Labaton Sucharow Hosts Institutional Investing in Women and Minority-Led Investment Firms 2020

by Labaton Sucharow

October 6, 2020

“We’re stronger together. And through collaborations like this one, we will
lift each other up.
" Partner and Co‑Chair, Serena P. Hallowell

Industry-leading women came together for Labaton Sucharow’s Institutional Investing in Women and Minority-Led Investment Firms 2020 to address the importance of diversity investing.  Held virtually on October 2, 2020, the event featured an all-female panel and keynote speaker, who explored ways to bring more visibility to women and minority-led investment firms and enhance opportunities for diverse managers.  

The program has been shortlisted for “Best Gender Diversity Initiative” by Euromoney.  In addition, the Firm has been recognized as a finalist by Chambers & Partners for “Inclusive Firm of the Year” and by Euromoney for “Best National Firm for Women in Business Law.”

Co-chaired by Partners Serena Hallowell, Carol C. Villegas, and Marisa N. DeMato, the event was kicked-off by a powerful message from our keynote speaker, Christine N. Simmons (Chief Operating Officer, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).  Christine shared with us her perspective and inspiring advice through her life in "Acts." Christine's powerful words set the tone for the event, encouraging women leaders to take action and "use the power you had the whole time." 

“I believe it's important to encourage young women to find their voice early in their careers. Don't shy away from opportunities to lead the conversation—or lead the project.” Partner and Co-Chair, Marisa N. DeMato

Moderated by Meredith A. Jones (Partner and Head of Emerging Manager Research, APON), the all-female panel featured Machel Allen (Chief Investment Officer, Metis Global Partners), Tina Byles Williams (CEO/CIO and Founder, Xponance), Kristin Finney-Cooke (Senior Consultant, NEPC), Dana Johns (Senior Profile Manager, Maryland State Retirement System), and Renaye Manley (Deputy Director, Service Employees International Union). The panelists addressed an array of topics, including the importance of measuring diversity—within organizations and in the deployment of assets—and the variety of approaches and stakeholders needed to successfully build diversity.  

In addition to the program co-chairs and speakers, the event was supported by an advisory committee of leading asset managers, allocators, and consultants.  Chaired by Marilyn Freeman (Partner, Capital Prospects/Attucks Asset Management), the advisory committee included moderator Meredith Jones as well as Lara Clarke (President and Co-Founder, (WIIIN) Women in Institutional Investments Network), Amy Crane (General Counsel, State of Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer), Karen Grenon (Assistant General Counsel, Office of the Treasurer, State of Connecticut), Ellen Hung (Deputy Chief Investment Officer, State Universities Retirement System), Mary Lisanti (President and Portfolio Manager, Lisanti Capital Growth), Safia Mehta (Managing Director, Managing Analysis Services, LLC), Angela Miller-May (Chief Investment Officer, Chicago Teachers' Pension Fund), Betty Salanic (CEO & Founder, Accelerate Investors), Chavon Sutton (Director of Diversity & Inclusion, NYC Comptroller's Bureau of Asset Management), Lauren Taylor Wolfe (Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Impactive Capital), Susan Webb (President & CIO, Appomattox Advisory).

“I am proud that we have created an environment where speakers and attendees feel comfortable to honestly share their experiences." – Partner and Co-Chair, Carol Villegas

Labaton Sucharow’s Women’s Initiative was founded in 2007 with the goal of fostering an environment of growth, leadership, and success for the Firm’s female attorneys and staff.  Since its launch, the Firm has hosted dozens of exceptional guests, including senior executives from a wide array of commercial markets, as well as leaders in politics, law, and global not-for-profits.  The program also includes quarterly workshops on practical skills, such as networking, public speaking, and self-advocacy, as well as opportunities to participate and join outside women’s organizations, bar associations, and networking groups in order to build professional profiles.  The group is also a proud supporter of Girls Who Invest, Rock The Street, and High Water Women—three organizations that seek to bring more women into leadership roles in finance.


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