Asset Mgmt Top Ranks Overwhelmingly White and Male: Pension Report


FundFire | May 6, 2016

The FundFire article, "Asset Mgmt Top Ranks Overwhelmingly White and Male: Pension Report," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates' Deb Brown about the job asset managers are doing in recruiting minorities and women at larger companies. The article is excerpted below. 

A report compiled by one large institutional investor shows senior ranks of several top asset managers to be overwhelmingly white and male.

Data on high-level diversity at the country’s largest investment management firms can be notoriously difficult to pin down. And the data that is available can be troublesome to parse, as the meaning of “senior management” can vary wildly from firm to firm, making it hard to compare apples-to- apples across the industry.

Despite these challenges, a report compiled by the $17.5 billion State Universities Retirement System of Illinois (SURS) has found a dearth of diversity, with results showing that even among those firms that broadly define senior management, minorities account for 25% or less of their senior-level headcount, and women account for 30% or less.

Last June, more than 50 firms provided diversity data to SURS, the 24th year the pension required affirmative action data from its investment services providers, according to the annual report. Managers were asked to provide affirmative action data as of June 30, 2015.

But comparing one firm to another can be challenging since their counting methods are varied and companies can differ in size.


An executive search firm finds that asset managers generally do a reasonably good job of recruiting minorities and women, “but the issue is their inclusion [efforts], retention and bringing them through the system,” says Deb Brown, consultant at Russell Reynolds Associates.

“The message is that I think everyone could be doing a better job,” Brown adds.

To read the full article, click here.


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Asset Mgmt Top Ranks Overwhelmingly White and Male: Pension Report