Female investment managers to take the stage in largest ever virtual gathering with allocators

female stage

The industry network 100 Women in Finance is putting female founders and asset managers in front of the world’s largest allocators in its virtual Global FundWomen Week in November, which it says is the largest ever event of its kind.

The virtual event will take place from 9 to 13 November using the platform iConnections, and aims to facilitate capital introductions.

Approximately 200 allocators have pledged to attend, connecting with more than 180 women founders and managers from the alternative and traditional asset management industries. 

Participating allocators include pension plans such as AMP, CalSTRS, and Teacher Retirement System of Texas, and endowment funds from Northwestern University, the University of California and the Smithsonian.

Funds of funds such as Commonfund, Lighthouse Partners, and Northern Trust will also be present, committing to join at least three 30-minute meetings, with over 800 such meetings pledged to date. 

“We are thrilled by the response of both allocators and managers,” says Amanda Pullinger, CEO, 100 Women in Finance. “As an organisation, we are keen to bring the talent of female fund managers to the attention of allocators, many of whom have said to us that they struggle to find diverse investment teams to invest in.”

The number of allocators attending is expected to rise as more allocators join the initiative, with 25 percent of allocator participants added in the past week.

Michael Weinberg, head of hedge funds and alternative alpha at APG Asset Management, one of the participating allocator firms, says: “Investors can tap into the benefits of cognitive diversity by working with managers who come from different backgrounds and are shaped by different experiences. Investing with women managers can lead to a diversification of ideas and approaches that is crucial to optimising a portfolio. You want people who can see new sources of alpha, have a fresh approach to reducing risk and improving returns.”

In addition to representation from North America and Europe, allocators and managers from Asia and Australia will make up 12 per cent and 20 per cent of the total, respectively.

Asset management management firms set to participate also include Allianz Global Investors, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

The event will also include investment consultants and advisors from Mercer, PwC, and Willis Towers Watson.

Sara Rejal, senior director of investments, Willis Towers Watson, adds: “Progress on diversity across the investment industry requires a collective effort and a fundamental change in mindset and culture. Although these efforts will take time to bear fruit, we need to be challenging ourselves as an industry to do more now. Improving diversity is key to building a stronger investment industry; in fact our research has shown that teams with more diversity typically produce better long-term outcomes for clients, so it is critical that all players in the industry continue to challenge the status quo.”