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'We're just a bunch of white dudes sitting here': fund manager CEOs on gender

In our brand new series, eight CEOs discuss how the industry could do a better job for female fund managers.

The gender pay gap. Not enough women fund managers. These were the topics of this Tape.

Unfortunately, as one CEO pointed out, this was just ‘a bunch of white dudes sitting here, talking about an industry…we’ve got to do a better job’.

Words like daunting, male dominated, crude, simplistic were bandied around along with some positive statements: ‘we’ve got fabulous gender diversity’ at the management team level said one CEO. 

There was some debate over whether women were actually getting paid equally for the same job – including bonuses which make a large component of pay -  although one CEO thought ‘by and large’ they were.

There was also disagreement over the solution to getting more women into asset management – does looking for people with no financial background work?

One of the CEOs had boosted his fund managers to the level where one third were women, through a programme started ten years ago.

This compares well with the 95% male fund managers at another CEO’s firm. For the record, the Citywire global fund manager database shows that around one in  ten fund managers around the world are women.

There was no mention of the ‘laddish’ culture which Anne Richards, CEO of M&G highlighted last year, but still lots of work to be done.

The eight participants were:

Andrew Formica, co-chief executive, Janus Henderson Investors 

Andrew Telfer, joint senior partner, Baillie Gifford 

Martin Gilbert, co-chief executive, Standard Life Aberdeen 

Saker Nusseibeh, chief executive, Hermes Investment Management 

Richard Buxton, chief executive, Old Mutual Global Investors

Robert Higginbotham, head of global investment services, T Rowe Price

Robert Fairbairn, senior managing director, BlackRock 

Frédéric Janbon, chief executive, BNP Paribas Asset Management 

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