Investment manager Loomis, Sayles & Company announced that it has hired Marques Benton, appointing him to the new position of Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Officer. In his new role, Benton will be responsible for responsible for driving the firm’s DEI strategic plan into action, with a focus on attracting, developing and retaining diverse talent and engaging with staff to foster a firmwide culture of inclusion.

According to Loomis Sayles, the announcement marks the latest step in the firm’s DEI plan. The firm stated that it has been committed to prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion over the years through a DEI committee and governance model, customized firmwide diversity trainings, active employee resource groups and industry engagement including partnership with consultants and the CFA Institute. In addition, the firm has developed and sponsored internship and mentorship programs prioritizing career development for candidates underrepresented in the investment management industry, and sponsored several educational programs serving underprivileged youth in its home market of Boston.

Prior to joining Loomis Sayles, Benton worked for over 16 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, where he served in the role of vice president and chief diversity officer, with responsibility for implementing a comprehensive strategy to effectively integrate diversity and inclusion into the bank’s culture, management practices, talent acquisition and business activities.

Kevin Charleston, Chief Executive Officer and President of Loomis Sayles, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome Marques to Loomis Sayles. He brings considerable expertise in diversity, equity and inclusion to the firm and his leadership will be critical as we strive to continually make significant improvements in these areas. Creating an environment where we can attract and integrate talented individuals with different lived experiences is a business imperative; we are deeply committed to build on our existing foundation and Marques will be integral to our work creating meaningful change.”