This is the ninth edition of our 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report and is published in association with EY for the eighth time. We thank EY for their continued support.
Sixteen women featured in this report work for fifteen fund managers who are appearing for the first time namely US firms Kirkoswald Asset Management, Abrams Capital, McGinty Road Partners, Waterfall Asset Management, AlphaSimplex Group, Whale Rock Capital Management, Palmer Square Capital Management, SSI Investment Management, Verition Fund Management and Rockefeller Asset Management; along with European firms Selwood Asset Management LLP, SCIO Capital LLP, Rhenman & Partners Asset Management and Capula Investment Management; and Asian firm, Picea Oriental Investment Management. The three new service providers are JTC Group; Waystone and Jefferies.
AlbaCore Capital Group, Aspect Capital, Balyasny Asset Management, BNP Paribas, Bridgewater Associates, Buzzacott, Citadel, Citadel Securities, D. E. Shaw & Co, Lone Pine Capital, Millennium Management, Northern Trust, Point72, Schulte Roth & Zabel, Sculptor Capital Management, Simmons & Simmons, Taconic Capital, Tudor Investment Corporation and Wellington have featured before. These firms continue to hire and promote lots of women into senior roles.
Eighteen of the fifty women are clearly investment professionals, though some of the thirty-two with typically non-investment job titles also have significant input into the investment process. Several senior accountants and lawyers are deeply involved at both firm and fund level, sitting on investment committees that sign off on new investments and helping with structuring and monitoring investments. Lawyers in law firms and general counsel are integral to some activist and distressed strategies, and of course litigation is an investment strategy in its own right, illustrated here with Sarah Johnson of D.E. Shaw & Co.
The dearth of women studying and working in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is often lamented, but we have found them in operational and investment roles. Three women in senior technology roles are Gemma Hagen of Aspect Capital, Martha Lam of Lone Pine Capital and Sarah Mulholland of Bridgewater Associates. Additionally, other women such as Dr. Ying Xu of D.E. Shaw studied computer science before moving into investment. On the quantitative investment side, we feature five investment professionals: Dr. Ying Xu; Dr. Kathryn Kaminski of AlphaSimplex Group; Dr. Marie Legendre of CFM; Dr. Iulia Schpak of Tudor Capital Europe and Julie Tereschenko of Tudor Investment Corporation. Of course, many of the discretionary fundamental managers featured in the report are also making extensive and increasing use of quantitative tools.
ESG is an increasing priority for many women in the report, at firm and fund levels.
Hamlin Lovell, Contributing Editor, The Hedge Fund Journal
Most of the hedge funds in this year’s report are managing billions, but we do also have a few firms running a few hundred million and one running tens of millions. Three firms have launched within the past five years namely Vantage Rock, McGinty Road Partners, and Picea Oriental Asset Management. Some other smaller and newer hedge fund managers founded or co-founded by women might feature in our Tomorrow’s Titans report of rising star portfolio managers, which is exclusively focused on investment professionals.
Whilst most of the featured US women are based on the East Coast, we do feature women based in Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Newport Beach, CA. In Asia, Hong Kong and Singapore are the main hubs, and some women based there also lead global responsibilities for their firms. The report is more geographically diverse in terms of where women grew up: beyond the US, Canada, Europe, China and India, two came from Japan, two from Africa, two from Ukraine, one from Latvia, and one from Lebanon. The European based women featuring in this year’s report come from London, Paris, Stockholm and Dublin.
This is the ninth edition of The Hedge Fund Journal’s 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report
ESG is an increasing priority for many women in the report, at firm and fund levels. A growing number of hedge funds are developing their own ways of integrating ESG into the investment process. Avery Sheffield avails of Rockefeller Asset Management’s proprietary ESG research. Diana Amoa of Kirkoswald is launching an ESG emerging markets fixed income strategy using her own data analysis. Angie Long of Palmer Square Capital Management has developed a proprietary ESG scoring system, and SCIO Capital’s Eriko Aron is taking a distinctive approach to ESG in European private credit deals. Meanwhile, Giorgia Anton of CIBC Capital Markets, Shannon Murphy of Jefferies and Brooke Harlow of the Managed Funds Association are examples of those publishing a variety of ESG research; Kelly Koscuiszka of law firm Schulte Roth & Zabel is advising on ESG regulations; Selma Coffey of Waystone is guiding managers through the new EU Sustainable Finance framework with respect to distribution, while Victoria Gillespie of JTC Group is providing a broad range of ESG analysis for clients. Heads of ESG – which include many distinguished women – from some asset managers now sit on boards and we envisage more hedge fund managers elevating their ESG chiefs to board level.
Senior women are increasingly playing an active role in recruitment and mentoring, hiring not only university graduates and experienced professionals but also school leaver apprentices and interns, and carrying out mentoring both inside their firms and in various industry, professional, educational or voluntary groups outside work. All of this will help to on-board increasingly diverse future generations of leading women in hedge funds.
Last year’s report can be found here.
As the leading global provider of services to alternative funds, Ernst & Young LLP is honored to sponsor this 2021 edition of the 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report, and to celebrate the progress and contribution made by this talented and noteworthy group of honorees.
There’s no denying that the last 12 months have brought their share of challenges, but the common denominator these exceptional women share can be defined by the optimism, resilience and sheer grit they displayed in the face of extreme disruption — in the markets, business, government — and to life as we once knew it.
For example, all hedge funds fell 5.5% from March through August 2020, while funds run by women lost 3.5%,1 and with women now controlling nearly one-third of the world’s wealth,2 it’s clear that gender diversity in the hedge fund industry can lead to increased profits as well as a more rounded view of the customer base.
The EY organization was founded on diversity, equity and inclusion, and we have been innovators in this area for a long time. We are proud that our sixth Neuro-Diverse Center of Excellence (NCoE) opened in April 2021 to attract autistic and other neurodivergent talent, and this year we were ranked No. 1 on Working Mother magazine’s 100 Best Companies. In addition, EY US promotions to partner/principal show women steadily increasing each year. In our most recent round of promotions, 40% of promotions to partner/principal were women, an increase of 7% from the prior year and our largest class ever.3
Please join us in recognizing and congratulating the truly ground-breaking women who are the honorees of the 2021 50 Leading Women in Hedge Funds report. May they be an inspiration not only for their achievements, but for the future possibilities to come.