A significant problem facing the investment industry is the lack of female financial advisors, but on the institutional side of the business things are even worse.
A mere 3% of U.S. investment firms are owned by women, and these firms hold only 1% of total assets under management.
At the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, several high-profile female investors banded together to hold a “guerilla-style” conference to call attention to the lack of women in the investment business. Called the Variant Perspectives Value Investing Conference, it was put together by fund owners Barbara Ann Bernard and Kim Shannon with Laura Rittenhouse, an analyst and the inventor of Candor Analytics. They invited senior women leaders from some of the biggest names in the industry.
Rittenhouse, who has been attending the meeting for the past 20 years and is the author of a book endorsed by Warren Buffet himself. She has been invited to speak with investors at the meeting a number of times. She noted, ‘I would go into a room and realize that in a room of 100-200 people, I was one of count-them-on-one-hand women in the room.”
While the conference focused on women and female investors, it was not for women only. The conference included sessions with asset allocators investing in women as well as women who started their own funds, the objective was to bring men into the conversation as well. Says Bernard, “I know we’ll have really succeeded when we get emails from men saying they’re so excited to bring their daughters.”
For more about the conference, please see:
Meet the women investors setting up next to Warren Buffett’s annual meeting | Fast Company