2. EARNEST Partners L.L.C.

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Founded in 1999, EARNEST Partners is the world’s largest employee-owned African American asset management firm.  The Atlanta-based firm manages $14.0 billion for municipalities, states, corporations, endowments, eleemosynary groups, and universities. The firm’s assets under management are down 37% from the previous year.

Paul Viera, founder and CEO of EARNEST Partners, is credited to developing a unique three-tier investment strategy used to select equities at the company.  Viera’s “Return Pattern Recognition” process ranks companies by specific financial and market characteristics; identifies the most attractive set of characteristics for each company; and highlights companies currently exhibiting the set of characteristics that has led to outperformance.