Diversity Project Europe to launch in autumn

The Diversity Project has announced the launch of the Diversity Project Europe this autumn to increase diversity across the asset management industry.

The initiative is being led by Ric van Weelde in partnership with 8 founding member firms: Aegon Asset Management, AXA Investment Managers, Franklin Templeton, HSBC Global Asset Management, Nordea Asset Management, Pictet Asset Management, Quoniam Asset Management and T. Rowe Price.

Following the launch of the Diversity Project in the UK, the DPE will focus initially on three themes – gender equality, social mobility and inclusive culture –”seeking to facilitate change through voluntary collaboration and knowledge sharing”.

The DPE says it will be setting up workstreams around these three themes– groups of voluntary employees who will work to deliver against the Diversity Project Europe’s goals – and commissioning research to understand the current state of play around diversity and inclusion in the European asset management industry. The aim of the research is to establish the challenges and opportunities, which will inform where the DPE is likely to focus its efforts.

Ric van Weelden, acting Chair of the Diversity Project Europe’s Advisory Committee, says: “European asset management is undergoing a transformation due to the shift from DB to DC, technological disruption, digital distribution and regulatory change. To better serve clients and stay competitive, the industry must evolve and widen its talent pool. Not only will this benefit the industry, but it will also have an impact beyond this, building a workforce that is more representative of today’s diverse society.”

“Over my 35 years in the industry, I have seen a lot of phenomenal talent in my career but I have also seen how talent acquisition based on a historical set of criteria can lead to group think and little diversity of thought and perspective. The competitive landscape is simply becoming increasingly complex and unforgiving of this unacceptable status quo.”
Baroness Helena Morrissey, Chair of the Diversity Project UK, says: “It’s wonderful that the Diversity Project Europe is launching. Many of the issues holding back progress around diversity, equity and inclusion in the asset management industry are global in nature and we’re going to make much more progress working together. I’m looking forward to working with colleagues at the DPE to accelerate change and future proof the industry.”