Financials fail to prove top diversity in Thomson Reuters index

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Financial groups are failing to beat companies operating in the professional services, pharmaceutical, drinks making, retail, telecoms, cosmetics and other industries, when it comes to the top decile and top quartile rankings in the latest Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion index.

The index is based on relative performance measures covering some 7,000 companies. Each company is scored on diversity, inclusion, people development and news controversy factors. Only those with scores across all four areas are assigned an overall score. The companies that achieve the best overall scores are assigned rankings in the top 100, which constitutes the index. (The full methodology is available here:

In this year’s edition of the index, some 52 companies were new entrants to the top 100, while 17 remained ranked for a second consecutive year. However, financial groups have failed to prove a presence in the top decile and top quartile rankings. Geographically, Canadian banks have a strong presence across the full list of ranked companies. The only bank to make the top quartile was Bank of Montreal.

Top 25 Index ranking and their corresponding overall D&I percentage score (%): Company Score
1 Accenture PLC 84.25
2 Novartis AG 79.25
3 Medtronic PLC 79
4 Diageo PLC 78.75
5 Gap Inc 78.5
6 Telecom Italia SpA 77.75
7 Kering SA 77.5
8 Natura Cosmeticos SA 77.25
8 L’Oreal SA 77.25
10 Acciona SA 77
10 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co 77
12 Ucb SA 75
12 Roche Holding AG 75
14 Woolworths Group Ltd 74.75
15 Nestle SA 74.5
16 Microsoft Corp 74.25
17 Colgate-Palmolive Co 74
17 Procter & Gamble Co 74
17 Eli Lilly and Co 74
20 HP Inc 73.75
20 Merck & Co Inc 73.75
22 Hera SpA 73.5
23 Bank of Montreal 73.25
24 Siemens AG 73
24 Kao Corp 73
24 Woolworths Holdings Ltd 73
24 Sempra Energy 73


Top 25 financial and insurance groups and their corresponding overall D&I percentage score (%): Company Score
23 Bank of Montreal 73.25
28 BNP Paribas 72.5
37 Generali 71.75
47 UBS 70.5
52 Bank of Nova Scotia 70.25
52 Sun Life Financial 70.25
61 Allianz SE 69.75
68 Deutsche Bank 69.25
68 Societe Generale 69.25
68 Royal Bank of Canada 69.25
77 Phoenix Group Holdings 69
86 Citigroup 68.5
88 NIB Holdings 68.25
95 CIMB Group 68
95 Nedbank 68
95 Fubon Financial Holding 68

The index development reflects increasing demands by investors for insight into ESG factors that can affect performance, notes Elena Philipova, global head of ESG at Thomson Reuters, Financial & Risk. However, there are also regulatory developments driving the insight: Virginie O’Shea, research directors at Aite Group, is cited by Thomson Reuters as noting that “not only have firms been increasing their corporate disclosure with the intent of improving corporate governance and transparency, regulators have also been compelling change and 2019 will see the introduction of the second Shareholder Rights Directive in Europe to this end.”

“Investors are keen to see much more data related to topics such as diversity to factor these into their ESG strategies, which have been gathering pace over the last 12 months.”

Will Jan, vice president & lead analyst at Outsell, is cited saying: “Recent studies have revealed that diversity & inclusion is correlated to value-creation & profitability.  As such, financial services have an obligation to inform investors of these opportunities.”

Brad Bailey, research director, capital markets at Celent, is cited saying: “With growth in ESG investing coming from more and more quarters, it is crucial to have transparent benchmarks for all types of  portfolio managers (PMs) and investors, from long only to quantitative funds,  to ensure that they have a clear framework for the effective allocation of resources into companies with the most astute approaches to diversity.”


This article was first published in our sister title InvestmentEurope.