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Stark figures highlight asset managers’ gender problem

Women won’t achieve gender parity in portfolio management until 2215, if the current rate of progress is maintained, Citywire’s Alpha Female Report 2020 has found.

Stark figures highlight asset managers’ gender problem

Women won’t achieve gender parity in portfolio management until 2215, if the current rate of progress is maintained. And Asia, once again, tops as the region with the highest percentage of female managers, Citywire’s Alpha Female Report 2020 has found.

Alpha Female draws on Citywire’s exclusive database of 16,000 individual portfolio managers worldwide. Since the report was first published five years ago, the overall percentage of female fund managers in the database has crept up from 10.3% in 2016 to 11% in 2020.

This year’s findings show that ‘despite new initiatives to attract more female talent into asset management, the numbers remain woefully low five years on,’ said Dr Nisha Long, head of cross-border investment research at Citywire.

The turnover rate for female fund managers was 42% in 2020, compared with 27% for men. In 2019, the figure was 40% for women versus 28% for men.

Only 143 funds in our database are run by women-only teams, whereas 8,712 funds are run by men-only teams. There is also a decline of single manager funds, and the number of mixed teams has risen by almost 60% since 2016. 

The average portfolio size for women increased to $447m, compared to $366m in 2019 and $279 in 2016. But the figures still lag men.

HSBC Asset Management, JP Morgan Asset Management, and Aberdeen Standard Investments have been identified to have the highest percentage of female fund managers.

Compared to other regions, Asia has the highest percentage of female managers led by Hong Kong with 27%. Taiwan came in second with 19%, while Singapore followed closely with 17%.  

To get a better understanding of what’s happening in the region, Citywire Asia spoke to five female fund managers under the top 30 list. The views can be found here.

Citywire’s full Alpha Female report can be found here 

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