HARTFORD, CONN (January 5, 2021) - Today, Adam M. Cloud, Treasurer of the City of Hartford and the Secretary of the Pension Commission issued the following statement:
“We are at a historic moment in the history of this nation,” said Hartford City Treasurer Adam M. Cloud. “The longstanding obstacles of discrimination and exclusion are well known within the financial services industry. For too long minority and women candidates have been excluded from the opportunity to participate, grow and thrive within the industry. We seek to end these inequities. The recent events that have occurred within our nation have exposed the systematic racism and social injustice in our society and have prompted many firms to commit themselves to improving and increasing the level of diversity within their organizations. These efforts, while notable, will not be meaningful without a comprehensive plan, meaningful action and a higher level of accountability. As such, the City of Hartford’s Municipal Employees’ Retirement Fund (“MERF”) is announcing its’ Diversity Report Card.”
The Diversity Report Card is a tool that the MERF will use to evaluate and monitor the commitment to an increased level of inclusion and diversity within the investment firms with whom we do business and those who seek to do business with us. The Diversity Report Card will grade the level of attainment of each firm’s commitment to diversity on a scale from A through F. Firms that receive an underperforming grade will be evaluated as to whether they will continue to manage assets on our behalf. Additionally, any firm seeking to do business with the MERF will be evaluated prior to being given any allocation.
“As part of the evaluation process we will be requesting that all firms provide the MERF with their firm’s Consolidated EEO-1 Report summarizing the race, ethnicity and gender of the firm’s employees,” said Hartford City Treasurer Adam M. Cloud. “In conjunction with the disclosure of the EEO-1 report we will also require a written statement describing the firm’s position on the following five parameters”:
- Overall Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
- Diversity Recruitment
- Diverse Employee Development
- Retention of Diverse Employees
- Accountability for Diversity by Top Management
As an allocator of capital and a fiduciary of the assets of the employees and retirees of the City of Hartford, it is imperative that the MERF conduct business with firms that are committed to the principles of inclusion and diversity. Without disclosure of the EEO-1 and a level of accountability in place investors, employees and the public are unable to monitor, assess and benchmark a firm’s performance with regards to hiring, retaining and promotion of Black, Latinx and other minorities and women within the financial services industry.