Nicsa’s DEI Study Calls for Further Action from Industry Leaders Amid Uncertain Environment

By Nicsa Admin posted 11-06-2023 12:59 PM


Boston, MA – November 7, 2023 – The asset and wealth management industry has made meaningful strides on the journey to advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), but needs to go the distance to deeply integrate their commitments into corporate culture and everyday business decisions according to Going the Distance: Accelerating DEI in Asset and Wealth Management. Nicsa’s study is now available to the public via a fully accessible landing page. Click here to view.

The 2023-2024 study is offered by Nicsa’s Diversity Project North America and will be released to registrants of the 2023 Nicsa General Membership Meeting on November 7. The survey and resulting report were prepared with Diversity Project member Ernst & Young LLP (EY US). The study explores insights on the perception of progress in the asset and wealth management industry and presents actionable takeaways on how to advance DEI within organizations. 

Analysis of the 2023 data led to six key takeaways, each deeply explored in the Study. 

1.     Corporate culture continues to be a key area for industry improvement.

2.     Industry leaders should embrace accountability.

3.     Best practices in talent recruitment and retention must evolve.

4.     The industry must work collaboratively to standardize metrics and advance reporting maturity.

5.     Career development needs to evolve beyond traditional programs and resources.

6.     Robust training initiatives can help embed DEI in the day-to-day experience.

Corporate culture, recruitment pipelines, and talent retention continue to be key areas for industry improvement. In addition, while perceptions improved around organizations sharing DEI metrics, the standardization of those metrics remains a challenge. Overall, trending comparisons worsened when looking into measures of success, but improved when looking at commitment to advancing DEI within the industry.

These trends are explored through a lens of uncertainty, given the unique pressures of today’s economic, regulatory, and political landscape. Despite the uncertainties, the asset and wealth management industry is pushing forward in its commitment to advance DEI and striving toward a diverse workforce that reflects the communities it serves.

Jim Fitzpatrick, President & CEO of Nicsa, notes that the Study results have highlighted the value of committed resources, executive level support, action-oriented training, professional development opportunities, and data collection and reporting as key factors for accelerating DEI within the asset and wealth management industry.

“While our environment and headline news will continue to evolve and change, DEI as a business strategy is here to stay. Asset and wealth managers can’t afford to neglect the information and insights identified in our 2023-24 DEI Perception Study. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are all essential to providing the best products and services to investors worldwide,” said Fitzpatrick. “We hope that industry participants continue to engage with us via our annual Perception Study to identify trends and ideas that will benefit the industry we all serve.”

“EY is proud to join forces with Nicsa on the 2023-24 DEI Perception Study,” said Thomas Arnold, a Partner in EY Wealth and Asset Management Consulting. “We are pleased to offer this tool to help the asset and wealth management industry come together to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of the business.”

About the Study:

  • This is Nicsa’s 3rd DEI Perception Study. The first report was published in 2020.
  • Nicsa joined forces with EY, a member of its Diversity Project North America, to bring the 2023-34 DEI Perception Survey and Study to the asset and wealth management industry. 
  • The survey measured perceptions across DEI themes such as leadership; workforce; metrics and performance; talent, hiring, and work environment; training, mentorship, and sponsorship; and DEI response and commitment.
  • Approximately 1,500 respondents participated in the survey, representing a diverse set of firms and organization types within the asset and wealth management industry
  • Thirty-four business leaders from 22 of Nicsa’s Diversity Project North America member firms participated in a series of roundtable sessions to share insights on the perceptions captured in the survey data.
  • Quantitative data from survey responses, as well as qualitative information gathered during interactive round tables, were used to inform the 2023-34 DEI Perception Study, the results of which are intended to shape the industry’s responses and approaches to, and adaptation of, DEI issues in the near term.

Those interested in joining the asset and wealth management industry’s mission to accelerate diversity, equity and inclusion should reach out to Justine Phoenix, Head of Diversity Project North America at Nicsa.  

About Nicsa 

Nicsa is a not-for-profit trade association striving to connect all facets of the global asset and wealth management industry in order to develop, share, and advance leading practices. For over sixty years, Nicsa has promoted a collaborative environment where members come together to help strategically address the industry’s most vital issues. 

Nicsa’s Diversity Project North America champions DEI as a strategic business priority within the asset and wealth management industry. The goal of the Diversity Project North America is to advance better business results for our member firms and positive long-term impact for the clients we all serve by fostering an industry where diversity is achieved, equity is the standard, and inclusion is celebrated.

About EY

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