Why Diversity, Equity & Inclusion matters

We are committed to promoting and achieving diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at every level of our company, and to encouraging DEI across our industry. We view DEI as the responsibility of all our stakeholders. That is because it empowers individuals to realise their potential and make a contribution, irrespective of background. It will also enable Brunel to grow and prosper as an asset owner in the long term – and so contribute to the health of our society.

We are deeply aware that Brunel, our asset managers, and our investee companies still have a long way to go to achieve our goals. Indeed, the financial industry is enormously lacking in this area. We acknowledge that, for all our progress in this area, we are still part of the problem.

However, we are working to be part of the solution, which means starting with our own company. Our vision as a company is to forge better futures by investing for a world worth living in. That is not possible unless we pursue DEI in how we recruit; in the culture we build; in the example we provide; and in the expectations we set for our partners. We have two immediate priorities:

  1. Develop a policy to outline our DEI commitment, in line with our culture, values and mission.
  2. Review our approach to attracting talent to draw on the widest possible pool of candidates.

The second of these is a far-reaching project that touches on alternative recruitment streams, interview techniques, unconscious bias mitigation, and recruitment training for managers, among other areas.

We target progress at four levels:

  1. DEI at Brunel
  2. DEI at our asset managers
  3. DEI at our investee companies
  4. DEI in our industry

DEI at Brunel

We monitor key metrics on DEI and report on these annually in a devoted section in our RI & Stewardship Outcomes Report – that includes reporting on our progress against our gender pay gap ambitions. We also seek to build as diverse a working community as possible through our prioritisation of supportive policies on paternity/maternity leave and on flexible working.

In recruitment, we actively seek a diversity of candidates. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic background, age, marital status or disability status – and we monitor our practices to ensure this is the case.

Find out more in the DEI section of our Outcomes Report

DEI at our asset managers

We use manager appointment processes and monitoring meetings to engage with asset managers on DEI at their companies – and to see how they are working to improve. Our findings in this area are one of the elements that determines whether we commission a manager – and whether we then retain that manager.

Find out more in the DEI section of our Outcomes Report

DEI at our investee companies

We use a range of tools to encourage best practice at our investee companies, working with asset managers and with EOS Federated Hermes (EOS), our voting provider.

Find out more on our voting & engagement policies and practices in Stewardship

DEI in our industry

We regularly highlight the poor DEI achieved across our industry. Our Chief Stewardship Officer co-chairs the Asset Owner Diversity Working Group. In 2021, the group launched the Asset Owner Diversity Charter, which commits signatories to a range of targets and reviews to improve their performance in this area. The charter’s signatories represent more than $2 trillion in AUM.

Find out more about the Asset Owner Diversity Charter