Chicago Community Catalyst Fund Announces Marquette Associates as Investment Consultants


Local firm wins contract with new neighborhood-focused investment fund

CHICAGO- Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers announced today that Marquette Associates will provide investment consulting and performance and risk measurement services to the Chicago Community Catalyst Fund’s board of directors and staff. Marquette will identify partners, provide investment management advice, and serve as a fiduciary for the Fund.

“I’m excited to take another step towards providing all of Chicago’s neighborhoods with access to capital they need,” Treasurer Summers said. “Marquette Associates’ 32-year history of providing investment management advice and social responsibility falls clearly in line with the Fund’s goal of generating returns while bolstering capital in underserved and disinvested neighborhoods. They’re a fantastic addition to our team, and I’m confident that they will help us make the Fund the best that it can be.”

The Catalyst Fund will provide targeted investments in economic opportunity and job creation to Chicago’s neighborhoods that are most in need. The City established a $100 million fund at the urging of Treasurer Summers in 2016 and it is expect to leverage the initial public commitment to attract significant private sector funding for the initiative as well.

These investments will be expected to generate a risk-adjusted market return consistent with the City’s overall investment portfolio returns. The Fund’s board of directors is chaired by Treasurer Summers and includes Juan C. Avila, Carole L. Brown, Michelle Collins, Richard Price, David L. Reifman, and Stuart A. Taylor II.

Marquette Associates is an independent investment consulting firm based in Chicago. It is the 23rd largest investment consulting firm in the United States with more than $169 billion in assets under advisement.

“Our firm is extraordinarily proud to be chosen for this engagement. Chicago has always been at the center of our business and this is an exciting opportunity to focus our depth of investment expertise to help deploy much needed capital into nontraditional areas of the city that are teeming with untapped potential,” said Brian Wrubel, president and CEO of Marquette Associates.

Marquette was founded in 1986 and is 100% employee owned with the objective of providing the highest caliber of investment consulting services to institutional investors. In addition to their Chicago headquarters, Marquette has offices in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.

“The Board members are very familiar with Marquette’s sterling reputation as an investment adviser and we were extremely impressed with the firm’s proposal,” said Richard S. Price, a Catalyst Fund Board member and chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial. “As the Catalyst Fund continues to surround itself with best in class talent, we are poised to ensure the success of the Treasurer’s vision to reach the broader economies of Chicago’s neighborhoods with capital critical to revitalizing our whole city.”

Treasurer Summers said that now that the consulting firm has been finalized the next steps for the Catalyst Fund include raising additional capital from outside investors to combine with the city’s resources and to begin outreach to fund managers for its first round of investments.  The hope is to see the capital moving later this year, he said.

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