Leading fund managers in the UK have backed an initiative aiming to provide internships for black candidates in an attempt to tackle underrepresentation in the industry.
The programme, called #100blackinterns, will see some of investment management’s “most influential” players making a concerted effort to give opportunities to university-educated black people hoping to forge a career in the City.
A group of 80 firms, including Legal & General Investment Management and M&G Investments, have so far committed to offering paid internships to black candidates next summer in frontline investment positions.
Like many other industries, the lack of black people holding key positions in the fund management industry fails to represent the diversity of London, the country's financial hub and where many fund houses are based. A study by thinktank New Financial in 2018 found there were only 12 black portfolio managers in total.
One of the initiative’s coordinators, Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of pensions advisory group Redington and online pensions forum Mallowstreet, said: “In over two decades in the City, I have rarely come across anyone who looks like me.
“It is so powerful that the investment management industry has agreed to help welcome more black talent into our industry. We hope other professions will follow suit and have an impact on the representation of black talent in their own industries.”
By providing 100 internships to black candidates each year, the programme is pushing for a “measurable” increase in the number of black portfolio managers in the long-term.
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