Investment banks are not known for being particularly female friendly: women don’t apply in big numbers to banks’ graduate schemes, and when they do they tend to drop out before reaching senior positions. Typically, only around 20% of investment banks MDs are female.
However, compared to some of London’s leading hedge funds, banks look like positively diverse. A quick look at the gender of FSA registered individuals working at Brevan Howard, Winton Capital Management, BlueCrest Capital Management, Capula Investment Management, Comac Capital and Aspect Capital – some of London’s highest paying hedge funds - reveals that very few of their registered employees are women. Aggregated, just 12% of these funds’ employees are female.
Given registered employees tend to be engaged in high value activities – as opposed to administrative duties – the implication is that trading, marketing, risk and compliance jobs in hedge funds are the domain of men.
Capula employs the fewest women in registered positions: only 2 of its 45 registered London employees are female (4%). At BlueCrest, 8 of its 80 registered employees (10%) are women. At Brevan Howard, 9 of its 81 registered employees (11%) are women. At Winton Capital 7 of its 41 FSA-registered people are women (17%). And at Comac Capital, the ratio is 4 out of 18 (22%).
Also notable is the fact that across these funds as a whole, only 26% of FSA registered female employees are married. This sounds low, considering around 45% of the UK population as a whole is betrothed.
The prevalence of unmarried female hedge funders might be explained by culture (educated women tend to marry later) or by demographics (most people get married between 25 and 29, some of these employees may be recent graduates ). However, the apparent shortage of married women working in London’s hedge funds might also be taken as a sign that there are comparatively few mothers in the sector.
Recent data from the ONS suggests around 50% of children are born to married women in the UK and that parents with higher incomes are more likely to be husband and wife. The hedge fund situation seems especially stark when you consider that just 3% of all registered employees across all the hedge funds above are married women. It might be concluded that either hedge fund women are having children outside of marriage, or they’re not having children at all.
Financial News survey finds that more than 80% of women in all hedge funds say their gender has affected their chances of having a successful career.
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