Fund management community tackles Black underrepresentation

Only 12 portfolio managers in the entire UK investment management industry are Black, and #100blackinterns wants to change that

Many of the City’s leading fund managers have agreed to back an initiative to address the chronic underrepresentation of Black talent in British financial institutions.

The #100blackinterns initiative will bring together the UK investment management industry’s most influential players to give meaningful opportunities to young, university-educated Black people trying to break into the City.

As the investment management industry reflects on its lack of Black employees in senior roles, a group of 80 firms, including FTSE 100 companies M&G Investments, Schroders and St. James Place, have committed to offering a paid internship to a Black candidate next summer in a frontline investment position, with more expected to sign up in the next few weeks.

The roles on offer are in critically important investment teams that make key decisions worth billions of pounds. The programme has firms participating from all parts of the investment management industry including hedge funds, private equity, credit and real estate managers, together with consultants and pension funds.

The initiative is the brainchild of Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of Redington and Mallowstreet, 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. 

They have designed the programme to address the issue that there are only 12 Black portfolio managers in the entire UK investment management industry, as found in a 2018 study by New Financial. The hope is that providing 100 internships for Black candidates each year would lead to a measurable increase in the number of Black portfolio managers in the long-term.

“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,” said Jonathan Sorrell.

“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 industries.” added Dawid Konotey-Ahulu.

The initiative will not discriminate on academic background either.

“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 of one of the world’s leading firms,” said Michael Barrington-Hibbert. 

More firms are encouraged to join the initiative.

“The support for this initiative from the industry has been 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,” said Wol Kolade.

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. Those applications should comprise a one page CV and a cover letter of up to 400 words. The deadline for applications is 13th November.  Internships will be for a minimum of six weeks beginning in the summer of 2021.

Further details can be found at 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. 

The participating companies are as follows:

AKO CapitalAlcentraAlchemy
BNY Mellon Investment ManagementBowmarkBridgepoint
Bridges Fund ManagementBrooks MacDonaldCaledonia Investments
CapstoneCardanoThe Carlyle Group
CenterbridgeChurch Commissioners for EnglandClay Point Investors
Close Brothers Asset ManagementColler CapitalCPP Investments
CQSCVCEgerton Capital
EOF PartnersEvercoreFidelity International
Generation IMGresham HouseGoldman Sachs Asset Management
Goldman Sachs Merchant BankHarbourVest PartnersHandelsbanken
Hermes Investment ManagementIndependent Franchise PartnersInflexion
J. Rothschild Capital ManagementJanus HendersonJO Hambro Capital Management
M&G InvestmentsMan GroupMayfair Equity Partners
MFSMillenniumMW&L Capital Partners
Natixis Investment ManagersNewton Investment ManagementNuveen Global
Ontario Teachers’ Pension PlanPantheon CapitalPartners Capital
Partners GroupPGIMPhoenix Equity Partners
PimcoRailways Pension SchemeRedington
Royal London Asset ManagementRothesayRWC Partners
SchrodersSeven Investment ManagementSilverfleet Capital
Silver LakeSt. James’s PlaceStandard Life Aberdeen
Stable Asset ManagementStepstone GlobalSynova
TA AssociatesTowerbrook Capital PartnersTriple Point
Tristan CapitalTT InternationalTwenty Four Asset Management
Universities Superannuation SchemeWillis Towers Watson
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