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IPE | Think tank New Financial has released the report “Diversity from an Investor’s Perspective” which found a noteworthy division between those who believe in the financial importance of a diverse workforce and those who don’t.

The survey, which included 100 asset owners identified as the most progressive on diversity, reveals that there is still a deeply entrenched and widely held belief in the investment sector that efforts to improve diversity can compromise returns and comes at a cost not worth paying for.

There are asset owners who see diversity as part of their fiduciary duty but there are others who are concerned that focusing on diversity could violate fiduciary duty. The unconvinced wants to see hard evidence that diversity can improve profitability. The reasons cited by the believers for improving diversity include improvement in decision-making, innovation and competitiveness, financial performance and recruitment and retention of talent. These reasons overlap and reinforce each other.