NEW YORK, March 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- J.P. Morgan Asset Management today announced the launch of Project Spark, a new initiative aimed at providing capital to funds managed by diverse, emerging alternative managers, including minority-led and women-led venture capital funds and other private funds.
As part of the new initiative, the firm has committed to an initial $25 million investment in five or more funds, to be governed by a newly established investment committee comprised of diverse senior executives across J.P. Morgan Asset Management. Recent data1 suggests that just 9% of firms in the private equity industry are women or minority led, while just 3% of U.S. focused private equity assets are managed by minority-owned firms.
"Despite increasing dialogue across the alternative investment industry on the need for more diverse managers, there is clearly still a long way to go, which is why we are committed to making a difference by providing capital to diverse emerging managers through Project Spark," said Jamie Kramer, Head of J.P. Morgan Asset Management's Alternatives Solutions Group and the chair of the Project Spark Investment Committee. "Through our investments in funds managed by women and diverse managers, we're not only providing a capital commitment, but also seeking to create a network between our newly established Project Spark investment committee and the diverse managers in which we invest."
"We strongly believe it's critical to take steps to promote diversity across alternatives, and through Project Spark, we will look to leverage our 50-year track record in alternatives to selectively provide capital and expertise to diverse emerging managers," said Brandon Robinson, J.P. Morgan Asset Management's CFO of Global Alternatives. "We're pleased to announce on International Women's Day that we have committed $25 million in initial seed funding to the program, with our first investment already closed in a women-led venture capital fund."
J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives is committed to promoting diversity, with 45% of the group's Operating Committee made up of people of color, women or LGBT+, and 47% of AUM managed by women or women-led teams. The new Project Spark investment committee comprises members across J.P. Morgan Asset Management:
- Jamie Kramer, Head of Alternative Solutions
- Lisa Coleman, Head of Global Investment Grade Corporate Credit
- Megan McClellan, Head of Private Credit
- Brandon Robinson, CFO, Global Alternatives
- Lee Spelman, Head of U.S. Equity
About J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives
J.P. Morgan Global Alternatives is the alternative investment arm of J.P. Morgan Asset Management. With more than 50 years as an alternatives investment manager, $160 billion in assets under management and more than 600 professionals (as of December 31, 2020), we offer strategies across the alternative investment spectrum including real estate, private equity and credit, infrastructure, transportation, liquid alternatives, and hedge funds. Operating from offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific, our 14 independent alternative investment engines combine specialist knowledge and singular focus with the global reach, vast resources and powerful infrastructure of J.P. Morgan to help meet each client's specific objectives. For more information: jpmorganassetmanagement.com.
About J.P. Morgan Asset Management
J.P. Morgan Asset Management, with assets under management of USD 2.3 trillion (as of 31 December 2020), is a global leader in investment management. J.P. Morgan Asset Management's clients include institutions, retail investors and high net worth individuals in every major market throughout the world. J.P. Morgan Asset Management offers global investment management in equities, fixed income, real estate, hedge funds, private equity and liquidity.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $3.4 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.
J.P. Morgan Asset Management is the marketing name for the asset management businesses of JPMorgan Chase & Co., and its affiliates worldwide.
Source: NVCA Venture Monitor Q3 2020. Bella Private Markets 2018 Diverse Asset Management Firm assessment
SOURCE J.P. Morgan Asset Management