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Friday, June 5, 2020

More Fundsters Reflect on "the Senseless Killing of George Floyd"

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

More fundsters continue to speak up about racism as Black Lives Matter protests continue across the U.S.

Shawn K. Lytle
Macquarie Group / Macquarie Investment Management / Delaware Funds
U.S. Country Head / Deputy Global Head / President
Kevin Birzer, CEO of Leawood, Kansas-based Tortoise Capital Advisors, shared a video yesterday in which he calls on his team to "always speak out against oppression and injustice," actively work to make the world a better place, and "show great love to every other human being."

"Too many of us have turned a blind eye to the problem, thereby allowing a small group to inflict absolutely horrific damage," Birzer said in the video. "I've been quiet for too long. Racism is evil."

Also yesterday, the team at Manning and Napier (based in Fairport, New York, near Rochester), posted a message acknowledging this "stressful and scary time."

"We have work to do, and the events of this past week have made that abundantly clear," the Manning and Napier team wrote. "Our hometown of Rochester is no stranger to political tension. But it's also a place where action, peaceful protest, and serious challenge are welcome."

Brian Levitt, global market strategist for North America at Invesco, posted yesterday about his efforts to teach his kids about what's going on, by going to protests and talking about the speeches, hoping they learn to "treat everyone with respect and dignity, and to have deep empathy for others."

"I am struggling to even find the words of what I want to say," Levitt wrote. "Anything that comes to mind feels small. I simply have not faced the challenges that those in the black and other communities have faced."

On Wednesday, Shawn Lytle, global head of Philadelphia-based Macquarie Investment Management (and president of Delaware Funds), wrote that "simply acknowledging that injustices exist and that we share the feelings of grief and frustration is not enough."

"These events are a continuing harsh reminder that there remains considerable work for us to do to support the basic human and civil rights we all deserve," Lytle wrote. "A healthy and well-functioning society begins with respect for all people, regardless of their characteristics and affords everyone the respect and dignity of being proud of who they are."

On Tuesday, Charles Goldman, president and CEO of AssetMark (which offers the GuideMark and GuidePath funds), described racism as "an evil that must be extinguished."

"Mistreating another person because of their skin color, gender, sexual orientation, faith, or for any reason, is intolerable," Goldman wrote. "As leaders, and we are all leaders, it is our responsibility to stand against those who perpetrate or watch idly as others perpetrate crimes of injustice. Today we stand with George Floyd, his family, and those peacefully protesting across the country." 

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