50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds 2019

In association with EY

The Hedge Fund Journal
Originally published in the September 2019 issue

This is our seventh 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report. In an encouraging sign of the times, last year – after running it as a biennial event since 2010 – we took the decision that it should be annual. Just two of the women have featured in previous reports. One nominee appears because she has had a significant promotion; the other has moved to a larger company. Many of the firms here: The Baupost Group; Bridgewater Associates; BlueMountain Capital Management; Capital Fund Management; Citadel; D. E. Shaw; EY; GAM Systematic Cantab; Man Group; Maples Group; Pictet Asset Management; Point72 and Simmons & Simmons are recurring fixtures because such companies are hiring and promoting more women into senior roles. Companies featuring for the first time include: Balyasny; BNP Paribas; Cartica Management; Caxton Associates; Citco Fund Services (US) Inc; Millennium Management; Third Point; Yaupon Capital Management LP and Wincrest Capital.


50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds 2019 [PDF]

It is apt that EY is sponsoring the report as professional services firms appear to be leading the way in terms of gender equality. Approximately 50% of EY’s trainee intake and 30% of its partners are now women. At law firms the trainee intake is similarly evenly balanced. This report includes lawyers from Simmons & Simmons in London, Matheson in Dublin, and Maples in Cayman and London, where the London office joint managing partner is now Heidi de Vries.

These percentages are generally much lower in the hedge fund industry, but there are some encouraging signs of change. For instance, 40 per cent of the 49 people in Point72’s Summer Academy class of 2019 are women. In the full time Academy class, they represent 25 per cent of the 36 recruits.

As women appear to be most under-represented in quantitative and technology-oriented roles, we have made a special effort to prioritise success stories from firms including: Capital Fund Management; GAM Systematic Cantab; Man Group; Millennium Management, Systematica Investments and Tudor Investments Corporation, where the CTO is notably a woman. (Women may be even more under-represented in the technology industry than in finance, according to some estimates). It is worth noting that investment professionals working in systematic and quantitative firms may sometimes have job titles such as “researcher” or “scientist” rather than investment or portfolio manager, so tallies based on the latter label will overlook many.

In the broader investment and alternatives industry, there are positive signs of imbalances being redressed.

Headhunters have brought it to our attention that data scientists are red hot right now. The quants are the only women in this report who have doctorates. The deficit of women in STEM (life sciences apart) is partly due to educational choices typically made in teenage years. Many firms that have featured in these reports over the years have developed initiatives designed to help girls catch the maths and computing bugs.

Women are also under-represented in activist investing, but we continue to find new names here. This report features two from Cartica Capital, whose co-founder, Teresa Barger, developed the first two corporate governance funds in emerging markets. Previous reports have featured women from CIAM (Catherine Berjal); Cevian Capital (Friederike Helfer); Ides Capital (Dianne McKeever) and Blue Harbour Group (Tanisha Bellur and Lauren Taylor Wolfe, who has now launched her own firm, Impactive Capital, with seeding from pension fund CalSTRS). For the first time, we feature a Head of ESG Engagement, at Third Point, and this is likely to be a growing trend. Women have held senior positions in corporate governance for at least 20 years, and the profile of these roles is now rising.

Alternative credit managers have been growing assets faster than most hedge fund managers, and we have started to receive more nominations for women working in private debt: we include Kirsten Bode from Muzinich in this report.

This report and the associated events are, of course, partly a public relations exercise to attract more suitably qualified women to apply for jobs. Four HR professionals feature in this report, and interestingly they have made horizontal career transitions into HR (which is dubbed business development at one firm) from prior roles in four different areas: legal; equity analysis; investment and prime brokerage sales.

In the broader investment and alternatives industry, there are also positive signs of imbalances being redressed. Over 50% of those taking the CFA exam in China are now women, and indeed the CFA Institute will very soon, and for the first time, be helmed by a woman, Margaret Franklin (formerly of BNY Mellon). The CAIA Association is led by Bill Kelly, but it has many women in senior roles, including its regional leaders in Asia and Europe. Trade associations as well have women in senior roles: AIMA’s local leaders in the US and Canada are women.

The standard disclaimer applies. This report is not a ranking per se, but rather a selection of examples of senior women intended to inspire others. Many of those omitted from this report are worthy candidates and may well feature in future reports. We have also received a large number of nominations for women who do not yet seem quite senior enough, but they could well “graduate” to leading women status quite soon as they ascend the career ladder. Many female portfolio managers running very small amounts of money (sometimes outside a fund or corporate structure) could also be considered if they grow assets, form or join a firm.


As the leading global provider of services to alternative funds worldwide, EY is once again proud to sponsor the 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report and to recognize this accomplished group of women who are making their mark in the industry. We congratulate all the honorees who have been selected by The Hedge Fund Journal – impressive and inspiring women who are leading by example.

At EY, we have a steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusiveness and creating a culture where all people can experience a sense of belonging. This is fundamental for building transformative leaders to serve our clients and lead in our communities. Diversity and inclusiveness is an important journey that we are proud to be on – one that creates innovation and growth by maximizing the power of different perspectives. We hold our status in the DiversityInc Top 50 Hall of Fame in the highest regard and are committed to continual progress. Foremost, we know that an inclusive culture that values our people’s unique perspectives is critical to drive quality and innovation – and a better working world for all of us. 

Please join us in recognizing and congratulating these 50 truly exceptional women – not because they are women, but because they exemplify success and leadership, and are a beacon to those who follow in their footsteps.