Latest study reveals women still account for less than 1 in 10 fund managers16 June 2016
Latest study reveals women still account for less than 1 in 10 fund managers
In its fourth annual analysis of the proportion of UK retail investment funds, such as OEICs, unit trusts and investment trusts, managed or co-managed by women, leading investment group Tilney Bestinvest has estimated that just 8.5% of fund managers are women.
Although this figure is higher than the 7% identified last year, the increase is partially explained by Tilney Bestinvest’s latest analysis covering all sectors whereas previous studies were based on the five largest Investment Association sectors. The firm found a number of smaller and more specialist sectors including China, Tech & Telecom and Japanese equities had higher representation of women. On a like for like basis, the proportion of women running funds in the five main sectors nevertheless rose to 7.8%.
Jason Hollands, Managing Director at Tilney Bestinvest, commented: “Our analysis once again demonstrates that despite a handful of high-profile women in senior management positions within the industry, front-line fund management positions are usually held by men.”
“Gross gender imbalance in the asset management industry is an irrefutable fact but the unanswered question is why this is the case when women represent a large ratio of university graduates and improved diversity is evident in many other professions? For example almost half of GPs are women, one in four partners at law firms are now women and the portion of women on the Boards of FTSE 100 companies is now 26%.
“Fund management is first and foremost a human capital industry, reliant on finding very bright and analytical people to look after other people’s wealth. It's clearly not healthy for the long term success of the industry to have such an extreme imbalance like this because it suggests it is not effectively drawing upon the widest pool of talent.”
“There won’t be a quick fix, but firms need to consider how they recruit at the graduate entry level, particularly in areas like research which is often the key stepping stone into portfolio management. If the industry shows it is serious about understanding this problem and addressing it, it will also speak with greater authority when engaging with company Boards on matters of diversity.”
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