There are some things that everybody knows. To paraphrase the late, great Leonard Cohen, everybody knows the fight is fixed, the poor stay poor, the rich get rich, and that’s just how it goes.
Now a new study helps show exactly how the nation’s wealth is concentrated in the hands of white men, and while everybody knows it, it’s still shocking. The new study, conducted by the Knight Foundation, Harvard Business School professor Josh Lerner, and Bella Private Markets, and first reported by Axios, ran the numbers on who has control of Wall Street. Firms owned by women and minorities manage just 1.3% of assets in the $69 trillion asset management industry, even though their performance is not statistically different from the industry as a whole. That includes firms that manage mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, and real estate funds.
The report, “Diversifying Investments: A Study of Ownership Diversity and Performance in the Asset Management Industry,” also found that female-owned hedge funds represent just 4.6% of all firms and manage 1.5% of total hedge fund assets under management (AUM). Minority-owned firms make up 8.9% of all firms and manage 2.7% of AUM.
Firms with substantial or majority women or minority ownership represented just 8.6% of the industry’s total number of firms in 2018. While that number is paltry, it’s actually up from 7.3% in 2016. If growth continues at this rate, it will only take approximately a bazillion years for women and minority firms to reach equity with white male peers. Anyway, start planning how to wrest control of the nation’s financial resources, or just go watch Wall Street again.