engage magazine issue 007/\'08 - Page 25

CORPORATE DIVERSITY 25 “Supplier Diversity is an extremely important business opportunity for us in terms of reflecting the communities in which we operate as a company and the groups that we work with,” said Mr Kelk. “It is important that we are inclusive but it is not about favouritism,” he added. In order to promote Supplier Diversity effectively within the company and to ensure that Merrill Lynch (UK) gives diverse-owned1 companies an equal opportunity to bid for contracts alongside their larger counterparts, Merrill Lynch has put several initiatives in place. This includes forming partnerships with organisations such as Minority Supplier Diversity UK (MSDUK) and WEConnect. Minority Supplier Diversity UK is an organisation which provides a direct link between its affiliated corporate members and the minority-owned businesses on its database to enable mutually beneficial business relationships to be created, while WEConnect is the UK’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to global and national corporations and government bodies. Mr Kelk said since the beginning of this year, whenever Merrill Lynch has a contract 1 it contacts MSDUK and WEConnect to find out whether any of their members are ‘fit to supply’ for that particular contract. “It is about trying to find the best suppliers for the job at hand. We believe that if we reach out far and wide we will find the best supplier,” Mr Kelk told Engage. But Mr Kelk said that although he is aware that some of the company’s suppliers are from diverse backgrounds he is not sure how many are. He explained that at a recent MSD UK event, he met the owner of a printing letterheads, etc, and have had a successful long-term supplier relationship with it,” said Mr Kelk. “The fact that we had engaged a minority owned company based on sound commercial criteria before we had a formal diversity supplier programme, is a good example of our inclusiveness.” In order to find out exactly how many of the company’s suppliers are truly diverse, Merrill Lynch is in the process of conducting a survey of i G2T7WƖW'2v6v&R6WFRFR7VW"࠮( 7WƖW"FfW'6G2&WBG'rF&R6W6fRffW&r'GVFW2FFfW'6R7WƖW'2F&R66FW&VBBVFFVǒfFrFR&W7B7WƖW'2f"FR&WV&VVN( Ц6vv2G&GV6VB2FVFFfW'6R7WƖW"FB&Fr6v62֖&GvVB2rW7FrrFW&7WƖW"FW'&ǖ6( vRfR&V6&ǒ6vf6B7VBvFFR6v6vRW6Rf"W"&FVB7FFW''W6W726&G2"VƲ7G&W76VBFBFVv7WƖW"FfW'6Gv2( vBf"'W6W7>( BVVFVBF&RW6VB6'&V7FǒBf&ǓFB7WƖW'26VB&R66Vf"FR&vB&V62B&V6W6RFW&R2VVBFW&Vǒ7&V6RFRV&W"bFfW'6R7WƖW'2FR6W6W2ࠤFfW'6RvVB6W2FRT6FWBV'W6W76W2FB&RvVB'&66B֖&GWF2$RW'63vVvVB'W6W76W2BF6&VBvVB'W6W76W2ࠤW'&ǖ6FF2vWGFr( fBF7WǞ( r66W2FW&W7FVB&FFrf"6G&7G2&R6Fb&Vr( fBF7WǞ( FfW'6R7WƖW'2VVBFR7W&RFWfRFV"f&F7V62FV"f67F'B6W&6G&6&V6&B2WFFFR276&R"FW6VB66FW"6rFV"6FWF24ETBtT6V7BFF&6W26FBvV6'&FW27V62W'&ǖ6&V6WBFFW6R&v6F2B6fRRvBF"6VffW"6"7WƖW'2f"WRFW6FVvB6V&6FV"FF&6W2BfBFVFW&RFW'v6RB&Vǒ2GFW'( vBGRbVFRF6W"FfW'6R6W2VVBFvWB( fBF7WǞ( vBGf6RFW&2bV&rrFv&vF6'&FW2B&Vr&fW76f"WRVWFrFVFƖW226WFW2vV&Vg&WVVFǒvRvvfRFVFƖRbF&VRvVV2F7WǒFFf"6G&7B'WBFW&RfR&VVWW2vW&RFRFVF7WƖW"26R&6fW"6rFWfRBvB&VBFBvRvFVFVFRFVFƖR2vRBFB2BvR&VǒfV( BvBFRFRFvB&VBvBV2&VBf"6W2v&RFR&6W72bv&rvWGFr( fBF7WǞ( ( FW&R&R6WfW&&v6F2&VBvFFBW'6R֖BFV6W2F&v6RFV6VfW27WǒF&VrRWRࠤW'&ǖ6FVfFb7WƖW"FfW'6G'W6W72FFfRv6V6W&vW2FRW6RbFfW'6RvVBfVF'27WƖW'2&FFr'GVFW2B6VV7F&6W76W2ࠤ55TR4UdT#VvvRV