Hedge Funds

A recent report released by Rothstein Kass, a financial services firm, revealed that hedge funds owned or managed by females outperform the industry, but are under-represented in the ranks of fund CEOs and CIOs.

According to the financial services firm, the report was based on the result of a survey conducted among 366 female senior professionals within the industry, including hedge funds, fund of funds, private equity, venture capital, and providers of alternative investments.

The study revealed that female CEOs and CIOs within the industry only amount to 20%, based on the number of female senior professionals surveyed by Rothstein Kass. The study also found that women hold the highest percentage of C-level jobs in the operational space (35%), C-level compliance (34%) and financial positions (32%).

Based on data from the study, the financial services firm suggested that more females should hold “chief level jobs.”

The financial services firm cited that the year-to-date net return of the Rothstein Kass Women in Alternatives Hedge Index as of September was 8.95 percent, compared with the 2.9 percent generated by HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index. The Rothstein Kass WAI Hedge Index outperformed both the HFRX Global Hedge Fund Index and the S&P 500.

The two funds spearheaded by Renee Haugerud, CIO of Galtere Ltd, have outstanding performance. The Galtere International Master Fund and Galtere International Select Master Fund generated year-to-date returns of 7.74% and 12.72%, respectively.

In a statement, Merideth Jones, director at Rothstein Kass said, it is not surprising to know that women-owned or managed hedge funds handily exceed the performance of their male counterparts in the industry.

Jones pointed out, “There have been a number of studies that show women investors to be more risk adverse, and therefore, potentially better able to escape market downturns and volatility. The outperformance by women-owned or managed hedge funds should make the case that investing in these types of funds is a smart business decision, rather than one that just feels good.”

On the other hand, Kelly Easterling, principal-in-charge of Rothstein Kass’ Walnut Creek office, stated that  the report showed “a lack of women in portfolio-related C-level jobs, which typically act as a proving ground for future fund managers.”

When asked about under-representation of females in the industry, the respondents in the study offered two mains reasons: the lack of available positions for females for them to be able to develop a track record, and the absence of desire or motivation among females to pursue a career or stay in the industry.

Based on the study, 10.5 percent of the respondents said females represented 50 percent or more in the investment committees of their firms. Thirty seven percent (37%) of the respondents said there were no females on their investment committees.

The study also showed that hedge fund respondents have the highest number of female-owned or managed status (16.8%), venture capital (13%), and private equity (12%).