International women’s day – what about the mutual fund industry?

To amuse myself on the evening of international women’s day, I compiled a statistic on female fund managers. Summary: there are almost none!

Male and female fund managers

Number of US mutual funds with female fund managers in 2016: 442. Male: 4689.
Figure 1: How many US mutual funds are managed by female fund managers?

Here’s what I did:

  • I downloaded summary statistics for all US mutual funds in the CRSP database, including manager names, available in 2016.
  • For all funds which provided first names of managers (5,483 in 2016), I classified whether the manager was male or female via the first name (reducing the sample to 5,131 – some names were unisex, some abbreviated).
  • Out of these 5,131 funds, 442 were managed by women.
  • That’s 8.6%. In 2016. Way to go, ladies!

Do firms shun female fund managers?

Number of asset management firms employing female fund managers: 52. Those without female fund managers: 255.
Figure 2: How many asset managers employ female fund managers?

I also looked at the firms employing female fund managers:

  • Those 442 funds belong to 52 asset management firms.
  • In contrast, 255 asset managers only have funds where I identified the managers as male. (Of course, the female managers could be reported only by last name, or hidden in the generic “Team Managed” tag…).
  • Still: 52 vs. 255 is 20.4%. In other words, 79.6% of asset management firms have no female fund managers. In 2016. And then they call for more women directors in corporations. Way to go, asset managers!

Author: Monika Gehde-Trapp