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Issue 008

Many multinational companies struggle with a lack of gender diversity at the management level, and in particular with the lack of visible female representation in key positions. Many consider that the most logical approach to solving this problem is to preferentially hire and promote women into such roles.

Once the preserve of rich investors, endowments, and foundations, hedge funds nowadays acquire 75% of their resources from institutional investors, including 25% from pension funds. In the U.K., where defined benefits pension plans are known for their prudent if not conservative investment policies, fully half allocate at least part of their assets to hedge funds.

Selection for international assignments is not one-sided. Being able to select the right employee depends on having the right group from which to select, individuals motivated by “what’s in it for me?” If the best candidates cannot see a clear personal advantage, they are unlikely to volunteer.

Over the past few decades there has been a significant shift from the traditional defined-benefit (DB) plan toward defined-contribution (DC) plans. In defined benefit (DB) pension plans sponsored by employers, employees must rely on the employer’s investment decisions to guarantee their retirement benefit in the future.

The beginning of 2016 brought with it further controversy about executive pay. A hard-hitting report from the High Pay Centre claimed that, by the end of the first Tuesday of the New Year —dubbed by them “Fat Cat Tuesday”— the U.K.’s top executives will have earned more than the average worker would make in an entire year.