Wall Street Facing Up to Diversity Challenges

In a recent article, the Wall Street Journal laid out the barriers the financial industry faces in achieving diversity in its leadership ranks. The lack of a pipeline has hit firms who want to have more minority representation in the C-Suite but still struggle with a largely white workforce in the lower ranks. The WSJ noted that firms are using a number of strategies to address the problem, including expanding recruiting efforts at more diverse state schools. Meanwhile, industry groups focused on increasing the flow of capital to diverse investment managers have stressed the need for more diversity and increased capital flows to diverse-owned firms. The Diverse Alternative Investment Industry in June issued a call to action in support of building a system to ensure African American and LatinX businesses gain greater access to institutional capital: “Philanthropic dollars from firms and corporations are necessary but not sufficient. We need to build entirely new investment pathways to ensure that African American and LatinX-led companies have greater access to institutional capital. This will level the playing field and create a permanent foundation to help our communities achieve the health and wealth that other communities take for granted.” The release was issued by Washington, D.C.-based National Association of Investment Companies, a trade association for diverse- and women-owned private equity firms and hedge funds. NAIC’s membership is comprised of more than 80 diverse-owned firms that collectively manage over $155 billion in institutional assets.