Investing in female fund managers

A new Ivey summer program aims to help women pursue fund management careers

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

A NEW PROGRAM at Ivey Business School is aiming to help more women pursue a lucrative career in the asset management industry.

The Women in Asset Management (WAM) program, set to launch in May 2022, is designed to increase representation of women in the asset management sector in Canada. Developed for second-year Western undergraduate students who self-identify as a woman and are interested in learning more about asset management, the program provides four weeks of in-class training in May followed by a ten-week internship at an asset management firm from June to August.

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Asset management professionals help increase client wealth and often find career opportunities in banks, pension funds, endowment funds and hedge funds, both in the public and private sectors. In North America, women representation in the asset management profession remains low. One in four financial advisors in Canada is female, and women account for only 14 per cent of fund managers in the U.S.

What’s more, Canadian and U.S. funds led by women represent less than one per cent of assets under management and just six per cent of chief investment officers at the largest U.S. institutional money managers are women.

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“We want to help move the dial,” says Steve Foerster, Ivey finance professor and co-director of the program along with his colleague, Steve Foerster. “The program is meant to attract women to asset management, especially those who might not have been aware of the positive social impact asset management can have on household wealth, such as pensions. Not only do we want to see more female participation, but we’d like to see women remain in the industry and fill more senior investment decision-making roles.”

The WAM program includes a four-week multidisciplinary classroom experience aimed at sharpening technical skills, such as portfolio theory, behavioural finance and stock valuation, and enhancing presentation, negotiation and communication skills.

Admission and program materials are free to participants and available to all women across Western, not just those who might be seeking entry into Ivey’s HBA program.

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“We see great opportunities for women in engineering, computer science, math, economics and all sciences and social sciences to have fulfilling careers in asset management, and make a difference,” adds Foerster.

More information is available on the WAM website. Investing in female fund managers fund Education Story by Ivan Langrish, courtesy of Western University

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