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Increased Investor Demands And Powerful New Voices Spur Optimism For Women In Alternatives: KPMG Report

Investors Demand Diversity

New efforts to Increase Pipeline of Women into Alternatives, and to Retain and Advance Women


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Increasing interest from investors to allocate more capital into women owned and managed funds, coupled with public support from industry leaders, is spurring optimism for women in Alternative Investments, according to KPMG’s 2016 Global Women in Alternative Investments Report: The Time is Now: Real Change, Real Impact, Seize the Moment.


KPMG surveyed and interviewed nearly 800 women professionals and industry leaders within the Alternative Investments sector, across hedge funds, private equity, venture capital and real estate in North America, U.K., Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. The majority of survey respondents believe North America offers the greatest opportunities for women in alternatives, with the UK and the remainder of Europe ranking second and third.

“This year’s report uncovered a number of positive trends as firms, investors and industry organizations are taking some bold new steps to help move the needle,” said Jim Suglia, Alternative Investments national practice leader for KPMG LLP. “We strongly believe that with continued attention to these issues, the industry will keep pushing the boundaries to secure the future success of women in alternatives.”

The survey found that many respondents remain optimistic, with 28 percent planning to launch or manage a new fund in the next five years. Twenty-six percent of women-owned and managed funds expect to grow their fund to over $1 billion in assets under management (AUM).

“With more women in investment-decision making roles, the industry will gain on a huge source of talent and insights in an area that is core to its success – returns,” said Camille Asaro, audit partner in KPMG’s Alternative Investments practice and co-author of this year’s report.

The majority of this year’s survey respondents (79 percent) also believe it is still more difficult for women fund managers to succeed in the alternative investments industry. The majority also believe that it is harder for women-owned and managed funds to attract capital.

Emerging Manager Mandates on the Rise
Mandates and programs for women-owned and managed fund increased to 10 percent in 2016 from just two percent in 2013. At a majority of investors, women-led funds represent less than 5 percent of their total portfolio.

According to this year’s report, emerging manger mandates are on the rise among investors, presenting additional opportunities for women-owned and managed funds. Forty percent of women-owned and managed fund respondents have pursued emerging manager mandates, up from 31 percent last year. Nearly half who pursued mandates this year won them.

However, while 32 percent of investors polled said they expect an increase in their allocations to emerging managers over the next 18 months, only 16 percent expect allocations to women-owned and managed funds to increase over the same timeframe.

Alternative Investments Audit partner Kelly Rau, also a co-author of this year’s report, added: “Although we have not seen considerable improvement in some areas since last year, there are signs of progress. Firms are embarking on creative initiatives designed to better retain and advance women in alternatives, and there are greater numbers of investors considering allocations to women-owned and managed funds.”

Alternative Investments Sector Outlook Is Mixed for the Next 18 months

  • 48 percent expect hedge fund performance will improve. However, 18 percent of investors expect to decrease allocations to hedge funds while the same percentage plans to increase allocations to the sector.
  • 30 percent expect improved performance for private equity; 30 percent of investors plan to increase allocations to the sector
  • 18 percent expect improved performance for real estate funds; and 22 percent of investors plan to increase their real estate allocations


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (, is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.


Pete Settles
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Andreas Marathovouniotis
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