The Ultimate List of Emerging Manager Programs

By: James DiCostanzo

Sales Director
April 27, 2023

A comprehensive list of emerging manager programs offered by pensions, endowments, and other sponsors

Getting a new fund off the ground is no easy task. It requires significant support, advice, resources, and – of course – investment.

A number of pension funds and endowments have recognized the challenges that emerging managers face and the opportunity they present – and they’ve put together an offering to capitalize on that overlap. The result: emerging manager programs.


What is an emerging manager program?

An emerging manager program is a program offered usually by a pension fund or endowment where they allocate a certain amount of their portfolio to be invested specifically in an emerging manager. Emerging managers are generally defined as managing assets below a certain threshold, as having launched only a certain number of funds, or as an investment fund that is majority owned by those traditionally underserved and excluded in the industry – specifically women and people of color.

Some emerging manager programs focus on one of these definitions, some include all three, just as some focus on a specific area or asset class while others are all-encompassing.

We offer the below as a helpful resource: Our ultimate list of emerging manager programs, for those looking to connect up their new and novel investment strategies with the right fundraising sources. If you know of a program that’s missing from the list, please let us know.

Are you an emerging manager currently in growth mode? Discover Allvue’s Venture Capital Essentials and Private Equity Essentials solutions to learn how we help emerging managers supercharge their growth.

The ultimate list of emerging manager programs

Ashton Global

Sponsor: Ashton Global

Asset Classes: Niche equity and debt strategies including private equity, litigation investments, and special situations

Parameters: $500,000

Description: Ashton Global is an emerging manager platform that offers seed capital to emerging private capital firms. It considers global investments in a range of asset classes.

CalPERS Emerging & Diverse Manager Program

Sponsor: California Public Employees’ Retirement System

Asset Classes: Global Equity; Private Equity; Real Estate

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: For more than 30 years, CalPERS (California Public Employees’ Retirement System) has developed and implemented emerging manager programs and invested with emerging and diverse managers.

Certior Capital

Sponsor: Certior Capital

Asset Classes: European direct lending, private debt, private equity

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: Certior is a Finnish private capital firm that provides seed capital to emerging managers, operates several funds of funds, and advises limited partners on direct investments.

Chicago Teachers Pension Fund

Sponsor: Chicago Teachers Pension Fund

Asset Classes: All

Parameters: Minority, Women and Disadvantaged-Owned Business Enterprises

Description: The Chicago Teachers pension philosophy is that minority, women, and disadvantaged money managers will be favored as long as performance matches that of firms with traditional ownership. Almost half of the pension’s $14.5 billion AUM is invested with MWDBE firms.

Connecticut Inclusive Investment Initiative

Sponsor: Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds

Asset Classes: Range of public and private asset classes

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: The Connecticut Inclusive Investment Initiative targets investments with emerging and diverse managers across both public and private asset classes and will provide a pathway for growth of the best emerging managers in the industry.

DUMAC Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Duke University

Asset Classes: Range of public and private asset classes

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “DUMAC has a history of investing in emerging managers, providing essential seed and anchor capital on numerous occasions, including to emerging managers that are diverse owned (i.e., persons identifying as non-white, women, or other gender minorities) and where diverse individuals are key principals.”

GCM Grosvenor Small, Emerging, and Diverse Manager Investing

Sponsor: GCM Grosvenor

Asset Classes: Private Equity, Absolute Return, Real Assets

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: GCM Grosvenor, a fund of funds manager with AUM of $71 billion, looks to be a strategic investor in funds started by emerging and diverse managers. It serves as a seed investor and a catalyst for fundraising.

HarbourVest Horizon

Sponsor: HarbourVest Partners

Asset Classes: Private Equity, Absolute Return, Real Assets

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “These are investment programs that seek to drive capital toward newer managers as well as funds that are female and/or minority-led. These strategies, which may be used together or individually, focus on:

  • Emerging managers (primarily first-, second-, or third-time funds)
  • Diverse managers (female and/or minority general partners)
  • Underserved markets (funds that invest in companies that have historically lacked access to capital)”

LACERS Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System

Asset Classes: Public markets, private equity, private real estate

Parameters: Varies with asset class

Description: In addition to detailed information on its web site, LACERS holds virtual emerging managers symposia twice a year to review manage needs and field questions from interested investment firms.

LAFPP Private Equity Specialized Manager Program

Sponsor: Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions

Asset Classes: “This portfolio strives for diversification among strategies (buyout, venture capital, special situations), sectors, and geographies.”

Parameters: First-, second-, and third-time funds that are approximately $100 million to $500 million in size are allowed to participate in the program.

Description: “LAFPP’s Specialized Manager program dates back to 1996.  Since that time, LAFPP has made commitments to specialized private equity emerging managers that have included firms with minority-, women- and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer- (LGBTQ) ownership.  Additionally, LAFPP has made fund commitments to emerging managers that are based in the City of Los Angeles or California, or targeted investments in economically disadvantaged markets.”

MassPRIM FUTURE Initiative

Sponsor: Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management

Asset Classes: Fixed Income, Real Estate, Private Equity, Hedge Funds, Global Equities

Parameters: Newer, smaller, and diverse asset managers.

Description: “To reduce barriers and expand opportunities for newer, smaller, and diverse investment managers, MassPRIM launched a new Emerging-Diverse Manager Program (Program), which seeks to invest up to $1 billion in emerging and diverse managers across asset classes over the next two years. This Program utilizes five manager-of-managers to help source, conduct due diligence and have full discretion to select and monitor a portfolio of emerging-diverse investment managers. ”

Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: State of Michigan Retirement System

Asset Classes: Private Equity; Growth Equity; Venture Capital; Credit; Real Estate; Real Return

Parameters: Assets Under Management: Firms that manage less than $3 billion; Target Fund Size: Preference for Funds less than $1 billion; Generation: Fourth generation or earlier institutional funds

Description: “The Michigan Small Emerging Manager Program is a $300 million program that invests across small and emerging manager fund, co-investment, and secondary opportunities. The target strategies for the program include private equity buyouts, growth equity, venture capital, special situations, real estate, infrastructure, credit, and real return opportunities.”

MITIMCo Emerging Managers

Sponsor: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Investment Management Company

Asset Classes: Not listed

Parameters: “While we don’t find it useful to try to publicly articulate all our selection criteria, one over-arching quality we look for in potential partners is a heavy bias towards investing their fund the way they think is best to invest their own money, rather than designing their strategies and organizations to have broad LP appeal.”

Description: “Our approach to emerging managers is simple yet unconventional: we want to identify firms who will produce some of the most attractive investment returns of their generation, form multi-decade win/win partnerships with them, and join their journey very early on.

“Here is what we offer the handful of new emerging managers we partner with each year:

  • We do not ask for GP ownership or profit sharing, as we believe these seed deal arrangements misalign incentives and reduce the manager’s competitive advantages.
  • We commit ten year capital to emerging stockpickers and hedge funds in order to give them a stable income stream and minimize short-term pressure to perform.
  • We commit fully discretionary fund capital to emerging private managers in areas such as real estate, private equity, and venture capital in order to give them visibility and control in their asset base.”

New Jersey Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: New Jersey State Investment Council

Asset Classes: Private equity

Parameters: $250 million has been allocated through a separately managed account managed by Barings LLC

Description: “The Barings investment will broaden the pension fund’s diversification, help the division access smaller managers, and capture potential attractive returns in small to mid-size growth and buyout funds. Barings has a reputation for employing an open-door policy and a proactive origination program that includes a network of relationships, including members of its team who serve in leadership roles in organizations focused on increasing women and diverse representation in the asset management industry, such as the Toigo Foundation, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, NAIC, and PEWIN.”

New York City Retirement System Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: New York City Retirement System and Comptroller’s Office

Asset Classes: Public Markets (Equity & Fixed Income); Private Equity; Real Estate; Opportunistic Fixed Income; Hedge Funds

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The New York City Retirement Systems and the Comptroller’s Office are dedicated to identifying and investing with top performing fund managers that demonstrate exceptional potential and are committed to diversity in their investment decision-making process, ownership structure, compensation, and profit-sharing policies.

“The Emerging Manager Program seeks managers that meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Significantly experienced investors that can generate competitive risk-adjusted returns and manage funds which may have shorter track records than more established managers.
  • Institutional quality operations with established front/back office, systems and risk management including reputable administrators, auditors and an independent third-party pricing source where appropriate.
  • Broad institutional capital base with significant General Partner investment.”

New York State Common Retirement Fund Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: New York State Common Retirement Fund

Asset Classes: Public Equity; Private Equity; Fixed Income; Real Assets; Real Estate; OARS

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The Emerging Manager Program offers opportunities to newer, smaller and diverse investment management firms to help grow the State’s Common Retirement Fund. The Fund is one of a few public pension plans to establish an emerging manager program and has committed $7 billion into the program.”

NorthBound Equity Partners Platform

Sponsor: Neuberger Berman

Asset Classes: Private Equity, Private Debt

Parameters: Minority and women-owned funds; funds under $1 billion; first- and second-time funds

Description: Neuberger Berman is interested in making investments and in offering these funds to their clients.

Recast Capital Enablement Program

Sponsor: Recast Capital

Asset Classes: Venture Capital

Parameters: US-based emerging managers in venture that are pre-launch or mid-launch for their first or second fund, reflecting diverse perspectives

Description: Recast operates the Capital Enablement program as a tuition-free mentoring and education program to help emerging managers have successful launches.

TRS of Illinois Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois

Asset Classes: Global Equity; Global Income; Private Credit; Private Equity; Real Assets; Real Estate; Diversified Strategies

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: “The TRS Emerging Manager Program seeks developing investment managers who show promise to invest successfully on behalf of TRS. The Emerging Manager Program is open to investment managers across all current TRS asset classes.”

TRS of Texas Emerging Manager Program

Sponsor: Teachers’ Retirement System of Texas

Asset Classes: Private Equity; Real Estate; Energy, Natural Resources & Infrastructure (ENRI); Long-Only; Hedge Funds

Parameters: Varies per asset class program

Description: Established in 2005 and one of the largest Emerging Manager Programs in the US, the TRS Emerging Manager Program is “designed to identify and grow the next generation of exceptional, high performing managers.”

Unigestion Emerging Managers Programme

Sponsor: Unigestion

Asset Classes: Private Equity

Parameters: Attractive net returns, accelerated deployment, low total expense ratio

Description: Unigestion, a Swiss asset manager, has made seed and cornerstone investments in emerging managers since the late 1990s. It looks for newer managers with sector expertise and AUM under US $500 million.


Download the list now

More About The Author

James DiCostanzo

Sales Director

James DiCostanzo is a global sales leader with over 20 years of experience in the financial, private equity and SaaS industries. He is currently the Global Head of Growth Equity Sales at Allvue Systems, a leading provider of investment management solutions. He joined Allvue Systems in March 2020 as the Head of Sales for the East Region, after working at Thomson Reuters for nearly two decades in various roles, including Head of Solution Specialists, Data & Analytics and Global Business Director. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business/Managerial Economics from SUNY Oneonta. He is based in the New York City Metropolitan Area and can be found on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamesdicostanzo/.

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