Meet our D&I Leadership Team
Antony Esposito, Head UK Consultant Relations & Head UK DC Client Solutions
Today, you head Partners Group's UK Consultant Relations and UK DC Client Solutions. How would you describe your role?
I oversee Partners Group's relationships with investment consultants in the UK. These are the professional advisors that help both public and private pension schemes with their investment allocations and assessment of investment managers so they're incredibly important in our relationship with clients. My role is to answer any queries these consultants may have about private markets and our investment strategies and make sure they are up to date about our programs and bespoke client solutions. I also lead our UK DC Client Solutions business – ultimately aiming to provide Defined Contribution members with access to private markets investments which Defined Benefit equivalent pensioners, who tend to be older, have benefited from for decades.
You are a D&I leader and also co-head Partners Group's LGBT+ Network. What motivated you to get involved in these initiatives?
Today, the private markets industry still isn't as diverse as it could be and is not necessarily representative of the broader population. I believe we are privileged in the roles and careers we have and am aware that these opportunities are not readily available to everyone. So, what I'm hoping to achieve with our D&I efforts is to increase the representation of under-represented groups in our industry, for example across gender, race, and sexual orientation, just to name a few.
The other part to this is not just having members of under-represented groups at the firm but also ensuring they feel included. It's not enough to report on facts, figures, and statistics; we want to make sure that people have a voice and are listened to. Fully integrating diversity and inclusion at all levels enables us to take a broader range of viewpoints into account and ultimately make better investment decisions and serve our clients more effectively.
Applying this to our LBGT+ Network, I think it's important that people feel able to bring their full selves to work. I want to be part of increasing a sense of affinity and belonging for the LGBT+ community at Partners Group because I firmly believe that if people feel comfortable being themselves, they can have a more positive impact in their work.
"It's not enough to report on facts, figures and statistics; we want to make sure that people have a voice and are listened to."
What does inclusion mean to you?
Inclusion is not just about having a seat at the table. Inclusion is about being able to express your opinion while at the table and potentially have your ideas acted upon. It means truly valuing people for the different perspectives they bring and enabling them to have an impact on your business.
Diversity & Inclusion is a focus topic for Partners Group. How important is it for clients and consultants?
This has been a focus for years for our clients and consultants and it is only increasing in importance. Most of our clients are pension schemes, which means we're managing assets on behalf of millions of pensioners. Our beneficial clients are nurses, teachers, firefighters, accountants, doctors all around the world from a great diversity of backgrounds. It's important for our clients that we're able to represent the wider population that we serve. It's equally important to them that we're able to assess an investment from as many angles as possible during due diligence and think of different potential scenarios that might affect their portfolios and investment returns. For this, you need a diverse team and an inclusive culture.
The month of June is celebrated internationally as Pride Month. Why is it important to celebrate?
LGBT+ rights have advanced so much in the last 50 years in many countries around the world but there are still lots of regions where some people don't share the same rights and freedoms. Pride is meant to commemorate how far we've come but also highlight how much further there is to go. It's a general message about tolerance, acceptance, and inclusion: you typically start with tolerance, then reach acceptance, and finally achieve inclusion, which of course is the aim. But there's still a long way to go to reach true global inclusion and equality, not just for the LGBT+ community but also for many other under-represented groups.
I'm proud to work for a firm that is truly welcoming of all people and that has made a strong commitment to advancing D&I, including supporting Pride and the LGBT+ community.