Two years after it was revealed there were only 12 black portfolio managers in the entire UK investment management industry, the fund management community has backed an initiative to address the “chronic underrepresentation of black talent in British financial institutions”.
The #100BlackInterns programme has, so far, brought together 80 firms, which will offer “meaningful opportunities to young, university-educated black people trying to break into the City”.
The paid positions will last a minimum of six weeks and take place next summer.
The roles on offer are in “critically important investment teams that make key decisions worth billions of pounds”.
Firms are participating from all parts of the investment management industry; including long only and hedge funds, private equity, credit and real estate managers, together with consultants and pension funds.
Its premise is that providing 100 internships for black candidates each year ought to lead to a measurable increase in the number of black portfolio managers in the long term.
Applications are welcome from black students from any academic discipline and any year group, including those on gap years and those who have graduated since 2019.
The initiative is being coordinated by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of Redington and Mallowstreet (pictured); Jonathan Sorrell, president of Capstone Investment Advisors; Michael Barrington-Hibbert, founder and managing partner of Barrington Hibbert Associates; and Wol Kolade, managing partner of Livingbridge.
Konotey-Ahulu 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.”
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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.”
Kolade described the industry support thus far as “absolutely terrific”.
“If there are other firms we have not yet contacted that would like to provide an internship, they would be very welcome to join the programme.”
Barrington-Hibbert added: “We want as many applications as possible from black university students – those at university, about to start or graduated since 2019 – from any academic discipline, who might be interested in a career managing investments.
“This is a really unique opportunity to gain exposure to the role at one of the world’s leading firms.”
80 and counting
The firms that have signed up to the programme so far include:
- AKO Capital
- BNY Mellon Investment Management
- Bridges Fund Management
- Brooks MacDonald
- Caledonia Investments
- The Carlyle Group
- Church Commissioners for England
- Clay Point Investors
- Close Brothers Asset Management
- Coller Capital
- CPP Investments
- Egerton Capital
- EOF Partners
- Fidelity International
- Generation IM
- Gresham House
- Goldman Sachs Asset Management
- Goldman Sachs Merchant Bank
- HarbourVest Partners
- Hermes Investment Management
- Independent Franchise Partners
- J Rothschild Capital Management
- Janus Henderson
- JO Hambro Capital Management
- M&G Investments
- Man Group
- Mayfair Equity Partners
- MW&L Capital Partners
- Natixis Investment Managers
- Newton Investment Management
- Nuveen Global
- Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan
- Pantheon Capital
- Partners Capital
- Partners Group
- Phoenix Equity Partners
- Railways Pension Scheme
- Royal London Asset Management
- RWC Partners
- Seven Investment Management
- Silverfleet Capital
- Silver Lake
- St James’s Place
- Standard Life Aberdeen
- Stable Asset Management
- Stepstone Global
- TA Associates
- Towerbrook Capital Partners
- Triple Point
- Tristan Capital
- TT International
- Twenty Four Asset Management
- Universities Superannuation Scheme
- Willis Towers Watson