The Midas touch of women power seems to be missing in the mutual fund industry even as the financial world is rejoicing the appointment of Madhabi Puri Buch as the first woman to head the capital market regulator Sebi in last 30 years.

The number of women fund managers in the mutual fund industry increased by just two to 32 in last one year ended January. With a meagre representation of just 8 per cent of the overall 399 employed by the industry, women still remain drastically under-represented among the ranks of mutual fund managers.

Only 19 of the 44 mutual fund houses had employed women fund managers as of January-end. Of this 11 fund houses had at least one woman fund manager while eight had two or more women managers, according to a Morning Star report.

A Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund said of the 40 investment professionals employed, four are women. But overall the fund house has about 1,000 people on its rolls, of which 300 are women. The target is to take this number to 400.

The fund house has a sales office at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh managed completely by women employees, he added.

Research & analytics

The scope for women’s employment in fund management has increased in PMS, alternative investments, unlisted equity and pre-IPO while many of them have become mutual fund distributors and also gainfully employed in the research and analytical side, said Balasubramanian, who is also the Chairman of the Association of Mutual Funds in India.

When it comes to tenure, nine fund managers have handled investments consistently for over five years, eight have 2-5 years experience and the remaining have a relatively lower experience of managing or co-managing funds below two years, said the report which comes close on the heels of women’s day celebration on Tuesday.

Assets managed by women

The industry added 23 new funds managers in last one year and could find only two new women for managing funds. The total open and close ended assets managed by women fund managers was about ₹4.55 lakh crore, which was 12 per cent of the total mutual fund assets of ₹38 lakh crore, said the report.

Of the overall assets managed by women, about 25 per cent or ₹1.12 lakh crore was in equity funds and 48 per cent or ₹2.19 lakh crore was in fixed income funds while the rest were in money market, liquid and overnight funds besides other category funds.

Of the total open-ended assets managed by women fund managers, 69 per cent of the assets under management outperformed the peer group average on a one-year basis, 96 per cent of the assets outperformed over three-year basis and 69 per cent over 5-year period.