CAIA Association Announces Creation of Independent Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Appointment of New Head of DEI, Scholarship Program to Reach Students From Underserved Communities

Global leader in alternative investment education focusing on metrics and measurement, allowing for greater depth of data in the diversity and inclusion landscape across the alts universe

AMHERST, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Despite more attention being given to the need for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in the financial services sector, and especially in the private markets, progress continues to be slow. With this in mind, the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, the professional body for the global alternative investment industry, today made a number of announcements that highlight the organization’s firm commitment to greater progress in these areas throughout the international community of investors, allocators, and service providers.

To spearhead these efforts, CAIA has formed an independent Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Advisory Council, with a direct reporting line to Deborah McLean, Managing Director Global Relations for CAIA and a member of the Executive Committee. As a natural extension of Ms. McLean’s industry-facing role, she has been named CAIA’s Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion (DEI).

Members of the new DEI Council include:

  • Brigette Lumpkins, CAIA, Council Chair and Director, Business Development at EisnerAmper;
  • Isela Rosales, CAIA, Managing Director in the Capital Markets Group at Bridge Investment Group and Chapter Head of CAIA San Francisco;
  • Natalie Jenkins Sorrell, Deputy Chief Investment Officer Employees’ Retirement Fund (ERF) of the City of Dallas; and
  • York Lo, CAIA, Head of Alternative Product and LLCs, John Hancock Investment Management.

“I am honored to be part of CAIA’s efforts to address disparities in access and representation in alternative investments,” said Ms. Lumpkins. “I’m encouraged by the early steps we’ve taken and am confident we can play a role in attracting and retaining a more diverse talent pool in this industry.”

“So many events from the past year have highlighted what has been happening in society and the workplace for far too long. The tragic death of George Floyd and the outpouring of grief and anger that were unleashed across the country, affected us all and is emblematic of the prejudice that people of color have known and had to navigate mostly on their own,” said William J. Kelly, CEO of the CAIA Association. “Complacency and episodic outrage are no longer acceptable stands to take, and we needed to bring more voices to our own table. Brigette, Isela, Natalie and York have already proven invaluable in our efforts as we seek to better understand how CAIA can make the greatest impact and leverage our organization’s unique strengths to bring about meaningful and sustainable change.”

”Despite years of research demonstrating that diversity of people, backgrounds, and ideas create better performance, the financial service sector, their board rooms, and especially those in the private markets, remain largely white and male,” said Ms. McLean. “CAIA is uniquely positioned to influence change, and I could not be more honored and excited to step into this position and to work with the DEI Council, our allocator community, large asset managers, Members, Chapters, and industry partners to leverage CAIA’s voice and help accelerate progress.”

As one of the first steps in this 2021 DEI push, CAIA updated its annual membership survey to include questions designed to better capture the diversity of its own membership. Initial data found just 5% of survey respondents identify as Black, while just 6% identify as Hispanic or Latino, and only 12% of respondents identify as female.

“Insights such as these start to paint a picture of where we are and the systemic challenges within the alternative investment universe we need to understand and be willing to face as an industry,” she added.

Summer Scholarships for CAIA’s “Fundamentals” Program

CAIA Association is also today unveiling a strategic partnership with Wall Street Bound, Inc., an innovative nonprofit organization that seeks to address the lack of diversity in finance by increasing participation in capital markets among underrepresented college students through hands-on experiential learning opportunities.

The Association will be providing Wall Street Bound with scholarships to its Fundamentals of Alternative Investments program, a 20-hour online course designed to help participants develop the foundational knowledge needed to understand the alts landscape.

“Supporting finance education, training and mentoring organizations like Wall Street Bound is fundamental if the industry is going to get serious about cultivating a pipeline of the next generation of Wall Street professionals and leaders,” said Troy Prince, a former institutional equity trader, Founder of Wall Street Bound and a CAIA Member. “Simply put, leveling the playing field begins with exposure. With the help of our university, high school, community organization, corporate, and education partners like CAIA and Kaplan Education, Wall Street Bound will train more than 200 diverse, college and high school students from across the United States in 2021 alone. We are very grateful to CAIA for their partnership and dedication to the mission of DE&I in finance.”

About the CAIA Association

CAIA Association is a global professional credentialing body dedicated to creating greater alignment, transparency, and knowledge for all investors, with a specific emphasis on alternative investments. A Member-driven organization representing more than 11,000 professionals in more than 100 countries, CAIA Association advocates for the highest ethical standards. The organization provides unbiased insight on a broad range of investment strategies and industry issues, key among them being efforts to bring greater diversification to portfolio construction decisions to achieve better long-term investor outcomes. To learn more about the CAIA Association and how to become part of the organization’s mission, please visit

About Wall Street Bound

Wall Street Bound’s goal is to recruit and train 10,000 underrepresented youth for careers in finance by 2030. Our mission is to provide urban young adults with the skills, experience, and social capital that empower them to reach their full potential through “front office” financial service careers. Wall Street Bound trains urban youth ages 16-24 in finance technical skills and the all important corporate professional skills. By cultivating the next generation of finance professionals, we hope to grow the number of people of color in finance and give underrepresented youth a chance to become future leaders on Wall Street and masters of their own financial worlds. For more information, please visit


Chris Sullivan
MacMillan Communications
(212) 473-4442

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