although a public market decline has led to some fluctuation in this number over time, the work continues with no finish line in sight.

The following remarks have been edited for clarity.

What does diversity mean to you?

DEI is deeply embedded in everything I do as a person. It’s really about looking at the underserved, marginalized, and undervalued. My lens has always been colored by my East New York/Brooklyn upbringing. I spent much of my time wondering how to get into the mainstream to disrupt patterns of inequality and pull others up.

At Crewcial, we examine the full spectrum of investment talent. This extends to our high school and college internship program, which is predominantly focused on diverse individuals and women, and we invite these burgeoning professionals to attend manager meetings and conferences. We want them to realize, no matter their individual journey or focus, they can build careers in the finance industry, up to and including roles such as Chief Investment Officer, to lead the next generation. Ultimately, one day we will hopefully no longer need someone in my role because the playing field will have been finally leveled.

DEI also means the responsibility to act. A serious and long-standing problem is stagnation, in large part because discussions around inclusion are often uncomfortable. For both clients and fund managers, our goal at Crewcial is to demonstrate the outsized impact diverse talent can have, and we use our influence as LPs to encourage managers to look beyond the usual suspects and provide resources to help them source such talent.

We are honored to be counted among the thought leaders and major allocators for DEI investing. Among our broader initiatives, beyond generally helping DEI allocators accelerate their impact, is determining how to incubate innovative solutions for investing in marginalized communities to seed a future of abundance, whether that be purely financial or otherwise.

Manager selection

In our manager search or selection process, Crewcial has never had a need for a “Rooney Rule,” named after then-NFL committee chairman Dan Rooney, which requires a token woman or person of color under consideration as a candidate for each position. We have a deep and growing pipeline of managers across various asset classes; for some time now, since optimizing our process, our entire team has been free to pursue talent wherever it may lie.

Our journey began via a national “listening tour” to educate ourselves about industry-wide challenges. With these lessons, we then worked to build trust and foster engagement by partnering with various trade organizations, which has helped with initiating and situating introductions and meetings in a more comfortable context to create an actionable feedback loop. Finally, we restructured our team to reflect a more fully democratized manager sourcing/vetting and decision-making process; while we have subject matter experts, everyone is considered a generalist.

We encourage managers to be themselves rather than trying to fit into a bucket. Part of finding differentiated talent means finding differentiated experiences, which helps such managers think differently from the consensus. This includes having discussions with mangers to learn how they grew up, what attracted them to finance, key influences on their investment style, etc. This type of engagement also helps to disrupt the ingrained pattern recognition of many investors, which reinforces unconscious biases across the industry.

At the end of the day, we’re looking to allocate to best-in-class managers, be they niche or not traditionally classifiable. I’m particularly proud to work with a firm that continues to be bold and an early instigator while maintaining a high bar for the exceptional talent we know exists across the diverse manager marketplace.


For the full list of DEI Award winners, visit Allocator Intel here.

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