Most Asset Managers Ignore Diversity When Investing, Study Shows

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Less than half of asset managers consider gender diversity when researching potential investments, undercutting the sector’s push for women in leadership, research by pension consultancy Redington showed.

About 47% take the gender profile of a company into account, according to the poll of more than 100 global asset managers with $10 trillion in combined assets under management.

The sector’s blindspot extends to its own staffing, with two-thirds of asset managers fielding investment teams with less than 25% women. Meanwhile, industry bodies such as the Investment Association are increasing pressure on listed firms that don’t meet expectations on diversity.

“While our research clearly shows that many asset managers understand the importance of better gender diversity and are taking steps to measure and monitor it, we are seeing a very mixed picture of how this translates to team structures and decision-making,” Nick Samuels, head of manager research at Redington, said in the research.

Asset managers and governments have been calling out public companies that fail to hire and promote more broadly for several years. The Investment Association said this month that nearly three-quarters of the U.K.’s largest firms failed to report the ethnic make-up of their boards at this year’s shareholder meetings.

The Financial Times reported the news earlier.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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