Investment industry represented in socio-economic taskforce

City of London Corporation run taskforce appoints 30 cross-sector leaders from the financial and professional services industry

Leaders from the Investment Association, Fidelity, State Street Global Advisors and City Hive are among 30 new members appointed to the independent socio-economic taskforce.

The taskforce, launched by HM Treasury and BEIS and run by City of London Corporation, aims to boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels across the UK, and challenge the lack of career progression for those from non-professional backgrounds.

Last year, ESG Clarity covered the release of a Bridge Group report, which found people from lower socio-economic backgrounds in the companies surveyed took 25% longer to progress in their financial services jobs, despite no link between background and job performance being identified.

“Middle class attributes such as polish and narrow definitions of ‘talent’ are often conflated with perceptions of talent and ability to perform in role,” Nik Miller, CEO of the Bridge Group, said at the time.

The report also showed 89% of senior roles in financial services were occupied by people from professional backgrounds (defined by parental occupation at 14) – nearly three times the UK working population.

Joining the taskforce commits members to awareness raising and boosting socio-economic diversity at senior levels within their own organisations. To achieve these and wider aims, the taskforce will:

  • Lead an industry consultation on how government, regulators and sector bodies can incentivise firms to take action to improve socio-economic diversity;
  • Create a membership body/peer network for financial services, focused on progression. This offers an opportunity for employers to benchmark against each other and share best practice on delivering socio-economic diversity at senior levels;
  • Produce a productivity analysis, to build the business case for increasing socio-economic diversity at senior levels in financial and professional services.

Taskforce chair and policy chair at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness, said: “This is a unique opportunity to redress how the financial and professional services sector supports talent from diverse backgrounds, providing equal opportunities for everyone, regardless of their socio-economic status to get ahead. Through a sustained commitment, the taskforce will make a real difference in creating meaningful and lasting change.”

City Hive chief strategist and taskforce member Mandy Kirby (pictured) told ESG Clarity: “This taskforce is critical to remove the often hidden barriers to progress to reach senior levels of financial and professional services and bring solutions to increase their diversity, impact and reach.”

The 30 new cross-sector taskforce members will be joined at high-profile meetings by six observers. It itself aims to be sufficiently diverse and inclusive, with 18% of members identifying as BAME, 50% women and 41% from non-professional backgrounds.

Gerry Grimstone, minister for investment, said: “This government is acting to support talent irrespective of background to strengthen the leadership and competitiveness of the financial services industry in the UK.

“People with diverse experiences and backgrounds bring fresh perspectives and creative solutions to problems, and this is vital to success in any sector.”

The City of London Corporation will report back on the findings of the taskforce by November 2022, with the first formal meeting due to take place in May 2021.

Taskforce members include:

  • Sarah Atkinson, CEO at Social Mobility Foundation
  • Suneel Bakhshi, president & CEO at Mizuho International
  • Michael Barrington-Hibbert, CEO and managing partner at Barrington-Hibbert Associates
  • Clare Black, director of corporate affairs and communications at Innovate Finance
  • Euan Blair, CEO at Multiverse
  • Stephanie Boyce, president-elect at The Law Society
  • Yvonne Braun, director of policy, long term savings and protection at Association of British Insurers (ABI)
  • Sarah Breeden, executive director for the UK Deposit Takers Supervision at Bank of England (Observer)
  • Yasmine Chinwala, partner at New Financial
  • John Collins, chief legal and regulatory officer at Santander
  • Chris Cummings, CEO at The Investment Association
  • Sian Fisher, CEO at Chartered Insurance Institute
  • Tracy Garrad, CEO at AXA Health
  • Mark Hoban, chair at Financial Services Skills Commission
  • Richard Iferenta, vice-chair and partner at KPMG
  • Michael Izza, CEO at ICAEW (Observer)
  • Rupal Kantaria, partner at Oliver Wyman
  • Mandy Kirby, chief strategist at City Hive
  • Dan Maguire, CEO at LCH Group and group head of post trade London Stock Exchange Group
  • Stephen Mann, CEO at Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
  • Barry Matthews, SVP General Counsel (UK & EMEA), Meggitt PLC, founder of SMBP and SRA board member of Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) (Observer)
  • Dipi McKernan, head of first line risk and regulatory solutions at Fidelity
  • Nik Miller, CEO at Bridge Group
  • Sheldon Mills, executive director of consumers and competition at Financial Conduct Authority (Observer)
  • Georgina Philippou, senior adviser at FCA
  • Ulla Pitha, chief of staff and head of strategy at State Street Global Advisors and Diversity Project nominee
  • Philip Quirk, international general counsel and global general counsel at Morgan Stanley
  • Emma Reynolds, managing director at TheCityUK
  • Peter Scott, EMEA managing partner at Norton Rose Fulbright
  • David Styles, director corporate governance and stewardship at Financial Reporting Council (FRC) (Observer)
  • Chris Turpin, global director of corporate development and MD EMEA at First Sentier Investments (Financial Services Skills Commission representative)
  • Louise Watkins, MD, head of enterprise Rrsk (EMEA) at Blackrock
  • Jon Whitehouse, group head of government relations at Barclays
  • Liz Williams, CEO at FutureDotNow
  • Chris Woolard, incoming EY financial services partner and chair of EY’s Global Regulatory Network EY

Update: Advisory board announced

15 April 2021

The City of London Socio Economic Taskforce has announced a number of asset management industry names will sit on its advisory board.

The following names, including editorial panellist for ESG Clarity and CEO of City Hive Bev Shah, will be working with the taskforce, which boost socio-economic diversity at senior levels across the UK.

• Shalin Bhagwan, Managing Director: Head of Pensions Advisory and EMEA Consultants at DWS Group (the investment management arm of Deutsche Bank)
• Noel Butwell, CEO Standard Life and Member of Executive Leadership Team at Standard Life Aberdeen
• Steve Ellis, Global Chief Investment Officer at Fidelity International
• Nigel Emson, Head of Strategy at Zurich
• Emma Holden, Global Head of HR at Schroders
• Luba Nikulina, MD Global Head of Research at Willis Towers Watson
• Joanna Shackleton, Head of HR, partner and member of #included at LGT Vestra LLP
• Bev Shah, CEO at City Hive
• Michael Turner, CEO at Man Solutions and Executive Committee Member at Man Group


Natasha Turner

Natasha was global editor at ESG Clarity, part of Mark Allen Financial, and a financial journalist for seven years. She has been shortlisted for Story of the Year and Investment Journalist of the Year...