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Just 7 per cent of fund managers are women

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A mere seven per cent of retail investment funds are managed or co-managed by women, according to analysis.

Fund management continues to be a deeply male dominated career, the research by Bestinvest found, despite a handful of successful female managers including Alliance Trust’s Katherine Garrett-Cox, Newton’s Helena Morrissey, Aberdeen Asset Management’s Anne Richards and Julie Dean of Schroders.

The percentage of female managers per sector ranged from just four per cent in the UK Equity Income sector to 10 per cent in the Mixed Investment 40-85 per cent sector.

Some seven per cent of UK All Companies funds were managed or co-managed by a woman, while there is an estimated 8 per cent of female fund managers in the the Corporate Bond and Global sectors. 

By contrast, women hold 20.7 per cent of FTSE 100 board positions. While encouraging, the proportion of women on boards has not yet met the target of 25 per cent by 2015 set by the UK government.

Bestinvest’s managing director Jason Hollands said: “Among well-established managers the leading star in our view is Julie Dean, who manages money in the ultra-competitive IMA UK All Companies sector. Her Schroders UK Opportunities fund, which she has managed since 2002, has beaten the All Share Index for five years on the trot.

“Also deserving recognition is Kames Capital’s Audrey Ryan, a towering figure in the ethical investment world.”

Hollands also highlighted Newton’s Sophia Whitbread, Martin Currie’s Penny Kyle and JP Morgan’s Sophie Bosch as strong players in the fund management sector.

He concluded: “What is clearly important for the long-term health of the industry is that it attracts people from the widest pool of talent and potential. The fact that there are already some great role models should be a source of encouragement for women considering fund management as a career.”

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