The financial services sector has seen a dramatic shift in gender diversity – and fund management has been no different

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The number of funds managed by females has increased from 8.5% to 9.2% in the last year, according to the latest study by Tilney.

This shows that steps that UK banks and financial bodies have taken to improve gender diversity and have at least 30% of women in senior roles by 2021 are starting to have an effect.

The fifth annual analysis of the proportion of UK retail investment funds looked at funds across all of the Investment Association sectors and included funds managed on a team rather than a named manager basis.

Although the study is encouraging, only 1 in 10 money managers are women and Jason Hollands, managing director at Tinley Group argues that more needs to be done to change this.

He states: “The representation of women in front line fund management positions remains very low and lags the progress seen in many other professions, with one in five partners at law firms now women.’

“However, the representation of women in frontline fund management roles is clearly rising: when we commenced this analysis in 2013 our research estimated that just 5% of all funds were managed or co-managed by female fund managers, so the percentage of identifiable female fund managers has doubled over the last five years.”

Hollands further advises, “There isn’t a quick fix as ultimately there are a finite number of funds and incumbent managers can remain in situ for many years before passing on the baton to a successor. But firms can make a difference when recruiting at the graduate entry level and especially in areas like research which is often the key stepping stone into portfolio management.” 

“Achieving improved gender diversity will also enable the fund management industry to speak with greater authority when engaging with company Boards on matters of diversity as many firms seek to do as active shareholders.”

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