Practical Guidance for Advisers Seeking to Foster Diversity and Inclusion

The private funds industry remains “overwhelmingly homogenous in demographic terms,” according to a recent survey report (Report) issued by the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA). That reality is prompting the rapid ascent of diversity and inclusion (D&I) as a business imperative. Not only are many investors asking about it, but broadening a firm’s talent pool may also help improve its investment performance by avoiding “group think” and drawing on novel perspectives and experiences. According to the Report, a fund manager must first lay an appropriate foundation for D&I. Building on that foundation, it can then embrace D&I in connection with hiring and promotion practices, employee-retention efforts and third-party relationships. This article focuses on the practical guidance offered by the Report, with additional commentary from AIMA managing director Michelle Noyes. Although the Report was specifically about the hedge fund industry, the issues raised therein are applicable to all fund managers – including those in the PE industry. See “FCA Executive Director Emphasizes Need for Fund Managers to Promote Diversity” (Jan. 24, 2019); and “Why Equal Representation Within Fund Managers Is Essential (Part One of Four)” (Oct. 22, 2018).

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