Kirsta Anderson

Partners Group has created a special budget to meet its hiring target for female senior executives, the asset manager revealed on Thursday.

“We found that the competition for women, especially in investments, is extremely fierce. So our hiring [of female MDs] hasn’t been as successful as we would like it to have been to date,” said Kirsta Anderson, global head of HR at Partners Group, at the online launch of the firm’s annual corporate sustainability report.

The exact nature of the budget is unclear, but co-CEO Andre Frei said, “It’s not about higher offers for female candidates, but about ensuring that we have no bureaucracy that gets in the way of hiring really talented female candidates when we find them. If we find a great female talent, we don’t want local team budgets to get in the way of a broader global strategic initiative.”

Partners Group is a private markets firm with $109.1 billion in assets under management.

Anderson said the firm is aiming for 25 female managing directors and partners by 2025. Partners Group currently employs 102 managing directors and partners, 11 of whom are women. It has has two ways of meeting its target.

“We have a preference for nurturing homegrown talent,” Anderson said. “So much of our initiatives behind the ‘25 by 25’ target have focused on developing the existing pipeline of female talent within the firm. And in this area, I think we’re doing well. At the same time, we have the roles to hire into and also the appetite to hire women and other diverse candidates into them.”

The firm also broadened its diversity and inclusion approach in 2020, launching a Black network and an LGBT++ network.

“In the context of some of the events that took place in 2020…we’ve become aware of the need to broaden our D&I focus and look more proactively to members of other underrepresented groups,” Anderson said. “We’re setting up a diverse progression panel to oversee progression and make sure that it is progressing the right people and that unconscious bias isn’t part of the decision.”