Alan Johnson, managing director and compensation consultant at ​Johnson Associates, said that despite the big push from firms to hire more women and people of color, significant progress could be extremely slow — to the frustration of many.

“After 50 years of excuses, many people don’t want to hear any more excuses,” Johnson said.

But he thinks it will take years to see visible change in the industry, particularly at the leadership and senior level at money managers.

“You can’t create mid- to senior-level portfolio managers from scratch,” Johnson said. “It takes 10 to 15 years to get them to that level. And it will take a long time. If you don’t have that many people in your pipeline…unfortunately that’s going to be the reality.”

If firms can’t attract an influx of young minority professionals to the industry — as well as retain and develop them throughout their careers — the war for talent at the bargaining table won’t do much to improve the diversity picture on Wall Street.

And without a bigger-picture perspective, firms will still be vying for what may be a handful of minority professionals, particularly at senior levels, Johnson said.

Business Insider / August 5, 2021