The Milken Institute Launches Initiative to Increase Diverse Talent in the Asset Management Industry

DEI in Asset Management Program Aims to Improve Recruitment, Retention and Advancement; Carlyle joins initiative as Strategic Partner and first Underwriter

As part of its ongoing work to elevate diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as a core business principle, the Milken Institute’s Center for Financial Markets announced the launch of a new program designed to improve diversity and promote an inclusive culture within asset management institutions for women and Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC).

The Milken Institute launches initiative to increase diverse talent in the asset management industry

The “DEI in Asset Management Program” will identify and develop action-oriented solutions and industry standards and will feature multiple components including an Advisory Council of industry leaders, a series of roundtable discussions, and issue-specific research. Carlyle is the inaugural underwriter of this initiative, with the goal of influencing collective progress across the industry. “The current leadership and workforce in the asset management industry often does not adequately reflect the composition of those individuals investing in or contributing to the funds which are managed,” said Richard Ditizio, president, and chief operating officer of the Milken Institute. “We’re hoping to analyze the existing paths to success in this industry and understand how we can change that dynamic.”

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Ditizio added, “We feel strongly that this program will help create greater diversity across the board in asset management, from the C-suite to entry level roles, so the next generation of professionals is more representative than the one before.”

“We are committed to using our spheres of influence to advance diversity, equity and inclusion and, in turn, build better businesses,” said Kewsong Lee, CEO of Carlyle. “We are proud to be working with The Milken Institute on this important initiative to eliminate barriers for diverse professionals and increase inclusion across the industry.”

In establishing the DEI in Asset Management Program, the Milken Institute plans to:

  1. Research metrics and processes for tracking industry activities, outputs, and outcomes
  2. Create a baseline measurement of current industry standards
  3. Establish an independent “DEI in Asset Management Advisory Council” of industry leaders to advance public policy and industry standards in support of initiative objectives
  4. Evaluate the viability of establishing a Fellows Program with a dedicated curriculum to prepare BIPOC undergraduate students for asset management roles
  5. Develop an evidence-based public policy agenda
  6. Convene initiative participants and key stakeholders to disseminate findings and solicit feedback to ensure actionable steps are taken to improve the landscape

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“At its core, this program will focus on identifying and addressing impediments to investing in asset management firms with diverse founders and providing more diverse candidates with opportunities to join top financial institutions,” said Blair C. Smith, senior director of the Center for Financial Markets. “We are pleased to work with Carlyle on such an important endeavor as DEI in Asset Management. They have been very intentional in showing their commitment to change.”

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