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City firms agree to tackle black underrepresentation

A list of 80 City investment management firms have agreed to back an initiative to increase black representation within key functions in portfolio management and finance.

The new initiative, called #100blackinterns, aims to bring together long only and hedge funds, private equity, credit and real estate managers, together with consultants and pension funds within the investment management industry, to give portfolio management function internships to young, university-educated black people.

The firms taking part in the program have committed to offer a paid internship to a black candidate next summer in a frontline investment position, and applications are welcome from black university students from any academic discipline and from any year group, including those on gap years and those who have graduated since 2019. 

According to a 2018 study by New Financial, there are only 12 black portfolio managers in the entire UK investment management industry. 

“In over two decades in the City, I have rarely come across anyone who looks like me”, said Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of pensions advisory group Redington and online pensions forum Mallowstreet.

“It is so powerful that the investment management industry has agreed to help welcome more black talent into our industry,” he added. 

Wol Kolade, managing partner of Livingbridge, a mid-market private equity company, said: “The support for this initiative from the industry has been absolutely terrific. If there are other firms we have not yet contacted that would like to provide an internship, they would be very welcome to join the programme.” 

The initiative, which offers critical roles in important investment teams that make key decisions worth billions of pounds, is being coordinated by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu, co-founder of Redington and Mallowstreet, Jonathan Sorrell, president of Capstone Investment Advisors, Michael Barrington-Hibbert, founder and managing partner of Barrington Hibbert Associates and Wol Kolade, managing partner of Livingbridge.

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