We started having discussions with our fund managers about the fund manager/analyst gender imbalance within their own firms in 2016. Progress since then has been mixed although interestingly we have seen a correlation between positive performance and those doing well in this area. Sometimes improvement has been hindered by a low turnover of staff but, in other cases, senior management still needs to fully grasp the structural changes needed. Although gender balance will not dominate our manager retention and appointment decisions, it will influence them.
Discussions around, corporate tax, were also challenging. While all our fund managers identify corporate tax avoidance as a risk issue, it is clearly difficult to engage on this issue on a company by company basis given the complexity of corporate tax and different regimes in different countries. Our hope is that things may become easier on this front as the OECD progresses its work around international tax cooperation.
We began discussing technology with our managers in 2018 and built on those discussions this year. Although not all our managers are invested directly in the big technology, their investee companies will be exposed to the issues affecting these companies and the topic remains critical to us.