PGIM launches HBCU investment initiative

Dawn Furnas//June 2, 2022

PGIM launches HBCU investment initiative

Dawn Furnas//June 2, 2022

In 2020, the 10 largest endowments at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) totaled $2 billion, compared with $200 billion for the endowments at the 10 largest predominantly white institutions. That’s according to Prudential Financial Inc., citing an August 2021 Brookings Institution finding.

Now, PGIM — the $1.4 trillion Newark-based global investment management business of Prudential — hopes to change that. The organization’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion is launching an HBCU investment initiative aimed at providing investment management education and training for HBCU decision-makers who manage endowments.

The new program, called HBCU Strategic Initiatives, will also provide students with real-world investing experience, help set up and maintain student-run investment funds, and will establish scholarships for HBCU students. In February, NJBIZ detailed Prudential’s decades-long work with HBCUs, which included a recent round of $3 million in grants. This new program builds upon that commitment.

Tim Woods, head of HBCU Strategic Initiatives, a new PGIM program

On June 2, PGIM announced that Timothy Woods will lead HBCU Strategic Initiatives.

Woods – who will report to Kathy Sayko, PGIM’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer – will develop and execute a strategy for the program to support HBCU leadership, faculty and students. He will serve as the primary point of contact between PGIM and HBCU teams and will also work with students, professors, and student programs on investments and coursework, among other tasks.

“PGIM’s HBCU investment strategy will be a cornerstone of our diversity, equity and inclusion community engagement pillar by driving equitable access to education and experience for the next generation of financial professionals,” Sayko said in a statement. “Tim demonstrates a passion for the vibrancy and sustainability of HBCUs and the opportunity to contribute to their achievement of long-term investment goals and overall success. As a deeply experienced investment professional and HBCU alumnus, we are thrilled to have secured the partnership of Tim to advance this program.”

Bringing 20 years of experience to the role, Woods previously served as a portfolio manager and equity analyst at Deutsche Bank Asset Management, ClearBridge Investments and JP Morgan Asset Management. Most recently, he was the senior managing director, senior analyst and chief risk officer for small- and mid-cap growth funds at Lisanti Capital Growth in New York. He earned his MBA in finance from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Florida A&M University. He is a chartered financial analyst and a member of the CFA Society of New York.

What else is on the horizon for the PGIM office? Adding to its established partnership with Hampton University in Virginia, PGIM is funding technology to support a student-run investment fund at the university and is also hosting a speaker series with a PGIM investment professional.

PGIM said it’s also working on a partnership with Florida A&M University.