From apprenticeship programmes to flexible working, returners' programmes to blind CVs, there are a host of tactics to ensure asset management firms' recruitment processes are fair and encourage a diverse pool of candidates to apply for roles. Yet smaller firms and IFAs in particular continue to struggle to employ diverse talent particularly when it comes to mid-senior level roles.
Speaking on a panel on Investment Week's latest Diversity Debates series, LGIM's Justin Onuekwusi believes tis issue is exacerbated by the fact that whilst firm diversity figures can vary based on roles, there is often greater levels of diversity outside of revenue generating roles.
In order to change this firms should start to allow for greater internal mobility and allow individuals better opportunities to move into revenue generating roles from non-revenue-generating roles: "For the smaller boutiques in asset management, it is quite a challenge. Typically they may only be hiring, at entry level, one or two people a year in revenue-generating roles. So that is always a challenge."
Advisers typically perceive it as a challenge or think it is expensive to install the infrastructure to train an apprentice
Laura Bampfylde, HSBC Global Asset Management
For HSBC Global Asset Management's Laura Bampfylde more solutions need to be created in order to specifically help advisory firms train younger and more diverse employees.
"A lot of advisers could benefit from a younger workforce coming in. But advisers typically perceive it as a challenge or think it is expensive to install the infrastructure to train an apprentice. [But] there is an awareness gap of what is available out there. By the nature of the size of our business HSBC pays a government levy towards the government apprentice scheme, which another area of our bank uses. Our retail branches leverage that apprentice scheme and get younger people coming in to work in branches and face-to-face. Advisers could also benefit from that."
Rose St Louis, formerly of Zurich UK agrees, stating: "It is important that we, as an industry, look at the infrastructure we have today and understand that is not going to serve us tomorrow. I look at my organisation and we have a really good apprentice programme and we make sure we rotate people within it and we keep improving. The review piece kicks in there as well. But it [the reviews] tends to happen at the entry level and sometimes it's reviewed right at the executive level, but you've got this massive chunk in the middle. And that, for me I think, is where most of the talent is at risk."