Why asset managers could be the unlikely heroes who drive social, cultural, and economic impact at scale

The global asset management industry has a total asset base of $126 trillion–five times the gross domestic product of the U.S., the largest economy in the world.

Only 1.4% of that astounding sum is allocated to diverse asset managers. Asset allocators, therefore, have enormous room to build more inclusive societies by increasing

investments in diverse managers. Even when Black and Latin workers make up more than 20% of a particular workforce (take railroad workers, for example), less than 1% of

their savings are invested by their pension in Black or Latin managers. In fact, often their savings are invested in companies that are under-serving their own communities.

Addressing this issue isn’t charity, it’s equity. ​​Pensions belong to pensioners. As I shared with industry leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, asset

managers’ economic impact can also have an extraordinary social and cultural impact. Managers who embrace this unique responsibility can take several specific steps to drive

change within their organizations and the companies they own. First, we can turn unconscious bias on its head, in a way that is action-oriented and concrete, by

establishing Conscious Inclusion programs. These programs must include rigorous, ongoing learning that employees are mandated to take part in. Programs should be paired with

formal assessments of the environment and culture that each employee is fostering. And processes should be tied to compensation, forcing employees to constantly improve inclusion

in measurable ways that cut across the entire organization.