© 2020 Arizent. All rights reserved.

Women fund managers beat men at stock picks, Goldman finds

The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. logo is displayed in the reception area of the One Raffles Link building, which houses one of the Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte offices, in Singapore, on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Singapore has expanded a criminal probe into fund flows linked to scandal-plagued 1MDB to include Goldman Sachs Group, which helped raise money for the entity, people with knowledge of the matter said. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg
Register now

Women fund managers remain woefully underrepresented in the fund industry, but they’re doing a better job picking stocks than their male counterparts, at least this year.

Among some 500 large-cap U.S. mutual funds, those with at least one-third of manager positions held by women have beaten those with no women by 1 percentage point in 2020, data compiled by Goldman Sachs show. That’s a slight departure from the previous three years, when the gender difference had little impact on fund performance.

Female-managed funds are benefiting from a preference for technology stocks, an industry that has dominated gains. Male managers lean toward financial shares, the second-worst performer in the S&P 500. Also helping widen the gap is Tesla, which is more widely owned by female managers. Shares of the electric automaker have soared by more than 400% this year, compared with a gain of less than 10% in the S&P 500.

“Even after adjusting for risk, female-managed funds have outperformed their counterparts amid the pandemic-related market swings,” Goldman strategists led by David Kostin wrote in a note to clients. The tech sector “is the largest source of disagreement between female-managed and all other large-cap mutual funds,” they wrote.

Many of the executives selected this year say the industry’s future may lie in its sudden change to a fully virtual business model.
May 1

Women are still a small minority in the industry. Only 3% of the mutual funds tracked by Goldman have an all-female fund manager team, collectively managing just 2% of total assets. In contrast, 77% are managed by an all-male team, with these funds accounting for 57% of assets.

Bloomberg News