In an interview with City A.M, co-founder and chief executive of Prosper, Nick Perrett was keen to tackle recent criticism and express Prosper’s commitment to inclusivity.
“If you’re asking me what the team photo [of Prosper] would look like in 10 years time, I hope it would look a hell of a lot more diverse than it looks now,” he admitted.
Despite wanting to “shake up” the sector, new wealth management platform Prosper came under fire earlier this month as prospective customers questioned the firm’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Prosper launched with the aim of “revolutionising” the traditional wealth management sector through its “customer-champion-centric” ethos, slick technology and minimal fees.
However, comments on some of the founders’ launch announcements expressed concern for the rather male and pale team photo.
“Looks like [diversity, equity & inclusion] is fundamental to your hypothesis guys,” one comment read.
Reacting to the criticism, Perrett added:”But I think, with diversity and inclusion, you need to think about it broadly. Gender is one really important pillar, but I think ethnic background is another, as is socioeconomic background…We also think about neurodiversity [at Prosper]”.
Perrett said that firms had to be “careful” about how they approach the topic, however.
“I think sometimes you can do things that are quite overt to get to the place you want to be. But I’m also sensitive that if I was going to hire you, you wouldn’t want me to hire you because you’re a woman. You want me to hire you because you are the best person for the job,” he said.
Nonetheless, Perrett insisted that diversity – “cognitive diversity in particular” – was a major driver of a team’s performance and something Prosper held dear.
Prosper currently has a public launch slated for the first quarter of 2024. Early investors in the platform include Tom Blomfield, founder of online bank Monzo, and Matt Cooper, co-founder of Capital One Bank.
The firm has invited the crowdfunding community to participate, offering Crowdcube investors a reward of lifetime zero-fees on investments made during the launch period in addition to equity ownership in the company.