T Rowe, Fidelity lead on board-level gender diversity

Business-People-Portfolio-Hire-Appointment-700x450.jpgT Rowe Price and Fidelity International have topped the list among asset managers for having the largest number of female executive committee members, but the industry is still falling short on gender diversity, new research shows.

According to thinktank New Financial, T Rowe Price International’s executive committee is 36 per cent female, followed by Fidelity International at 33 per cent.

Across the UK asset management industry just 18 per cent of executive committee members are female. This compares to the financial services average of 14 per cent, the research shows.

HSBC Global Asset Management came third for the number of female executive directors, at 27 per cent, while Jupiter and Legal and General Investment Management were joint fourth at 25 per cent.

According to New Financial, the number of female executives at asset managers remains small compared to 28 per cent female representation among all board directors at financial firms.

Overall, asset managers had the fourth highest number of women in both executive committees and boards in the New Financial ranks, only beaten by challenger banks, building societies and diversified financial firms.

The thinktank collected data from 200 companies across 12 different arms of financial services, including investment banks, challenger banks, building societies and asset managers. The sample included 20 asset managers.

Looking at female representation among board members. BNP Paribas Investment Parnters came top, with 47 per cent, following by Jupiter Fund Management with 40 per cent female representatives. HSBC Global Asset Management took third spot again, at 37 per cent.

Allianz Global Investors and Pimco, Columbia Threadneedle Investments in the EMEA region, Henderson and UBS Asset Management all came fourth, with 33 per cent female representation in their boards of directors.

Yasmine Chinwala, partner at New Financial and author of the report, says: “Women account for 23 per cent of board members and just 14 per cent of executive committee members across UK-regulated financial services companies but the government is stepping up pressure on the industry to redress gender imbalance.”

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Source: New Financial Notes: * Results taken at group level

However, women remain vastly under-represented in fund management, with only 7 per cent of retail funds being managed by women, the latest Tilney Bestinvest survey found.

In March, Jayne-Anne Gadhia, chief executive of Virgin Money, led a review of women in senior management across UK financial services.

In the same month, the Treasury launched the Women in Finance Charter, a voluntary initiative to promote gender diversity in financial services firms.

The New Financial report says: “The UK government is now focused on increasing the number of women in the executive pipeline. The Gadhia Review and HM Treasury Charter are catalysts not only for discussion but also provide a clear set of action points including setting targets designed to shift the dial.”