IA to target industry diversity “once and for all”


The Investment Association has launched an initiative to tackle diversity in the investment and savings industries.

Schroders, Aberdeen Asset Management and Fidelity International are among the founding members of The Diversity Project, which is aimed at “solving poor levels of industry diversity once and for all”.

The project, to be led by IA chair and Newton Investment Management CEO Helena Morrissey, will tackle representation in the industry across gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background, degree discipline, sexual orientation, age and disability.

It will work with CEOs and chairs, to facilitate diverse recruitment, help diverse talent to rise to top roles within firms, share best practice and develop new collaborative initiatives. 

In the UK, just 9 per cent of active fund managers are female, according to the IA.

Morrissey says: “It’s time for the investment and savings industries to seek diversity in its broadest sense to ensure the industry has the cognitive and experiential diversity needed to be modern, to represent society and to make effective decisions.”

She will lead a steering group including Allianz Global Investors’ head of institutional for Europe, Irshaad Ahmad, Sinead Clark from Mercer and Maxime Carmignac managing director for the UK office at Carmignac Gestion.

PLSA chair Lesley Williams, who is part of the steering group, says the investment and savings industries needs to harness all talent in order reflect the society they serve.

Other founding members of the initiative include the CFA Society of the UK, HSBC Global Asset Management, Invesco Perpetual, Investec Asset Management, LGIM and M&G.

Morrissey is already founder of the 30% Club, which aims to increase gender diversity on company boards.