The asset management industry has seen disappointingly slow progress in increasing diversity, and the pace of change should be accelerated, Willis Towers Watson said in a new paper.
The paper, "Diversity in the Asset Management Industry," creates a call for action to accelerate that pace for money managers, investment consultants and asset owners.
Among the actions that Willis Towers Watson is encouraging are for companies to provide greater transparency and disclosure, increase the sourcing of diverse talents, measure the diversity of asset managers beyond professionals who have equity ownership, and shift away from the "star portfolio manager model" to a team-based investment approach.
"Addressing the systemic issue of poor diversity in the asset management industry requires a collective effort and, in many cases, a fundamental change in mindset and culture," said Chris Redmond, Willis Towers Watson's head of manager research, in a news release announcing the paper. "Although some efforts will take time to bear fruit, as an industry we need to challenge ourselves to do more now."
The news release also notes that Willis Towers Watson's manager research team plans to increase by 20% the number of discovery meetings scheduled with firms with diverse investment teams.
The approach is built on research by Willis Towers Watson's Thinking Ahead Institute, which includes a "culture review" as part of the manager research process.
The paper can be found on Willis Towers Watson's website.