July 30, 2018

Lipper Fund Selector Forum 2018 Panel: Diversity in Financial Services

by Jake Moeller.

Recorded on: July 04, 2018

The financial services industry is often indicted for a lack of employee diversity. At the recent Lipper Fund Selector Forum, Jake Moeller moderated a panel which examined this important issue. The entire panel is showcased here.

Jake was joined by Bev Shah, founder and CEO of CityHive; Maike Currie, Investment Director at Fidelity; and Natalie Kenway, Deputy Editor at Investment Week. The panel outlined the importance and benefits of improving gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, and age diversity.

Running order

Run Time Topic
00:00 Introduction
01:00 What do we mean by “diversity”?
03:15 How does cognitive diversity benefit a company?
07:00 What are some of the structural problems causing a lack of diversity?
10:50 Is there a shift in the diversity narrative?
13:15 How important is networking?
17:00 Are firms getting the diversity and inclusion message?
19:50 How important are quotas? How do we avoid tokenism?
23:21 Who are the torch bearers in the industry?
25:30 How have recent scandals contributed to the diversity debate?
29:30 Audience question: What about age diversity?
33:50 Audience question: What would a work environment dominated by women look like?
39:30 What are some of the small things we can do to enhance diversity?
43:30 Audience question: Is there a risk we might rush the implementation of diversity?


Key points included:

  • “Group think” is a huge risk to companies; improved diversity reduces this.
  • Cognitive diversity should be a broad objective of all working environments.
  • Female role models in the financial industry are too few.
  • Quotas and legislation are not always ideal but are important early in the formation of the diversity narrative.
  • Diversity formulated as a box-ticking exercise can be counter-productive.
  • Fund groups are now much more aware of diversity issues, and the narrative is becoming more popular with the readers of mainstream and trade press.
  • Flexibility in the workplace is a strong foundation for improving broad diversity.
  • Firms should be a reflection of the diversity of their clients.
  • Managers should consider their workplaces as a “community” and encourage networking among its different constituents.
  • The fund selector has a key role to play in lobbying fund houses to improving diversity through the request-for-proposal (RFP) process.

Lipper is grateful to the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment for providing this footage.

About Bev Shah

Bev Shah

Bhavini ‘Bev’ Shah is Founder and CEO of City Hive – A Network for Change. Prior to founding City Hive in 2016, Bev gained more than 15 years’ experience in the City at some of the world’s largest financial institutions – Aviva, Aviva Investors, Merchant Securities (now part of SanLam UK), HSBC, Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers.

As a British/Indian dyslexic woman (and married mother of two), Bev is passionate about empowering the investment and asset management sector to forge a more equitable and inclusive culture. She passionately believes in the value of diverse thought and experience in rebuilding trust in financial services and enhancing investment performance.

Bev is a media commentator on topics of gender equality and all aspects of diversity in the investment sector. She has been a judge at the Women in Investment Awards 2017 and 2018, is keynote speaker at industry events and a panel moderator, most recently at the London School of Economics’ Phenomenal Women Conference.

Bev is also active across work streams at the Diversity Project (including gender and neurodiversity).

About Maike Currie

Maike Currie

Maike Currie is a writer, broadcaster and published author. As an investment director for Fidelity International she provides insight, guidance and commentary to the company’s end investors on topics ranging from macroeconomics to investment, pensions and financial wellness. She is the author of The Search for Income: An Investor’s Guide to Income-Paying Investments.

Maike also acts as a media spokesperson for the broader business, often appearing on BBC business, Sky news and ITV. Prior to joining Fidelity, Maike worked as a financial journalist across a number of titles in the Financial Times Group. She is regularly quoted in the national press and continues to write a monthly column for the FT.

About Natalie Kenway

Natalie Kenway

Natalie Kenway is deputy editor of Investment Week. She first joined the publication in 2005 as junior reporter before working her way up to an editing role. She has a particular passion for covering diversity-related topics.





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