Asset managers oversee collective investment vehicles such as investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds and separately managed accounts. Asset managers are themselves investors, choosing from the same set of products in cash, fixed-income, equities and alternatives that apply to accredited individuals and institutional investors.
Asset managers typically specialize within a narrow asset class or management strategy. That specialization may preclude significant community investment. For instance, an actively managed equity fund has virtually no community investment options.
Cash and fixed income fund managers have the greatest ability to get involved in community investment by allocating a portion of their investment to community investment notes, community development bonds or direct purchases of notes from individual community development finance institution (CDFI) loan funds. Though it is challenging to meet the legal requirement for these notes by marking them with a Net Asset Value (NAV) on a daily basis, some have devised ways to facilitate the process.
The Expanding the Market for Community Investment in the United States report provides valuable information on ways to attract new accredited and institutional investments. The section on Fund Managers in the Options and Innovations in Community Investing report also has more information on community investment opportunities.