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SBAI creates forum to address diversity in alternative investments

The forum will allow alternative investment institutions to collaborate and standardize guidance on DEI issues

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
SBAI creates forum to address diversity in alternative investments

The Standards Board for Alternative Investments (SBAI) has created a forum of alternative investment industry organizations to address diversity in the alternatives industry.

The SBAI, an active alliance of more than 150 asset managers and 90 institutional investors, has formed the forum with three aims, the first of which is to avoid duplication of work.

It said the second aim is to encourage collaboration between organizations and, finally, to standardize guidance on diversity issues.

The forum’s members include The Alternative Investment Management Association, CFA Institute, 100 Women in Finance, The Asset Owner Charter UK, The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA), The Diversity Project and The European Leveraged Finance Association. SBAI will chair the forum.

Maria Long, research and content director at the SBAI and chair of the forum, said: “Diversity is a widely-discussed topic in the alternative investment industry and, along with inclusive cultures, is required to maintain a thriving and dynamic industry.

“As focus increases from asset managers, allocators, and regulators alike, there is an increase in guidance being published along with due diligence questionnaires and metrics templates. SBAI and its fellow collaborators in this initiative believe that the best results can be achieved by working together globally across the industry.”

Deborah McLean, president of the CAIA Foundation and global head of DEI at CAIA, added: "Translating DEI concepts into concrete action requires leadership that recognizes the complexity and interplay between diversity, equity, and inclusion, and creates a cultural response to change and resilience to obstacles.

“SBAI is providing a unique forum for industry leaders to leverage influence and drive DEI change.”

Previously, the SBAI has produced guidance on Principles of Culture and Diversity Strategies and Demonstrating and Assessing Diversity for Smaller Managers.

The forum comes as asset managers are increasingly focusing on, and showing their commitment to, DEI issues. Recently, State Street announced partnerships with four black-owned firms as part of a longer-term commitment to hire black and Latinx-owned investment firms for its debt offerings.

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