September 11, 2023

Raudline Etienne

Founder and CEO, Daraja Capital

Raudline Etienne came from a family of doctors and nurses, so she forged her own path to finance.


Ms. Etienne came to investing by way of an MBA at the University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She won one of the first fellowships sponsored by the Robert Toigo Foundation at the prestigious business school and graduated in 1994.


"Toigo scholarships were created to encourage and expose minority MBA students to pursue careers in financial services," Ms. Etienne said, and as part of the program fellows are provided mentors, internships and an entry into the world of money management.

The Toigo Foundation organized a trip for its West Coast fellows to meet with CalPERS, the nation's largest pension fund, which currently has $465.7 billion in assets.


"I'm a New Yorker, I'd heard of Wall Street, but I was completely caught by surprise with this world of pension investing," she said.


She also credits mentors for guiding her to a long career in investing, including Nancy Sims, now running the Toigo Foundation, and Tina Byles Williams, founder, chairwoman and CEO of Xponance.


Ms. Etienne worked at Rogerscasey from 1996 to 2008, and then served as chief investment officer for the New York State Common Retirement Fund, now $254.1 billion in assets, from 2008 to 2011.


Daraja Capital was started in 2016 to provide advice to new and boutique asset managers. In 2023, Daraja launched a seeding platform to invest in minority, women, first time fund managers and independent sponsors, and other underrepresented money managers.


"For aspiring managers who are not in the corridors of wealth, where friends and family can write six-digit checks, then it is difficult to access early capital to invest. One of Daraja’s goals is to solve this chicken-and-egg challenge."

—Erin Arvedlund 

.Reprinted with permission from Pensions & Investments. © 2023 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved. 
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