100 Women in Finance (“100WF”), a global finance industry network of nearly 20,000 registered members, will be hosting the largest ever dedicated global gathering of female investment managers and asset allocators, with the view to facilitating capital introductions during its flagship Global FundWomen Week. The virtual event which takes place from 9 to 13 November, replaces previous in-person regional conferences, and will be hosted on iConnections, a capital introduction technology platform, with the continued support from J.P. Morgan.
100WF’s FundWomen Week will connect approximately 200 of the world’s top allocators with more than 180 women founders and managers from the alternative and traditional asset management industries. In addition to representation from North America and Europe, for the first time ever, Global FundWomen Week will feature allocators and managers from Asia and Australia – 12 percent and 20 percent of the total, respectively – making this a truly global event. To attend, allocators must commit to at least three 30-minute meetings, with over 800 such meetings pledged to date. This number is expected to rise as more allocators join the initiative, with 25 percent of allocator participants added in the past week alone.
Commenting on the initiative, Amanda Pullinger, CEO, 100WF, said: “We are thrilled by the response of both allocators and managers. As an organization, we are keen to bring the talent of female fund managers to the attention of allocators, many aof whom have said to us that they struggle to find diverse investment teams to invest in. This conference enables the investor community to go beyond talking about finding diverse talent to actually realizing the opportunity.”
Ulrika Robertsson, co-founder and COO of Impactus Partners and Chair of 2020 Global FundWomen Week, added: “The pandemic, coupled with technology, is acting as a great leveller in improving access to capital introduction opportunities for women managers. At a time when the majority of the world’s investors are working from home and unable to travel to build new connections and raise capital, this format will be critical to ensuring allocators can continue to identify new investment opportunities, and that female managers can attract the necessary capital to bring their ideas to life.”
Michael Weinberg, Head of Hedge Funds and Alternative Alpha, APG Asset Management, one of the allocators participating in the initiative, said: “Investors can tap into the benefits of cognitive diversity by working with managers who come from different backgrounds and are shaped by different experiences. Investing with women managers can lead to a diversification of ideas and approaches that is crucial to optimizing a portfolio. You want people who can see new sources of alpha, have a fresh approach to reducing risk and improving returns.”
Sara Rejal, Senior Director, Investments, Willis Towers Watson, added: “Progress on diversity across the investment industry requires a collective effort and a fundamental change in mindset and culture. Although these efforts will take time to bear fruit, we need to be challenging ourselves as an industry to do more now. Improving diversity is key to building a stronger investment industry; in fact our research has shown that teams with more diversity typically produce better long-term outcomes for clients, so it is critical that all players in the industry continue to challenge the status quo.”
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