More than 80 major fund management firms will come together to offer a range of investment internships to black graduates.
The #100blackinterns project will aim to "tackle the chronic underrepresentation of black people" in the City of London by offering a minimum of 100 paid internships next summer to university-educated youths of black origin.
This follows a New Financial study that revealed there were just 12 black portfolio managers across the UK's investment management industry in 2018, along with a severe lack of black employees in senior front office roles.
Graduates will be offered "the crème de la crème of City posts" described as "frontline" investment roles, with networks and social media help used to recruit suitable candidates. Internships will run for six weeks beginning in the summer of 2021.
Capstone Investment Advisors president Jonathan Sorrell is behind the project, which will launch today (17 August). It is co-led by Redington and Mallowstreet co-founder Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, Barrington Hibbert Associates founder Michael Barrington-Hibbert, and Livingbridge managing partner Wol Kolade.
Sorrell said: "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."
Konotey-Ahulu added: "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."
Barrington-Hibbert said #100blackinterns would look for "as many applications as possible" from black university students, including those about to start, or those who have graduated in 2019 and 2020.
The 80 firms signed up to the project include long-only and hedge funds, private equity, credit and real estate managers, consultants, and pension funds.
Legal & General, Royal London, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, Willis Towers Watson, Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, Federated Hermes, Schroders, BNY Mellon, Standard Life Aberdeen, and Brooks MacDonald are among the major firms signed up to accept interns.
Capstone, the Railways Pension Scheme, Gresham House, Rothesay, Church Commissioners for England, Close Brothers, and Janus Henderson are also part of the project.
Alongside them are also Man Group, Newton Investment Management, PGIM, Pimco, Rothesay, Cardano, RWC Partners, and financial advice giant St James' Place.
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