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UK fund managers say they will hire 100 black interns a year

In an effort to tackle underrepresentation many City firms have signed up to #100BlackInterns. Eighty City fund managers have already committed to hiring 100 black interns per year.

Starting early in 2021 the managers will begin their hiring process. This is to make up for the lack of black staff in the industry.

Among the firms which have signed up are Legal & General, Standard Life Aberdeen, Goldman Sachs, and Schroders. The movement is aimed at assisting university-educated young black people to find a place in the sector by taking frontline positions.

While it was not disclosed exactly how many interns would be hired each year, the organisers said that the movement would lead to an increase of black portfolio managers.

Think tank New Financial carried out a study in 2018 which showed that the industry was dominated by ‘white, middle class, straight men.’ At that time here were just 12 black fund managers across the entire UK investment management profession. It is estimated that there are 3,000 fund managers.

Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of pensions advisory group Redington, and a man of colour stated that in over twenty years of working in the City he had rarely met anyone working in the sector who looked like him. Mr Konotey-Ahulu is one of the coordinators of the movement.

Mr Konotey-Ahulu says that the movement is so powerful that the investment management industry has opened its arms to welcome additional black talent and have agreed to help where they can.

It is hoped that many other professional organisations will follow suit and that there is an impact on the representation of black talent in other professions.

The programme guarantees that black candidates who are still studying or have recently graduated from university will be placed in ‘critically important investment teams.’ These will include hedge funds, private equity firms, pension funds, and consultancies.

The placements will be a minimum six-week paid position and will only be offered to black candidates.

People who apply for the scheme do not need any previous experience. Neither do the need to know anyone who works for the firms. This is to avoid disadvantaging any applicants who have no personal connections in the industry. November 13th is the deadline for applications.

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