The women in fund management who are making a mark

By Morningstar Analysts |  06-03-19 | 

In this post, we saw that just 8% of India's asset managers are women. And most of them manage debt funds. Here are three who stand out.

LAKSHMI IYER is iconic in the debt space in the Indian asset management industry. She exudes confidence and has made her mark in the industry. Currently, the veteran is the CIO of Fixed Income and doubles up as the Head of Products at Kotak AMC. A classic example of shattering the glass ceiling at the firm she has been with since 1999.

Her hands-on experience provides a cohesive and sharp edge to the investment professionals in her firm. She runs a team-based approach which follows an inclusive culture that fosters the collective input of investment specialists closest to the source of information. Her capabilities in understanding the macro-economic environment and adapting that to change her view has resulted in the funds delivering above average returns across market cycles and staying in the top quartile.

SUNAINA DA CUNHA has made her mark at Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC. With just over a decade of experience, she is fairly young but has attained tremendous responsibility, a testimony to her acute skills. She manages over Rs 88,000 crores, the highest among the other women fund managers. Prior to joining the AMC, she worked at Aditya Birla Management Corporation as a Group Management Trainee. The key to her success has been her focus on consistency in performance with emphasis on safety and liquidity.

Though not in the limelight as the Lakshmi and Sunaina, HETAL SHAH is as smart as they come. She has rich experience of over 18 years in treasury and fund management and has been working with Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund for over 12 years as a fund manager. As one of the key personnel at the AMC, she manages multiple funds across various fixed income categories. The total assets managed by Hetal as a primary and secondary manager is around Rs 8,169 crores. The performance of Hetal across all the funds managed by her is consistent and has been better than the average category performance.

However impressive, they are not alone. Here are the women (in alphabetical order) who took the mantle of leading when it came to gender diversification in the asset management industry.

  • Anju Chhajer: Senior Fund Manager (Debt), Reliance Nippon Life AMC
  • Bekxy Kuriakose: Head- Fixed Income, Principal PNB AMC
  • Lakshmi Iyer: CIO (Debt) and Head of Products, Kotak Mahindra AMC
  • Roshi Jain: Vice President and Fund Manager (Equities), Franklin Templeton India
  • Sohini Andani: Fund Manager (Equities), SBI Funds Management
  • Sunaina Da Cunha: Fund Manager (Debt), Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC
  • Swati Kulkarni: Executive Vice President and Fund Manager (Equities), UTI AMC

Let’s look at the new crop to watch out for.

Mansi Sajeja

Currently co-managing SBI Credit Risk Fund along with Lokesh Mallya, she has been with SBI Mutual Fund for almost a decade. Mansi joined as a credit analyst back in 2009 and now has been given the responsibility of co-managing the fund since early 2017. SBI Credit Risk Fund is among the largest in terms of size in its category.  From the time she has been co-managing the fund, it has found a place in the top two quartiles consistently in both the years. Mansi has an overall experience of around 13 years and prior to joining SBIFM, worked with ICRA Limited for over 3 years.

Snigdha Sharma

Snigdha stands out not simply for being a woman, but also because her expertise is in equity. She co-manages 3 equity funds across the Dynamic Asset Allocation, ELSS and Multicap space for Motilal Oswal AMC. The total assets co-managed by her are over Rs 15,580 crores. With an experiences of over a decade, she has been appointed to co-manage these funds since mid 2018.

Meenakshi Dawar

Meenakshi started managing the Reliance Value fund since mid-2018 which now has assets over Rs 3,000 crores. In over 10 years, she has also worked in the capacity of a fund manager for IDFC AMC as well as an equity research analyst for ICICI Securities.

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