Illumen Capital is a Black-owned and led fund manager dedicated to achieving racial and gender equity across investing.
We believe an inclusive and optimal asset management industry will be the cornerstone of an equitable future.
Simply put, our research suggested that asset allocators have a systematic preference for high-performing White-led funds when compared to high-performing Black-led funds. Surprisingly, this bias increased at higher levels of performance for Black-led funds, who were rated more harshly on criteria such as skills, competence and social fit.
Given these findings, investors may be completely missing out – unknowingly – on many high-quality investment opportunities.
Not only is racial and gender bias in investing inequitable, we have conviction bias can serve as a drag on financial performance.
We are thesis-driven investors.
We have a basic thesis: racial and gender disparities in asset management are not only inequitable, but can lead to suboptimal performance.
We believe by reducing racial and gender bias in how investments are allocated, we can help drive capital to founders and entrepreneurs long overlooked and underestimated – and unlock stronger financial performance.
9.5x venture benchmarks for inclusion of women partners
(Women in VC: The Untapped Potential for Women-led Funds, 2020, Financial Alliance for Women)
7x venture benchmarks for inclusion of underrepresented women of color
(VC Human Capital Survey, 2022, NVCA)
100% of Illumen Capital portfolio managers are led by people of color and/or women partners
(Illumen Capital data as of 12/31/2022)
Our differentiated strategy combines investment capital with evidence-based tools to help our fund managers actively reduce racial and gender bias.
We invest in venture, growth, and private equity funds, and then work closely with fund managers to install a set of strategies and tools designed to reduce racial and gender bias in the hiring, investment, and company support processes.
CLIMATE & SUSTAINABILITY
This research-informed bias reduction program – supported by a strategic relationship with Stanford SPARQ – empowers fund managers to expand their investable landscape and better support entrepreneurs who have historically been overlooked and underestimated.
2022 Annual Impact Report Executive Summary
We are returns-focused investors.
We at Illumen Capital are big believers in the “diversity dividend” – the growing body of evidence that suggests diverse teams outperform homogenous teams.
Illumen Capital is an institutional investor seeking to back high-performing managers with the potential for top-decile and top-quartile performance. By working closely with every manager in our portfolio to reduce racial and gender bias, we strive to help our managers unlock stronger returns.
Return on investment is up to 7 percent higher for firms that reduce the effect of bias in their decision-making processes.
Companies with more racial diversity experienced a 33 percent increase in likelihood of out-performance on operating margin.
Delivering Through Diversity McKinsey & Company (2018)