MF News Women powerhouse in the MF industry

Women powerhouse in the MF industry

These 20 women fund managers try to bridge the gender gap in investment industry.
Daya R Mar 7, 2017

Indian investment industry has always been a man’s world, but these women have broken stereotypes to become some of the sought after fund managers of the day. Forty years after India launched its first mutual fund; twenty women have proved their mettle in the country’s fund management space.

This trend is prevalent in developed nations also. A 2009 report by a National Council for Research on Women  on the number of fund managers in US called the ‘Women in fund management: a road map for achieving critical mass, and why it matters,’ says, “Women represent a scant 10 per cent of traditional mutual fund managers and a lower percentage in alternative investments fields. Only three per cent of about 9,000 hedge funds have a woman in charge.”

SBI has the highest number of women workforce with five fund managers. It is followed by Reliance, which has three, and UTI, which has two women fund managers. Other fund houses like Baroda Pioneer, Franklin Templeton, HSBC, Shriram, Principal, Kotak, ICICI Prudential, Canara Robeco, IDFC, JM Financial and Birla Sun Life have one-woman fund manager each.

The reason for this gender parity seems to have its roots in the lack of proper support system for women. Lakshmi Iyer, CIO at Kotak says, “I have seen many women take a back seat in their career in order to fulfil familial or social obligations. With a job that has such high demands on your time; it is harder for women to stick on without a proper support system.”

Lakshmi advises new entrants in the field of investment to stay focussed on the goal, “Many women start feeling guilty over prioritising their job over their family especially on the advent of motherhood. But if a woman is focused on her goal she will find ways to overcome any problem, be it personal or professional,” she says.

Sharing her experience as the fund manager, Bekxy Kuriakose, Head – Fixed Income, Principal Pnb MF said, “I think in the initial phase of my career being very junior and of an introvert nature I felt daunted approaching/interacting with my peers in other AMCs. With time and maturity, I have to say my peer level interactions have improved considerably and today I am quite well connected with my peers in the mutual fund industry. Keeping oneself up to date with the changing global and regulatory environment and changing landscape of fixed income in India is a challenge I have faced but being open to learning and adapting have helped me survive.”

Interestingly, in India women are far more active in the non-equity space compared to equities. Of the overall assets managed by women, about 85 per cent is under fixed income, feeder funds and other asset class schemes, says a Business Standard report.

Apart from the 20 fund managers, women like Radhika Gupta, CEO Edelweiss MF, Anuradha Rao, CEO, SBI MF and Sarojini Dikhale, CEO LIC have been able to break the clutter and hold the helm of leading AMCs.

Fund managers


Sohini Andani


Nidhi Chawla


Mansi Sajeja


Ranjana Gupta


Aparna Shanker


Anju Chhajer


Payal Wadhwa Kaipunjal


Jahnvee Shah


Swathi Kulkarni


Shilpita Guha


Hetal Shah

Baroda Pioneer

Roshi Jain


Anitha Ranjan


Gargi Bhattacharyya Banerjee


Bekxy Kuriakose


Lakshmi Iyer


Chandni Gupta

ICICI Prudential

Suman Prasad

Canara Robeco

Meenakshi Dawar


Shalini Tibrewal

JM Financial

Sunaina D Chunha

Birla Sun Life



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