Membership Directory - Individual

Ric Van Weelden

Senior Partner and Strategy Consultant at INDEFI

About

Bio: Ric is a partner at INDEFI, based in London. INDEFI - headquartered in New York and Paris - is a strategy consultancy dedicated to the asset management industry. With more than 30 years of experience in the asset management industry, Ric contributes to international strategy consulting and market research projects.

Before joining INDEFI, Ric was Global Head of Client Relations and Solutions and a Member of the Board at Candriam Investors Group. Before that he was also CEO of Janus Capital International and Managing Director of EMEA and Partner at Willis Towers Watson.

Ric graduated from John Hopkins University and INSEAD. Ric is a Certified European Financial Analyst.

Ric comments that:
‘Throughout my professional life, my being gay has occasionally been an obstacle but never overtly so. It was more subtle, in a sense, that it was a topic to avoid. Having started my career in the 1980s, I have witnessed a remarkable evolution from ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ to something better, although still a long way off from true equity. Having said this, we have hardly moved on from the industry being the domain of the privileged, white male.

In the mid-90s, my then employer sent me to New York to run its office for the Americas. My partner could not come but had to fly in and out and play a role as ‘a close friend’. As part of my team recruitment effort, I had identified a woman as the ideal candidate for the position as Head of Business Development for North America. My Europe-based boss flew to New York without telling me, to meet the headhunter, and instruct him to take her off the list as he did not want a woman in that role. I managed to force through her appointment but had to live with the consequences. To make a long story short, it ended up a major lawsuit which dragged on over several years. It was eventually settled out of court. My employer became the first financial services firm in its home market to introduce a non-discriminatory policy as part of the settlement.

I went back to university a few years ago to study organisational change at INSEAD. I wrote my thesis on women in UK asset management. It was a real eye-opener as the numbers are so shockingly bad, particularly when compared to other professional services. As a result, I have gotten increasingly involved with the Diversity Project in the UK and hope to establish a European chapter, in the pursuit of a European asset management industry, which is no longer the bastion of the privileged, white male, but fairer and more reflective of its customers that brings opportunity and perspective to all.
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