Recognising diversity, equity and inclusion

Sasha Jensen

Jensen Partners: Best Recruitment Consultant — The past year has seen alternative asset management firms sharpening their focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). As many firms look to launch new strategies and build new teams, finding diverse candidates to fill these positions is becoming a significant priority. Jensen Partners, winner of Best Recruitment Consultant, is ahead of the curve in its offering to clients looking to improve DEI within their firms.

“Across the board, firms are working to establish and/or improve their commitment to DEI values. Because Jensen Partners has spent the last decade tracking talent across the alternatives industry, we are well-positioned to help firms attract and retain diverse talent,” comments Sasha Jensen (pictured), founder and CEO of Jensen Partners.

“We’ve seen demand for diverse candidates grow across alternative assets to the point where many firms are creating diverse candidate pipelines and dedicating significant HR resources to finding talent that better represents the communities and clients they serve.”

Jensen Partners has taken “two very aggressive steps” in order to meet the increasing demand for diversity in recruitment. “First, DEI is now a part of every talent search we conduct. Over the past few years, our clients have increasingly requested more candidates of diverse backgrounds. Hearing those calls, we upped the ante. Now, Jensen Partners will not conduct a search unless our client agrees to include at least 51 percent diverse candidates in the first round of the search. For us, that is the bare minimum a firm can do given the pervasive ethnic and gender under-representation across the industry,” says Jensen.

She continues: “Second, we developed a proprietary diversity talent pipeline tracker that includes over 8,000 alternatives professionals who have self-identified as belonging to one or more under-represented groups. To do this, we built an enterprise software platform, called Diversity Metrics, which tracks the employees of every private equity and credit platform alongside rich diversity analytics, allowing us to identify rising stars and rainmakers across the industry.”

The Diversity Pipeline Tracker has already proven extremely popular among clients, and Jensen expects demand to keep growing. At the same time, the Diversity Metrics platform is providing access to verified data and analytics on DEI. This addresses the deep need for transparency and accountability over DEI in the alternatives industry, as it still mostly relies on pledges and self-reporting.

“Our high-tech, high-touch approach to DEI gives firms (both GPs and portfolio companies) the ability to measure, analyse, objectively report, and ultimately, improve workforce diversity, equity, and inclusion,” says Jensen. She believes that this will “bring meaningful transparency to the industry for the first time”.

Jensen expects this to support the continued growth of the business in 2021. “Demand for talent across all strategies will continue to increase in 2021 and demand for diverse talent, which is already exploding, will increase dramatically,” comments Jensen.

One of the firm’s main goals for 2021 is to continue educating firms on why diversity, equity, and inclusion should be core business objectives.

“While we have seen many clients sincerely working to improve DEI, we are only beginning to see firms elevate DEI objectives to the level of core business objectives. This is problematic because the most common empirical finding we see as we review data from Diversity Metrics is that DEI programmes that are not given a mandate at the executive level tend to be less effective over the long term,” says Jensen. 

Sasha Jensen, Founder & CEO, Jensen Partners
Sasha Jensen, Founder and CEO of Jensen Partners, leads a team of senior recruitment specialists and data scientists dedicated exclusively to the sourcing, recruitment and placement of capital raising and investment professionals for leading alternative investment firms. In fact, Sasha was described as “the most successful executive recruiter for asset gatherers” by Institutional Investor magazine. As a woman-owned business, Jensen Partners was founded in 2012 on the principle that diversity is a critical and immediate need in the alternative investment space. Under Sasha’s leadership and backed by the power of data, Jensen Partners has become the trusted, chosen partner for individuals and institutions in the industry.