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Men dominate investment management despite women being equally good: Survey

Only 15 funds, or 3 per cent, had all-female teams, managing 1 per cent of total assets

Felice Maranz | Bloomberg 

Portfolio Managers

Portfolio management remains largely a band of brothers, new research by finds.

An analysis of 528 large-cap mutual funds showed 409, or 77 per cent, had all-male portfolio management teams, strategists led by David Kostin wrote in a note on Nov. 25. Those funds accounted for 64 per cent of domestic equity mutual fund assets.

Only 15 funds, or 3 per cent, had all-female teams, managing 1 per cent of total assets. Just 73 funds, or 14 per cent, with $196 billion in assets under management, have women in at least one-third of portfolio manager positions.

Despite their small numbers, women get similar returns as their male peers.

Since the start of 2017, 39 per cent of female-managed funds have outperformed benchmarks annually compared with 41 per cent for all other funds, while return volatility and Sharpe ratios have “also been almost identical across all-male, all-female, and mixed-gender teams,” Kostin and his co-authors wrote.

One difference between the two genders is the sectors they favour. Women put more money into information technology, utilities and consumer staples; men like financial services companies.

At the stock-level, women have higher relative exposure to Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Nike Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Merck & Co., but lower exposure to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Comcast Corp., UnitedHealth Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and Booking Holdings Inc.

First Published: Wed, November 27 2019. 00:04 IST
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