Pollen Street Capital is among the investors that have published new guidelines on diversity and inclusion in the investment industry.
Investors and professionals from the venture investment community have released best practice guidelines to help increase investment in under-represented founders and drive diversity and returns across the investment sector.
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The ‘Guidance and best practice examples for VCs, private equity and institutional investors’ document was written by investors and professionals including Pollen Street Capital, Atomico, Ada Ventures, Adelpha, Astia, KPMG, Diversity VC and Diversio.
The guidelines, published by the British Venture Capital Association, cover four main areas.
These include: talent acquisition, retention and development, internal education, culture and policy, outreach, access to dealflow and unconscious investment bias, as well as influence, external guidance and portfolio management.
As well as the guidelines, the document recommended the next step for investors is for them to become certified under ‘The Standard’, a benchmark for diversity and investment best practices developed by Diversity VC, Diversio and OneTech.
It also recommended that all investors undertake a portfolio assessment, administered by Diversio as part of ‘The Standard’, to ensure their funds are being allocated fairly and objectively.
The document also urged all financial organisations to become signatories to the Investing in Women Code to support the advancement of female entrepreneurship in the UK by improving access to tools, resources and finance from the financial services sector.
“This is a helpful document written by investors for investors,” said Lindsey McMurray, managing partner at Pollen Street Capital and council member.
“It’s designed to give practical advice and actionable suggestions for any investor looking to improve diversity, inclusion and returns. Tangible action to ensure diversity across the investment industry is important to uncover and fund innovation but also from a performance perspective.
“Case in point, research increasingly demonstrates that firms with more female executives outperform less gender diverse peers.”
Pollen Street Capital works with a range of alternative lenders, including several UK-based peer-to-peer lending platforms and acts as fund manager for Honeycomb Investment Trust, a listed firm which specialises in alternative finance.
It recently partnered with Downing’s property finance division to fund residential development finance and bridging deals for developers.