Sustainability: Inclusion and Diversity
SPEAKER 1: Welcome to WTW's ESG In Sight Spotlight Series.
MADHURIMA SEN: This section of the sustainability session will focus on inclusion and diversity. Inclusion and diversity or I&D is a critical societal issue directly impacting everyone, including our clients and end savers. We believe greater diversity measured across multiple dimensions leads to better investment outcomes. So greater I&D is an essential consideration in any investment decision.
We have been engaging with asset managers, the wider industry, and our clients to encourage progress in this critical area starting with transparency. We have asked all of the asset managers we invest with to begin to measure and monitor the diversity of their teams and their leaders.
Regular engagement and over 200 in-depth cultural reviews, have allowed us to really understand the future direction and pace of growth in I&D at firms across the industry. In 2022 alone, we have collected in-depth diversity data on over 1,750 investment strategies.
Alongside encouraging transparency, our approach to increasing diversity is two-pronged. Firstly, we want to make sure we are connected to the most diverse managers that are already out there. We are proactively building out our pipeline and our research coverage to reflect this.
However, we the majority of asset managers, with the lion's share of assets under management, have some way to go to improve their I&D and become more representative. So we have to consistently engage with this side of the industry as well to really drive change.
This two-pronged approach to sourcing an engagement is helping us to have richer conversations and understand what best practice really looks like across regions, asset classes, and in firms of all different sizes. Now as investors, it can be difficult to properly assess I&D in your portfolio.
We are making sure all of our clients can easily understand the diversity in their portfolios through clear and consistent reporting. This is why we have created client tools like the Diversity Dashboard, a concise report showing you the diversity in your portfolio across multiple dimensions. This helps our clients to identify areas of strength and potential improvement.
This can often evolve into an action plan to build out a more diverse portfolio, leveraging WTW's engagement and sourcing. Over the last two years, we have conducted over 25 bespoke projects and consultations for clients in I&D, engaging on their behalf and implementing their long term I&D journey plans.
Finally, we are reflecting internally by measuring the diversity of our own investment teams and portfolios, setting measurable targets to keep ourselves accountable. I&D is an area where collaboration really pays off, so we are also contributing as much as we can to I&D thought leadership through involvement in regulatory consultations and industry initiatives like the IIDC or the Diversity Project. Inclusion and diversity is a broad and complex sustainability challenge for our industry and for wider society. WTW is working hard to be at the forefront of I&D solutions to help our clients navigate this.