Fund managers have launched an initiative to address the “chronic underrepresentation” of black talent in the UK’s investment industry.
Created by Jonathan Sorrell, president of Capstone Investment Advisors, and launched today (August 17), the #100blackinterns campaign hopes to provide meaningful opportunities to young, university-educated black people trying to break into the City.
Some 80 asset managers have committed to offering a paid internship to a black candidate next summer in a frontline investment position, with more firms expected to sign up in the coming weeks.
Those involved include Brooks Macdonald, Fidelity, LGIM, M&G Investments, Royal London, Schroders, and Seven Investment Management.
The programme is designed to address the specific issue that according to a 2018 study by New Financial, there were only 12 black portfolio managers in the UK investment management industry.
#100blackinterns hopes by providing 100 internships to black candidates each year will lead to a measurable increase in the number of black portfolio managers long-term.
The initiative is being coordinated by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of Redington and Mallowstreet, Mr Sorrell, Michael Barrington-Hibbert, founder and managing partner of Barrington Hibbert Associates, and Wol Kolade, managing partner of Livingbridge.
Mr Sorrell said: “We felt we wanted to do something really tangible to build a bench of compelling black talent in our industry for the long-term.
“By providing such a special entry point into portfolio management, we hope to attract great black students to a career path they may not have otherwise contemplated.”
Mr Konotey-Ahulu, said he had “rarely come across” anyone who "looked like him" in his more than 20-years in the City, adding that it was “powerful” the investment management industry had agreed to welcome more black talent into the industry.
Applications are welcome from black university students from any academic discipline and from any year group, including those on gap years and those who have graduated since 2019. Further details can be found at www.100blackinterns.com.
Any additional investment management firms that wish to provide an internship in a portfolio management function as part of the programme can make contact through the website.
A similar initiative was launched last month, when 10 financial services firms — including SJP and Invesco — joined forces to find ways to increase the applications, opportunities and development of young black people in entry-level roles
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