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Diversity

Institutional investors rising to the challenge

Home / Perspectives / Diversity – Institutional investors rising to the challenge

Harriet Steel, Head of Business Development
29 September 2016
Responsible Investing

responsible-investing-thumbnail-cropResponsible Capitalism: The rising importance of diversity in corporate governance

Significant political and economic upheaval has prompted governments to look in increasingly greater depth at corporate governance practice. Incoming UK Prime Minister Theresa May immediately took aim at non-executive board members ‘drawn from the same narrow social and professional circles as the executive team’, accusing them of providing insufficient scrutiny. Nineteen nations in the European Union now mandate that employee representatives sit on corporate boards, while US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has promised corporate governance reform. When diversity considerations draw the attention of policymakers, companies and investors must increasingly take note.

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Harriet Steel Head of Business Development Harriet is Head of Business Development, a member of the Executive Committee (ExCo) and an Executive Board Director. She joined the firm in 2011 with responsibility for Sales, Client Service, Marketing, Communications and Product Strategy. Under her leadership, Hermes has built a fast-growing and profitable third-party business in which assets under management for external clients have tripled, and revenues grown from 15% to 52% of the total. As a member of ExCo, her responsibilities include development of corporate strategy and delivery of profitability. Appointed to the Board of Hermes in 2013, Harriet became the company’s first female executive director. Harriet’s career in the City began in 1990 after graduating from Princeton University with a degree in architecture. She joined the global trading team at Bankers Trust, initially trading currency options and subsequently holding senior derivatives sales roles in Paris, London and New York before joining Morgan Stanley’s fixed income group in 1996. In 2003 Harriet established Portico Advisors, an asset raising and marketing advisory firm for alternative investment managers, including hedge funds, private equity and real estate strategies, which she ran until joining Hermes. Harriet acts as a mentor to female executives at Hermes, encouraging them to fulfil their potential and providing practical insight and guidance on how to achieve success in the City. Harriet is a regular commentator in the print and broadcast media on business, economic and diversity issues and, for the last three years, has been recognised as one of the top 100 women in European finance by Financial News.
Read all articles by Harriet Steel