New study reveals no progress in fund manager diversity

New study reveals no progress in fund manager diversity

There has been no improvement in gender diversity in fund management in the past year, according to a new study from Tilney Bestinvest.

The firm’s annual research into the proportion of open-ended retail funds managed by women found the proportion had remained the same, at 7 per cent, as in 2014.

Bestinvest’s study was based on the five largest sectors in the Investment Association fund universe, within which £419.5bn is managed.

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The lack of progress comes in spite of a high-profile campaign headed by Helena Morrissey, chief executive of Newton Investment Management and chair of the Investment Association, to improve diversity in fund management.

Just 5 per cent of the funds in the UK Equity Income sector are managed by women, with the Mixed Investment 40-85% Shares sector revealed as the most diverse, with 9 per cent of funds run by women.

Within the other sectors measured, 8 per cent of funds in the Sterling Corporate Bond sector were managed by women, which dropped to 7 per cent for the UK All Companies and Global sectors.

In response to the survey, Ms Morrissey said: “The lack of progress is very disappointing but sadly not a surprise.

“As an industry we need to do a better job explaining what we actually do, including our social purpose, so that new ‘types’ of people might be attracted to fund management.”

Jason Hollands, a managing director at Tilney Bestinvest, added: “Despite a handful of high-profile women in senior management positions within the industry, front-office positions continue to be male-dominated and dramatically out of line with the proportion of women graduating from universities.

“Improving the diversity of the industry so that it draws on the widest pool of talent, requires firms to address this issue when seeking to attract graduate trainees into the industry.”