FCA Executive Director Emphasizes Need for Fund Managers to Promote Diversity

Diversity is increasingly being recognized as commercially imperative for firms, including fund managers, according to Christopher Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). In a recent speech, Woolard focused on the need for fund managers and other regulated entities to focus on diversity. He also explained that the FCA extrapolates its assessment of a firm’s culture from that firm’s approach to diversity and inclusion. In addition, the way a firm handles misconduct such as sexual harassment is potentially just as relevant to the regulator as is the firm’s handling of insider trading or other misconduct. Woolard’s speech provides valuable insight to fund managers about the FCA’s expectations regarding diversity and sends a clear message to the industry: “non-financial misconduct is misconduct, plain and simple.” This article summarizes the key points from his remarks. See our four-part series on diversity: “Why Equal Representation Within Fund Managers Is Essential” (Oct. 4, 2018); “Ways Fund Managers Can Promote Diversity and Inclusion” (Oct. 11, 2018); “What Implicit Biases Are and Whether Interventions Are Effective” (Oct. 18, 2018); and “How Constrained Decision Making, Along With Legal and Compliance Leadership, Can Help Reduce Fund Manager Bias” (Nov. 1, 2018).

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