Industry Future
27 August 2021 Research Reports

Accelerating Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Investment Management

  1. Sarah Maynard, ASIP
  2. Paul Andrews

To evaluate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, the Experimental Partner Program collected data from 41 investment organizations in the US, Canada, and Australia. This report provides an analysis of the findings and proposes new strategies.

Through the CFA Institute Experimental Partners Program, 41 investment organizations with $26trn AUM responded to the challenge to make the investment industry more inclusive by implementing ideas in the CFA Institute guide Driving Change: Diversity & Inclusion in Investment Management. The guide, which inspired the Experimental Partners Program, includes 20 ideas generated in concert with the industry through a series of roundtables with more than 300 participants and was reviewed by experts in the field. 

This new report, Accelerating Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Investment Management, captures the vast array of data, both qualitative and quantitative, we collected over the Program’s duration. Most importantly, it records the seismic shift from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leadership being centered in HR to ownership by business heads, supported by increasingly expert DEI leads.

In the Experimental Partners Program, each firm was asked to focus on up to three of the ideas from the list and developed action plans that were implemented over 18–24 months. Some began as early as January 2019, and the program concluded in December 2020. Along the way, participants provided confidential quarterly updates to CFA Institute about what was working and what was not, and they collaborated with other participating firms to learn from each other.

The organizations that participated range from relatively small, one office firms, to global companies with multiple locations and thousands of employees. Overall, these organizations employ more than 234,000 people; 83% are headquartered in the United States, 10% in Canada, and 7% in Australia. The majority are asset managers, but the Program also included asset owners and data providers. The combination of the different sub-sectors, locations, and scale provides a wide overview, combined with in-depth analysis of each DEI area the Experimental Partners (XPs) targeted.

The main body of the report gives detailed reviews of the actions taken by XPs to achieve a desired impact—from recruiting more individuals from underrepresented communities, to advancing those already employed. We discuss what is required to start the work for those beginning their DEI initiatives and what more mature DEI strategies and programs involve. We conclude with an industry call to action, including information on our DEI Code, which is currently in public consultation.

Accelerating Change: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Investment Management Read the report (PDF)

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