The UK is the world’s second largest savings market after the United States, totalling £7.7trn.
The industry employs 100,000 individuals with 75% of UK households utilising the services of an asset manager in one form or another.
Yet the industry remains unrepresentative of the UK population and workforce. Ethnic minorities comprise 14% of the UK population, with 7.5% identifying as Asian and 3.3% as Black.
In London where the majority of fund managers are based, 18.5% of the population is Asian and 13.3% is black. In the fund management industry 10% of individuals identify as Asian and only 1% identify as black.
To this end, #TALKABOUTBLACK was born.
What is #TalkAboutBlack?
At present, #TalkAboutBlack is the first part of this Workstream looking to address the chronic under-representation of black talent by developing a sustainable pipeline of black leaders in the asset management industry.
The socio-economic situation in which many UK-born black people find themselves.
UK Black-Caribbean and Black-African individuals experience higher rates of unemployment and are more likely to become victims of crime.
The creation of an after-school program aimed at secondary school children which will help to equip them with the knowledge, tools, connections and more importantly, aspiration to enter the fund management industry.
We are exploring a pilot program with the City of London Corporation, initially working with one school in Hackney, Tower Hamlets or Southwark and targeting children aged 11. Download the Proposal and Pilot program June 2019.
Should these individuals achieve a good education, they are less likely to be successful in securing their preferred roles; are either not attracted to asset management due to its perceived lack of diversity or in many cases simply not aware.
An annual student event to identify and attract promising minority talent to the industry (view the 2019 event).
When these black individuals do break into the industry, they typically end up in support functions, have higher rates of attrition and rarely progress to leadership or revenue-generating positions.
At the time of writing, we can identify thirteen black portfolio managers, three heads of distribution and only two black professionals in C-Suite positions.
- Mentoring circles led by senior ethnic minority professionals aimed at minority professionals with 1-10 years’ experience.
- A proposed 5-point CEO plan which will equip business leaders with a blueprint to increase black talent within their organisations.
4. Breaking the taboo.
Finally, whereas people are generally comfortable discussing issues relating to gender and more increasingly sexual orientation, race remains a taboo subject.
#talkaboutblack utilises thought leadership, roundtable debates, panel discussions, online videos, mainstream/trade media and social media to break the taboo subject that is race in our industry and society.