Large U.S. investment firms should disclose their diversity data and policies, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio, said in a letter sent to 31 firms Thursday.
Ms. Waters chairs the House Financial Services Committee, and Ms. Beatty chairs the Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee. The letter to firms with $400 billion or more in assets under management is part of an effort "to ensure a comprehensive understanding of diversity and inclusion performance in the financial services industry," and the firms should disclose the information to the SEC's Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, Congress and the public, the letter said.
The firms were asked to disclose diversity and inclusion data and policies from 2016 through the present, including workforce and board diversity, use of diverse asset management firms and other suppliers, and any challenges implementing diversity and inclusion policies and practices.
"With these data requests to America's largest investment firms, we are continuing to hold the financial services industry accountable for diversity and inclusion," Ms. Waters said in a statement criticizing investment firms for "failing to prioritize" diversity and inclusion on boards and staff, or working with diverse-owned asset managers.
Ms. Beatty is planning to introduce legislation that would require all regulated entities to share diversity data with regulators, she said at a Thursday subcommittee hearing on asset management industry diversity.
The planned Diversity Data Accountability Act "is precisely the kind of leadership we need from Washington right now to continue the growing momentum to bolster diversity in the asset management industry," said Robert Raben, Diverse Asset Managers Initiative founder, in a separate statement.
"Pressure on institutional investors to do better is mounting from all sides — from legislators, corporations, civil rights leaders, clients and more. And many investors are finally responding to the pressure, releasing data and taking steps to address our diversity dearth," Mr. Raben said.