Advocates for gender parity in asset management are finding a bright spot in Vietnam.
The nation has the best workplace gender parity globally, with around 39% of senior leadership positions held by women, compared to a 31% global average, according to a Grant Thornton Insights study.
That has bled into asset management.
Quynh Le Yen, director and portfolio manager at Ho Chi Minh City-based Dragon Capital, joined the firm 15 years ago in 2007 after working at Asia Commercial Bank. She was the only female portfolio manager. Now there are two others, she said in an interview.
Ms. Len's firm, Dragon Capital, exemplifies this parity with a 40% female investment team. Of 17 women on the investment team, 10 are in senior leadership. It manages $6 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2021
"Gender parity not only improves performance and contributes to longer-term returns, but also leads to better risk management," she added in a news release.
"I know Warren Buffett's very famous for it... but women are also natural buyers of companies for the longer term," said Rachel Hill, director at Dragon Capital Markets, Europe. Dragon Capital manages the Vietnam Equity Fund, founded September 2013. Morningstar data shows the approximately $316 million fund generated annualized returns of 14.56% and is up 236% since inception in September 2013.
A Sept. 2022 report by Zippia showed roughly 43% of all positions in asset management in the U.S. are held by women, while a 2019 Deloitte Insights report found that women should make up around 31% of executives in finance in the U.S. by 2030, compared to 22% in 2019.
"Progress, of course, is never as swift or evenly distributed as we'd wish to see," said Amanda Pullinger, CEO of 100 Women in Finance, an advocacy group, in a forward for the Deloitte report.