NYC pension system hires DEI director

Taffi Ayodele was a principal at a socially responsible real estate investor

New York City’s pension system has hired a diversity, equity and inclusion manager, the comptroller’s office announced last week.

In that role is Taffi Ayodele, whose position as director also covers emerging manager strategy for the city’s bureau of asset management. She is tasked with expanding the $250bn pension system’s engagement with minority and women-owned business enterprises and emerging investment managers, according to the announcement.

Previously, Ayodele was a principal at socially responsible real estate investment and development firm Harpia Asset Management. She is also a cofounder of Lagos, Nigeria-based shoe company Thando’s.

“New York City is one of the most racially and ethnically diverse cities in the world. The public sector beneficiaries of our $250bn pension system reflect this diversity and so should the asset managers who are hired to invest on their behalf,” Ayodele said in the announcement. “I am thrilled to have joined the comptroller’s office at this critical moment and look forward to the work ahead to ensure the vast universe of both high performing diverse owned asset management firms and smaller emerging firms are given an opportunity to work with the NYC retirement systems.”

The announcement preceded a report the comptroller’s office published Nov. 1 on the investments the city’s pension plans have with minority and women-owned business enterprises and emerging investment managers. The systems had about $16.8bn invested with minority and women-owned businesses as of the end of June, or made commitments with them, representing about 12% of the plans’ US-based actively managed money. As of that time, the program had about $8.6bn invested with or committed to emerging managers, according to the report.