Thursday 13 June 2019 12:01 am

Investment Association calls on industry to act on racial diversity

The Investment Association has called on the industry to act to increase the number of black asset managers working in the sector

Companies should modernise recruitment processes, establish mentoring schemes and networks, and improve education on inclusion, the Investment Association said in a report published this morning.

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The organisation added that race is as important as gender or sexuality in discussions about diversity in the workplace.

Fewer than one per cent of investment managers are black, according to Investment Association research. However, people who identify as black make up three per cent of the UK population.

In London – where the majority of the finance industry is based – 13 per cent of the population identifies as black.

Justin Onuekwusi, head of retail multi-asset funds at Legal & General Investment Management and the #talkaboutblack group, said: “It has long been taboo to discuss ethnicity, yet change can only come about once we have these conversations.”

He added:“This is leading to tangible action and gives us a real opportunity to make the lasting change that we hope can inspire the next generation of aspiring black asset and investment management professionals.”

Read more: ‘City must change everything’ to improve gender diversity

“Diversity makes us all stronger,” Chris Cummings, Investment Association chief executive said.

“Different voices, opinions and experiences help investment performance, widening horizons and discouraging group think.

“And we need to be connected with all our clients. Just as our customers come from all ethnic backgrounds, so should our people.”