Female retail fund managers bust the industry average: Research

Justina Crabtree; special to CNBC.com
Ryan McVay | Getty Images

Almost one in five top-performing retail funds are managed by a woman, double the overall proportion of women in the industry, according to an analysis by online investment platform rplan.co.uk.

Nine, or 18 percent, of the top performing 50 actively-managed retail funds in the U.K. are led by women. While this may not seem particularly high, other data suggests that in total, only 9 percent of retail fund managers in the U.K. are female.

In fact, the top performing fund in rplan.co.uk's data was managed by a woman, the AXA Framlington Biotech Fund. The second female-led fund, the AXA Framlington Health Fund, was placed sixth.

But, there were no other female-managed funds in the top 20.

The total figure is based on estimates by Tilney Bestinvest, who in June 2016 slated female fund managers at 8.5 percent, whilst in May this year, Citywire placed the proportion at 9 percent.

Companies in the top 50 which were lead-managed by a woman also included Pictet, Schroder, Fidelity, JPM and Threadneedle.

Commenting in the research's press release, Stuart Dyer, rplan.co.uk's CIO, said that: "We can only speculate as to why this might be the case. It may be that women have to be better to succeed … (or) that they naturally have a more prudent approach to managing money. Analysis of our own clients' behaviour has shown that female investors opt for less risky investments."

Rplan.co.uk's top 50 was determined by comparing the total returns of U.K. retail funds on Morningstar, for a five year period until August 12 2016.

"Ultimately, investors should be happy to have a proven manager with good track record, regardless of gender," Dyer added.

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