Posted on March 28, 2023

The Future of Diversity & Inclusion in Financial Services

The Future of Diversity & Inclusion in Financial Services: Initiatives and Practices of London’s leading Investment Banks

Initiatives and Practices of leading Investment Banks

London’s financial industry has been a driving force for economic growth and development for centuries. Investment banks in London have become a crucial element of the world’s capital markets, providing services ranging from mergers and acquisitions to equity and debt issuances. Because of this, it is clear there is a future of diversity and inclusion in financial services.

In recent years, there has been increasing awareness and recognition of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is no longer viewed as simply a matter of meeting a quota or ticking a box, but rather as an imperative for the success and sustainability of an organisation. Investment banks are no exception, and many are making significant efforts to promote diversity and integrate inclusion into their business practices. Banks are recognising the benefits of having diverse teams with varied perspectives, and they are actively seeking out mandates from different backgrounds with diverse experiences.

One of the most effective ways to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce is to start at the recruitment level. Investment banks are beginning to implement strategies to attract more diverse candidates, such as working with recruitment firms that can focus on underrepresented groups or by expanding their recruitment efforts into different geographies. The use of “blind resume screens”, which hides candidates’ personal information from recruiters during the initial screening process, can also been implemented to reduce any unconscious bias.

Another area of focus is creating an inclusive culture within the organisation. This not only involves promoting tolerance and respect for all employees, but also providing opportunities for career advancement and professional development regardless of one’s background. Several firms in London have introduced mentoring and sponsorship programmes that aim to give employees from diverse backgrounds the support they need to succeed in their role.

Firms have also been increasing their efforts to retain diverse talent, recognising that diverse teams are essential for a company’s overall success. This includes implementing flexible working arrangements and offering benefits that may be particularly beneficial to underrepresented groups such as parental leave, prayer rooms etc. Part of our most recent service is working with institutions to map female talent across IB within Mergers and Acquisitions. You can contact us to discuss this information.

There are also firms who are looking at the work they do with clients, recognising that the global community for their services is an increasingly diverse group. For example, some investment banks are offering training to their employees to better understand the wide range of cultural backgrounds and expectations of clients. As Goldman Sachs quoted, to continue providing their clients with creative ideas and solutions for operating effectively in a complex global economy, they must be fully capable of dealing with different cultures in an informed and nuanced manner.

Other leading financial firms within London have been particularly active in promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry. Banks such as Barclays and HSBC have introduced initiatives including diversity target setting, LGBT networking groups and flexible working arrangements, among others. 

In conclusion, diversity and inclusion are becoming increasingly important and relevant topics in the investment banking industry. It has become clear that it is essential for Investment Banks to create a diverse working environment, as it not only promotes equality and fairness but also brings in a wide range of talents and ideas, leading to better business outcomes. In addition, a diverse workforce helps to create a positive and inclusive culture, which can lead to increased productivity, better employee engagement and retention, and ultimately, increased profitability.

Connect with the Author

To discuss diversity and inclusion across investment banks, or to contact us for our latest opportunities across corporate finance, connect with James Jones.