May 17, 2021


Delivering diverse slate of candidates is now the expectation


Executive recruiting firms are playing an increasingly key role in making money managers more diverse and inclusive organizations. 

Most executive recruiters with whom Pensions & Investments spoke said that more money management clients are insisting on a diverse shortlist of candidates — mostly from a gender point of view — and this demand has grown over the past few years. 


But while more money management clients are requiring a more diverse shortlist, few are dictating quotas on the headhunting firms. 


“Every client we work with on the investment management side is focused on diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Meredith Coburn, executive director and consultant on the financial services sector and asset and wealth management and insurance practices at executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, New York. “We have clients ensuring that we deliver a diverse slate (of candidates).” 


Ms. Coburn added that the push for delivering a diverse slate comes from just as much within Russell Reynolds as it does from the client.


Paul Battye, CEO of the U.K.-based global executive search firm and HR consultancy Hoffmann Reed, said via email that “every mandate we undertake now has an element of diversity to it. It’s no longer acceptable to present an all-male shortlist.” 

Mr. Battye added that while diversity is important, “it’s also important to note the need for inclusion,” which is about creating a culture that fosters diversity and makes a firm’s diverse employees feel essential to the organization.

“Inclusion is the glue that makes diversity stick,” he said.

While Hoffmann Reed is rarely given quotas when taking on a mandate, Mr. Battye explained that clients almost always make it clear that having a diverse group of candidates on the shortlist is essential. 

“We aim to have at least 30% of our shortlisted candidates come from diverse backgrounds,” Mr. Battye said, adding that by diverse backgrounds, he’s referring to “gender, ethnicity, age, cultural (background and) education,” among others.

Mr. Battye added: “It’s too easy think of diversity as men and women and as such, it’s our aim to bring true diversity to our clients.”

“T. Rowe is also looking at movement in senior leadership roles within the firm, not just in
entry-level roles”

Raymone Jackson,

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion,

T. Rowe Price Group 

Jackson Baker, manager and head of U.S. business development at recruitment agency Rutherford Search Ltd. in London said that managers requesting either a 50-50 gender split of candidates or some form of diversity has “definitely been increasing.”


Mr. Baker added that managers he works with are requiring a shortlist of a “specific ratio” of candidates and looking at candidates on an anonymous basis.

The main challenge is still to come up with a specific pool of candidates. “It becomes difficult when there is (a finite number) of women, who can meet the requirement of a position,” Mr. Baker said.  

For example, compliance roles need to be filled fast, and it ultimately means that the candidate is chosen based on skill set. “When there (are) not enough women in the talent pool ... firms end up going with a male (candidate),” he added, referring to a lack of readily available female talent for compliance roles in particular.


Much has changed
TC Jefferson, director in London of Plenum Search Ltd., said the conversation on diversity and inclusion has “changed lots” over the years.

“Twelve years ago, it wasn’t on anyone’s radar. Now, it’s mentioned for every search,” he said, adding that “it still feels like we’re talking about it rather than doing something about it.”

“The only way to get a female shortlist is to start with a female longlist. Get them on to the front stage,” the Plenum Group executive said. “We need to make sure it’s not 90% white male.”

Mr. Jefferson noted that the challenge in addressing the gender imbalance is that, in his experience, men tend to be more outgoing and confident in their abilities when seeking positions and negotiating their salaries.


“We find a lot of male candidates we talk to may bring only 60% of what’s required for the role yet still raise their hand and say, ‘Yes, I can do this,’ whereas you get a lot of female candidates that bring 80% of what’s required but focus on the 20% they can’t bring and say, ‘I don’t think that’s for me,’” Mr. Jefferson said.


Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Debunking the Myths

This special P&I Content Solutions and Toigo Foundation supplement showcases diverse leaders and diversity advocates across the investment landscape, showing that diversity, equity and inclusion practices are good for business and for investment returns.



Senior DEI officers with whom P&I spoke explained that a more diverse and inclusive workforce will ultimately lead to a better, more profitable company. 

“We’re fully engaging our fully diverse staff, making sure people have a seat at the table and that their ideas are being heard,” said Marques Benton, chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer of Loomis Sayles & Co. in Boston. “And that will help us become a better asset manager.”

Alan Bowser, co-head of the Americas region and chief diversity officer at Bridgewater Associates, Westport, Conn., told P&I: “We want a wide range of ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. We hire people from a wide range of disciplines. We want people who are curious, relentlessly inquisitive, and high-quality thinkers.” He added that he wants Bridgewater to foster a culture where “the best idea wins.”

Although money management firms are pushing for greater diversity and inclusion, Laura K. Pollock, New York-based founding partner at global executive and talent strategy firm Third Street Partners LLC, has noticed that many are focusing on short-term role replacement rather than growing employees over the long-term. 

“When firms are serious about diversity, they think about it a year or more in advance,” she said. “They start to get to know people and establish a relationship” before they are hired. But Ms. Pollock said that managers aren’t keen on long-term negotiations and tend to focus on replacing employees as soon as possible.

The Third Street founding partner encouraged firms to take 36 months to meet more female candidates. “I have been pitching this for two years and none of the managers has taken me up on that,” she said.

When considering mutual funds, investors should look beyond historical performance. They should consider factors such as the fund’s investment objective, the types of securities in which it invests, and its level of risk compared with other types of investments. There are inherent risks associated with investing in the stock market, including possible loss of principal.


Consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses carefully before investing. For a prospectus regarding any T. Rowe Price mutual fund or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this and other information, call 1-877-804-2315. Read it carefully.


Over 80% of our stock funds with a 10-year track record outperformed their Lipper averages for the 10-year period ended 3/31/20.* Results will vary for other periods. Past performance cannot guarantee future results.


*121 of our 252 stock funds had a 10-year track record as of 3/31/20. (Includes all share classes and excludes funds used in insurance products.) 103 of these 121 funds (85%) beat their Lipper average for the 10-year period. 133 of 252 (53%), 150 of 246 (61%), and 129 of 160 (81%) of T. Rowe Price stock funds outperformed their Lipper average for the 1-, 3-, and 5-year periods ended 3/31/20, respectively. Calculations based on cumulative total return. Not all funds outperformed for all periods. (Source for data: Lipper Inc.) All of the mutual fund information contained in this display was supplied by Lipper, a Refinitiv Company, subject to the following: Copyright 2020 © Refinitiv. All rights reserved. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Lipper content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Lipper. Lipper shall not be liable for
any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


This material is being furnished for general informational and/or marketing purposes only. The material does not constitute or undertake to give advice of any nature, including fiduciary investment advice, nor is it intended to serve as the primary basis for an investment decision. Prospective investors are recommended to seek independent legal, financial and tax advice before making any investment decision. T. Rowe Price group of companies including T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc. and/or its affiliates receive revenue from T. Rowe Price investment products and services. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment and any income from it can go down as well as up. Investors may get back less than the amount invested.


The material does not constitute a distribution, an offer, an invitation, a personal or general recommendation or solicitation to sell or buy any securities in any jurisdiction or to conduct any particular investment activity. The material has not been reviewed by any regulatory authority in any

CCON0050211.P&I.TRP & American Active Funds Lead in 2020 page 1 of 2 6/20

Information and opinions presented have been obtained or derived from sources believed to be reliable and current; however, we cannot guarantee the sources’ accuracy or completeness. There is no guarantee that any forecasts made will come to pass. The views contained herein are as of the date noted on the material and are subject to change without notice; these views may differ from those of other T. Rowe Price group companies and/or associates. Under no circumstances should the material, in whole or in part, be copied or redistributed without consent from T. Rowe Price.


The material is not intended for use by persons in jurisdictions which prohibit or restrict the distribution of the material and in certain countries the material is provided upon specific request.


It is not intended for distribution to retail investors in any jurisdiction.


USA — Issued in the USA by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., and T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc., 100 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, 21202, which are regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., respectively. For Institutional Investors only.


© 2020 T. Rowe Price. All rights reserved. T. ROWE PRICE, INVEST WITH CONFIDENCE and the Bighorn Sheep design are, collectively and/or apart, trademarks or registered trademarks of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.


T. Rowe Price Investment Services, Inc.

Reprinted with permission from Pensions & Investments. © 2021 Crain Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
Further duplication without permission is prohibited. Visit