India's female fund managers handle more debt than equity

Mar 06, 2019

It is not news that the asset management industry does face a gender bias. But what we at Morningstar India attempt to do, is bring out the actual scale of the issue.

As is evident, the report provides an interesting perspective on gender diversity in the Indian mutual fund industry, and also throws light on how equally capable women fund managers are.

This year’s data had to contend with the sea change by way of re-categorisation of funds and their mandates. Many fund houses repositioned their funds by tweaking their underlying holdings or merging funds into a single fund to be present in a specific category of funds.

The overall mutual fund industry assets over the last year have increased by approximately 8.5%, with the total assets managed now standing at approximately Rs 22.2 lakh crore on January 31, 2019. These are managed by 345 fund managers across all fund houses.

(We excluded exchange traded funds (ETFs), fund of funds (FoFs) and infrastructure debt funds.)

We narrowed down on 29 female fund managers, either primary or secondary managers, or have oversight as heads of equity / debt. While the growing number is encouraging (from 24 last year and 18 the year before), women still represent a meagre 8% of the total fund managers across fund houses. This number is considerably below global standards with many Asian countries showing amongst the highest representation of women in the mutual fund industry.

In percentage terms, the assets handled by women fund managers stood at 15% of the overall industry for both open and close ended funds, cumulatively totaling to approximately Rs 3.41 lakh crores, up 11% from the previous year.

We noticed out of the total assets managed by women fund managers, 52% of the AUM outperformed the benchmark/peer group average over 1-year basis, 55% over 3-year basis and 56% over 5-year basis. This is a drop from the year before, and we attribute this to re-categorization. In addition, some of the significantly large funds have witnessed some underperformance lately which has skewed the overall numbers.

Another interesting data point to note is that of the total funds managed by women, approximately 74% of these assets were debt funds and 26% were equity.

Women's note

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