Calling Female Fund Managers | Zoe Sexton
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Calling Female Fund Managers

Calling Female Fund Managers

Mamma’s don’t let your babies grow up to be cowgirls ….

It’s a casting call and not enough women are showing up as portfolio managers, states a recent article in Investment News. The world of mutual fund managers is relatively small at 7,410 managers nation-wide, and only 9% of those managers are women. That’s about 667 industry-wide. Just about enough for a good sized rodeo, but not enough to share the positive impact male/female fund teams bring to the industry according to Morningstar Inc. Of the total assets invested in mutual funds, those 667 women only manage $252 billion. Mamma’s, perhaps your cowgirls can become fund managers?

The push to elevate women in financial services does not come at the exclusion of men. Quite the contrary; in fact, finding gender allies has historically proven to increase the success rate of many causes from the ending of slavery to the right to vote. It’s clear, whether you are a believer in biogenetics, Darwin or Adam and Eve, that men and women see things differently and bring different views to the table. The balanced perspective has more longevity.

The management of mutual funds appears to be no different with male/female teams out performing single-manager funds in the 5 and 10-year category rankings.*

In the industry, there is a strong desire to attract more female financial advisors, not only from the perspective of creating more consistent balanced returns, but also for attracting the female clients who relate to each other. Risk aversion and conservative investing have become the new stereo-types for women managers and female investors. The industry seems to feel one will attract the other.

It’s no secret that the financial services industry is hot on the trail of the financial windfall women will represent as they move at a steady pace from back to front. Beginning early with higher pay than ever fresh out of college, to inheriting any wealth they didn’t earn by outliving their male counterparts. For instance, women live an average of six years longer than men, so their retirement planning typically needs to be extended. In fact, 70% of female baby boomers are expected to outlive their husbands, and many will live as widows for 15 to 20 years, according to the Administration on Aging.

In short, Morningstar concludes, women today represent about 45% of U.S. millionaires and are on their way to becoming the majority.

The race is on to understand how to communicate with women in an industry filled with competitive, ego-based language and covert it to one of balance and holistic purposefulness.

If you are a female fund-manager, or want to continue the conversation, contact me here: zsexton@rssic.com

First posted on LinkedIn by Zoe Sexton for Merriman Capital Inc. 2015

*Morningstar analysis report, June 2015

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