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CFA Society North Carolina is excited to see progress on diversity and inclusion.  See the latest news from CFA Institute on this important topic.

CFA Institute Recruits Industry Partners to Drive Inclusion & Diversity in Asset Management

CFA Institute seeks to drive D&I efforts in the investment management industry toward more progressive policies and to demonstrate best practice to create a more inclusive investment profession. Through the CFA Institute-led Experimental Partners Program (Investment Firms Take Action on Diversity and Inclusion (cfainstitute.org), more than 40 participating firms (representing $17 trillion in assets under management) are committed to incorporating more diverse perspectives into how they run their businesses, and into investment decision making to improve investor outcomes. They are also encouraging the industry to embrace different viewpoints.

A key area of focus is on managing biases, including in hiring and advancement. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has shown that those firms that have stressed inclusive leadership, built trust through leveraging Employee Resource Groups, and supported regular unconscious bias training for managers adapt more quickly to widely adopted work-from-home arrangements.

External Diversity and Inclusion Motivations

Millennial Trust

More than one in three Americans (35%) in the labor force are millennials, making this group the largest generation of the US workforce. To attract millennials and members of Gen-Z, firms should set out to achieve a broad balance of objectives, including an emphasis on inclusion and diversity. 

Regulators and Policymakers

Diversity is part of the larger conduct and culture focus of regulators. Amid increased regulatory focus, industry standard setters are stepping in to fill the void, including CFA Institute which is developing Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Disclosure Standards for Investment Products. ESG Disclosure Standards for Investment Products (cfainstitute.org)

Investor Demand

Demand from large investment consultants for D&I data and progress is on the rise, including metrics on asset managers’ investment team diversity in requests for proposals. According to the recent CFA Institute Earning Investors’ Trust (Earning Investors’ Trust (cfainstitute.org)) study 76% of institutional investors and 69% of retail investors have interest in investment design and products that incorporate environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors (ESG Investing and Analysis (cfainstitute.org)), with a growing number of investors prioritizing racial diversity and justice to create a more inclusive society.

Internal Inclusion & Diversity Motivations

Teams Dominate

Many firms are recognizing that the diversity of their employees can be a key part of their success. For example, firms are shifting from the “star portfolio manager” model to diverse investment teams, which leads to better outcomes in complex decision making.

Awareness of Biases

The investment management industry must continue to think more deeply about how behavioral biases affect decision making more broadly and the benefits of diversity in overcoming groupthink. We all have something to learn when it comes to behavioral biases (The Behavioral Biases of Individuals (cfainstitute.org)). 

Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Innovation

Finance firms that foster inclusive cultures are more open and innovative.

Representation

Firms that promote diversity and inclusion also recognize the importance of responding to changing client demographics with a more diverse professional team.

Competition

Diversity and inclusion enable firms to better serve prospective and current clients and to better compete for top talent.