Of the five countries surveyed (the United Arab Emirates, UK, Singapore, Switzerland and Australia), the UK and Switzerland were leading the way, both with 16.2% of hedge fund leadership in those countries being female.
Australia followed with 14.8% female hedge fund leadership, while Singapore and UAE were both below the global average with the proportion of female leadership in hedge funds at 7.7%.
The survey by IG Prime set to analyse whether gender had any effect on fund performance and found that after five years of female management, UK funds saw a performance increase of 0.39%. IG Prime said this suggested it was of long-term benefit to hire women in senior positions.
On the whole, IG Prime’s research found no correlation between female leadership and either positive or negative fund performance.
It recommended, therefore, that fund managers should make “a clear effort” to support equality and diversity in their workplace. IG Prime also recommended to investors that demographic of leaders should not be focused on, but rather the past performance and intended strategy.
IG Prime’s report did find differences, however, in strategy and diversification.
The study found that female fund managers are more inclined (60%) to use an equity-led investment strategy compared to 26% of men and were more likely (65%) to diversify across markets compared to 50% of men.
Katja Bergman, general partner and co-founder at BRIGHTLY Ventures, commented on the findings, noting how her team took many more meetings than their male counterparts.
“I don’t know if [the difference in volume of meetings] is female-male,” she explained. “We went to the same [investors], and we were in the same structural programs, but we got less than the men.
“The investments we got from private institutional funds were a result of long relationships built over the years, previous track record and a large volume of meetings.”
She advised: “It’s not all women, it’s not all men, it’s the mixed teams that’s the recipe; those are the ones that excel.”