In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Lorraine Rodrigues, global head of diversity & inclusion at Fidelity International, in London. She speaks on the “Minding the gap - Diversity in Asset Management” panel, Tuesday at 2:30pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get the most from the “Minding the Gap” talk?
Lorraine Rodrigues: The first take away is to serve as a reminder that our industry is primarily about judgements and analysis, and, these judgements and insights inform the investment strategies of our clients. This means that our clients are trusting us to ensure that there is diversity of thought in our analysis and judgements on both the buy and sell side of the equation. If the yardstick for measuring diversity of thought is through gender, cultural, generational, multi-disciplinary, sexual orientation etc., then we owe it to our clients to strive to achieve it.
What is a good example of how diversity and inclusion have benefited an investment fund or investment strategy?
There are a number of studies that support the business case for diversity. For example, a McKinsey study conducted in 2014 and repeated in 2017 entitled “Delivering through Diversity” shows the correlation between gender and ethnic diversity and profitability, yet both groups remain under-represented. As an industry our IP is in the quality of the research, analysis and judgements we make, so we have to make sure that diversity is a key factor in this analysis so we can determine the long term sustainability of a company--it’s fundamental to what we do.
Would you like to see more of in the fund sector this year: more peer pressure or more detailed regulations?
I’d like to see the momentum for change increase through-out the investment management eco-system. The diversity gap is an issue members of the investment management industry need to solve at an organisational and industry level, and should not be merely a response to nudges from government, lobby groups or our shareholders. It’s about shareholders, governments, peer groups, employees and customers together creating the perfect storm for change.
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
The topic “Investor Behaviours - a Cultural View” [editor’s note: Tuesday at 2:10pm] is very relevant because our business is a global business and understanding how cultural diversity plays out in investor responses is just as important as understanding how diversity and inclusion helps in responding to these cultural nuances.