Leading Asset Management CEOs Address New Data on Gender Diversity and Commitment to Accelerate Chan

Diversity & Inclusion

Leading Asset Management CEOs Address New Data on Gender Diversity and Commitment to Accelerate Change

March 23, 2021


Despite some encouraging signs in specific regions, women’s participation in the investment management industry has remained stagnant for more than 20 years, according to data presented during DE&I in the Investment Management Industry, a virtual Executive Roundtable hosted by the Women Business Collaborative, the Investment Adviser Association, and Morningstar.

Karen Barr
Karen Barr
IAA President & CEO

“Our profession has a long way to go in matters of diversity, equity, and inclusion,” said IAA President & CEO Karen Barr, one of the roundtable’s moderators. “We must step up to confront these issues. Now is the time to bring our community together to share perspectives on how we can do better and drive effective change.”

 

The data picture of women’s underrepresentation in investment management was presented by Laura Lutton, Head of Asset Management Solutions at Morningstar and Sarah Maynard, Global Head of External Inclusion and Diversity Strategies and Programs at the CFA Institute.

Strategies for creating a path forward to accelerate change were offered by three leading asset management CEOs with more than 85 years of combined experience and overseeing more than $4.5 trillion in assets: Yie-Hsin Hung, CEO of New York Life Investment Management; Jenny Johnson, President & CEO of Franklin Templeton; and Michelle Seitz, Chairman & CEO of Russell Investments. The roundtable was moderated by Barr and former Oak Hill Advisors Partner Alex Jung

Globally, the rate of women mutual fund managers is unchanged since 2000 at about 14 percent, according to new data presented by Morningstar’s Lutton. There are bright spots – the representation of women in parts of Asia is north of 20 percent and is approaching 30 percent in China. But in the U.S. and U.K. the rate is below the global average.

A recording of the executive roundtable DE&I in the Investment Management Industry is available online. Additional video resources include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: An Investment Industry Imperative from the IAA’s 2020 Leadership Week and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Investment Management Industry from our 2021 Compliance Conference.

One point of encouragement is that more women are in the talent pipeline, seeking the professional credentials seen as relevant to participating in the investment management industry. The CFA Institute’s Maynard noted that between 2015 and 2020, the participation by women in the CFA Program grew from 32 percent to 41 percent. In real numbers, the number of women candidates for the CFA designation doubled over that period, from 70,000 to 140,000.

Continuing to build reliable data sets is crucial to building strategies for change. Each of the CEO panelists provided insights for accelerating positive change. 

Franklin Templeton President & CEO Jenny Johnson said investment management executives need to view the hiring and promotion of women as “an unbelievable opportunity. If you have an underutilized group of very talented individuals, you have to look at it as an incredible investment opportunity. Firms must look critically at their practices to see what they are doing to build a pipeline and ensure advancement opportunities for women. We must advocate for groups that have been historically underrepresented to start joining investment management firms and to envision themselves in our industry in the future. Firms need to help plant the seed early at the foundation of their careers.”

“You have to resource this effort like any major strategic initiative with commitment from the top and embed diversity and inclusion into every step of our processes around talent, in interviews and promotions, to increase the likelihood of achieving the outcome we all desire,” said New York Life Investment Management CEO Yie-Hsin Hung. “As women leaders, there’s also an opportunity for us to bring more women into our industry by sharing our stories with the next generation and better connecting what we do to making a difference in peoples’ lives.”

“We have the women taking the exams, graduating from esteemed universities, and applying for jobs. We need to make sure that once they're in our pipeline, we provide opportunities to get them on track for promotions and leadership roles,” said Russell Investments CEO Michelle Seitz. “We need to attract and retain people once they’re in the field.”

A recording of the executive roundtable DE&I in the Investment Management Industry is available online. Additional video resources include Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: An Investment Industry Imperative from the IAA’s 2020 Leadership Week and Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Investment Management Industry from our 2021 Compliance Conference.

 

TAGS: Diversity & Inclusion, Karen Barr  

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