2021 Asset Management & Servicing Winners


Northern Trust Asset Management Winner

Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM), led by President Shundrawn Thomas, has taken the lead in addressing the industry’s lack of diversity. As Bloomberg TV anchor Romaine Bostick recently stated, “Shundrawn never minces words. He dives right into the inconvenient truth many of us want to avoid.” But, equally importantly, he has offered solutions for addressing inequities in four candid, powerful open letters to business and civic leaders, as well as by participating in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) summits hosted by Bloomberg and the Financial Times, and in podcasts on the topic, including one by Chief Investment Officer that also appeared as a four-part written series. Thomas and other NTAM professionals have been included in more than 70 pieces of coverage on DE&I from 2020 to the present, including multiple appearances on Bloomberg TV and CNBC. All these efforts have brought tremendous attention to the industry’s shortcomings in addressing systemic racism, the wealth gap, gender inequity, and other social ills, while also providing suggestions for spurring action and effecting meaningful change.

The firm’s other initiatives include expanding NTAM’s Minority Brokerage Program, established in 2007, beyond trading to include research. In addition, the program added companies owned by disabled individuals and veterans to its list, and increased from 10% to 15% NTAM’s target for commissions on equity trades executed through minority brokers regarding all of the firm’s collective investment trusts (CITs). NTAM also is developing a holistic, 360-degree framework to assess diversity within public and private investments. Plus, through its stewardship, engagements, and proxy votes, NTAM advocates for greater board diversity. In 2021, the firm’s proxy committee raised its minimum diversity requirement for boards across the globe to at least 20% female. At the same time, the committee required that all US boards have at least one ethnically/racially diverse member. In addition, NTAM has held a series of thought-provoking conversations with employees on issues involving systemic racism.


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