The report Helena Morrissey won’t like reading

Helena Morrissey (pictured, right), winner of Funds Europe‘s European Personality of the Year award 2014, must surely be disappointed by a KPMG report this week.

There remains a “severe lack” of female representation on the boards of UK investment management firms, the report says.

Morrissey, the chief executive officer of Newton Investment Management, is founder of the 30% Club, an organisation launched in 2010 with the aim of having women represent 30% of all FTSE 100 boards by the end of 2015.

The Club, which began in the UK, expanded to the US, Ireland and Southern Africa in 2014, with further clubs planned for Canada, Australia and Italy.

KPMG’s report showed that amongst the 17 UK investment managers surveyed, women made up zero to 29% of directors. The average was just 15%, which dropped to 4% at executive director level. Thirteen of the companies had no female executive directors at all, as reported in their 2013/14 annual report and accounts.

Hargreaves Lansdown was the only firm surveyed to meet Morrissey’s quota at executive level, with female executive directors making up 33% of the total, while Record offered 20% and Aberdeen Asset Management 17%.

Women faired better in the non-executive director category, with Charles Stanley Group revealing a 50/50 split between men and women, followed by Aberdeen with 38% female directors, and Ashmore Group, Henderson Group, and Jupiter Fund Management each showing that women filled a third of non-executive positions.

Despite having a comparatively high proportion of female executive directors, Hargreaves Lansdown and Record both had no women in non-executive director positions at all.

The figures fall well below suggestions for the minimum representation of females in such roles. The European Commission proposes that women should make up 40% of the boards of listed companies by 2020, and the UK’s Davies report recommends that FTSE 100 boards should have at least 25% female representation by 2015.

Melanie Richards, partner and vice chairman at KPMG, says it is important for firms to realise that greater inclusivity offers a wider pool of talent and the potential for better performance.

“Our report reveals that UK investment managers still have some way to go,” she adds, a fact that Morrissey herself must be all to aware of as the 30% Club continues its efforts into 2015.

In a nice twist of fate, Anne Richards (pictured, left), chief investment officer of Aberdeen and a member of the asset manager’s board of directors, presented Morrissey with her Funds Europe award.

©2014 funds europe



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