citybiz+ Girls Who Invest Gets $2M from Apollo Global’s Foundation

Girls Who Invest, a New York nonprofit aiming to bring more women into the investment management industry, has received a $2 million grant from Apollo Global Management’s foundation. The funding, via Apollo Opportunity Foundation, will come in two commitments of $1 million each over the next two years.

“This significant commitment from the Apollo Opportunity Foundation underscores the firm’s belief in expanding opportunity to as many individuals as possible, and will meaningfully propel our scholars, alumni, and programs forward,” said Katherine Jollon Colsher, an English major who carved out careers at Accenture and Goldman Sachs before founding GWI.

Much-needed ‘Horsepower’

“It’s imperative that our growing alumni population of more than 2,500 have the necessary resources, community, and support as they progress throughout their careers,” added the organization’s CEO. Partnerships such as the one with Apollo provide critical “horsepower” in its vision to have women and non-binary individuals manage 30% of the world’s investable capital by 2030, she said.

The $2 million grant will support GWI’s core programs, as well as new initiatives to support those already working full-time in the industry. Additionally, the Apollo foundation will join GWI’s Leadership Circle, established a year ago to drive long-term retention and advancement of women and non-binary individuals in investment management.

“The Apollo Opportunity Foundation is proud to work hand-in-hand with an organization that reflects our key pillars of career education, workplace development and economic empowerment,” said Lauren Coape-Arnold, the foundation’s Global Head of Citizenship and executive director. “Guided by our commitment to create long-term impact for our community, we are thrilled to support the work of Girls Who Invest.”

U.S. Lags in Diversity

Founded in 2015, GWI aims to redress gross under-representation of women in the investment sector. Just one stat highlights the point, as well as the disparity with other countries — only 1% of America’s financial assets are managed by women, compared to 12% for the rest of the world.

The organization runs tuition-free education programs for first and second-year college students, and finds them internship positions at investment firms. Each year, it aims to serve over 500 program graduates and place over 200 scholars in front-line investing internships. So far, it has assisted over 2,500 girl students, and placed nearly 2,000 in 180 colleges and universities. In an encouraging sign, GWI says 70% of the interns have stayed on in the financial sector.

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Last year, GWI named three new board members — Collette Chilton of Williams College; Heather Kennedy Miner, chief operating officer and managing director of Advent International; and Tina Byles Williams, founder, CEO and chief investment officer of Xponance.

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Investing Powerhouse
Apollo Global, founded by Marc Rowan, Leon Black, Josh Harris and Antony Ressler, is the owner of Yahoo, ADT, Ingenico and Griffin Capital Company. The global alternative asset manager has $651 billion in assets under management.

Apollo’s foundation was launched in 2022 with a $100 million commitment from its parent. It aims to expand opportunity in communities around the globe and by engaging Apollo employees to invest in career education, workforce development and economic empowerment.