Bestinvest reveals only 5% of retail funds are managed by women

11 June 2013

In recent years the spotlight has turned on the lack of women directors on company Boards, with David Cameron writing to FTSE 350 companies in 2011 asking them to set out targets for the proportion of female directors they will have on their Boards by 2015 and encouraging FTSE 100 businesses to achieve 25% female representation by 2015.

The focus on Board representation has been given impetus by the work of the ‘30% Club’, a group of company Chairmen and leading asset managers, founded by Helena Morrissey, CEO of fund company Newton.

Yet new research from leading private client group Bestinvest has revealed that while only around 17% of current FTSE 100 company directors are female, women are considerably more under represented when it comes to the fund management profession that invests in these businesses.

Bestinvest estimates that only 5% of retail investment funds, such as unit trusts and OEICs, are managed by female fund managers. Bestinvest’s assessment is based on analysis of the five largest Investment Management Association sectors which show that the percentage of funds run by women ranged from just 2% in the UK Equity Income sector to 7% in the UK All Companies sector. The research included funds which have a female co-manager.

The remaining three IMA sectors under scrutiny had equally low figures, estimated as 6% in the Global sector, and 5% in both the Corporate Bond and Mixed Investment 40% -80% sectors.

Despite the gross under representation of women in the fund management industry, the profession nevertheless has some exceptional role models according to Bestinvest.

Using its proprietary research database of fund manager career records, Bestinvest has identified a number of women fund managers which the firm singles out for having delivered a combination of index beating returns over their long careers and consistency of performance by beating their benchmarks in the majority of individual months.

Name Career length in sector - Years Current Main Onshore Fund Current Fund 5 yr - Total Return Current Fund 5yr – Relative to Benchmark 5 yr percentile rank in sector Avg mthly return relative to Benchmark -5 years Avg mthly relative to Benchmark – career % Months beaten index
Julie Dean 13.9 Cazenove UK Opportunities £220 62% 1st 0.8% 0.28% 57%
Rosemary Banyard 15.5 Schroder UK Smaller Cs (co-managed) £167 16% 41st 0.3% 0.45% 60%
Margaret Lawson 14.0 SVM UK Growth £151 12% 18th 0.2% 0.76% 56%
Sarah Whitley 5.6 Baillie Gifford Japanese (co-managed) £145 18% 23rd 0.3% 0.37% 60%
Jane Andrews 16.5 Smith and Williamson Far Eastern Growth £154 14% 47th 0.20% 0.33% 57%
Audrey Ryan 14.3 Kames Ethical Equity £137 2% 39th 0.0 % 0.11% 55%
Henrietta Luk 14.3 Melchior Asian Opportunities £159 6% 24th 0.2% 0.41% 55%


Jason Hollands, Managing Director, Business Development and Communications at Bestinvest, concluded: “What is clearly important for the long-term health of the industry is that it attracts people from the widest pool of talent and potential. The fact that there are already some great role models should be a source of inspiration for women considering fund management as a career. Among well –established managers the leading star in our view is Julie Dean, who currently holds the top slot in the large and ultra-competitive IMA UK All Companies Sector with the Cazenove UK Opportunities fund and who has recently been named as successor to Richard Buxton on the Schroder UK Growth Investment Trust. However, lesser known names who have clocked up some impressive results include SVM’s Margaret Lawson and Dalton Strategic Partner’s Henrietta Luk.”

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Important information
The value of your investments and the income from them can go down as well as up, and you can get back less than you originally invested. Past performance or any yields quoted should not be considered reliable indicators of future returns. Bestinvest only provides direct investment advice to UK residents.

About Bestinvest:
Founded in 1986, Bestinvest was a pioneer of helping clients reduce the costs of investing through discounting commissions. Today Bestinvest has grown into a leading private client adviser which helps over 50,000 investors. Bestinvest offers a range of services including guidance, investment advice, financial planning and discretionary portfolio management all of which are underpinned by a commitment to rigorous investment research. Through its low cost Select service, Bestinvest offers execution-only investors a Self-Invested Personal Pension Plan (SIPP), Individual Savings Account (ISA), Junior ISA (JISA) and Investment Account with access to more than 2,000 funds as well as investment trusts, shares and Exchange Traded Funds. Bestinvest has won numerous awards including ‘Self-Select ISA Provider of the Year 2011’ and ‘UK Wealth Manager of the Year 2011’ as voted by readers of the Investors Chronicle and Financial Times and Investment Adviser of the Year 2012 at the Professional Adviser Awards. Headquartered in Mayfair, London, Bestinvest has 14 regional offices with 200 staff servicing clients with over £4 billion of assets.

About Tilney

Tilney is a leading investment and financial planning group that builds on a heritage of more than 180 years.  Our clients are private investors, charities and professional intermediaries who trust us with over £23 billion of their assets. We offer a range of services including financial planning, investment management and advice and, through our Bestinvest service, a leading online platform for those who prefer to manage their own investments.

We have won numerous awards. Tilney has been awarded Best Conventional Advisory Service at the 2018 City of London Wealth Management Awards, Best Advisory Service in the 2015 City of London Wealth Management Awards; Investment Award – Cautious category in the Private Asset Management Awards; and Stockbroker of the Year, Execution-only Stockbroker of the Year and Self-select ISA Provider of the Year 2015, as voted by readers of the Financial Times and Investors Chronicle. Bestinvest was voted Best SIPP Provider and Best Fund Platform at the 2017 City of London Wealth Management Awards, Best Direct SIPP Provider at the Awards 2017, Best Stocks & Shares ISA Provider at the 2017 Shares Awards, as well as Best Self Select ISA Provider, Best Online/Execution-only Stockbroker and Best Investment Platform 2017 at the FT and Investors Chronicle Investment and Wealth Management Awards, as voted by readers of the FT and Investors Chronicle.

Headquartered in Mayfair, London, the Tilney Group employs over 1,000 staff across our network of 30 offices, enabling us to support clients with a local service throughout the UK.