‘The investment fraternity needs more women fund managers’

By Morningstar |  08-03-19 | 
 

Lakshmi Iyer, chief investment officer – Debt and Head of Products at Kotak Mutual Fund is the woman fund manager who stunned with her investment style and shattered the glass ceiling in the mutual fund industry. The presence of Lakshmi is a breath of fresh air in an industry where men still dominate the field. She chats with Ravi Samalad about what attracted her to fund management.

What attracted you to fund management? Did you always want to manage money?

The honest answer is NO. My first stint with finance was when I joined Credence Analytics prior to Kotak AMC. The kick of managing real money for investors originated there. Since then of course there was no looking back. I got married to Kotak before I got married to my spouse and the fidelity to fund management still remains!

As compared to a few years back, do you feel women’s representation is increasing in investment management functions in the financial services industry?

Definitely. But we have miles to go before we sleep! There is a pressing need to get more women across investment management.

How can the industry attract more women in fund management roles?

Well for that women need to have a mind-set change that roles in fund management are gender agnostic. Once that hurdle is crossed, there is more than enough opportunities within investment management that could be explored. This a two-way process and only industry initiative may not work.

Fund managers are inundated with information overload. How do you sift information from noise and focus on what’s relevant?

Very relevant in today’s times to segregate news from the noise. Very important to maintain sanity therefore in such times. Listen to everyone’s advice but what you feel is right approach works best for me in such a scenario. Try it. It works.

What would be your advice to women who aspire to become fund managers?

Walk the talk is key for every women. If I have done it, you can do it too. Trust me it’s not rocket science.  The investment fraternity needs more women. So come along. We are waiting.

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