(Bloomberg) — Legal & General Group Plc’s investment arm will vote against certain senior appointments at FTSE 100 and S&P 500 companies if they fail to include ethnic minorities on their board.

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The asset manager wants to see at least one Black, Asian or other ethnic minority on the board at major U.K. and U.S. firms by January 2022, according to the newsletter from Legal & General Investment Management. If there isn’t any such representation, L&G will vote against appointments to chair the board and nomination committee.

“The horrifying killing of George Floyd and so many others has led many institutional investors to think much more seriously about structural racism and inequality,” LGIM wrote. “We believe asset managers must go further. Now is the time for action.”

As the U.K.’s biggest money manager with around 1.2 trillion pounds ($1.6 trillion) of assets, Legal & General’s warnings carry some heft. The firm owns stakes in many of the biggest U.K. and U.S. firms and has previously vowed to vote against companies that lacked women on boards.



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Boardroom Bias

Floyd’s death prompted collective demands for action from the financial world, with Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. vowing to elevate Black executives. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has required more bias training; JPMorgan Chase & Co. has expanded its mentoring programs; and Bank of America Corp. has pledged money to fight inequality.

The L&G letter was first reported by The Times.

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PARIS (Reuters) – The four main unions representing employees at Renault RENA.PA oppose its cost-cutting plans, union sources said, adding to the French carmaker’s restructuring headaches.

A logo of Renault carmaker is pictured at a dealership in Le Loroux-Bottereau, France, September 28, 2020. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

Loss-making Renault, which is 15% owned by the French government, has outlined 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in savings, including via job cuts and reorganising its factories, to restore profitability.

Employee representatives only have a consultative role in the plans, but rejecting them would complicate the task for new Chief Executive Luca de Meo.

De Meo, who arrived in July, had called on staff to back him in a recent internal memo seen by Reuters, saying: “I need you to carry out this turnaround.”

The CFE-CGC, CFDT, CGT and Force Ouvriere unions rejected Renault’s plans at a meeting with representatives of the firm on Tuesday, four union sources said.

The CFE-CGC union confirmed its opposition to the cuts in a statement, saying it was not convinced by the way Renault planned to go about its plans even if it understood the economic imperatives.

Renault declined to comment.

The company has like peers been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, which forced it to halt production earlier this year while dealerships also closed temporarily.

This exacerbated existing problems with profitability, and De Meo wants Renault to produce fewer cars while improving margins. The firm plans to cut 15,000 jobs worldwide in the next three years, including 4,600 in France.

Unions have rejected wide-ranging layoff plans by other carmakers in France before, including at Peugeot-maker PSA PEUP.PA in 2012. This has not stopped them from going ahead.

But PSA managed to get unions on board for subsequent competitiveness agreements, which included wage freezes.

Reporting by Gilles Guillaume,