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Board diversity

New directors bolster female representation at U.K. trade group

The Investment Association added three women to its board of directors. They are, from left, Hanneke Smits, Michelle Scrimgeour and Caroline Connellan.

The Investment Association has upped the gender diversity on its own board of directors with three new appointments.

The trade body for U.K. money managers has almost doubled the female representation on its board to almost 40%, up from a little more than 20%. The IA has been vocal on the need for the investment industry to increase diversity.

Joining the board, effective immediately, are Hanneke Smits, CEO at Newton Investment Management; Michelle Scrimgeour, CEO of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Columbia Threadneedle Investments; and Caroline Connellan, CEO at Brooks Macdonald Group PLC. Also named to the board was Dan Watkins, chief operating officer, EMEA at J.P. Morgan Asset Management (JPM).

The appointed executives replace four retiring board members, all of whom are male: Andrew Formica, former co-CEO at Janus Henderson Investors; Mark Zinkula, CEO at Legal & General Investment Management; Paul Feeney, CEO at Quilter PLC; and Andrew Laing, joint head of integration at Standard Life Aberdeen PLC.

"The board of directors sits at the heart of the IA, and it is essential that we have a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives around the table," said Chris Cummings, CEO of the Investment Association, in a news release. "We know that firms with diverse management teams make better decisions, so I am particularly pleased that we have been able to increase the diversity of our board with these four new appointments," he said.

According to the IA website, other women on the board are Maxime Carmignac, managing director at Carmignac Gestion; Rachel Lord, senior managing director and head of Europe, the Middle East and Africa at BlackRock (BLK) Inc. (BLK); Kim McFarland, chief operating officer at Investec Asset Management; and Joanna Munro, global head of fiduciary governance at HSBC Global Asset Management.