Applications open for senior Black professionals in investment management mentoring programme

Following on from the success of the 2021 pilot program, the Investment Association (IA) and #TalkAboutBlack, part of the Diversity Project, have launched the Black Leaders Programme, a cross-industry mentoring and reverse mentoring programme for senior Black professionals in investment management. 

The year-long programme, which aims to empower Black talent within the investment management industry, is encouraging senior Black professionals with 10 or more years’ industry experience to take part. Fifteen mentees will be selected and paired with C-suite mentors from the Investment Association’s Board and senior committees, including: Patrick Thomson, CEO, EMEA at J.P. Morgan Asset Management; Marie Dzanis, Head of EMEA at Northern Trust Asset Management; and Nick Ring, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA at Columbia Threadneedle; among others.  

The programme will help mentees hone their executive leadership skills whilst equipping them with the tools and insights required to boost their careers and drive transformation within their organisations, through regular one-to-one sessions with their mentors. It will also provide reverse mentoring to current executive leaders by allowing them to hear and act upon insight into the lived experiences of Black people in the industry. The application process will remain open until 18 November. 

Karis Stander, Director of Culture, Talent and Inclusion at the IA, said:  

“Mentoring is a two-way street and a continuous learning opportunity for both mentees and mentors and plays a valuable role in addressing under representation of Black senior industry leadership. We are delighted to be partnering with #TalkAboutBlack, in delivering this cross-industry programme and for the commitment and support we have received from industry leaders.  

“Feedback from the pilot programme was strong. For mentees it opened networks, challenged career perspectives and gave access to executive insights; and for mentors it raised understanding of the lived experiences of Black professionals and barriers to progression that they encounter. We are excited to build on this programme, incorporating feedback and recommendations from the participants.” 

On behalf of #TalkAboutBlack, Justin Onuekwusi, Head of Retail Investments, EMEA at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), said:  

“One of the major challenges for those looking at a career in the City is the lack of Black role models, especially in C-suite positions. There is a plethora of fantastic initiatives focused at junior level and before people get into the workplace, yet where the Black Leaders Programme differs is that it focuses on two-way senior level conversations – encouraging, sharing and essentially building that relationship capital which is necessary to not only break through but also succeed in C-suite roles in our industry.” 


For further information, please contact:  

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]  

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625  

Helen Ayres, Senior Communications Manager: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

Arianna Schardt, Communications Executive: [email protected]  

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625   

IA press office: [email protected] 

Notes to Editors:

For more information and to apply for the scheme: https://www.theia.org/black-leaders-programme

The programme follows from the successful pilot held in 2020: https://www.theia.org/media/press-releases/investment2020-and-talkaboutblack-launch-cross-industry-black-leaders 

About the Investment Association (IA):  

The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £10 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 122,000 jobs across the UK.  

Our mission is to make investment better. Better for clients, so they achieve their financial goals. Better for companies, so they get the capital they need to grow. And better for the economy, so everyone prospers.  

Our purpose is to ensure investment managers are in the best possible position to:  

  • Build people’s resilience to financial adversity  
  • Help people achieve their financial aspirations  
  • Enable people to maintain a decent standard of living as they grow older  
  • Contribute to economic growth through the efficient allocation of capital.  

The money our members manage is in a wide variety of investment vehicles including authorised investment funds, pension funds and stocks and shares ISAs.  

The UK is the second largest investment management centre in the world, after the US and manages over a third (37%) of all assets managed in Europe.