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Investors Pressuring Alternative Investment Firms to Increase Gender Diversity: KPMG Report

Global report shows progress over past 2 years, but the industry still struggles to retain and advance women; women and men report differing views on severity of gender gap.

Originally Published by KPMG.

Institutional investors in the Alternative Investments industry are driving efforts to improve gender diversity at the funds and portfolios they invest in, but recruiting, retaining and advancing women is still the biggest challenge, according to KPMG LLP's sixth Women in Alternative Investment's report: The Call to Act.

The report was based on a global survey of 886 participants, which, for the first time, included both women and men. The majority of women and men (84 and 76 percent respectively) agree that achieving gender diversity is a business imperative.

To view a conversation with the coauthors, click here:

To review the full report click here:

"We are at a critical time for women in business, and even in the highly male-dominated Alternative Investments industry we're starting to experience progress," said Kelly Rau, co-author and Audit partner for KPMG LLP's Financial Services practice.

"There is still work to be done, but what's interesting is that the push toward more balance is coming not only from inside the AI organizations, but now from the investor side – and it's starting to drive action."

  • Over the next year, 75 percent of the investors surveyed said they plan to ask investment teams to report their diversity efforts, up from 60 percent last year.
  • More than one third (37 percent) of the investors surveyed said they will require disclosure of diversity statistics for all potential investments, up from just 16 percent last year.
  • 42 percent of investors said they will require the firms in their portfolios to improve diversity, up from just 11 percent last year.

The report found that retaining and advancing women is still the biggest challenge, with only 12 percent of the firms represented in the study taking action to analyze the attrition rates of high-potential women.

"Understanding the reasons why women are leaving is important to driving change and improvement in retention," said Camille Asaro, Co-author and Audit partner, KPMG LLP's Financial Services practice. "The factors that cause women to opt-out are complex and are different for many of the women in this field -- few examples of women in leadership roles, uncertain upward mobility, questioning their firms' commitment to gender diversity, inclusion, work/life integration – these are just some of the frustrations women face with their firms."

The report also found that there is a significant difference in terms of what men and women think about whether their sectors and firms are doing enough to advance women.

  • 65 percent of women said their sector is not doing enough, while only 45 percent of men agreed with that statement.
  • 48 percent of women said their firm isn't doing enough to recruit, retain or advance women, while only 30 percent of men agreed with that statement.
  • 50 percent of women polled said their firm's leadership believes diversity is an important part of their business strategy, while 65 percent of men agree with that statement.

"Women should not have to solve the problem by themselves, men also need to become part of the solution," said Jim Suglia, National Leader, Alternative Investments, KPMG LLP. "We are definitely seeing change in the right direction but there is still a gap in how men and women view the issue and what remains to be done."

The report also found that there is increased focus on women-led funds. More consulting firms are looking to increase their roster of diverse and women-owned firms, sponsoring "diverse manager days" and other focused outreach.

"With all of these efforts gaining traction, we are more optimistic than ever before about the potential for increased investment in women-led funds," said Rau.

The Conversation

Responding to Growing Market Demands, KPMG Bolsters Export Controls and Sanctions Service Line

Steven Brotherton joins firm's Trade & Customs Practice to lead initiative.

Originally Published by KPMG.

In response to growing market demands and client challenges in a complex trade environment, KPMG LLP announced that its Trade & Customs Services practice is expanding its U.S./Global export controls and sanctions service line with the addition of a range of innovative tools and technology, increased professional staff, and the hiring of a new leader with extensive experience to head the growing initiative.

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KPMG: For Women at Work, Risk Taking Has Rewards, yet Many Hesitate to Leap into the Unfamiliar

Women of color and newcomers more apt to take big risks for career advancement.

Originally Published by KPMG.

When it comes to risk-taking in the workplace, seven in ten (69%) women are open to taking small risks to further their career, but far fewer (43%) are open to taking bigger risks that may be associated with career advancement, according to a study of over 2,000 professional women by KPMG LLP.

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KPMG: Technology Top of Mind for Financial Executives

Cyber security a growing concern; companies taking a 'Watch-And-Wait' stance toward blockchain.

Originally Published by KPMG.

Technology -- keeping pace with change, preventing cyber breaches or investing in emerging tools, such as blockchain -- remains top of mind for corporate financial executives, according to a new survey by U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm, KPMG LLP.

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Health Care IT Remains Hot Sector Despite Valuation Concerns: Says KPMG

"Deals are largely being driven by the need for savings, economies of scale, and improving cash flow or accretive earnings per share."

Originally Published by KPMG.

Health care IT remains a hot investment sector despite concerns about these companies being overvalued, according to KPMG-Leavitt Partners 2019 Investment Outlook, a survey of health care investment professionals.

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Consumers Are More Anxious About Data, but Trust Is Central to Building Customer Loyalty: KPMG Study

Three-fourths of consumers willing to share data in return for a benefit; millennials more anxious than baby boomers.

Originally Published by KPMG.

A new KPMG study shows that while consumers are enthusiastically embracing new technology, they are more anxious than ever and more aware of the risks and benefits of handing over their data to businesses, including social media platforms.

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Autonomous Delivery Vehicle Miles Traveled to Skyrocket to 78 Billion per Year by 2040: KPMG

Islands of autonomous delivery to emerge; revolutionize movement of goods.

Originally Published by KPMG.

KPMG predicts the development of autonomous delivery vehicles will drastically revolutionize the current consumer e-commerce environment, drive consumer demand for more and faster goods deliveries and lead to an entirely new product delivery ecosystem for shoppers and buyers of goods and services.

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