Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday's Truth - Wall Street and Gender Equality

As many of you are aware, I am always looking for ways to "bridge the gap" between women and men. I was recently nominated to receive honorary membership in an exclusive, formerly women-only group called 85 Broads.

In capital markets, we call the exploitation of price differences, or gaps "arbitrage". Although there are many successful female fund managers in the industry today, the fact is, this area of finance is still woefully under served by women. A recent study by The National Council for Research on Women is recommended reading.

According to data collected by Bloomberg, L.P. from January 2000 - May 31, 2009, on average, funds managed by women produced annual returns of 9 percent, compared with a 5.82 percent average annual return by funds run by men.

Furthermore, in 2008, during the height of the financial crisis, funds run by women were down 9.6 percent versus a a 19 percent decline in those run by men.

I am currently working with two financial services firms, both of whom are women-owned and Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certified. One of these has over $3.1B AUM. But these women are pioneers in a still male-dominated industry, that has a long way to go to be truly "women-friendly".

As Women of Wealth, you need to be involved in making sure your money is managed by a female money manager or team. Many financial services firms give lip service to being focused on the investment needs of women. They recognize that women now control almost 48% of the world's wealth, and this number will continue to rise.

Beware of those that have set up "female facades" targeting this lucrative demographic, only to hand over responsibility for managing their assets to male fund managers behind the scenes.

Should any of you need assistance in finding these female-run funds, please drop me a note at my 85 Broads website.

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