Diversity in professional trustee firms

There has been a lot of commentary in the industry recently about diversity of trustee boards. Professional Trustee (“PT”) firms represent a great many schemes, so we undertook a survey to create a start point assessment of their diversity.  The graphs below provide a snapshot of the results.  The PT population surveyed represents about 55% of the PT market (based on trustees working under a corporate entity).  The comparator ‘benchmark’ used is data sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  This data is partly from the 2021 Census and partly from earlier data (broadly the 2011 Census) – although this is not an ideal categoric and consistent benchmark, we feel it provides a reasonable start point.

The gender results use the split of the whole UK Census population (circa 59m people).  The age benchmark uses the likely age range for a trustee – people aged 20-70.  We acknowledge that people over age 70 currently act as trustees but felt that age 70 was a reasonably pragmatic line to draw.  Ethnicity results are visually skewed by the high proportion of white people when displayed on a graph.  To produce a sensible looking graph, we therefore simply divided the white populations by 10.

These results are published using the sample from some of the largest PT firms.  They do not necessarily represent the whole PT market.  A small number of minority populations can make a big difference to the end result.  We are hoping to increase the survey population in due course.

See articles to come which consider the wider situation on Professional Trustee diversity.