Significant barriers to success remain for women who want to launch their own firms and manage alternative investments.
The good news is that of investors among the 791 global survey respondents, 41% said they already have an emerging managers program, compared to 33% in 2015, according to KPMG's fifth edition of the “Women in alternative investments report” released Thursday.
About 32% of investors said they expect their investments in emerging managers to increase over the next 18 months , but just 16% of respondents said they expect their allocations to women-owned/managed firms to rise compared to 25% last year.
On a slightly positive note, the number of investors that already have a mandate to invest with women-owned/managed alternative managers rose slightly to 10% in 2016 from 7% the previous year. Only 5% of funds intend to start an emerging manager program of any kind this year compared to 4% in 2015.
Investor opinion was divided on the question of whether increased demand overall for emerging real estate, hedge fund and private equity managers will increase inflows to women-owned/managed investment companies.
The regional breakouts were:
- North America — yes, 39%; no, 25%; uncertain, 36%;
- Europe and the U.K. — yes, 23%; no, 33%; uncertain, 44%; and
- rest of the world – yes, 41%; no, 27%; uncertain, 32%.
As to why there are not more women working in alternative investment companies, 55% of all survey respondents, including money managers, said there is a lack of positions where women can build a track record, while 53% said personal responsibilities make the industry's typically long hours and frequent business travel less attractive to women. About 52% of survey respondents noted that women have historically had less access to investor capital than men; 34% said women have less desire than men to work in alternative investments; 20% said lack of education kept women out of the alternative investment arena; and 18% said there is lower demand for women-owned/managed funds.
KPMG conducted its online global survey between May and July and interviewed respondents between August and October this year. Investors represented about 10% of the universe respondents, while the remainder were executives from alternative money management firms and service providers, according to the report.