(Bloomberg) – House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters wants BlackRock Inc., Vanguard Group Inc., and other large asset managers to share data on their companies’ attitudes towards women and minorities in order to respond to a similar request, which she had previously addressed to Wall Street Banks.
According to a statement by the committee Thursday, Waters and Democratic Representative Joyce Beatty obtained the information from the 31 largest US investment firms, all of which manage at least $ 400 billion. In addition to BlackRock and Vanguard, State Street Corp. also owned and Fidelity Investments Inc. among the companies that received the inquiry.
“Investment firms have failed to prioritize diversity and inclusion in their employees and boards, and they have also failed to do business with variously owned asset managers,” Waters said in the statement.
The announcement came hours after Beatty, the chair of the panel’s Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee, completed a diversity hearing with witnesses including New York State Comptroller witnesses Thomas DiNapoli and Anne Simpson, director of sustainable investment in California’s pension system for public employees. The panel also discussed legislation that would increase diversity in financial companies.
Beatty called the hearing to highlight the potential consequences of a lack of diversity data and to discuss laws that would require mandatory disclosure of such information, according to a memo from the committee staff. Many publicly traded companies have failed to disclose their diversity metrics, which could result in shareholders not being informed about investment risks.
Waters of California and Ohio’s Beatty sent letters to leading US banks for diversity data. In February 2020, they released a report in which only 23 of the 44 largest lenders publicly disclosed such information.