Columbia Threadneedle asks: Where are the female fund managers?

Stock market2Columbia Threadneedle Investments has backed claims that a lack of diversity disclosure exists among European asset managers, as it today publishes details about the number of women that work for its business outside of the US. Women formed 22% of the firm’s board and 24% of the business management committee, as at June, the firm says in its corporate responsibility report. Columbia Threadneedle says publishing the figures is a response to the lack of diversity disclosure among European asset managers that was highlighted by a September 2015 report by New Financial, a think-tank. The 22% of women board members that Threadneedle has now is an increase on the 13% at December 2013. Columbia Threadneedle has nine directors and two are women: Marie-Jeanne Chèvremont-Lorenzini and Ann Roughead. Both are non-executive directors. Mark Burgess, the Emea chief investment officer at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, believes diverse companies are better governed and that analysis of company boards in this regard is part of the firm’s investment process, making its own disclosure an “obvious step”. Burgess adds: “While our figures are in line with the average gender balance in European asset management firms, we fall behind other professions at a time when the percentage of women employed in the UK is at the highest it’s ever been – where are all the female fund managers?” The figures that Columbia Threadneedle discloses – including that there are 24% of women on its business management committee, up from 8% in December 2013 – relate to Columbia Threadneedle’s business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea). Earlier this year, the UK’s Threadneedle Investments merged with Columbia Management from the US. The merged firm is owned by Ameriprise Financial. The New Financial report is called Diversity Disclosure: What the European capital markets industry publicly discloses about diversity. Columbia Threadneedle has also issued a paper today called Missing persons: Gender balance in asset management, which “looks at why female representation among fund managers matters and what can be done to redress the balance”.
Columbia Threadneedle Investments, EMEA At June 2015 At Dec 2014 At Dec 2013
% women on company Board 22% 22% 13%
% women on Business Management Committee (Exec Co) 24% 11% 8%
% women in senior management (Executive Director level) 19% 16% 11%
% women investment professionals 28% 29% 21%
% women employees in total 37% 37% 35%
®2015 funds europe

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