Portfolio Institutional

Far from just making up the numbers, women in senior roles are making a positive impact on performance. Mark Dunne looks at what women bring to the table…

Sarah Dudney, a client partner at The Buy-Side Club, a search consultancy for the global investment industry, and a member of the Diversity Project’s steering committee, says that men possess a set of biases that perhaps women can balance out. “Men and women work differently and there could be advantages to having a greater biological mix in a team.” She gives an example of when men get stressed they generate a lot of testosterone and tend to go into fight mode. She says it has been proven that women go into what is called ‘tending and befriending’and points at Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia as an example. Gadhia was the only person to call the regulator when the financial crisis broke to ask: “What do I do?”…

Dudney has also seen people wanting more a diverse leadership team. “They want people from different backgrounds,” she says. “We deal with senior appointments and people are asking us for a diverse range of candidates. Clients look at it from a capital allocation perspective. They want to see if they are applying money to funds in the most efficient and effective way to get the best result. Fund management is a people business. Therefore it would be far-fetched to assume that 80% of the fund management population can produce all of the alpha. You can have a team full of David Beckhams.”…

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