100 Women In Finance to host largest ever digital gathering of female fund managers and allocators as part of flagship event

Woman giving a lecture

100 Women in Finance, the 20,000-member global industry association for hedge fund, alternatives and investment management professionals, will host the largest ever dedicated global gathering of female investment managers and asset allocators next month, aimed at facilitating capital introductions during its flagship Global FundWomen Week.

100WF will hold the virtual event between 9-13 November, replacing previous in-person regional conferences. It will connect some 200 of the world’s top allocators with more than 180 women founders and managers from across the alternative and traditional asset management industries.

As well as representation from North America and Europe, for the first time ever Global FundWomen Week will include allocators and managers from Asia and Australia, at roughly 12 per cent and 20 per cent of the total, respectively. The event will be hosted on capital introduction technology platform iConnections, continued support from JP Morgan.

100WF CEO Amanda Pullinger said the event will enable the investor community to go beyond talking about finding diverse talent towards realising the opportunity.

“As an organisation, we are keen to bring the talent of female fund managers to the attention of allocators, many of whom have said to us that they struggle to find diverse investment teams to invest in,” Pullinger commented.

Sara Rejal, senior director, nvestments, Willis Towers Watson, believes that progress on diversity across the investment industry requires “a collective effort and a fundamental change in mindset and culture.”

“Although these efforts will take time to bear fruit, we need to be challenging ourselves as an industry to do more now,” Rejal added.

“Improving diversity is key to building a stronger investment industry; in fact our research has shown that teams with more diversity typically produce better long-term outcomes for clients, so it is critical that all players in the industry continue to challenge the status quo.”

Michael Weinberg, head of hedge funds and alternative alpha, APG Asset Management - one of the allocators participating in the initiative - pointed to the need for new sources of alpha and having a fresh approach to reducing risk and strengthening returns.

“Investors can tap into the benefits of cognitive diversity by working with managers who come from different backgrounds and are shaped by different experiences,” Weinberg said. “Investing with women managers can lead to a diversification of ideas and approaches that is crucial to optimizing a portfolio.”

Ulrika Robertsson, co-founder and COO of Impactus Partners and Chair of 2020 Global FundWomen Week, added: “The pandemic, coupled with technology, is acting as a great leveller in improving access to capital introduction opportunities for women managers. At a time when the majority of the world’s investors are working from home and unable to travel to build new connections and raise capital, this format will be critical to ensuring allocators can continue to identify new investment opportunities, and that female managers can attract the necessary capital to bring their ideas to life.”