Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is a key agenda item for alternative asset managers in 2021 and the foreseeable future. Recently, there has been a keen focus on what DEI means and why it is important, but perhaps less discussion about the practical steps and actions that managers can take to improve diversity within their organizations and industry as a whole. To provide alternative asset managers with guidance on how to create a more inclusive work environment, the New York Alternative Investment Roundtable (NY‑AIR) hosted a webinar, which featured Nasrine Ghozali, chief risk officer at Oasis Management; Imogen Rose‑Smith, co‑founder of Combinate Capital; and Tracy McHale Stuart, CEO of Corbin Capital Partners. This first article in a two-part series highlights the importance of DEI at both a firm and industry level; the value of a firm self-evaluating its DEI status and practices; and how firms can approach diversity training. The second article will provide tips for incorporating diversity into hiring practices; insights on addressing diversity in a firm’s investments; and regional efforts in the U.S. and Asia. For coverage of a previous NY‑AIR panel, see “State, Federal and International Tax Implications of the 2020 Elections and the Coronavirus on the Alternative Investment Industry” (Jan. 19, 2021). For additional coverage of actionable steps toward diversity, see “Practical Guidance for Advisers Seeking to Foster Diversity and Inclusion” (Jul. 14, 2020).
By Hena Lees, Private Equity Law Report