There has been next to no progress in handing funds to women over the past decade, reports Sam Benstead.
The number of female fund managers has stagnated, with only a marginal increase in representation as portfolio managers over the past year, as well as over longer time periods.
RSMR, a fund analysis firm, found that of the nearly 350 active UK-domiciled funds that it covered, just 11% had named female managers as of February 2023 – the same percentage as last year.
Of the 60 sustainable funds that it covers, 17% were run by female fund managers compared with 12% of 47 funds covered last year.
Fund research firm Morningstar finds that in the UK just 12% of fund managers are female, which is in line with global averages, and slightly up from 10% five years ago.
In the US Morningstar found that just 12.5% of portfolio managers were female, which was nearly the same figures as a decade ago, with 26% of more than 10,000 funds including at least one woman on the portfolio management team. Just 2% of funds were led by exclusively female teams in the US, Morningstar found.
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The researcher said: “Overall, the biggest takeaway in the past few years has been the consistency in the percentage of female fund managers. Though we are encouraged by fund companies embracing diversity programs and encouraging female mentorship, it may be a while before we see the impact of those efforts at the portfolio manager level.”
Ken Rayner, chief executive officer of RSMR, adds: “The data demonstrates some progress compared to a year ago but clearly more work is needed to create a better balance.”
A number of female fund manager feature on interactive investor’s Super 60 and ACE 40 lists of recommended funds. These include Claudia Calich, manager of the M&G Emerging Market bond fund, Anna Macdonald of Amati UK Smaller Companies, Kirsty Desson, abrdn Global Smaller Companies, and Claudia Quiroz, Climate Assets fund .
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