CAIA Association Partners with The Milken Institute to Advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Alternative Investment Industry

CAIA in the News

Organizations provide enhanced access for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) students to the world of alternative investing

Pipeline effort part of long-term commitment to champion DEI and create industry accountability 

AMHERST, MA, (November 17, 2022) – The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, the global professional body for the alternative investment industry, recently partnered with The Milken Institute to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the alternatives space, launching an educational program designed to introduce students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to the world of alternatives.

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The four-day program attracted students from multiple HBCUs, including Florida A&M University, Howard University, and Tuskegee University, and featured alternative investment industry professionals who shared insights and mentorship, exposed students to a variety of career paths, and helped students gain a deeper understanding of alternatives.

“CAIA is focused on helping the industry move from awareness to action with tangible, measurable programs like this one which taps into the enormous talent at HCBUs,” said William J. Kelly, CEO of the CAIA Association.  “We are thrilled to engage these students, listen to their questions, and ignite a curiosity about alternatives that can grow and flourish. CAIA and our friends at the Milken Institute will continue to foster new opportunities for HBCU students to learn about and engage in the alternative space.”

The Milken Institute’s continued commitment to DEI across all areas and levels of the asset management industry includes the recent launch of a HBCU Fellow Program which connects resources to talent. HBCUs generate 25% of all bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields for Black student in the U.S. yet are often an overlooked source of talent for the asset management industry.

“While awareness has increased, the percentage of assets under management controlled by women  and diverse-owned firms in US has only increased by 0.1% in the past 10 years,” said Blair Smith, Senior Director, Center for Financial Markets, Milken Institute. “CAIA and The Milken Institute are aligned in the need to put diverse talent front and center and have joined forces to provide HBCU students with the knowledge, resources, and industry intelligence to succeed.”

The program curriculum includes an overview of alternatives and a deeper dive into infrastructure, real estate, structured credit, and digital assets and is delivered through the Adaptive Growth Leadership Platform. Participating students also received scholarships to pursue CAIA’s Fundamentals of Alternatives (FAI) program and an invitation to join CAIA’s educational and network events in their local geographies.

CAIA Champions DEI with Agenda 2023 and Beyond

This program is just one part of CAIA’s larger global DEI agenda and long-term commitment to programs and partnerships that are accelerating industry change and creating greater accountability.

“CAIA is aligning with business leaders who understand the concentrated risks of homogeneous, group think to business outcomes, performance, innovation, talent recruitment and retention, and to the end investor,” said Deborah McLean, Global Head of DEI and President of the CAIA Foundation. “Those who are not embracing DEI will be left behind and will no doubt lose out on specific and meaningful competitive advantages. There is a clear story to tell here, and one we look forward to continuing to champion in 2023 and beyond.”

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About the CAIA Association  

The CAIA Association is a global professional body dedicated to creating greater alignment, transparency, and knowledge for all investors, with a specific emphasis on alternative investments. A Member-driven organization representing nearly 13,000 professionals in approximately 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

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