Investment20/20 and #talkaboutblack launch cross-industry black leaders mentoring programme

Thursday 8 October 2020

A cross-industry mentoring programme for senior black professionals in investment management has today been launched by Investment20/20, the Investment Association’s talent solution, and #talkaboutblack, part of the Diversity Project.

Coinciding with Black History Month, the programme is the latest initiative from Investment20/20 and #talkaboutblack focused on empowering black talent at all levels in investment management. As part of a pilot scheme that will be continued if it is successful, 16 black professionals with typically 15 years’ plus experience in the industry will be matched with 16 c-suite industry leaders from different investment management companies.

The programme aims to harness the power of mentoring from industry leaders to create a constructive environment, based on long-term trusted relationships, for senior black professionals to develop, thrive and progress into senior executive roles. The programme will also provide reverse mentoring to current executive leaders by allowing them to benefit from and act upon insight into the lived experiences of black people in the industry.

Karis Stander, Managing Director of Investment20/20, said:

“The absence of black representation within our industry’s senior leadership is striking, and so deliberate and meaningful action needs to be taken to address this imbalance. We simply cannot serve our diverse society effectively if our senior leadership teams don’t reflect the people we serve.

“That is why today I am proud to launch our cross-industry black leaders mentoring and reverse mentoring programme alongside #talkaboutblack. From our industry’s executive leaders, the cross transfer of skills, knowledge and experience will help provide a catalyst for senior black professionals to progress to the very top.” 

On behalf of #talkaboutblack, Justin Onuekwusi, Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds at Legal & General Investment Management, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering with Investment20/20 on this important initiative. The dearth of ethnic minority representation at the c-suite level within the investment industry is sadly all too well known. This becomes even more stark when looking at black people. There are a handful of black leaders in the industry, all of whom are very talented. However, unless we see any form of progress to the senior executive level, we risk a lost generation of potential candidates.

“It is time for the investment industry to put allegiances to one side, and stand together to solve this challenge. Under-representation goes well beyond company loyalties. The investment industry is built on creating solutions to problems.  We must come together as one to solve this.”

The mentoring is expected to last for at least one year, or to the point where the relationship reaches a natural conclusion. Both parties will organise regular sessions as part of the programme, with a recommended frequency of every eight weeks. They will also attend an annual networking event with other leaders on the programme to further establish cross-industry networks.

The programme’s impact and effectiveness will be measured through pre- and post-programme evaluations, which will be required from both the mentor and the mentee.


Notes to Editors:

The following 16 individuals have been selected to act as mentors for the pilot:

  • Matthew Beesley - CIO, Artemis
  • Caroline Connellan - CEO, Brooks MacDonald
  • Cuan Coulter - Head of State Street Global Advisors EMEA
  • Jonathan DeSimone - CEO Designate, Alcentra
  • Philippe D’Orgeval - Head of UK, AXA IM
  • Andrew Formica - CEO, Jupiter AM
  • Peter Harrison - CEO, Schroders
  • Pete Horrell - Chair & CEO of Fidelity Holdings (UK) Ltd 
  • Tjalling Halbertsma (TJ) - Managing Director, Eaton Vance Management International, CEO Eaton Vance International 
  • Rick Lacaille - EVP & Global CIO, State Street Global Advisors
  • Rachel Lord - Senior Managing Director, Head of EMEA, BlackRock
  • Joanna Munro – CIO, HSBC GAM
  • Michelle Scrimgeour - CEO, LGIM
  • Keith Skeoch - Chairman ASI Research Institute, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Patrick Thomson - CEO EMEA, JP Morgan AM
  • Richard Watts - CIO, BMO GAM 

The following 16 individuals have been selected to be mentored for the pilot:

  • John Adu - Executive Director, Co-Head of ETF Distribution, JP Morgan AM
  • Obe Ejikeme – Fund Manager, Quantitative Equity Analyst, Carmignac
  • Hywel Franklin - Fund Manager, Head of European Equities, Mirabaud
  • Ovo Gharoro - Head of Investment Data Strategy, M&G
  • Marisa Hall - Co-Head of Thinking Ahead Institute, Willis Towers Watson
  • Nicolas Janvier - Fund Manager, Head of US Equities, EMEA, Columbia Threadneedle Investments
  • Didier Lambert - Fund Manager, Managing Director, JP Morgan AM 
  • Gavin Lewis - Managing Director, Head of UK LGPS, BlackRock
  • Henry Odogwu - Managing Director, Head of UK Institutional Sales, iShares &Wealth, BlackRock
  • Remi Olu-Pitan - Fund Manager, Global Head of Multi-Asset Income, Schroders
  • Justin Onuekwusi - Fund Manager, Head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds, LGIM 
  • Kassie Siwo-Gasa - Head of Digital Marketing, LGIM
  • Rose St. Louis – Director, KPMG
  • Jacqueline Taiwo - Associate General Counsel, TowerBrook Capital Partners
  • Vannessa Whitehead - Risk & Compliance Investments Technical Manager, EMEA, Standard Life Aberdeen
  • Daryl Wright - Executive Board Member, Head of Product & Investment Management, Lumyna Investments

For further information, please contact:

Katie Martin, Head of Communications: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4655

Helen Ayres, Communications Manager: [email protected] 

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4620

David Parton, Communications Executive: [email protected]

T: +44 (0)20 7269 4625

IA press office: [email protected]

T: 020 7269 4696

About Investment20/20:

  • Investment20/20, part of the Investment Association, is the careers and talent solution for the investment management industry, with a focus on widening access to diverse talent at grassroots level.
  • Investment20/20 has recruited and supported more than 1,700 trainees and apprentices for its 50+ partner firms from the investment and wealth management sector since it was founded seven years ago by Andrew Formica, CEO of Henderson Global Investors and Nichola Pease, former CEO of JO Hambro. 
  • Investment20/20’s aims are to ensure an increasingly wide range of young people can access the knowledge they need to make an informed decision; to make opportunities easier to find and applications more straightforward; and to engender a positive perception of the industry amongst all the students in 3,700 schools, colleges and universities with which the programme communicates. Investment20/20 will also continue to provide valuable training and networking opportunities in London and Edinburgh to new recruits into the sector.
  • Key statistics about Investment20/20:
    • 73% of those recruited have been offered permanent roles after the programme;
    • 86% of trainees have come from state schools and 50% are school leavers;
    • 41% are come from a black or minority ethnic background and 38% are female.
    • Of the graduates, 49% are the first in their family to go to university, and 56% studied non-finance-related subjects (e.g. maths, economics or finance).
  • For more details about Investment2020 visit our website.

About #talkaboutblack:

  • #talkaboutblack is a movement founded in 2018 when a group of senior Black investment management professionals were invited to lead the ethnicity workstream of the Diversity Project
  • Our purpose is to build a pipeline of cross-industry black leaders.
  • Previous attempts to revolve these challenges have been piecemeal and have treated ethnic minorities as a homogenous group, hence the term ‘BAME’.
  • We feel a wholesale approach is required with a specific focus on single minority groups. To resolve issues in the workplaces requires resolving issues in society
  • We utilise a combination of mentoring, education, thought leadership and public speaking to increase the opportunities for Black people and industry professionals and challenge the structures that inhibit progression.

About the Investment Association (IA):

  • The IA champions UK investment management, supporting British savers, investors and businesses. Our 250 members manage £8.5 trillion of assets and the investment management industry supports 113,000 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 37% of all assets managed in Europe.

About the Diversity Project:

  • In early 2016, a group of leaders in the investment and savings profession decided to take action to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture within our industry. We recognise that future success – for our clients, members, employers and shareholders – requires an inclusive culture.
  • The purpose of the Diversity Project is to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture in the investment profession. An inclusive culture across all levels supports more effective teamwork, gives wider perspectives, better investment decisions, better results for our clients and ultimately more sustainable businesses.  The Project spans the whole range of the profession: asset owners, fund managers, fund selectors, pension consultants, actuaries, trustees, wealth managers and the professional standards and trade bodies.