Rainbow flag flies high over Gloucestershire's biggest firm

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 04 September 2020 6:00

Rainbow flag flies high over Gloucestershire's biggest firm

More traditional customer’s may have done a double take, who knows, but the rainbow flag flies high above wealth management firm St James’s Place wealth this week. 

And it is with good reason. The Cirencester FTSE firm, the biggest business by ‘turnover’ in Gloucestershire, has won the Championing LGBTQ Inclusion at the Financial Adviser Diversity in Finance Awards. 

The accolade is for companies which have taken significant strides to promote the equal treatment and inclusion of LGBTQ people at all levels of the workplace (LGBTQ standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning/or queer).

“Winning this award is a reflection of the journey we are on as a business and the distance we have travelled over the past few years. 

Being recognised for the contribution we are making to LGBT inclusion makes me proud to work at an organisation that places such importance on inclusion and diversity. 

I look forward to seeing how we continue on our journey and build on this success,said Iain Rayner, executive sponsor for LGBT Inclusion and chief operating officer for the Cotswold company. 

Andrew Croft, chief executive officer at St James’s Place, said: “Building an inclusive workplace where people feel like they belong and can thrive by being themselves is central to our inclusion and diversity strategy. 

Although we still have more to do, this award should give us confidence that we are making good progress and taking steps in the right direction. 

In a statement accompanying the news the firm said it believed “being the best place to have a career is reliant upon creating a truly diverse and inclusive environment where broad perspectives are embraced and people can be themselves. 

We know that talent is not dictated by race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age, religion, social class or background.

Last year the firm became embroiled in criticism around its 'pay and perks' policies.

It moved to implement a series of measures aimed at overhauling matters within the firm, including axing such benefits as cruises and company cufflinks.

The firm employs 800-plus staff at its Cirencester headquarters, but has more than 4,300 partners or advisors nationwide.

At the firm's AGM at start of the year (Feb) it announced it was appointing Landor, a brand consultancy, to help "polish its image", ad the Financial Times called it.

It also appointed two further female non-executive directors to its board.

Its half year results to June 30 showed a 'gross inflow of funds' of £7.3 billion (2019: £7.4 billion) and a total fund sunder management of £115.7 billion (31 December 2019: £117.0 billion).