Goldman Sachs will exempt companies in Asia from a new company rule mandating that companies they take public have at least one female or racial minority board member, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The requirement for one diverse board member only applies to companies in the U.S. and Europe. In addition to Asia, companies from Latin America and the Middle East were exempt from the new requirement.
A spokesman for Goldman Sachs told Bloomberg that the requirement may be implemented in those regions in the future as the regions gain awareness of diversity issues. According to MSCI Inc., around 33 percent of companies in Japan and 34 percent in China had zero female board members, while in Saudi Arabia the level was 94 percent.
Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon announced on Thursday the bank plans to begin implementing the policy in July of this year.
“Starting on July 1st in the U.S. and Europe, we’re not going to take a company public unless there’s at least one diverse board candidate, with a focus on women,” Solomon said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “And we’re going to move towards 2021 requesting two.”
“We have four women out of 11, we have a black lead director,” Solomon went on. “I really value the diverse perspectives I’m getting, which are helping me on the company.”
Goldman Sachs was the largest underwriter of IPOs within the U.S. and Europe in 2019.