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SBAI creates DEI forum

Monday, February 28, 2022
Opalesque Industry Update - Today the SBAI, a global alliance of alternative investment managers and allocators and custodian of the Alternative Investments Standards, announced it has created a forum of alternative investment industry organisations committed to addressing diversity in the alternatives industry.

The forum is chaired by the SBAI and its members include 100 Women in Finance, The Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA), The Asset Owner Charter UK, CFA Institute, The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association (CAIA), The Diversity Project, The European Leveraged Finance Association (ELFA), Institutional Limited Partners Association (ILPA), Investor Leadership Network (ILN), and The Value Reporting Foundation (VRF).

Maria Long, Research and Content Director at the SBAI and Chair of this Forum said: "We believe the case for the benefits of diversity has been made and the time has come to take practical action. We formed this forum with three aims; to avoid duplication of work, to collaborate across organisations where appropriate, and standardise guidance or templates where it makes sense. We are excited to have so many great industry organisations enthusiastically involved and look forward to working productively with this group.

Diversity is a widely discussed topic in the alternative investment industry and, along with inclusive cultures, is required to maintain a thriving and dynamic industry. As focus increases from asset managers, allocators, and regulators alike, there is an increase in guidance being published along with due diligence questionnaires and metrics templates. SBAI and its fellow collaborators in this initiative believe that the best results can be achieved by working together globally across the industry.

Deborah McLean, President of the CAIA Foundation and Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) at CAIA said: "Translating DEI concepts into concrete action requires leadership that recognises the complexity and interplay between diversity, equity, and inclusion and creates a cultural response to change and resilience to obstacles. SBAI is providing a unique forum for industry leaders to leverage influence and drive DEI change."

Jennifer Choi, Managing Director, Industry Affairs at ILPA said: "ILPA believes meaningful DEI progress at scale for our industry can only be achieved by moving from intention to action, establishing objectives, measuring results, and collectively applying lessons learned. We are eager to support efforts that bring like-minded organisations together to align on objectives and improve outcomes."

Adam Jacobs-Dean, Head of Markets, Governance, and Innovation at the Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) said: "We face a common challenge when it comes to making our industry more representative of the investors and communities that it ultimately serves. By sharing our resources and insights we stand the best chance of moving the dial and ensuring that everyone has a chance of success in the alternative investment industry regardless of their gender or background."

The SBAI has produced guidance on Principles of Culture and Diversity Strategies and Demonstrating and Assessing Diversity for Smaller Managers. These publications and a podcast, "A Conversation on Culture", are available in the SBAI's Culture and Diversity Toolbox.

The SBAI is an active alliance of over 150 asset managers and over 90 institutional investors dedicated to advancing responsible practices, partnership, and knowledge.

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