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Aussie fund management diversity improves: Research

The Australian funds management industry has marginally improved its gender diversity record but still has a long way to go, Citywire's Alpha Female 2021 Report reveals.

The annual study of global fund managers and how well the industry is progressing with gender diversity found that the last 12 months saw the highest rise in percentage of female fund managers. However, gender parity remains 127 years away.

Citywire analysed the 314 managers running domiciled funds in Australia and found that only 9% are females - ranking the country 15th behind the US out of a total of 24.

The US has 4879 managers and 10% are female. Hong Kong leads the way with 138 managers, with 28% female managers.

Citywire head of ESG and cross-border investment research Nisha Long said: "There have been a few ups and downs in terms of the percentage of female fund managers in Australia. The increase over the past 12 months is the largest we've seen, so the good news is that if this rate of change continues, gender parity in Australia for fund management will come in just over 20 years."

On the flip side, previous years saw the percentage go backwards, Long warned, adding that the average change from 2016 to 2021 is just 1%, which would mean parity is 41 years away.

"It's worth noting that Australia is only just behind the US, where there has been a major focus on diversity, and is doing better than either Switzerland or Germany," she said.

Overall, in Citywire's database of 25,465 actively managed funds, 4582 or 18% are run by women, team of women or a mixed team of women.

It also found that Abrdn (24%), JP Morgan Asset Management (23%) and HSBC Global Asset Management (20%) were the top firms with the highest percentage of female fund managers.

In terms of turnover rates over 10 years, men (31%) tended to stay longer compared to women (44%).

Read more: CitywireNisha LongAbrdnHSBC Global Asset ManagementJP Morgan Asset Management