Women comprise only 8 per cent of the total fund managers across fund houses in India, an improvement from the last year, but only marginal. According to a report by Morningstar, there are only 29 women fund managers who either are managing funds as primary/secondary managers or have oversight as heads of equity/debt out of total 345 fund managers in the country. This is an improvement from the reported 24 women managers last year and 18 the year before that.
"Though the growth in the women manager presence is pleasing, it is still considerably below global standards with many Asian countries showing among the highest representation of women in the mutual fund industry," noted Morningstar.
The study also shows that women managers are clustered more in debt funds. Out of the total funds managed by women, nearly 74 per cent were debt funds and 26 per cent were equity.
In percentage terms, the assets handled by women fund managers stood at 15 per cent of the overall industry for both open and close-ended funds, cumulatively totaling to approximately Rs 3.41 lakh crore, up 11 per cent from last year.
Some of the well-known women fund managers leading the mantle for gender diversification include Lakshmi Iyer, CIO (Debt) and Head of Products at Kotak Mahindra Asset Management, Bekxy Kuriakose, Head- Fixed Income at Principal PNB Asset Management, Sunaina Da Cunha, Fund Manager at Aditya Birla Sun Life Asset Management and Anju Chhajer, Senior Fund Manager at Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management.
Morningstar has identified following four relatively unknown 'new crop of managers' who are beginning to make a mark in the mutual fund industry:
Mansi Sajeja:Mansi currently co-manages the SBI Credit Fund along with Lokesh Mallya. She has been with SBI FM for almost a decade, joining as a credit analyst back in 2009 and now has been given the reign to co-manage the fund since early 2017.
Hetal Shah: Hetal is one of the key personnel at Baroda Pioneer Mutual fund where she manages multiple funds across various fixed income categories. She has rich experience of over 18 years in treasury and fund management and has been working with Baroda Pioneer for over 12 years as a fund manager.
Snigdha Sharma: Snigdha is one of the few women fund managers who have been bestowed the task of managing equity funds. Snigdha co-manages three equity funds across Dynamic Asset Allocation, ELSS and Multicap space for Motilal Oswal AMC.
Meenakshi Dawar: Meenakshi started managing the Reliance Value fund since mid-2018 which now has assets over Rs 3000 crore. Meenakshi has an overall experience of over 10 years where she has also worked in the capacity of a fund manager for IDFC AMC as well as an equity research analyst for ICICI Securities.