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Spelman College Included in $90M Initiative to Diversify the Alternative Investment Industry

Spelman College Included in $90M Initiative to Diversify the Alternative Investment Industry
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on June 16, 2021

ATLANTA (June 15, 2021) -- Three leading firms today announced plans to invest in “Black futures” through the formation of an initiative designed to introduce students enrolled in the institutions that compose the Atlanta University Center Consortium—Spelman College, Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University—to the influential alternative investment industry.

Apollo Global Management, Inc., Ares Management Corporation and Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., will commit $90 million over 10 years to the industry-based AltFinance: Investing in Black Futures™. The firms are creating the initiative to diversify the alternative investment industry by attracting, training and providing career opportunities to Atlanta University Center students.

“As the world begins to cautiously re-open, the alternative finance industry will play a significant role in how economies recover and thrive. The creativity and innovation that drive private equity and alternative-credit investing are the same characteristics present in our brilliant Spelman students,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Ph.D., president of Spelman. “We are grateful for the transformative investment Apollo Global Management Inc., Ares Management Corp., and Oaktree Capital Management L.P., are making in our scholars and their futures. Their partnership with Spelman will provide our students with invaluable scholarships and resources - connecting them to expertise, mentors and networks via their firms, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and the Management Leadership for Tomorrow – that will give them a competitive edge on their road to successful careers and lives.”

Through three primary components, including a mentored fellowship program, a tailored virtual institute and a scholarship program, AltFinance will clear pathways to careers in the alternative investment industry.

Fellowships will provide select students at the partner HBCUs the opportunity to work directly with a mentor and learn the ins and outs of finance and alternatives. The fellowship program will be run in partnership with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a national nonprofit organization working to ensure that Black, Hispanic/Latino and Native American people reach and thrive at the highest levels of corporate America. AltFinance fellows will also have access to needs-based scholarship funding.

“Ares is firmly committed to being an agent for positive change across our company and industry, and we believe we have the resources and passion to make a sustainable impact in the lives of others,” said Michael Arougheti, Ares Management CEO and president. “Through our partners within AltFinance, and our groundbreaking partnership with three leading HBCUs, MLT and Wharton, we are accelerating our efforts to foster diversity both within our respective organizations and the alternative investment industry more broadly. Our objective is to provide these students with the knowledge, resources and employment opportunities needed to succeed and thrive as professionals.



We are excited to be taking this momentous stride forward and hope we have inspired others in our industry to join us in our efforts in the future.”

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s oldest collegiate school of business, has signed on to create a best-in-class virtual institute to offer educational materials and tools necessary to excel in the alternative investment industry. The virtual institute will be open to interested students at all HBCUs, and will provide participants with relevant coursework and other supplementary content developed by top professors and finance professionals.

“Success in our industry requires creative, often contrarian thinking and the avoidance of groupthink. This can be tough to achieve if the workforce – and particularly those in senior roles – mostly reflect a common background,” said Howard Marks, Oaktree co-chairman. “Working with HBCUs will allow alternative investment managers to tap into a deep talent pool that this industry has often overlooked. Black scholars have always possessed the ambition and skill needed to succeed in alternative investing; only broad access to opportunities has been missing.”

The AltFinance initiative will be administered by ALT Finance Corporation, a non-profit organization established by the three founding firms. Apollo, Ares and Oaktree will each contribute $3 million per year for 10 years, marking the first major multi-firm commitment to increase opportunities in the alternatives industry.

“HBCUs have an incredible history of opening doors, and we are thrilled to partner with these institutions and our colleague firms to expand opportunities in alternative investing,” said Apollo Chief Executive Officer Marc Rowan. “At Apollo, we recognize that we have been the beneficiaries of opportunity, and that it’s incumbent upon us to create opportunity for a broader group of talent. Together with our partner firms, we conceived AltFinance as a high-touch, comprehensive program to not only introduce talented Black students to the industry, but also to provide training, support, mentorship and a clear pathway to careers in alternative investing. Through initiatives like AltFinance, we will continue to work to break down barriers and seed, catalyze and advance opportunities for great talent from diverse backgrounds.”

AltFinance recognizes the need to create greater access for promising HBCU students for careers in alternative investing, including opportunities with the three firms as well as within the broader financial services industry.

“The alternatives investment industry is one of the most influential industries in the world. It’s a field for smart, creative and passionate people who can develop and execute ideas that break the mold. HBCU students should be prominent among the next generation of leaders for the industry,” said John Rice, founder and CEO, MLT. “AltFinance will be transformational for its future participants. They will have the chance to learn about investing and apply those skills to accelerate their trajectory as well as have a positive impact on our communities. It will be a game-changer for every one of them.”

AltFinance is expected to launch by the first half of 2022.

“We are proud to play an important role in the creation of AltFinance which, through its efforts to support HBCUs, will make an immediate and positive difference for students of color,” said Erika James, dean of the Wharton School. “As the country’s largest business school, with a reach from pre-college students to C-suite executives, it is Wharton’s privilege to offer our world-class faculty and resources to those who are so deserving.”


SOURCE: Spelman College
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