Thirteen of the City of London’s biggest fund managers have started a new initiative that aims to create over 2,000 jobs a year for graduates from a diverse range of backgrounds.
The new venture, Investment 2020, will see 13 asset management firms offer 100 places to graduates and school leavers from outside of a small elite band of universities this year in an attempt to ensure a greater range of backgrounds in the industry. Financial services firms have typically targeted the cream of academia, and the new trainee programme will target young people regardless of their education. Firms are keen to dispel accusations of class bias.
By 2020, the aim is to offer at least 2,020 jobs every year.
Aberdeen Asset Management, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Cazenove Capital, First State, JO Hambro Capital Management, Jupiter, Legal & General Investment Management, M&G, Pension Insurance Corporation, Schroders, Standard Life Investments and Threadneedle have all signed up.
The programme is based on a pilot scheme at Henderson Global Investors that’s been running for the last three years. It doesn’t offer full-time jobs, but is a 12-month training scheme that gives graduates exposure to different areas of the business including marketing, investment, information technology and operations.
Henderson takes in students seven times during the year and has trained 83 people since the programme’s inception, 75% of whom have gone to a permanent role at the firm. Some 95% now work in a fund management position; the remainder have returned to full-time education. Henderson intends to hire 40 students this year.
“Our firms are on average receiving 50 applicants per role, 25% more than three years ago,” said Andrew Formica, chief executive of Henderson. “The Catch 22 is that 50 percent of recruiters say they will only hire someone with work experience, and often only from an education at one of a small group of universities. But how can most young people in Britain get that work experience if they haven't been to one of the top universities?”
Fund managers typically recruit between five and 10 graduates each year, making competition fierce.
Those graduates interested in the jobs this year should follow this link when the website launches on Wednesday 6 March.