Socio-economic background and ethnicity appear to be the next frontiers of diversity in the private wealth sector, according to respondents of PAM Insight’s inaugural Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Survey.
The overwhelming majority of respondents to the PAM 2020 Diversity & Inclusion Survey, carried out in April and May, said that people working in the sector were lacking diversity in terms of socio-economic background, with 81.9 percent either agreeing or strongly agreeing with this sentiment.
A high proportion also believe different ethnicities were poorly represented, with 68.2 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing with this sentiment.
This compares with around half of respondents who said the industry was lacking gender diversity.
One respondent said they felt virtually everyone – including themselves – came from a private school background.
“Some are given additional work and attention purely because they went to the same school as those in charge, or the same school they want to send their children to. This outlook surely sets limits on the type of applicants entering the industry.”
A separate piece of analysis carried out by thewealthnet looked at the high school backgrounds of the chief executives or UK country heads of the 30 largest private banking and wealth management firms.
Ten were educated at state or non-fee-paying schools, while 15 attended private or fee-paying schools. For the remaining five, the data was not available and/or they declined to comment.
Clients vs staff
Results from the D&I survey indicate people were more split on whether their firms’ workforce mirrored that of its client base.
Around a third thought their firm mirrored the client base in terms of gender and socio-economic diversity, while just under half believed this in relation to ethnic diversity.
Most respondents seemed to see diversity as a goal in its own right, with nearly all saying they thought having a diverse workforce benefitted the sector as a whole. Over 80 percent said it benefited the client experience.
One respondent who worked for a large wealth management fintech said they believed their fi...