The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), supported by EY, has published a research paper reflecting the heightened focus on D&I within the global hedge fund industry.
The paper provides firms with actions they can take to improve the diversity of their workforce, create a culture of inclusion and compete with large financial institutions, technology firms and service providers for talent.
The paper comes as industry leaders increasingly recognise the competitive advantage that is found in a diverse workforce. More so than ever, firms need talent from a variety of backgrounds in order to harness diversity of thought, experience and perspectives—in all its guises—and look at the markets through different lenses.
This is an exciting industry with problems to solve and investors to serve. We hope that some of the stories told and examples given throughout this paper will help to open doors for the next generation of talent."
Investors are also paying close attention to the D&I practices of the firms to which they allocate. Institutional investors have many reasons for this focus, including a belief that diversity and inclusion can lead to better decision making and therefore overall performance by countering the risk of groupthink.
The paper draws on members' own perspectives to explain why D&I matters and to identify the advantages of diverse and inclusive teams. It highlights the range of career opportunities in hedge fund firms for curious and ambitious people of all backgrounds and tells the stories of prominent members of the industry who took less traditional routes to success.
The core of the paper is 45 actions hedge fund firms of all sizes can take to improve D&I, ranging from the recruitment process, to employee retention, to relations with external stakeholders. Those actions are broken into the following categories:
- External Relationships
It represents an important step in AIMA's commitment to improving diversity and inclusion across the hedge fund industry.
Robyn Grew, chair, AIMA Diversity and Inclusion Steering Group and Group COO of Man Group said, "Our industry has always attracted pioneers, and hedge fund firms are staffed with people who refuse to accept the status quo. Our commitment is to provide the industry with practical resources, advice, role models and case studies to continue to build an inclusive culture.
Grew added: "This is an exciting industry with problems to solve and investors to serve. We hope that some of the stories told and examples given throughout this paper will help to open doors for the next generation of talent."
Jack Inglis, CEO of AIMA, commented "Our industry must stay true to its meritocratic roots in order to continue delivering the performance investors expect. We at AIMA will continue to do our part to foster diversity and inclusion by using our global reach to convene broad coalitions of industry stakeholders to disseminate sound practice and raise awareness of the opportunities available in the industry to individuals from all walks of life."
Diya Wilson, wealth and asset management partner at EY added: "The alternatives industry is well known for being dynamic and fast paced, and has always adapted nimbly to the ever-changing economic environment it operates in. As investors become more diverse themselves, it is important that the industry reflects this. This paper offers some excellent practical tips for small and large alternative asset managers to achieve their diversity objectives."