UBS targets women-only hedge funds with new portfolio launch

The world of hedge funds is one that is well-known to be male dominated. Now, UBS is looking to spot fresh talent in the sector by launching a new portfolio investing only in women-led hedge funds, according to reports.

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reports that UBS’s Carmen portfolio is targeting between 10 and 15 funds across the world, having been given the green light after testing in recent weeks.

Each of the funds will be ones where the investment of assets is at the sole of joint discretion of a female manager, with the bank creating an actively managed portfolio based on quantitative and other analysis of a database of women managers it has compiled.

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UBS has been approached for comment.

In 2018, research found that hedge funds run by women had outperformed the industry average by 20% over the previous decade, despite women representing just 14% of partner-level positions and less than 1% of total assets in global hedge funds.

By 2020, the situation had actually worsened in some areas, as Morningstar found that only 11% of US fund managers were women in 2019, down from 13.8% in 2000. UBS told the FT lack of representation was particularly acute in the hedge fund world when it came to strategies such as macro and fixed income relative value.

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Women were “under-represented, particularly on the investment side, despite a lack of evidence justifying that by skill or performance differences” UBS senior investment officer Claire Tucker told the FT.

Though she did not comment directly on the new proposition launch at the Swiss bank, Tucker noted that male-led peers tend to draw in more capital than funds run by women, with the banking planning to back women within hedge funds to step up and launch their own portfolios by giving them an starter investment.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Justin Cash

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