New corporate culture framework launched

A new standard of corporate culture for investment companies has been launched in an effort to combat diversity greenwashing and create cultural change.

The framework, entitled ‘Action, Challenge, and Transparency’ (Act), was designed by City Hive to help investment companies demonstrate their progress towards more diverse, equitable and inclusive firms.

The tool will allow companies to demonstrate alignment between external and internal values; between beliefs and behaviours, and communicate progress effectively to all stakeholders, including retail fund buyers.

Companies who complete the framework can publish the mark in annual financial reports, pay reports, and fund fact sheets to publicly demonstrate measurable developments in corporate culture.

Highlighted as a “catalyst for change”, the framework also has 15 founding signatories with a combined assets under management of around £6.5trn.

These are: Schroders, Lombard Odier Investment Management, M&G, Aviva Investors, Mirabaud Investments, AssetCo, Federated Hermes, WHEB, BlueBay Asset Management, Radiant ESG, TT International Asset Management, Invesco & Snowball IM.

Act is guided by a stewardship council of investment management stakeholders, which is responsible for ensuring the expectations of an entity’s values and behaviours are evolving meaningfully, and will be chaired by City Hive CEO, Bev Shah, and chief strategist, Mandy Kirby.

Commenting on the launch, Act founder, Bev Shah, emphasised that "diversity and inclusion is the outcome not the target".

"Act is not a tick box exercise but a framework that sheds light on actions being taken and create the wholesale shift needed to build an inclusive investment management industry," he continued.

“In order to create real impact as an industry, investment companies need to allow emerging and diverging ways of thinking to thrive and create meaningful change. To move towards an equitable and sustainable World access to investing and investments must be democratised.

"They need to ensure that their actions and behaviours are reflective of their values and mission statements.”

Adding to this, Act founder, Mandy Kirby, commented: “Act is a unique tool which the investment management industry can use to meet increasing scrutiny from regulators and investors head on.

"It measures authentic change rather than shiny metrics or polished promises– by ACTing, companies can give an assurance to all their stakeholders.

“Investors look at trends, make forecasts. To do this they need more than data, they also need to see a direction of travel.

"A company that can talk to stakeholders about how it has moved through the framework will give clients assurance of its commitment to progress that will ultimately lead to better outcomes for investment and people.”

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