Which trust has joined the next generation of dividend heroes?
The Association of Investment Companies (AIC) published the latest list of 17 dividend heroes last...
8 March is International Women’s Day – a global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.
IWD had its first gathering in 1911 and was supported by over a million people. More than a century later, the theme in 2022 is #BreakTheBias.
Unfortunately, there are still many biases in the world today – biases that are illustrated only too well in our own investment industry.
Because believe it or not, there are actually more fund managers named Dave in the UK than there are female managers!
Back in 1974, the year I was born, David was by far the most popular name – it was given to one in every 20 new born boys. And the name kept its number one spot until 1992. So perhaps it’s a slightly biased stat itself, but it does still illustrate the point that women are vastly under-represented in fund management.
And sadly, instead of getting better, the numbers are falling. According to figures run by Morningstar in October 2021, the percentage of female UK fund managers has fallen over the past 20 years from 14% in the year 2000 to just 11.2% today. In fact, there was a steady decline until 2018 when it reached just 9.8%, before rising again over the past few years.
While the industry average may be low, the number of Elite Rated female managers on FundCalibre is far higher at 21%*.
Of the 196 fund and trusts rated by FundCalibre, 41 either have a lead or named co-manager that is female*.
To mark International Women’s Day in 2022, we talked to four of these female managers and a female product specialist about why this gender gap still exists and what can be done to attract more women to a career in fund management.
The irony of course is that fund management is one of the few sectors that is completely transparent and unbiased when it comes to measuring employee achievements – the performance of a fund reveals all.
Here are three of our best performing Elite Rated funds run by women. Each fund has returned either first or second quartile performance in their respective sectors over the past 1, 3, 5 and 10 years**.
Sue Noffke has managed this UK equity income trust since July 2011. Her aim is to provide real growth of income in excess of the rate of inflation and to achieve this she invests mainly in the shares of UK larger and medium sized companies. The trust has raised its dividend each year for the past 25 years, making it a great option for income seekers.
Hong Kong based Joanna Kwok co-manages this concentrated, high-conviction fund with Mark Davids. The fund invests in the shares of up to 60 companies of any size, with the managers primarily focusing on quality, growing businesses to generate superior capital gains than their peers and the wider market.
Amanda Sillars is part of a six-strong team that manages this multi-manager fund. The long-term track record is a vindication of the team’s process and their success in asset allocation and fund selection. The team shares our bias towards managers who are resilient in tough times, and it is willing to back underlying managers with conviction.
*As at 3 March 2022
**Source: FE fundinfo, total returns in sterling to 2 March 2022