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Inclusive Capitalism Fireside Chats: A Conversation With Robert F. Smith and Blair Smith

Inclusive Capitalism Fireside Chats: A Conversation With Robert F. Smith and Blair Smith

In 2021, the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets launched its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Asset Management program.

As part of the initiative, we feature global leaders in the space. For this particular fireside chat, Senior Director Blair Smith hosted Robert F. Smith, founder, chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, for a conversation on capital infusion transforming communities and the importance of digitalization for the future.

From seeking out and investing in talented diverse managers from undergraduate through mid-career to enabling CDFIs and MDIs to contribute to new degrees, Smith and Smith discussed key issues that limit access, create and sustain barriers, and more.

Learn more about the Inclusive Capitalism program at the Milken Institute.

The Milken Institute has long emphasized the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion across the business community: from enabling all stakeholders to participate in capital markets, to producing equitable, measurable, and sustainable growth that empowers individuals and businesses and promotes inclusive capitalism.

In the last few years, the evidence for promoting DEI in asset management has reached critical mass. Reports from entities like McKinsey and the Small Business Administration illustrate both the limited social groups within asset management; and the economic opportunity cost—jobs and wealth creation—of allowing this dynamic to continue.

To this end, the Milken Institute’s Inclusive Capitalism initiative focuses on creating long-term value for all stakeholders in the investment world—namely women and black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC)—and holds investment firms, academia, and other institutions accountable for building a more inclusive asset management ecosystem.

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