UC Regents investments committee talks quarter performance, diversity

photo of regents meeting
Sunny Shen/File
At a meeting Tuesday, the investments committee of the UC Board of Regents discussed fiscal performance as well as updates diversity, equity and inclusion within UC Investments. This photo was taken on March 16, 2022.

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The investments committee of the UC Board of Regents convened Tuesday at the UCLA campus to discuss third-quarter fiscal performance and to hear updates on diversity, equity and inclusion investments.

To begin the meeting, a 30-minute period of public comment was held where stakeholders, both in person and remotely, offered concerns over certain UC assets and advocated for various allocations. While the comments varied in subject matter, the development of a new UCSF hospital was a primary talking point.

The 15-story proposed project at the UCSF Parnassus campus, which is still awaiting the regents’ approval, would allow the campus to increase its bed capacity by 207 by 2030, according to a UCSF press release.

“I am a San Francisco native and member of the building trade; having this project will provide opportunities for people that live in San Francisco that have a different path to getting a job,” said UA Local 483 member Dan Torres during the meeting. “I strongly encourage the regents to approve this project.”

Following public comment, the Board of Regents turned the microphone over to the UC’s Chief Investment Officer and Vice President of Investments Jagdeep Singh Bachher to provide an overview of the third quarter fiscal performance.

According to Bachher, ongoing political tensions have also increased the chance of a recession occurring during this fiscal year. He also noted that inflation has risen due to increasing demand and limited supply.

“The risks are certainly suggesting that risky assets are exactly that,” Bachher said during the meeting. “We need to tread carefully and watch how we navigate our way through these choppy waters.”

Because of the precarious financial situation, Satish Swamy, the regents’ senior managing director, predicted that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates to 3%. Swamy emphasized that the higher rates will result in a return on fixed income for the first time in eight years.

The meeting then pivoted to an update on diversity, equity and inclusion at UC Investments from Chief Operating Officer Arthur Guimaraes.

Guimaraes noted that UC Investments has met the goal it set at the beginning of the year to meet with 100 investment firms led by women and people of color. UC Investments also launched Investment Academy, the pilot of a program to help women and underrepresented minorities pursue careers in investment.

“Diversity drives returns. … We don’t believe diversity is a file or a checklist or transitory,” Guimaraes said at the meeting. “We are part of the University of California … it’s the most amazing, diverse place on the planet.”

Erica Jean contributed to this story.

Contact Matt Brown, Kavya Gupta and Riley Cooke at [email protected].