Diversity in the funds industry must improve: CAIS20


Despite the fact that many studies show that funds with more cognitive diversity among the decision makers perform better, women remain underrepresented in the funds industry – something that must change.

That was the message from Barbara Ann Bernard, founder and CIO of Wincrest Capital, speaking at the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit (CAIS20), which is taking place in the Cayman Islands this week (February 6-7).

Evidence shows that funds with such diversity at a decision-making level perform better, yet women only control 1.3 percent of assets under management, she noted. “Despite their performance, they do not get the opportunity to scale up,” she said. “That is a tragedy, but I am hopeful this will change and we will see more diversity in the industry as we also seek alpha.”

Bernard added that although quotas are not an ideal way to improve diversity in the industry, they do work.

Anna-Marie Wascher, CEO of Flat World Partners, advised companies to think more about diversity in all aspects of their business, from their recruitment policy to conducting a gender pay gap analysis. “They need to get out of the comfort zone,” she said.

Asha Mehta, director of responsible investing at Acadian Asset Management, said the industry should see achieving cognitive diversity as a key goal, driven by data and rationale. “We can use this data in much smarter ways; there is so much data available now that it is a question of how smartly and ethically use it in the investment process,” she said.

CAIS20, Diversity, Funds, Barbara Ann Bernard, Cayman Islands

Cayman Funds