LGBT Great Membership Launch Announcement

Fri, November 30, 2018

LGBT Great is delighted to announce the launch of our global Membership proposition supported by Fidelity International, Legal & General, T. Rowe Price, St James Place Wealth Management & Northern Trust who are our first five founding members. 

This announcement also marks the launch of our Investment Industry Benchmark Tracker (iiBT). The iiBT is a specialist tool developed to provide a bespoke analysis of LGBT+ inclusion maturity across individual firms. The purpose of the iiBT is to enable firms to measure, review and track LGBT+ inclusion progress with a benchmark which is modern and relevant. The tool is made up of nine core areas based on internal and external inclusion indicators.

Matt Cameron, our Managing Director, says that he is “inspired” that the industry is beginning to “open its doors” to LGBT+ talent. He also says that, “demonstrating and embedding LGBT+ inclusion provides an opportunity to tackle the sector’s diversity deficit” and that the industry is “on a journey” that requires a bespoke approach on the basis that the sector is “significant and complex and one size does not fit all”.

The iiBT is designed to enable firms to identify and amplify specific areas of success whilst providing sight of the areas that need improvement. Managing Director Clare Scott says that investment firms need to apply measures which are “aligned to the industry and underpin organisational business objectives”. Clare is a big believer in data and using this to “demonstrate return on investment” which the iiBT and membership model enables.

Our team is also delighted to be collaborating with LGBT Capital, the first specialist investment management to focus on the LGBT+ market, to help firms align to the needs of the LGBT+ population. LGBT Capital Founder, Paul Thompson says, “We are proud to be supporting this important membership initiative for the investment management industry and believe that the iiBT announced today will be very important in helping the industry monitor the success of this initiative and support creating a truly diverse workforce aligning with the population it serves”

We are delighted to have secured the support of several senior executives across the investment industry.

T. Rowe Price President Robert Higginbotham says,

“As the Executive Sponsor of PRIDE @ T. Rowe Price, which is our LGBT+ Business Resource Group (BRG), I am proud that our organisation is one of the founding members of LGBT Great. It is important that the asset management industry works collectively to address representation gaps and improve diversity and inclusion by encouraging individuals to feel comfortable in bringing their whole selves to work.  We are committed to supporting LGBT+ talent within T. Rowe Price and the wider industry, so I look forward to a successful partnership with LGBT Great”.

Fidelity's President Simon Haslam says,

“Fidelity International is a proud LGBT ally, so we are delighted to support the 1st LGBT organisation dedicated to the Investment Management industry as one of the first five UK founding members.”

Legal & General Investment Management's CEO Mark Zinkula says,

“In what is a year of change across our industry, we at LGIM continue to express respect to those who are working to ensure all employees genuinely believe they can be themselves and completely accepted by their colleagues and recognise that we are making progress towards more balanced workforces. Being a founder member of LGBT Great is just one way in which we continue to support diversity initiatives and partner to deliver meaningful and lasting cultural change.”

Northern Trust's Executive Vice President Connie Lindsey says,

“Northern Trust is pleased to work with LGBT Great in support of this initiative.  We believe in fostering an inclusive environment where our people can contribute and grow, and their unique mix of attributes can serve as the catalyst for innovation.  Supporting the work of LGBT Great aligns with our culture of inclusion that allows LGBT+ employees to take full advantage of business opportunities and champion the recognition and visibility of LGBT+ partners' contributions to the success of Northern Trust in support of our global business strategy”.  

St James Place Wealth Management's Chief Operating Officer Iain Rayner says,

“St. James’s Place is excited to be a founding member of LGBT Great. We passionately believe in the importance of LGBT+ inclusion as demonstrated by the launch in 2017 of our Equality Wealth business, serving the financial advice needs of the LGBT+ community.  We look forward to working closely with LGBT Great to champion greater inclusiveness of LGBT+ talent both within St. James’s Place and the wider investment industry”.

LGBT Great works collaboratively with the other initivies such as the Diversity Project, Investment2020, CityHive, NICSA, The Guild of Investment Managers. The UK industry trade body The Investment Association is also a keen supporter of LGBT Great and we are proud to work together to drive forward the agenda.

IA Director Pauline Hawkes-Bunyan says,

“The Investment Association is committed to ensuring that we make the asset management industry an inclusive, welcoming place to work. Our ‘Taking your whole selves to work’ report highlighted what we can do to ensure that we build workplaces where LGBT+ people feel comfortable coming out and being out. We can all deliver better results through greater collaboration, and we’re delighted that LGBT Great are launching this tool to help firms make their workplaces more inclusive places to work”.

Our team is pleased to launch our Membership at a pivotal time for the investment industry. A recent study concluded that diversity and inclusion based on sexual orientation improves the financial performance of firms. It also confirmed that this equality provides a mutual benefit between employers and employees by enhancing recruitment and retention levels. Our Project Director, Peter M. Hall, says that the first five firms to join have “shown boldness and bravery” and have “stepped up” to lead the agenda forward across the sector; “the timing has never been better”.

MD Matt Cameron adds,

“The sector needs to develop LGBT+ inclusion at home whilst also developing a broader external agenda too. There is a real opportunity to integrate LGBT+ issues into active portfolio allocation and investment strategies to help drive forward global equality and human rights”. Matt also says that the iiBT provides a “starting point for these improvements” which will lead to better support for the “industry and society alike”.

LGBT Great plans to work closely with our first five members and others, to drive forward the global LGBT+ agenda within the investment industry.