Global asset manager furthers DEI in the investment industry

Global firm Northern Trust Asset Management is increasing its trade execution services commitment to broker-dealers owned by minorities in a move that's bringing DEI to the investment world

A global asset manager has revealed its DEI goals in a public way. Chicago-based Northern Trust Asset Management is “increasing its trade execution services commitment to broker-dealers owned by minorities, women, and people with disabilities,” according to a shared statement.

“The execution target for its Minority Brokerage Programme is increasing in March from 10% to 15% of equity security trading commissions in certain commingled funds,” continued the statement.

The firm’s direction follows growing investor interest in DEI-minded asset managers, with COVID-19 and movements like Black Lives Matter bringing the importance of socially impactful investing to the fore.

The global investment manager has worked with minority-owned investment management firms and brokerages for over a decade and has invested “$4.6 billion with 17 minority-owned investment-management firms through manager-of-manager programmes as of December 31, 2020.”

Northern Trust Asset Management President Shundrawn Thomas said: “As one of the world’s largest investment managers, we founded the programme over a decade ago because we recognised both the impact we can have to advance diversity within the industry and that partnering with diverse organisations can lead to better outcomes.

“Empirical data has long shown that top-performing companies, regardless of industry, are those that excel on cultural, ethnic, and gender diversity. This shouldn’t surprise anyone, as it’s only logical that diversity strengthens culture and increases creativity and innovation—all key ingredients to success.”

Chief Investment Officer Bob Browne added: “We are delighted that our Minority Brokerage Programme provides clients with a proven means to have a significant percentage of their assets aligned with firms owned by minorities, women, veterans, or people with disabilities. And from an even larger perspective, we take pride in the fact that clients understand that the programme is just one part of our long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
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