Investments  

Female share of fund managers still small

Female share of fund managers still small

There has been no progress in boosting the proportion of UK retail funds managed by women in the past year, despite some strong female role models, Tilney Bestinvest research has found.

Analysis of the five largest Investment Association sectors found the proportion of retail funds managed or co-managed by women had not risen from 7 per cent in the past year.

According to Tilney Bestinvest estimates, 5 per cent of the UK Equity Income sector funds is managed by women, compared to 9 per cent in Mixed Investment 40-85%, 8 per cent for the Corporate Bond sector, 7 per cent for UK All Companies and 7 per cent for Global.

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But the firm identified “strong role models”, including Sanditon Asset Management’s Julie Dean, Royal London’s Paola Binns, Standard Life’s Lesley Duncan and Christine Johnson of Old Mutual Global Investors.

On 25 March, the 44-page Women on Boards Davies Review Annual Report 2015 revealed women’s representation on FTSE 100 boards had reached 23.5 per cent, up from 12.5 per cent in 2011.

The representation of women on FTSE 250 boards reached 18 per cent, from 7.8 per cent in 2011.

The report follows the 2010 launch of The 30 Percent Club, a group of business leaders comitted to achieving better gender balance in organisations and 30 per board representation of women by 2015.

Helena Morrissey, chief executive at Newton Investment Management and chairman of the Investment Association, said: “As an industry we must do a better job explaining what we actually do, including our social purpose, so new types of people might be attracted to fund management.”

Anita Rai, employment law partner for law firm Taylor Vinters, claimed that cultural issues in the financial services industry were an issue, saying: “As lawyers, we see a disproportionate number of cases coming out of the financial services industry where women are sexually harassed or excluded professionally by their male colleagues, especially when they start to reach the higher ranks.

“Most of these cases never hit the headlines as they settle out of court, but in the City they perpetuate negative stereotypes.”

FundSize (according to FE fact sheet as of 5 June 2015)Fund manager
Royal London Sterling Credit£479.2mPaola Binns
Standard Life UK Ethical£227.4mLesley Duncan
Old Mutual Corporate Bond£515mChristine Johnson

Source: FE

Adviser view

Anna Sofat, director of the London-based firm Addidi Wealth, said: “Diverse teams have tended to perform better, so we have to question why there is no balance in financial services and fund management.

“Companies need to do something proactively about this issue.”