Jensen Partners Makes Pioneering Pledge to Bring Greater Diversity to Alternative Asset Management

Jensen Partners, a woman-owned executive search and corporate advisory firm for the alternative asset management industry, announced all future human capital searches conducted by the firm will begin with a candidate pool comprised of at least 51% of candidates who come from underrepresented backgrounds. This aggressive pledge is the first made by a recruiter in the asset management industry – and likely the first such pledge made in any industry.

Jensen Partners is able make this innovative, forward-thinking pledge thanks to DiversityMetrics, the firm’s newly launched diversity, inclusion and equity (DEI) data platform. DiversityMetrics is the first software platform to combine self-reported diversity data and human capital management technology specifically designed for asset managers seeking to quantify, measure, report and improve workforce diversity. With DiversityMetrics, Jensen has built a unique talent pipeline of more than 8,000 diverse candidates across the asset management industry, after tracking comprehensive demographic and human capital data over the last decade. With this first-of-its-kind technology platform, Jensen Partners is able to deliver large pools of diverse talent from across the globe to meet the needs of its alternative asset management clients.

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It is evident that the need to address underrepresentation is not specific to the alternative asset industry, but addressing the problem requires meaningful action. We are prepared to make this pledge because we believe it is the bare minimum firms should do to address long standing, systematic inequity,” said Sasha Jensen, founder and CEO of Jensen Partners. “We built DiversityMetrics to empower asset managers to take a data-driven approach to their DEI strategies. For too long, we’ve heard excuses about a lack of qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds. But the data we’ve collected in DiversityMetrics makes it clear: it’s not about a lack of diverse candidates – it’s about a systematic failure to hire them.”

While Jensen Partners has tracked some positive momentum on diverse hiring over the last two years, evidence shows that inequity remains widespread across the industry. In fact, a recent Government Accountability Report found that of the $70 trillion in assets managed by US asset managers, less than 1% is managed by women or people of color1. At the same time, a mounting body of empirical evidence from around the world shows that a diverse workforce tends to be more innovative and produce better financial performance. In fact, one recent study found that in both developing and developed economies, companies with above-average diversity on their leadership teams report a greater payoff from innovation and higher EBIT margins. Furthermore, even relatively small changes in the makeup of senior teams led to measureable performance improvements.

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“Diversity, equity and inclusion is no longer just a moral objective. Increasingly, asset managers realize that DEI is also a business objective. To make meaningful progress toward a more diverse and inclusive industry, asset managers need to view DEI as a core business objective. In our experience, the only way to do that is to add the same level of systematic rigor and data-driven decision-making that is applied to every other core business objective,” said Jensen.

The diverse recruitment pledge is one of several initiatives Jensen Partners has created to help alternative asset managers make meaningful DEI progress. In addition to the recent launch of DiversityMetrics, Jensen Partners has developed Diversity Pipeline Tracker, a customizable candidate recruiting pipeline focused on diverse candidates, and Jensen Partners Index, a systematic scoring algorithm that ranks alternative asset platforms based on a range of DEI metrics.

“Our goal is to take the mystery out of DEI,” said Jensen. “We fundamentally believe that data enables firms to make more equitable hiring decisions. This pledge represents our commitment to help our clients improve DEI at every level.”

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