Verus has announced that it is an early signatory to the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute’s “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Code” for the investment profession in the U.S. and Canada, as the firm seeks to continue its advocacy in these areas.
According to the CFA Institute, the DEI Code, first announced in February, aims to foster commitment from institutions to DEI action that will increase inclusion of wide-ranging viewpoints from the best talent, which will lead to better investment outcomes, help create better working environments and generate a cycle of positive change for future generations.
The CFA Institute currently lists 46 DEI Code signatory organizations in the U.S. and Canada on its website.
The code calls for signatory organizations to commit to six metrics-based principles. In addition, signatories commit to accelerating and amplifying the impact of their commitment by making the economic, business and moral case for diversity, equity and inclusion.
“The DEI Code provides an actionable framework for improving DEI outcomes in our industry,” said Verus CEO Jeffrey MacLean in a statement. “The six principles enshrined in the DEI Code are aligned with the values that Verus seeks to uphold in our own organization, in our ongoing efforts to promote greater utilization of emerging and diverse managers in our clients’ portfolios, and in our pioneering work as a founding member of the Institutional Investing Diversity Cooperative which seeks to obtain better and more transparent data from investment managers about their diversity practices.”
The six principals of the DEI code are: expanding the diverse talent pipeline; designing, implementing and maintaining inclusive and equitable hiring and onboarding practices; designing, implementing and maintaining inclusive and equitable promotion and retention practices to reduce barriers to progress; leadership using their position and voice to promote DEI and improve DEI outcomes in the investment industry; using a role, position or voice of influence to promote and increase measurable DEI results in the investment industry; and measuring and reporting on progress in driving better DEI results within the firm, providing regular reporting on the firm’s DEI metrics to senior management, the board and the CFA Institute.
“For the last few years, we’ve been doing a lot at Verus to improve and promote diversity within the firm and in the greater institutional investing profession,” MacLean tells PLANADVISER. “We believe our signing on with the CFA’s DEI Code makes our commitment readily apparent to our key stakeholders, both internally and externally.”
MacLean says his firm is already starting to see some benefits. Diversity, equity and inclusion are important values for the firm’s employees and they appreciate the public commitment to the DEI Code, he says.
“We believe the investment industry as a whole has work to do on the diversity front; we are in no position to judge if we aren’t also putting effort into working on our firm,” says MacLean. “We want to lead by example for our profession and the great financial services marketplace.”