Female fund managers just 7% of industry

No progress has been made on diversity in the asset management industry, with the number of female fund managers standing at 7 per cent – the same as last year.

Analysis by Tilney Bestinvest found that across five Investment Association sectors there were an averge of 7 per cent female fund managers. The UK Equity Income sector was the worst for diversity, with 95 per cent of funds run by men, while the Corporate Bond sector was the best at 8 per cent female managers.

The figures are “dramatically out of line” with the gender divide at graduate levels, says Jason Hollands, managing director at Tilney Bestinvest. “Despite a handful of high-profile women in senior management positions within the industry, front-office positions continue to be male-dominated.”

Helena Morrissey, chief executive at Newton Investment Management and chair of the IA, says the results are not surprising. “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.”

“Gender diversity is a key place to start building those broader perspectives since men and women do think and behave differently – we complement each other. It’s time to redouble our efforts to do something about this,” she says.

As part of the research, Tilney BestInvest highlighted female fund managers that have strong track records, including Paola Binns at Royal London, Sanditon’s Julie Dean, Christine Johnson at Old Mutual and F&C’s Catherine Stanley.

In its up-and-coming list of female fund managers, Tilney BestInvest selected Anna Lunden, manager of the Montanaro European Mid-Cap fund, Threadneedle’s Irina Miklavchich, F&C’s Malika Gulabani and Sophie Bosch at JP Morgan.