2 August 2021
LCP is one of the signatories of a new Diversity Charter which has been formulated by some of the largest pension schemes in the UK, forming a group called the Asset Owner Diversity Working Group, Co-chaired by Helen Price, Brunel Pension Partnership and David Hickey, Lothian Pension Fund.
Fund management suffers from a lack of diversity. The Diversity Charter offers a toolkit for analysing how asset managers are performing on diversity and inclusion – and where they can improve.
By signing up to the Asset Owner Diversity Charter, signatories are committing to take account of diversity and inclusion records from fund managers when choosing new partners. Diversity questions will form part of the overall assessment scores for each bidder, meaning fund managers wanting to work with these clients will have to disclose information and demonstrate real devotion on how they are tackling diversity and inclusion within their workforce.
Signatories also commit to including diversity as part of ongoing manager monitoring, a questionnaire will be provided to managers annually for completion. A key aim of the group was to create standardisation to improve disclosure. The charter questionnaire has been developed to be progressive and equip signatories to hold firms to account for ongoing progress. It goes beyond asking about the strategic approach, to identify how managers look at diversity and inclusion across five key areas, industry perception, recruitment, culture, promotion and leadership.
The new charter has the support of government, which welcomes the industry led approach. Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, said:
“We need asset managers to be more representative of the savers they represent. It is good to see pension schemes taking a lead in developing this charter and committing to work with the wider investment industry to improve diversity. I encourage all pension schemes to sign up.”
LCP also worked with other consultants to help develop the questionnaire.
Clay Lambiotte, Head of Investment at LCP, commented: “It has been a pleasure to work together with our peers across the UK and Global Investment Consulting firms to explore how we move the dial on diversity and inclusion (D&I). This is a step in the right direction and will provide an important way to understand firms strategies, policies and approach to D&I.
“As a firm, it's important to us to be part of initiatives like this to help the industry become more open, diverse and ultimately stronger.”
You can read the charter here: www.diversityproject.com/assetownerdiversitycharter