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Monday’s Headlines: How Diverse is Wall Street?

All big firms tout their intentions to diversify their staff, but the numbers suggest plenty of room for improvement. The most recent figures show that on Wall Street, Caucasians hold 64 percent of management positions, and minorities hold less than 10 percent. And while individuals and firms grapple with the cultural issues that have arisen with the recent uptick in the number of practicing Muslims in the sector, as detailed in this weekend’s New York Times, it seems it takes more than public pressure to make real changes.

Bowing to pressure from the city’s public pension funds, Goldman Sachs and MetLife agreed to make public data on the ethnic and gender breakdowns of their staffs, according to a New York Times article. Studies have apparently shown that diverse workforces make for good business, but the city’s advertising and finance industries lag other parts of the country in mixing up the race and sex of their employees. Says the paper:

Big employers are required to report data to the federal government on their efforts to provide equal employment opportunities, but many do not make those numbers available to the public. Managers of the city’s pension funds have been using their financial clout to demand disclosure from the biggest banks and advertising agencies they invest in, but not all have acceded.

As shareholders, the pension-fund managers can propose that resolutions on disclosure be put up for a vote at a company’s annual meeting. To maintain control and deflect the attention such a proposal might draw, Goldman and MetLife agreed to make the disclosures annually, beginning later this year.

The city pension funds own 1.2 million shares of stock in Goldman Sachs and 2.3 million shares of MetLife.


Other News:

Citi’s Q1 net income drops 2 percent. [DealBook]

Chinese capital flows into Japanese firms. [WSJ]

State-owned Russian bank Sberbank moves into Western Europe. [NY Times]

Private equity had its best year since 2007. [Fortune]

Family-run Hong Kong banks are a cheap deal. [Bloomberg]

Temasek will buy Goldman’s $2.3 billion stake in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. [Financial Times]

Tips for negotiating in China. [Businessweek]

Two former Merrill execs launched a new hybrid firm that aims to attract advisor teams from word-of-mouth. [Investment News]

AUTHOREmma Johnson Insider Comment

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