Home » Billionaire Robert Smith’s Vista Equity partners with NACD, SHRM to increase board diversity

Billionaire Robert Smith’s Vista Equity partners with NACD, SHRM to increase board diversity

by Omokolade Ajayi
Robert F. Smith

Vista Equity Partners, a renowned international investment company run by America’s richest Black man Robert Smith, has introduced a new initiative to broaden the the diversity of directors serving on corporate boards at all levels.

The National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD), the authority on boardroom procedures representing more than 23,000 board members, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) collaborated with the global investment firm to launch the new program, which is aimed at boosting boardroom diversity.

While SHRM will lead the effort, NACD and Vista will work together to give the initiative a comprehensive understanding of the duties involved in successfully carrying out a board role and guarantee exposure to corporate board opportunities through their larger ecosystems.

The initiative will build on the program started by Vista and the NACD last year, which aims to bolster diversity among professionals who wish to serve on the boards of private and public company. It will be directed at increasing participation from professionals who come from underrepresented backgrounds.

With a focus on general business, human resources, and committee readiness, the new program will build on Vista and the NACD’s previous initiatives and give people from underrepresented backgrounds access to a 12-month detailed curriculum designed to prepare them for board service on the compensation, nomination, and governance committees.

Under the leadership of Smith, Vista Equity, an international investment firm that focuses solely on enterprise software, data, and technology-enabled businesses, has been instrumental in boosting the participation of professionals from underrepresented backgrounds.

Across its more than 65 portfolio companies in 2021, Vista appointed over 55 board members, including a record 20 in the previous year alone, eight of which widened representation across gender and race.

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