Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

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Diversity is Good for Business

“Using diverse investment firms is not only about creating growth and opportunity in our communities, but it’s integral to increasing our investment returns.”

-Treasurer Michael Frerichs

The Treasurer’s Office believes that our government should mirror the diversity in our state. And beyond that, diversity is good for business. Research demonstrates that diverse-owned companies are often well-situated to ascertain capital inefficiencies in the market, and as such, many are primed to outperform their peers. That’s why we’re focused on providing more opportunities to qualified Minority, Women, Veteran, and Disabled-owned (MWVD) firms.





  • MWVD Broker/Dealers – Since 2015, the Treasurer's Office increased utilization of diverse broker/dealers from 1% to 88%.  In FY 2014, total assets brokered with MWVD firms was $603 million.  In FY 2019, total assets brokered with MWVD firms was $45 billion.  That’s 75 times more utilization.  Track these results on The Vault.

Assets Brokered by MWVD Firms

  • MWVD Asset Managers – Increased from $18 million in December 2014 to $1.4 billion in December 2019.  That’s a 78-fold increase.  Track these results on The Vault.

Assets Managed by MWVD Firms 2019

  • Illinois Growth and Innovation Fund – Of the $337 million committed under ILGIF, $145 million has been committed to MWVD firms. That represents over 42%.  Also, 70 diverse-owned businesses have received support through ILGIF.
  • Board Diversity – As the leader of the Midwest Investors Diversity Initiative, we have engaged 54 companies, 40 of which added diverse board members and 32 adopted a diverse search policy since MIDI launched in 2016.
  • Gender Board Diversity – As a leader of the Thirty Percent Coalition, the Treasurer’s Office and fellow investors have successfully engaged 300 companies that have now appointed a woman to their boards.
  • Shareholder Proposals – The Treasurer’s Office has introduced shareholder proposals at seven companies, asking that senior company leaders address board diversity shortfalls and formally adopt a policy to enhance diversity among board directors.  All seven companies either appointed a woman or minority board member or successfully adopted the requested policy.
  • Proxy Votes – The Treasurer’s Office exercises its proxy voting rights to support proposals on increasing board diversity, gender pay gap reporting, and the inclusion of diversity as a performance metric for CEO pay.  In 2019, the Treasurer’s Office voted against 323 directors due to a lack of gender diversity on the board.  See our proxy voting dashboard.
  • Financial Services Pipeline – The Treasurer’s Office is an active member of the Financial Services Pipeline Initiative, which seeks to increase the representation of Latinos and African-Americans, at all levels, within the Chicago area financial services industry by focusing on the talent pipeline, recruitment/hiring, and development/retention.
  • Mutual Fund Board Diversity – The Treasurer's Office surveys its mutual fund providers to assess levels of diversity among mutual fund board members. We surveyed 26 fund families in 2019, identifying leaders and laggards, as well as best practices and actionable recommendations for those with room for improvement.


Economic Impact
  • MWVD Broker/Dealers – As a result of increased utilization by the Treasurer’s Office, MWVD Broker/Dealers are estimated to have attained over $2.5 million for services rendered over the course of FY 2015 to FY 2018. In addition, the Treasurer’s Office increased its economic impact on MWVD Broker/Dealers by four times from 2015 to 2018.

  • MWVD Asset Managers – As a result of increased utilization by the Treasurer’s Office, MWVD Asset Managers are estimated to have attained over $3.2 million for services rendered over the course of CY 2015 to CY 2018. In addition, the Treasurer’s Office increased its economic impact on MWVD Asset Managers by twelve times from 2015 to 2018.

  • Preference for MWVD Investment Firms – Policies and procedures establish uniform operating processes across investment divisions for the allowance of preference to qualified MWVD-owned broker/dealers, asset managers, and other service providers.
  • Preference for MWVD Service Providers – All RFPs now provide points in the scoring process to MWVD applicants.
  • Garcia Rule:  Mandatory inclusion of MWVD Firms in Investment Searches – Require that for every search for an external investment manager, our consultants must include at least one diverse-owned manager.
  • 360-Degree Review of Business Partners  All firms seeking to business with the Treasurer’s Office must disclose how their firm promotes equity, diversity and inclusion. This includes a 360-degree evaluation, conducted annually through the office's Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Assessment, of diversity among its board or owners, executive leadership, workforce, supplier network, and community activities.
  • Corporate and Mutual Fund Board Diversity – Treasurer’s Office advocates for racial and gender diversity on corporate and mutual fund boards, which is a critical dimension of effective board performance.  
  • Enforcing Community Investment Standards – Treasurer’s Office reviews a financial institution’s record of commitment to its community when deciding whether to do business with that firm.  Institutions with a rating below “satisfactory” are now ineligible.
  • MWVD Business Liaison – Staff are specifically deployed to assist MWVD firms in doing business with the Treasurer’s Office.  Contact MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov


Investment Services Sought

The Treasurer’s Office seeks a wide variety of financial services and products from MWVD firms, including, but not limited to:

Broker/Dealer Services

Treasuries Supranationals
Agencies Commercial Paper
Foreign Bonds  Municipals
Corporate Bonds Repurchase Agreements






Investment Management Services

Fixed Income Cash & Cash Equivalents
Public Equities Real Estate
Private Equity Venture Capital
Securities Lending Private Debt






Banking Services

Custody and Safekeeping Depository Services
ACH Transactions Lockbox Services
Cash and Check Processing Credit and Debit Card Processing





Other Investment Services

Investment Consulting Linked/Time Deposits
Bond Arbitrage Third-Party Research
Treasury Consulting -






MWVD Preference

As set forth in Section 30 of the State Treasurer Act, 15 ILCS 505/30, it is an aspirational goal of the Illinois State Treasurer to use businesses owned by or under the control of qualified veterans of the armed forces of the United States, qualified service-disabled veterans, minority persons, women, or persons with a disability (“MWVD Persons”) for not less than 25% of the total dollar amount of funds under management, purchases of investment securities, and other contracts. Preference is accorded to qualified businesses that demonstrate or attest that (1) greater than 50% of the ownership interest of the firm is held by MWVD Persons, OR (2) greater than 75% of the firm’s senior managers are MWVD Persons.


As used herein, the following definitions apply:  (i) “minority person” means a person who is any of the following: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; (ii) “woman” means a person who is of the female gender; (iii) “veteran” means a person who (1) has been a member of the armed forces of the United States or, while a citizen of the United States, was a member of the armed forces of allies of the United States in time of hostilities with a foreign country and (2) served under one or more of the following conditions: (a) served a total of at least six months, (b) served for the duration of hostilities regardless of the length of the engagement; (c) was discharged on the basis of hardship; or (d) was released from active duty because of a service connected disability and was discharged under honorable conditions; (iv) “person with a disability” means a person with a severe physical or mental disability that: (1) results from: amputation, arthritis, autism, blindness, burn injury, cancer, cerebral palsy, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, deafness, head injury, heart disease, hemiplegia, hemophilia, respiratory or pulmonary dysfunction, an intellectual disability, mental illness, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, musculoskeletal disorders, neurological disorders, including stroke and epilepsy, paraplegia, quadriplegia and other spinal cord conditions, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis, specific learning disabilities, or end stage renal failure disease; and (2) substantially limits one or more of person’s major life activities. Another disability or combination of disabilities may also be a disability if it is determined to cause a comparable degree of substantial functional limitations similar to the foregoing list of disabilities.


Procurement Opportunities

For non-investment related opportunities, including RFPs, RFIs, invitations to bid, and other related areas, please visit our Procurement Opportunities page.


Contact the Treasurer’s Investment Team

MWVD firms should contact MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov to provide an overview of their business capabilities and discuss available investment opportunities. MWVD firms should also download and submit both the Diversity Profile Form and Capabilities Questionnaire, which provides the Treasurer’s Office with a resource to be proactive in identifying business opportunities with MWVD investment firms.  Submit completed questionnaires to MWVD@illinoistreasurer.gov